/ 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Credit reference agencies, why’s my credit report so out of date?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
David Taylor says:
18 December 2012

After obtaining a copy of my credit report frof Call Credit and Experian I discovered that they both hold false and damaging information about me provided by third parties, after trying to contact them both of agencies ignored my letters and after recorded deliveries Call Credit replied telling me to sort it out myself while Experian continue to ignore me.

Brian Hepburn says:
19 December 2012

Unfortunately, that is entirely the prevailing attitude with these companies – “We take no responsibility for anything. It’s your problem, you sort it out”

I would encourage everyone to write to their local MP & complain in the strongest terms about these cowboys.

Toria says:
18 December 2012

I too have to add my two cents worth! I discovered today, only because I had a mobile phone contract application declined, that those peeps at Equifax hadn’t bothered to update my surname – I went back to my maiden name over a year ago and notified my local Council but this update obviously didn’t get through to Equifax. I rang them today and Equifax told me that they only update their records once a year from Councils! Do what? There must be loads of people in my position is all I can say. I now, presumably, have a bad mark on my credit report because a certain mobile phone provider tried to run a credit check – and they did this TWICE to add insult to injury. My report showed all ‘green’ which I assume means all is good in terms of paying back loans/credit cards etc…(I have no financial problems) – there were no red marks or warnings so I have to assume the problem purely lies with my change of name. I just have to hope that Equjifax get their act together and update my records by next month – they have assured me they will!! I won’t hold my breath but blame them entirely for this problem with the mobile phone application. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

“Equifax told me that they only update their records once a year from Councils!”

They are contradicting themselves – on the Equifax web site in the electoral roll section appears this: “If you’ve move (sic) house during the year and advise your new Electoral Registration Office we will reflect this change as part of our additional monthly update from each local authority.”

Elsewhere it also says that they will update information as it is supplied to them, and amend misinformation when it is corrected.

This is a LIE. Even when provided with the correct information, they do nothing. These people MUST BE HELD TO ACCOUNT, they have unwarranted power which they abuse.

I agree completely! The service I have received from Equifax in the past two weeks has been extremely shocking with them basically ignoring my requests for my credit file to be updated so that agreed incorrect information is corrected. This is having a huge impact both with stress and financially as our current property is under offer and we are looking for a new mortgage however will not be able to until our credit files are corrected! Basically Experian have ignored all my emails sent via online dispute and when I phoned they continually gave me a standard line… Very very stressful and I am left with no idea how to resolve this issue.

Susie says:
7 January 2013

Like a lot of the people commenting here, I too have just checked my credit report and rating with two different agencies and had two very different numbers. According to Equifax, it’s “good” at 470; the two downsides being, firstly, that I had 4 “one month late” payments on my bank account about 3-4 years ago, and, secondly, I have “only” been on the electoral register for 2 years at my current address. Fair enough.

According to Experian (which presumably has access to the same information as Equifax), I have no bank accounts, no credit cards and the report (which cost me £14 to access) states “You have no successfully settled non-mail order accounts”. So, basically, I have paid £14 to see that the agency knows absolutely nothing about me and bases its “good” rating of 901 on hopelessly out of date information. There is no point in my contacting my banks or credit card companies as clearly they have passed the correct information onto Equifax, so I have contacted Experian and will try to send on a copy of the Equifax report as supportin evidence. Good luck to all of you. I hope this gets as far as Watch Dog.

Judy says:
7 January 2013

Dear All

I urge you to never pay anything to these companies, it is a win win for them, all you have done is pay them for nothing. Something should be done about this from a higher authority. All this has done for me is make me ill, I know I am a solid credit risk but there is nothing I can do about it. My next letter is to the government and cc media in the hope that these companies can be investigated. In the meantime Never pay them a penny for anything, pass the word on to anybody and everybody.

Hi all, you may like to comment on our latest Convo: Have you been given the credit rating runaround?

