Cleaning Up Your Credit Report – All about 'Credit Repair'

Posted by Kelly Luff in Credit Reports on 7 August 2017 - Kelly is a Marketing Executive at checkmyfile

Terms such as ‘credit repair’ and ‘credit fix’ are often used by companies offering services to remove black marks from your credit report. So can they repair your credit score and leave your credit history blemish-free, or is it too good to be true?

As a general rule the answer is the latter – it is very difficult to change a person’s credit history significantly unless they have clearly been a victim of ID fraud. Very few of us will actually find errors on our credit report that result in a significant change in our score and even if we do, it is likely that this will be a one-off mistake rather than a series of errors.

Often those looking to ‘repair’ their credit history will do so because of significant past debt problems, rather than a single genuine mistake by a lender. ‘Repair’ services are often offered to those with multiple defaults and court records, in an attempt to find ways around the negative information being reported by the agencies or lenders.

This type of ‘repair’ is generally unlikely to work – whether it’s asking for the original credit agreement in the hope that it has been incorrectly filed or stating that letters of default were never received, paying for this kind of assistance is never guaranteed to work. Negative information remains on your credit file for 6 years from date of account closure, default date or court record date if correctly issued, and it is unlikely to be removed if the lender did not receive payment as agreed.

If you do find a genuine error on your credit report, for instance a late payment you made on time or an account incorrectly reported in your name, it is possible to speak to the lender to get this information removed. Of course if you have been a victim of identity fraud you can also then dispute the entries with lenders to request removal on this basis.

If the lender isn’t helpful, it can then be raised with the credit reference agency in question. They have to request more information from the lender and give the lender a set amount of time to respond to the query, but if they don’t do so, the agency can then remove the information. If, however, it is correct, it will have to remain on file for the rest of the 6 year period.

If you believe that a genuine error has been made and you are not able to dispute this with the lender or the credit reference agency, the Information Commissioner’s Office can then be contacted for further investigation.

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