When information on your credit report is wrong

Posted by George Coburn in Credit Check on 17 November 2014 - George is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

One of the main benefits of keeping track of your credit file is that you are able to monitor how your accounts are being reported to future lenders. Whether the account information is correct or not, lenders are increasingly relying solely on computers to interpret your credit file and when there is incorrect information, consumers face the potential of being declined for everyone’s least favourite reason – computer says ‘no’.

So what do you do when you’ve checked your credit file and there’s information being provided by one of your lenders that you believe to be incorrect?

Contact the lender

It is a bit of an urban myth that you can simply contact the credit referencing agency and they will remove the information from your file that belongs to you. The reason for this is that all account information on your credit file, irrespective of the agency reporting it, is owned by your lenders. No amendment or removal can be completed by an agency unless the lender who owns the information provides authorisation. It also means we can’t simply remove the bits we just don’t like.

This means that it is usually best to have incorrect information fixed at its source. The lender may need to investigate the circumstances surrounding the disputed information and by working with the lender you can provide your side of a story as to why the information should be amended. One example may be a payment being missed due to a Direct Debit not being set up correctly. The lender would have to see whether the late/missed payment on your credit file resulted in a mistake by themselves or the customer. If it wasn’t the customer’s fault, then the lender should be able to remove the late payment marker from the person’s credit file.

Lenders will usually have procedures in place for when people question why their accounts aren’t being reported correctly so it is normally best to follow these. If you’re not happy with a lender’s decision, they would be able to advise you on how to escalate your dispute.

Information is provided to the credit referencing agencies typically on a monthly basis. Once received, the agencies then need to apply the updates to the information they report. This means an amendment by a lender usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks to be reported by the agencies but in a worst case scenario could take 2 months.

Contact the credit referencing agencies

When you have exhausted all avenues with a lender, you can raise a dispute with the relevant credit referencing agency.

They would then contact your lender’s department responsible for reporting to the agency and request it validates the information on your file. As this involves two companies corresponding with each other, there can be quite substantial delays with queues on both ends. Your lender would then get back in touch with the agency and either confirm the entry on your file is correct or the agency will amend it as per your lender’s instructions.

Often a note is added to your file during the dispute called a ‘Notice of Dispute’ which will inform lenders you are disputing information on your file. These can potentially hold up future applications as a lender is forced to read the message, meaning that the search can’t be completed automatically.

Contacting the agencies may also be appropriate if there is information you believe that doesn’t belong to you on your credit file. If it doesn’t belong to you, you may find you aren’t able to dispute it with the lender responsible for reporting it, as it could be an agency error confusing personal details.

Notice of Corrections

If you haven’t been able to remove information from your file or it was found to be correct, you are able to put a short note, known as a Notice of Correction, on your file.

Putting a note on your file should only be done if you believe it is essential and we generally advise not doing it as they tend to draw unnecessary attention to negative information to your file. A lender also has to read the note before they can complete the credit check, meaning it can’t be completed automatically. In addition, it sometimes isn’t possible for a lender to differentiate between a genuine reason and an excuse, so in our experience normally take the worst case view.

For this reason, we advise people to consider very carefully whether it is really worth adding a Notice of Correction.

Could Your Voice Pass a Credit Check?

Speech recognition has come a long way in a relatively short period of time and is now a fairly accepted part of everyday life.

Published on 23 May 2019 by Richard Catlin

Full Article

The Reason Why Employers Carry Out Credit Checks

Credit checks are commonplace in the UK these days, playing a major role in events such as applying for a mortgage, car finance and renting a property to name just a few. Less commonly known is that sometimes even a new job can require that you pass a credit check as part of the selection criteria.

Published on 1 Apr 2019 by Sam Griffin

Full Article

Why Insurance Quotes Use Credit Checks

When you go online to get an insurance quote (be it home, car or most other products that involve a monthly premium) you may unknowingly be only a few clicks away from undergoing a credit check. Very often you won’t even see a specific notification before it happens unless you read through the company’s terms and conditions in their entirety.

Published on 8 Mar 2019 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

Can I Rent With Bad Credit?

The outcome of the credit checks carried out by landlords or letting agents is a pivotal moment in the application process when you go to rent a property, but the actual information they will be looking at is probably a lot less daunting than you might expect.

Published on 14 Aug 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

What’s Worse - Bad Credit History or No Credit History?

Whenever an application for credit is made, a prospective lender is basically looking to ensure (as much as they can) that any money they loan is going to be repaid on time. A key component in their final decision is the applicant's previous history of borrowing and making payments on time. But how does a typical lender view a consumer with little or no credit history, compared to someone with negative information recorded against them?

Published on 21 Jun 2018 by Tom Magor

Full Article

What Landlords, Employers and Lenders See on Your Credit Report

Your credit report is likely to be viewed many times during your life - often at key moments. While you might expect this when you’re about to apply for a mortgage or a car loan, it may also be checked by a prospective landlord or employer, and just like lenders, there are some key pieces of information they’re looking for that can make or break your job application or property rental.

Published on 29 Jan 2018 by Sam Griffin

Full Article

How lenders can change your interest rate even after an account has been opened

Most people are aware that your credit report and rating have a heavy bearing on whether a lender accepts or declines an application, and the rate of interest that comes with the account. However, not everyone knows that credit scoring – in the form of a particular lenders’ appetite for ‘risk’ - can continue to have an impact on your account even after it has been opened.

Published on 24 Jan 2018 by Kiah Phillips

Full Article

6 Things Lenders Don’t Want to See on Your Credit File

We live in a time where credit ratings have an ever-increasing impact on our lives. Mortgages, loans, car finance, phone contracts… almost anything that involves a degree of borrowing is likely to involve your credit report, or rather, the information it contains. A lot of information goes under the microscope during an application and unless you know exactly what you’re looking at, you may not realise which elements could be hurting your rating the most.

Published on 5 Jan 2018 by Beth Jennings

Full Article

No credit is good credit. Think again

Picture this scenario. You go into a mobile phone shop to get the latest release on a contract. At £30 a month, it is well within your affordability, without pushing your monthly income too much. All in hand, you may think.

Published on 4 Apr 2016 by Ben Tumilty

Full Article

How to go all 007 and get yourself an Aston Martin

Spectre, the 24th Bond film, is released in November and is sure to feature a string of vehicles that will have cinema goers gazing longingly.

Published on 17 Sep 2015 by Richard Catlin

Full Article


We are rated number 1 for customer service on