‘The credit reference agencies hold positions of great privilege in the UK. They operate in a market that’s practically closed to new competitors, providing a service that banks, utility firms and individuals can’t live without. If any of them are looking for a New Year’s resolution, perhaps they might consider a commitment to give individuals access to their data for free.’

https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/credit-reports-credit-reference-agencies-experian-equifax-call-credit/

robert holland says:
19 March 2013

i found a problem with my report form experian , my ex wife was put down as an alias of mine we never had a joint account , we had split a year ago and she went bankrupt 6 months ago equifax removed her from my file and my score went up experian said my score might not go up as we don’t score the same as equifax .in equifax im in fair nearly good , experian im in v poor. i don’t know what call credit has scored me as i cant open a account with them as they don’t recognize my name or address , 33 i am and on my way to losing my hair and the will to live lol

My wife recently checked her Credit by giving her Debit Card details to Experian. Everything was ok , but she has never registered on the voters roll–despite having lived at this address for 12 years!! She loathes Politicians of every hue–and NREVER votes. It only encourages them–is her motto!!
Then she rings up Experian to stop them taking £14.99 pcm –which they will do unless you stop them!! What a Palaver!!
Someone who uses English only from a script –and then it was plainly NOT her mother tongue proceeded to give her the ” Computer Sez No!” spiel. Persevering, she replied that she had no queries at all and had checked her credit–and it was fine!! On ly then she mentioned she had never been on Voters Roll!!
” You must be on it–By Law!” said the scripted non-English speaker!!
” Its a £1,000 fine if you are not on it!”

So then she hung up–having cancelled any renewals thieving Experian MIGHT try in future.

It is worrying that the Script given to phone staff states you will get fined if not on Voters Roll.

One more reason why these self-appointed purveyors of inaccuracy should be subjected to some form of regulation. They are probably now a refuge of failed bankers–so watch out for more blather and threats, as they will no doubt dream up another PPI type scandal all of their own!!

In the words of Monty Pythons ” Holy Grail” script—I fart in their general direction!!

Nick says:
29 March 2013

There were errors on my experian account and they were fixed with one phone call in about 3 minutes. Callcredit have my correct information. But Equifax are the single worst company I have ever dealt with. Their customer service is terrible.

I have 3 financial accounts (a current a/c, credit card and mobile phone). According to Equifax, none of my accounts have addresses. So they are on my record but at the same time I am penalised for having no financial accounts at my current address as the 3 accounts on my record have, according to Equifax, no addresses. Clearly this is illegal and highly unlikely that Id been able to open 3 financial accounts without an address. Their call centre told me it was a problem with the people supplying information (barclays, MBNA and Orange all making the same mistake coincidentally???).

Barclays were awesome but all they could do was tell me that “of course you have an address on your bank account.” So I had to go back to Equifax and back to their ridiculous online submission system.

Anyway, it looks like the problem might be that my address is Flat X Block Y Something Buildings. However, on the Equifax input screen, its not free form so asks for flat number first so records it as X Something Buildings Block Y. And thus does not match with my financial records.

Easy to fix you might think – just needs a pair of human eyes. Wrong. Equifax’s response:

“We acknowledge your query about the address in your report, however after further investigation based on information provided to us from reliable sources of address data, we haven’t been able to validate your address. Address information held on our database is obtained from a number of sources including the Royal Mail, and the electoral roll register. This information is updated daily.

To be able to add your address, we would suggest that you contact the Royal Mail and ask that the above address is registered as soon as possible. Royalmail can be contacted on 08457 740 740.”

The Royal Mail have my address listed as it should be and this can be found on their postcode finder on line: Flat X Block Y Something Buildings. Obviously therefore they laughed at me and told me they werent about to change the entire way addresses are recorded in this country to comply with Equifax.

But the situation is now intractable because Equifax have already checked with their “reliable sources.”

