/ Money

Credit reference agencies, why’s my credit report so out of date?

I’m angry at the failure of Equifax and Callcredit to update my credit report in good time. Now they’re at risk of damaging my reputation, my pride and my wallet. Are you frustrated with having to leap over credit hurdles?

I moved house in October 2011 and registered to vote immediately. I also transferred all of my bank and credit card accounts over to the new address. Full credit to the banks – the change of address went without a hitch.

In February this year, Harrow Council finally added me to the public electoral register, so I thought my credit file would once again look like normal. No such luck.

Leaping over the credit hurdles

As background research for a Which? Money magazine feature, on 10 February I accessed my credit reports online. Equifax and Callcredit say I’m not registered to vote.

In fact, Equifax went even further: initially its system couldn’t even find my address. It could find the flats on either side, but not mine. I emailed Equifax and it said the list is based on Royal Mail data. Luckily my postman has no such problems.

When Equifax added my address to its system and I finally got hold of my online credit file, I discovered that the company had no accounts associated with my current address, even though I had moved four months earlier.

Experian knew I was registered to vote at my new address, so why didn’t Equifax or Callcredit? Experian also knew that my bank account and credit cards had been transferred over to my new address. So why didn’t Equifax?

Things got worse. I paid for my one-off credit score with each agency and was shocked. Because of the missing data on my credit reports, my credit scores had been decimated.

Callcredit gave me a score of 566. And Equifax rated me as ‘poor’, with a score of just 366, as I have no credit accounts associated with my address. In complete contrast, Experian has all of my up-to-date data and tells me I have a credit score of 963. That’s excellent and roughly what I expected.

Bad credit report lost me my contract

Why does all of this matter? Well, in mid-February I ordered a new mobile phone (the Samsung Galaxy SII, since you asked) on contract with Orange, but my order was rejected as I failed the credit check. Embarrassed, I felt like a teenager with no previous credit, not a 38-year-old professional with a good financial track record.

It could have been worse. If I’d been applying for a mortgage or was in need of a new credit card, these just wouldn’t have gone through. And those failed Orange applications will probably appear on my credit file, further damaging my credit score.

If Equifax and Callcredit can’t update their systems in good time, why should I trust them with my personal data? And if they can’t keep my data up-to-date, they shouldn’t be allowed to have it in the first place.

Comments

I have often wondered about these ‘credit checking’ companies. What do they do, and why do they suddenly have so much power over us.
To Me this is an unasked for, uneccasary business, who trawl all quarters for our personal information, then hold personal data about us, without our permission or consent. They then compile this data, without the ability to check it’s validity (as mentioned in this article) and offer it to a myriad of business who then treat this info as gospel, even when we can prove that the ‘credit checking’ company has got it wrong.
These companies then market their services as doing us (the consumer) a service, when nothing could be further from the truth.

How can they do this without consequence or penalty when in numerous cases, Martyn Savilles just being one, they have passed erroneous, or false information to a company to the detriment of the consumer.

Remember these credit checking companies have a policy of refusing to tell you why you were rejected, and ask thier subscriber companies to do the same. This is solely to protect them from the legal consequences of giving companies false information which can cause harm or ill feeling towards you.

In certain cases if the refusal of a company to deal with you is based solely on misinformation supplied by a credit checking company, that is: if the only reason for refusing you is this misinformation, without it you would have been dealt with differently, then surely the credit checking company is liable and recompense must be sought.

It does not matter at this level if there was malicious intent, as the credit checking company has deliberately intervened between supplier and consumer (who has no choice in the matter), and offered a service, instead they have supplied misinformation which has caused the consumer loss or harm.

As these companies are now self appointed guardians of our personal information, I believe in every case they supply misinformation they should be penalised.
In this case Martyn I believe you should demand some compensation from them.

I was very pleased to hear of Martyn’s experience with his Experian credit report. We work hard to make sure that the information we hold is accurate and up to date, not least because it’s a legal requirement.

