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. But can they repair your credit score and leave your credit history blemish-free, or is it too good to be true?

Do credit repair services really fix my credit history?

As a general rule it is very difficult to change a person’s credit history significantly unless they have clearly been a victim of ID fraud, or if negative information has been put on their credit file incorrectly by a lender. In either of these cases, you should not need a specialist to do this on your behalf, and paying a company to intervene will likely result in spending money unnecessarily. If you’re experiencing money issues, parting with extra cash could only make your situation worse.

Even then, it is rare for an error on a credit report to carry enough weight that removing it would result in a significant change in our score or ability to gain credit.

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 not guaranteed to work.

If negative information is on your report as result of a poor credit history, then most lenders are likely to keep the markers on your file for the full 6 year period if they did not receive payment as agreed.

Repairing your own credit history

The first step to repairing your credit history should be checking your credit report so you can see for yourself what markers are being reported and by whom. If you haven’t already, you can see your checkmyfile credit report FREE for 30 days and then for just £14.99 a month, which you can cancel at any time. It’s the UK’s most detailed credit report, with information from 4 credit reference agencies, not 1 so you can see what lenders see.

If there are any entries on your report from companies that you do not recognise, it may well be worth getting in touch with them to find out more details about the purported issue as there’s a chance it’s not meant to be there.

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, you can then go to 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 the information showing is correct, it will have to remain on your 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.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, see our Debt Advice Centre for more information.

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