Its the stupidest, most Kafka-esque situation Ive ever dealt with and this is England where customer service isnt exactly a speciality. But we are FORCED to deal with these companies as they have a monopoly. We cant even choose between the three. We have to make sure all of them has our correct information and so we cannot walk away in the face of such incompetence.

Im going to have to go to the ICO which is an insane waste of time for something so easy to fix. I say again, in fairness to them, Experian had the same issue but fixed it with one phone call. Callcredit have my correct information. Equifax not only have some wildly incorrect AND inconsistent info (the accounts are there but with no address????) but their customer service is abysmal, slow and impersonal. Looking around different forums, it certainly seems that Equifax are by far the worst offenders and the toughest to deal with and others, especially in London where living in a flat block is commonplace, must have had this issue regarding the address on their system.

Karl says:
29 April 2013

Like everyone’s experience here.. more of the same. I’m in the painstaking process of getting my files up to date.

Experian – a bit better I’ve found. They seem better at responding. I have missing accounts due to an issue with the way my name has been spelt with different providers – especially the longest standing account I’ve had was not linked!. I’ve had to go down to the banks and get it updated to make sure they are consistent. Obviously, this will take an agonizing month or so, till I’m able to see them updated correctly.

Equifax on the other hand have absolutely NO record of me, so I’ve had to provide them with the info I have from Experian, to get them to update their records – nothing yet. I have sent them the data and need to make some follow-up calls in the coming week (if I dont see any progress).
Thankfully, the first thing they managed to do was get my Electoral roll done rather quickly. Adding on the credit accounts will take a while.

Thankfully, I have not started applying for mortgages just yet.. but intend to get going once I’m sure my credit files paint a better picture

Paul says:
29 April 2013

Hi,

Came across this thread researching what to do because started receiving threatening letters from Bailiffs only to discover to my horror that Equifax and Callcredit have Linked Addresses to my home address from a person with the same name and DOB. You call them and nobody believes you its a nightmare, apparently I have CCJ’s and all manner of debts the thing is anyone with a brain cell should be able to tell its not me seeing as though I’ve always lived the other side of the country, on the electoral role and my real address shown has no debts. Something needs to be done, I cannot re-mortgage for better deals and wondered why, now I know. Somebody should be accountable for mis-information its wrong that this can be allowed to carry on, does anyone now of a solicitor that is expert in this law.

Karl says:
29 April 2013

Gosh.. Sounds like you have a case of Identity theft!.. Is this at your ‘current’ residence ? Had you changed address with all your credit accounts when you moved to the ‘other side of the country’?

Could someone could have accessed any postal mail addressed to you – if you had not informed the banks etc of your new location?

Probably start with the credit agencies on who’s behalf the bailiffs are summoned? – and find out details of the fraudulent transactions and work backwards.

All the best with this..

Lisa says:
5 May 2013

I have to say that Experian was the only agency that had my details correct. Equifax was shocking totally out of date and as for call credit well words fail me! There was 3 incorrect entries for a previous address all for catalogue companies it was my name but the DOB wasn’t even close to mine! So obviously the next tenant up to no good.
When I clicked on incorrect data it just said call the debt company, which as we all know is a waste of time as they automatically think everyone is lying.
But I agree with everyone else £14.99 pm is a total rip off and I will cancel before my free report runs out.

danny says:
5 June 2013

Equifax are shocking they have been holding false information on me for 2 years that i evenually got removed only for them to put something else on that isnt true they dont update or check or validate anythng its a joke,

Kevin says:
15 June 2013

I have recently had dealings with all 3 of the CRA’s and the only one I have had problems with getting information updated is Callcredit/Noddle. You phone them and the person that answers the phone can’t even access your data for security reasons and they tell you to raise a dispute on line which would be fine if they actually responded and updated the information in a reasonable length of time.
Have been trying to get some info updated for a couple of months now and if it’s not done by the end of June I will be unable to take advantage of a 4.5k dealer deposit contribution on a new vehicle I’m intending to purchase because I’m worried that if I apply for the finance I may get rejected.
Would it be worth giving the Ombudsman a call?

james smith says:
18 June 2013

same thing, callcredit and experian an absolute joke only equifax had any details on me and my accounts. the other two wrongly listing me as without any accounts and not on the electoral role. only decided to pay these jokers to find out after being turned down for a loan and the bank using the two obviously cheaper companies as they dont seem to do anything. An absolute disgrace as has been mentioned is next to impossible to get information corrected and has serious implication when they have it wrong.