I’d like to address some of the concerns raised in the subsequent comments by ‘M.’

Credit data is shared and used with customers’ agreement – check out the prominently displayed data protection notice the next time you apply for credit. This shared data, the majority of which is positive, helps most people get quick and easy access to credit when they want it. It also helps lenders say ‘no’, when granting further credit would not be sensible.

We do work closely with all the data providers on measures to promote data accuracy and, of course, we encourage people to come to us and check their own credit reports from time to time to helps us minimise mistakes.

Importantly, if you do check your report and find an error, if you tell us we will mark the information as disputed while we take that matter up with the provider.

On credit refusal, credit reference agencies like Experian can’t tell you why credit has been refused because we simply do not know. These are decisions lenders make, partly based on the information we hold. The lender should always be able to give you the principle reason for refusing credit, although you may need to ask, and we will be able to help you check and review your credit report, if they indicate that this information played a part.

I agree, we are guardians of your personal data, and this is a responsilibity we take very seriously indeed.

@james jones Experian
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments. I wonder if you could address the following concerns.

We do agree on the following
“we are guardians of your personal data, and this is a responsibility we take very seriously indeed.”
My concern is not about how seriously you take it, want I want to know, is who appointed you thus?

As far as I can ascertain your company has thrust itself into this position uninvited by the consumer, this self appointed power means that on on your companies say so our lives can be destroyed. If you make an error resulting in a detrimental outcome, what is your policy for recompense?

“Credit data is shared and used with customers’ agreement – check out the prominently displayed data protection notice the next time you apply for credit.”

And if you tick the box, if one is provided, saying I do not want my data shared?

Be honest: most of us do not have an option, we are told that are data will be shared end of.
The only way to stop this data being shared is not to go ahead with the application!

“This shared data, the majority of which is positive, helps most people get quick and easy access to credit when they want it.”
Followed by:
“Experian can’t tell you why credit has been refused because we simply do not know.”

Yet you can differentiate between positive data, and presumably negative data. So you know the difference, but do not know why lenders refuse credit.
A leap of faith here, but could it be due to the non positive data?

“We do work closely with all the data providers on measures to promote data accuracy and, of course, we encourage people to come to us and check their own credit reports from time to time to helps us minimise mistakes.”

What exactly does this meaningless sound byte tell us, your company is big enough to ask us if the information you collect on us is wrong, this is absolute nonsense. What you should do is send a copy of every report you hold on to the individuals concerned and ask them if your details are accurate. You can then check against the ‘provider of information’ to ensure accuracy. Is your company prepared top do this?

Do you provide a disclaimer with every report you send out warning that as this information is supplied by third parties so you cannot guarantee accuracy of information?

You hold confidential, sensitive information on most of the UKs adult population, yet we do not know who has access to it, or when it is accessed or why. In light of this will Experian notify us whenever a request is made for our information, by whom and for what purpose?

Finally: If I as a private individual tell Experian that I do not give my permission to hold any personal information about me, and I do not consent to them sharing any data hels about me with anyone else, will they comply?

I had this issue recently – only it was Experian who hadn’t updated my voter record, but the other two companies had. After a phone call to find out what the problem was – apparently it was a fault of the council – it was updated within a few weeks. Without me having to contact the council.

Having just moved, and into a newbuild, I can look forward to a pretty poor credit rating for a while: it had only just built back up again after the mortgage application last year.

We reach out extensively to educate people on our role, what your rights are, how you can check your data, how you can dispute anything you disagree with and so on. I think this is an extremely important part of our work.

I’m afraid we can’t simply send everyone regular unsolicited credit reports like M. suggests. People have to come to us and pass strict ID checks before we can release the data. In terms of checking with people every time new information is recorded, we have actually invested in a service that does just this, namely our credit report monitoring service CreditExpert. It is a service you have to join and, of course, comes with a monthly fee. But subscribers certainly stay in the know as far as their credit histories are concerned.

Operating a credit reference agency is a legitimate business activity in the UK. We are licensed by the OFT and registered with the ICO.

While consumer agreement underpins credit data sharing, the data sharing is also necessary for our continued business activities; namely to provide credit referencing services to the UK credit industry. This is recognised by the Data Protection Act. As a result, you can’t simply withdraw your consent for data to be shared at a later date. As you say, if you refuse to agree to the data sharing in the first place you’ll probably struggle to find any lawful creditor that will do business with you, perhaps outside of the payday sector. But even many of the payday providers are beginning to join the credit data sharing schemes the CRAs provide.

You may be interested to learn that the World Bank believes that data sharing regime that has developed in the UK over very many years is actually the model that other countries should seek to emulate.

On positive vs negative data, you can of course make generalisations. But, at the end of the day, it’s always the lender that decides what any particular characteristics mean to them, based on their experience with past customers. If someone is refused credit, comes to get their report and then seeks our advice, we would discuss their report with them and give them advice. Of course we would. But we are not told why lenders say no so it’s only ever the lender that can give a definitive answer on this.

Only lenders who share data through Experian can then carry out credit checks with us. It’s a shared database that the lenders all own and we administer. There is no need for a disclaimer.

Importantly, every time a lender looks at your report for whatever reason, we do log this so you can see, when you check your own report, who has viewed it, when and why.

Before credit data sharing emerged in the UK, credit decisions we largely based on subjectivity, such as the first impression you made when you met the bank manager, what he thought of your dad or what the milkman said about you. I certainly know which system I prefer.

Murphy says:
5 April 2012

James,

question for you. I am currently in the process of apply for the mortgage and thought it wise to check my credit report – both Experian & Equifax. I shocked to see that although reports were pretty much the same….Equifax had my credit as excellent but Experian had my score as ‘fair’ (means that you were coping with your repayments but may have had some problems before – or that you had a significant amount of credit). As you can two very different reports…one damaging. Now my question is why am I classed as fair, when my history (which strangely shows on both reports) says;
– no ccjs, no late or missed payments on credit card with 8000 limit, no use of 500 overdraft, one settled credit card, banks update when moved, registered at address etc etc – nothing negative. I also note that my previous mortgage (no late payments and all settled) is not even listed??? Can you imagine my confusion….and annoyance? More importantly, how do I get this fixed? As I have never ‘had some problems before – or had a significant amount of credit’ so why as Im being classified as so? I have no idea how to correct this, particularly when nothing is wrong or showing as negative on my account….as Equifax reports.

My fear (understandably) is that this will actually create a negative responses from lenders, further reducing my credit for no reason..

Pls advise.

Murphy – I understand your concern. The scores you can get from us and the other CRAs are only guides for you – lenders do not see them – but a low score is likely to indicate room for improvement. The missing mortgage may be an issue, so I recommend you get in touch with our contact centre and query this. They’ll also be able to give you advice on any other action you can take to improve the attractiveness of your Experian report going forwards.

Concerned dad says:
2 May 2012

My Experian file has no information on it. I was worried about this as the last few years have been tough and I now should have ‘bad credit’ showing.

My son who is a student with no accounts apart from his student account has recently received his credit file which has all of my information on it. It all shows my name (similar to his) and my date of birth. I am embarrassed and ashamed.
How has this happened?

Concerned dad – sorry to hear about this. Please send details, referring to this article, to my colleagues at customer-relations@uk.experian.com and we’ll look into this for you. Credit checks these days are on people not addresses but there can be confusion where two people at an address have the same or very similar names. I’m sure we can rectify this quickly.

Andy says:
17 May 2012

This sounds like grounds for compensation as, regardless of whether “there can be confusion where two people at an address have the same or very similar names”, this is an unquestionable breach of data protection.