Many people are having trouble with their credit rating. The Federal Trade Commission has released a study finding that a large number of Americans could have credit report errors. The study found 26 percent of participants had credit history errors. That means up to 40 million Americans could have errors on their reports.

Just as an aside……
I’m about to move and have advised all sorts of people/companies of my new address PRIOR to moving with no problems.
However, when I tried to change my address with The National Lottery I was told I couldn’t do it because they check the details with Experian!! So I cannot change my address until AFTER I move and Experian get some sort of advice on my move.
WHY?
I DEPOSIT money with the lottery and do not have a credit account with them – so why are they going to a credit reference agency to check my details?

National Lottery are obliged to verify your name and address, as in the rare instance that you win a significant sum, they are obliged to inform DWP and Revenue of the fact that a shed-load of readies is now in your possession. How do you think they catch the benefit claimants who flash the cash so quickly.
All it takes is a cross check monthly of maybe 400 names against the full data base of benefits claimants, and in seconds ( assuming Gummint systems are in place since 2010–the names of winning claimants and their proven addresses are there to jump on and sue!!

Simples!!

It all came out in a recent case in York where the Benefits clerk in the witness box was cross-examined by the defendant’s barrister and was obliged to come clean.
No papers bar the local evening rag ran the story—because of a Schedule D notice issued the next day—sadly too late for them!!

Neil Fuller says:
10 December 2013

I’m just doing the rounds with credit reference agencies ensuring that my credit report is consistent and accurate across experian, equifax and callcredit as these are the three used by all of the mortgage lenders I am looking at using.

My concern is that these companies are in a privileged position and they are not all providing accurate or complete data, consequently their scoring which is derived is also inaccurate.

The difference across these three is remarkable and I would argue that is these companies cannot provide an accurate data service they should not be allowed to do business.

Experian
presents a huge amount of data and where there have been inaccuracies, they have been very helpful in rectifying errors, I have a good score with them bordering on excellent.

Equifax
flagging me as poor/caution based on them having almost no data on me
* equifax have 1 recent credit agreement vs 14 recent agreements in experian
* equifax have 0 electoral roll records vs 2 in experian

I have provided evidence of a number of these agreements and am hoping that they fix the issues with their systems, unfortunately having to wait a month for corrections means I cant start house-hunting yet. And if not fixed I possibly will never be able to get a mortgage, not because of my credit history but because of bad IT systems at equifax.

CallCredit
I wish I could comment on this one but 3 working days after creating a website account to see my report I am still getting a message saying “We are currently working to resolve a validation issue on your report. Please bear with us and we will contact you as soon as this issue has been resolved. Thank you for your patience.” I have phoned them and emailed them and still cant access my report.

Neil said “unfortunately having to wait a month for corrections means I cant start house-hunting yet.”

A MONTH???

It took Equifax NINE MONTHS to correct information on my records. I moved house, and my Equifax record showed I didn’t exist on the electoral roll. I provided them (twice) with documentary proof that this was not the case, but they did not correct the details until the following spring. The “service” these crooks supply is not fit for purpose.

Best of luck.

Kell I am having a similar problem . How is it that the 3 agencies operate so differently even though we have the same credit history regardless. Equifax say I am not on the Electorial Register therefore rate me Poor. Yet Experian have me registered since 2007 at my current address and rate me Excellent with the highest score.
CallCredit say I dont excist !!!