SimonG says:
6 June 2012

This sounds just like an issue that my partner had when she applied for a copy of her file. When it arrived, she had all of her sisters credit and her fathers yet there were no associations on the file to explain it and nor should there have been. Not quite as secure as it seems all in all.

At the moment i am trying to move house but there seems to be some confusion from the text above as to when and even if the file is going to be updated to show settled or zero balanced accounts. I paid off my Tesco credit card on 31st of the month and when the file updated the following 6th, it still showed that we owed the full amount.
I called Tesco and they said that the file can only be updated when Experian request it and at that time (31st) we owed the money and there was nothing they can do until the next request. Now the text above from James says that the members send updates to them but this is contrary to the message that lenders give out.

I have signed up to get my file so i can see when it updates and eventually clears (hopefully before we lose our dream house) but for the first 8 days, i could see no information at all. I did raise a ticket on the site but the respose was rude at best. The response had as the first line of the response “Now let me tell you”! almost like being told by a parent that i had done some wrong and believe me, not how i expect to be adressed by a company that i am paying way over the odds for a service. A service by the way that has sent out several emails warning me of activity that on investigation , one was over a week out of date and the other non existent. A service where every file i have checked in the last 5 weeks has not altered one single bit. Not really sure what having a daily update is supposed to give for £15 a month if you only actually update it once a month?

This is not a service i would recommend to anyone else especially when there are so many multi agency repots available for at least a third less and annual ones available free of charge.

Glenn says:
7 June 2012

Hi Simon, I can answer some of your concerns here regards updates. I’ve used Equifax, CreditExpert and checkmyfile to follow my credit history and they all have their positives and negatives. Some of them had information that others didn’t but this is down to whether the lender uses Experian, Equifax or Callcredit to check your creditworthiness in the first place. For example, if Barclays Bank only used Experian to check your report to decide whether to grant credit in the first place they may not tell Equifax about that account so that information would be missing upon checking your Equifax report. It would only show on Credit expert and Checkmyfile. This is why some agencies don’t show everything and some do or they show different info.
As for updates, that is down to the Lender, they usually update once a month and the information is behind anything up to two months (about 60 days). For example, lets say your statement date is mid month, 15th June. Your balance was £1000 on the 15th June. You then pay £1000 off on the 16th June so have a balance of nothing. Let’s say the lender usually updates on the 14th of each month, the update on July 14th would be £1000, as it was on your statement date, not as it is currently! So then on the 15th July your statement balance is £0. This will be updated on the 14th August!! So the payment you made on the 16th June shows 2 months later! You can with perfect timing get it to show about 30-31 days later by paying off the balance 2-3 days before your statement is processed. I started building my credit up 5 years ago after having never had credit so I’ve covered all the bases to ensure my credit is perfect, but it’s a steep learning curve as each lender looks for different things, Credit card companies want you to be in perpetual debt so they know they’ll make money off you if they lend to you, Mortgage companies want you to be debt free so they can lend you more, retail companies want different things, low level of debt to income etc. The good thing with Mortgage companies is they’ll accept your statement as proof you’ve paid off a credit card even if it shows as still debt filled with an agency. I presume many people pay off cards just before applying for a mortgage to improve their attractiveness to that company so they allow for this, my ex paid off 9000 days before applying for a mortgage years ago and she showed the statements and got the mortgage despite what the values were with the agencies. Good luck with yours.

es80 says:
17 June 2012

I have had an application turned down 3 days ago for a mortgage with Santander based on my credit report score. The advisor ran a basic check via experian and found nothing untoward thus recommended me to gain a full report. I went home and signed on – having to pay the £14.50 as I had previously used the free 30 day trial. On opening the report I had seen that there had been no update of my information – cards/ accounts etc sinc 2009 and that my current address was not held or any recognition of a registered address to vote since 2002!?! I updated my details and noticed my score became 999 the following day. Note – the only updated information I could see was which companies had searched my report and when.

I do not understand how information can be used for such important circumstances/ descisions which clearly is not updated/ monitored. I assume that we all individually do not need to be updating our information each month and paying to do this.

Let’s hope I can go back to Santander and re-apply….or elsewhere for that matter!

P.S. does anybody know wether I have to sign on to the other sites to check the information held in my name or if that solely depends on the creditors preferred company?

Neil Mc says:
24 July 2012

I find myself in the same position as the author of this post. I was repeatedly being refused credit at the turn of the year, with no real clue as to why.

I signed up with checkmyfile in order to find out what the problem was – and was shocked to discover I wasn’t on the electoral roll at our new address. We moved in December, and registered for Council Tax straight away as owner-occupiers. I was unaware at the time that this isn’t linked to the electoral roll, and have subsequently had both myself and my partner added to it. This was around 5/6 weeks ago, and is yet to be reflected on my credit report, by any agency. This
an infuriating situation. The lack of research by these credit reference agencies is harming my financial standing, and beginning to legitimately threaten my credit rating.

I have three major issues with this situation.

Firstly, a quick call to my council this afternoon confirmed my place (and ID number) on the electoral roll. I would love to know why credit agencies are unable to reflect changes to the electoral roll day-by-day or at the absolute minimum, month-by-month.

Secondly, regardless of point one, each of the agencies is in possession of enough information to ascertain that I am present at my current address. Sadly, this would require the deployment of common sense, rather than an algorithm. For the record they know where we moved from and who lives there now, where we moved to and who previously lived there, they know that we took out a new mortgage and they know that all of this activity happened around the same two or three days in December last year. Additionally, as with the author, all of my personal accounts and finance products are registered at my new address, too. I find this particularly distasteful, it calls in to question their ‘expertise’ and suggest their is a systemic failure in this sector. I have no doubt that, should he see this, James Jones will claim data protection is an issue, but they could surely issue some kind of comfort rating for those of us who have moved house. In fact, if it was worth their while (it manifestly isn’t, as it would only garner goodwill rather than revenue) they could request that the FSA include some sort of safeguard in the re-mortgaging/home-moving process.

Finally, although checkmyfile can provide me with the details held by each agency, if I wish to challenge anything directly with these agencies, I have to purchase credit reports from each of them directly so that I can access my report’s ID number. I am unsure why this number isn’t supplied to checkmyfile and I am now questioning what their role in this industry is. For the record, they have been very helpful, but now feel slightly redundant. When I called them and expressed the views I have shared here regarding the systemic failure, I was advised to write to the information commissioner! I may have to review my ongoing custom with them – I would be grateful if James cared to share his companies view.

Always amazes me how credit reference agencies get away with charging fees for us to monitor our own information?
As has been said, we never know who has access to our information, whom it’s being sold to, either in individual or collective reports/studies upon it, etc.
Information is big business these days, as is analysis of it, the ironic thing though, the public whose information it actually is, don’t get a penny piece for it and have to pay just to look at what these companies are saying/recording about them.

You couldn’t make it up!

SimonG says:
24 July 2012

Just an update to my earlier post dated 6th June 2012 where my file is still not up to date correctlly. I only had one remaining credit card balance to come off of my file before it showed i was clear of debt and could borrow the money i needed as a mortgage. The card in question was a Barclaycard and the file still showed i owed more than 6K 2 months after i paid it.I had in depth discussions with them and they assureed me that in the last 2 months transfers, they had sent a zero balance and the also confirmed the Experian had in fact, written to them to apologise that they were more than 2 months behind in updating records.
I spoke to experian following this revelation and they categorically denied that was the case and it must be somebody else’s fault. A story i have heard from them on several occasions. Today, i received an email from them to say the Barclaycard had at last updated the amount and they were removing the notice of correction where i disputed the outstanding.
One other thing that anyone using this service should note is that any balances on cards that are positive (they owe you) actually show as debt against you and Experian have said this is a known fault. Just don’t share that part of your report with anyone and it will be ok? Doesn’t the FSA regulations state that personal information held must be valid for the purpose intended and always up to date and accurate?
Luckily for me, i did get the mortgage for the house i wanted but not the amount i wanted so will need to look at alternative lending in the future and all because Experian can’t update my file acurately in a timely manner.
Strangely, feedback on their site is only available on subjects they choose and only if you sighn up? I have since signed up to noddle.co.uk and see the same full file information free of charge and would advise anyone to avoid creditexpert at all costs.