Morre needs tp be done to regulate CRAs

Naeem says:
12 December 2013

hi,
i think i got a little late to join you guys, although i strongly agree that these companies are crook aswel as FOS and ICO are usless and have got typical workers who do not care what consumers are suffering from and they are very proud of making over-looked decisions. FOS even offered me 100 pound of recognition in result of their staff member over-looked assessment, i have got long complex story and i have done all stages and still not satisfied, WORST PART OF THIS ALL AGONY IS I CAN NOT FIND A SOLICITOR WHO IS WILLING TO PREPARE MY CASE TO TAKE IT INTO A COURT!!!
can some one help me finding some solicitor against Experian??
if you guys get to gather against these Crook companies then i will be more then happy to join you guy.
Thanks

I registered some time ago with Experian. My credit rate with them 963out of possible score 999 96% giving me excellent on my report. I decided as I was considering applying for a mortgage I would also check Equifax and Call Credit. I was not worried at that point as I assumed my credit history would be reviewed in a similar way by Equifax and Call Credit..and scored similarly to Experian a….. How wrong was I !!!!
Equifax have same history that Experian have and yet score me with a 331/ 600 53% giving me a poor rating. there reasoning is due to me not being on the Electorial Register..MMm how is it Experian have me at me current address on the Electorial register since 2007, and yet Equifax only have me there between 2007 and 2010/ I checked at my local Electorial office and they said I am definately currently registered and even provided a Ref number. they even went on to say that Equifax had had an update some 6 months ago!!! So why is it their records out of date?
Callcredit on the other hand say I do not exsist!!!!!

There should be more legislation to govern these companies. they are 3 major CRA in the UK and are privilaged to be granted a licence to operate. We trust them with our personal information and trust it is correct, we even pay them a fee for this and yet they fail us. If we are paying for a substandard service surely they are in breach of the Sale of goods and Services act 1984 as they are not providing the services fit for purpose ?

Equifax and Call Credit you have yet a lot of work to do before you step up to Experians excellent standards !!!!! Get your act together. Experioan I am taking this matter to the ICO.

Sorry ammendment to my post above Should be Equifax I am taking this matter to the ICO.
Appologise to Experian on my typo….. I am just so infuriated with EQUFAX and CALLCREDIT.

Experian you are providing a great service, you are very efficient. Just wish EQUIFAX and CALLCREDIT could follow your lead.

Clive says:
4 July 2014

Would like to add my frustration with Credit (not) Expert. Been at the same property address for 15 years. Unfortunately someone at the council, in their infident wisdom, decided to amend my postcode/address with misinformation and that got through to Experian. Spent forever getting it all corrected but Experian still thinks I lived at a fictitious address for years.

Not sure if its related but my past credit history seems to be wiped clean.Apparently I’ve never had previous credit or paid anything off – despite being over 50 – and several car loans later (all settled), credit cards (too numerous to mention) , mortgages etc.

It’s flattering but I seem to be 21 again !! But with absolutely no previous history and hence ‘Poor’ rating.

Not sure how I get the last 30 years back again – but in the meantime – apparently I am a high risk student coz something called credit Expert knows best. In the mean time I have to pay there stupid monthly fees (which cannot be stopped online) to try and sort out their mistakes.

Can’t believe anyone would use them to do a credit check! No doubt claim they are regulated but given its taken about 2 years to prove that I am still living at the same address then think I may be dead before I can reclaim my previous 30 years of life.

Bitter? Oh yes.

Walid says:
25 July 2014

Hi ,

for almost a year now, every time I try to use my credit card online or apply for a mobile service I get rejected because the address on the card is different from the address am giving them, this is driving me crazy, I called my bank many times and they confirmed they have the correct address

How can I fix this issue??

clearly the vendors are trying to check my credit score and its giving them wrong information

any idea how to fix this please?

Thanks
Walid