SimonG – I’m glad your final card has been updated. We update live accounts with new data from each lender once a month, but there can be delays if, for instance, the new data fails our quality control checks. On the issue of positive balances, we show these as zero to lenders. It sounds like the issue you encountered was in the way we disiplayed the data to you on your report. I hope we’ve now rectified that for you.

Neil Mc – we updated the new electoral roll information from your local council within a few weeks of the new data coming in to us. Believing that registering for council tax gets your name onto the electoral roll is a common misconception I’m afraid, but something we seek to rectify through our consumer education work.

SimonG says:
30 July 2012

James – Thankyou for your reply. I have just spoken with your cancellations team to end my account and when going through the reasons, she explained that the account is only updated every 4-6 weeks and with accounts being updated by the lender once a month, this can take 10 weeks to show on the file. Had someone explained this at the start, we would have waited patiently before commencing the whole house move process but we were given false expectations that this is a one month process hence the frustration.
As for the positive balances, whilst you show them as zero balalnces, when downloading this file to sent to someone, it does still show incorrectly and being a PDF, you can’t edit it. The response i got from Experian was just don’t show that part rather than a fix for it which is quite a poor response.
I did actually call to cancel my account today and whilst the person on the phone did try several different options at a lowering cost, i eventually managed to close my account and will actively discourage others from this service in the future through among others, various social media streams.

SimonG – I’m afraid you don’t appear to have been given accurate advice. Our credit report monitoring service accesses your live credit history data – there is no 4-6 week delay. If you’d like to drop me a line with your details I will happily investigate this call so we can take any appropriate action. (james.jones@uk.experian.com).

Tracey says:
5 August 2012

Hi all,

I have just had an upsetting experience with Equifax! Having been bankrupt in 2008, I am looking to build up a credit rating (long slog I know) so wanted to access my “entitled free credit report”. Ended up on equifax.co.uk, followed the “free credit report” link and without any prior warning they have now charged me for the priviledge! £14.95 has been taken and as far as I am concerned this is fraud as they advertise something for free then charge without advice! Is it just me or is Equifax supposed to be a reputable company? I used to work for a stockbrokers which used this company and I am shocked at this action from them. Has anyone had the same? Advice please!!!

You really needed this £2 statutory report.
http://www.equifax.co.uk/Products/credit/statutory-report.html

You seem to have signed up for the Free Trial of a monthly/weekly reporting service, but that only appears to cost £8.95 per month if not cancelled within free period.

Concerned dad says:
11 August 2012

Andy
” This sounds like grounds for compensation as, regardless of whether “there can be confusion where two people at an address have the same or very similar names”, this is an unquestionable breach of data protection”

I am looking into this now. Thank you

I applied for a mortgage on the 10 August with my partner. i had sold my house in December cleared all my credit and had a substantail amount of money in my accounts. I was surprised when my partner and I were turned down due to my credit history, I checked my credit report to find that Not only had the information relating to me being on the electoral role since January not been updated but all my account details were completely out of date, my cleared mortgage was not shown nor my cleared credit cards, i sent an email that evvening querying this, I checked my credit expert account today to find that all the information has now been updated and my score has gone from fair to excellent, i will take this correct report to my lender, this has cost me £11.98 to check that Exprian have doen what they charge for and a very embarrasing worrying meeting with my bank, I would like Mr Experian to explain how you compensate for your inadequate service which affects peoples lives.

Sue – I’m sorry you have had a problem with your report. I’m very happy to investigate the details of your case and respond to your comments if you’d like to email me with details. My email address is above. Thanks.

Emma says:
14 August 2012

Hi, this exact same thing has happened to me with Orange. AND what’s worse is that because no one would tell me why the contract wasn’t going through (they made me check my bank wasn’t just blocking it and then asking me if it’s just because I’d tried online)I tried again and again which means I know have multiple black marks on my record. If someone had just said to me on the first attempt – ‘it’s your credit rating’ I wouldn’t have got worried and stressed out. Fact of the matter is that I need a mobile phone and I think the only reason I can’t access my report (and it looks bad) is because I’m a student who votes so am on the electoral register in my ‘away from home’ city.

Did you know you can (legally) be on the Electoral Register at more than one address !
So you can be registered at your termtime student address and your holiday home address.
Quite common if you have a second ( holiday) home.

I completely agree with the comments so far about Equifax having too much power, and not fulfilling their obligations by putting in the effort to getting things right.

I too moved house recently, and got myself immediately on to the Electoral Roll with the local authority. My Experian credit rating varies between excellent and good, but with Equifax it is showing as poor, for one reason only, and that is that I do not appear on the Electoral Roll. I applied to the Local Authority, and received a letter acknowledging that I am on the Electoral Roll at my new address; I forwarded this to Equifax, however they have refused to update the information.

So Equifax are giving out erroneous information and refusing to do anything about it: this is unacceptable. For all the comments on their web site that they will act upon information provided, it is simply not true.

These people wield power that they do not deserve.

Update to the above: the exact reply I got from Equifax stated “As the local authority documentation that you have provided confirms that your name will appear on the 2012/2013 Register of electors then it is possible that your name will be supplied on the new Electoral Roll Register due to be published on the 16th of October 2012. This information will be updated on our address database once it has been supplied to us by your local authority.”

Er, isn’t this the same as saying “the documentation that the local authority has supplied is worthless”? The letter that I forwarded to them is from the Democratic Services Officer of Electoral Services at my local authority (Mid-Suffolk District Council), confirming my registration.

Who exactly is it that gives Equifax the power to dispute facts supplied to them by a Local Authority?

Unacceptable!!!

Credit expert were good but Equifax are completely and utterly incompetent! After three weeks of chasing an error on my report and sending all the relevant details to begin with, I called back to be told to send them all again on an online query. After telling them this is what I have already done I just asked them to cancel it. Waste of time. Call centre lady in the Philippines just kept saying ‘yes I understand’. Even said it again when I said I’ll cancel it as it will be quicker to leave it on my credit file for six years!!

Sarah says:
6 September 2012

Help!!
My credit rating varies between excellent and good. I recently applied for an extension of my loan and to my shock was declined due to adverse credit history. I checked my experian account and everthing was correct. I paid for an up to date score which was ‘good.’ I then checked my equifax account and was horrifed to see a female with a similar first name who lived in my current address 5 years ago was showing on my credit report. This female has defaulted on a mortgage and a 25 grand loan. I cannot believe that an error of this magnitude could occur. I contacted Equifax (overseas call centre) twice which was the equivelent of banging my head against the wall. I have now sent a letter special delivery to their Bradford address requesting that the female’s details are removed ASAP and that my account is returned to its usual ‘good’ status.

James from Experian can you offer any further advice? Clearly Experian are a far more professional company than Equifax. I want to apply for a mortgage and Im worried sick that this wont be resolved quickly. The negative comments from other Equifax customers that have experienced similar problems don’t fill me with any confidence.

Sarah
This may be a case of incorrect debtor tracing at the other CRA. The action you’ve taken should hopefully address the matter – always best to put these things in writing – and I would advise against proceeding with any mortgage application until you’ve had confirmation that your report has been corrected. On the bright side, at least you discovered this before the mortgage application. Can get very messy if problems crop up when the mortgage process is at an advanced stage.