Article by Sam Griffin - 27th August 2020

Why Is My Mortgage Not On My Credit Report?

Finally getting the keys to a new home and starting a mortgage can feel like the conclusion to an epic journey. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is done and dusted. As is the case with properties themselves, problems can spring from the unlikeliest of places.

One place probably not at the top of your priorities post-completion is your Credit Report. It should be though - checking your information after obtaining a mortgage is nearly as important as doing so beforehand.

New homeowners checking their Credit Report often find themselves wondering why their mortgage is missing.

Don’t fret. It’s a common query and can normally be resolved easily.

Why is my mortgage not on my Credit Report?

There are four common reasons behind the unexpected absence of information on Credit Reports: the lender’s reporting time; the lender’s reciprocal data sharing agreements; the details searched to generate the Credit Report not matching the information on the mortgage account; and lender error.

We’ll break each one down so you can identify why your mortgage account isn’t appearing on your Credit Report and let you know what to do to resolve the issue.

Reporting time

How long it takes for lenders to share information with the Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) is the most common reason for missing information. Your mortgage will not appear on your Credit Report if you check it before your lender has shared the account information with the Credit Reference Agencies.

Lenders typically send new information to the Credit Reference Agencies on a monthly basis, so it may take your mortgage provider up to six weeks to add your new mortgage to your Credit Report from the date the agreement starts.

If your mortgage is less than six weeks old, you will likely find that it is added to your Credit Report automatically by your lender once sufficient time has passed.

Reciprocal data sharing agreements

Your mortgage account will only appear on your Credit Report if your lender has a ‘reciprocal data sharing agreement’ with the respective Credit Reference Agency. If a particular lender doesn’t share information with an agency, it won’t show.

A reciprocal data sharing agreement is simply an arrangement between a lender and Credit Reference Agency to share information with each other.

A lender will report their customer’s credit account information (such as your mortgage) to any Credit Reference Agencies it has a relationship with – usually on a monthly basis. In return, lenders can then use the data held by those CRAs to run credit checks on their prospective customers.

If your mortgage lender has a reciprocal data sharing agreement with only one Credit Reference Agency, then your mortgage should appear on your Credit Report from that particular CRA. The other CRAs though will not have a record of your mortgage account.

Generally, mortgage lenders will check more than one agency when assessing a mortgage application, but there are exceptions to the rule.

For this reason, your Credit Reports at each Credit Reference Agency can hold different information. Some may include the mortgage, while others may not. It’s always best to check your Credit Reports from all Credit Reference Agencies that hold account data – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – so you know that you haven’t missed anything.

Searched wrong info

Credit Reports are generated by searching your name, date of birth, and address with a Credit Reference Agency’s database.

If you have obtained your Credit Report by searching an incorrect or different version of your name or address, any information under your correct details may not be found – including your mortgage account.

This may sound obvious, but it’s a common problem that affects lots of people.

If your mortgage account is registered to a different name, perhaps a maiden surname for example, your mortgage may not be found if you generate the Credit Report by using your new surname.

The same is true for your addresses. If your mortgage account is registered to an old address, but you don’t use this address when generating the Credit Report, the mortgage may be missed.

To overcome this, it is best to use the same name and address format consistently for all credit agreements. This means contacting your lenders whenever you change name or address to update your registered details with them.

If you ensure that all of your accounts are registered to the same name and address, any Credit Reports you obtain under these details should include your full information.

Lender error

Errors are rare, but do happen. The only way to know for certain that your lenders have correctly reported your information is to check your Credit Report for yourself.

If your mortgage account is older than six weeks, you know that the lender does have a reciprocal data sharing agreement with the Credit Reference Agency, and you’ve searched the correct name and address formats, and your mortgage is still not appearing on your Credit Report, then it is best to contact the lender directly to query the absence.

The lender may have reported your name or address incorrectly, or not reported the account information at all. Lenders are required to correct these types of errors after you notify them.

How will my mortgage affect my Credit Report?

Once your mortgage appears on your Credit Report, it can have either a positive or negative effect on your Credit Rating, depending on how well you’ve managed the account.

Providing you’ve made all monthly payments on time and in full, you can usually expect the mortgage account to improve your Credit Report.

Each full payment will be recorded on your Credit Report with an ‘OK’ marker, meaning that the payment was made as agreed. Getting plenty of accounts with positive repayment history is key to building a strong Credit Rating, and your mortgage can help you achieve this.

This is because prospective lenders will see your positive accounts as evidence of you being able to manage credit well – making you appear reliable. Lenders focus on finding customers that are ‘low risk’, so any accounts demonstrating that you can manage your credit well will work in your favour.

While mortgages carry the potential to improve your Credit Report, they can also damage it, depending on the repayment history. Any late payments, arrears, or defaults will be recorded on the account, which will harm your Credit Report.

Put simply, as long as you consistently make your monthly mortgage payments on time and in full, you can expect the account to contribute positively to your overall Credit Rating.

It’s worth noting that due to the significance of mortgages, their impact on your Credit Rating – both positive and negative – will often be larger than the impact from other account types. This means that a mortgage account with positive repayment history will usually improve your Credit Rating more than an equally well managed credit card account. The opposite is also true, where a late payment on a mortgage account will damage your Credit Rating more than a late payment on another account type.

Can I manually add information to my Credit Report?

The only information that you can manually add to your Credit Report is a Notice of Correction – a short message that explains the circumstances around a particular entry. Notices are typically not recommended, as they mean that your applications won’t be processed automatically any longer. Instead, your application and Credit Report will need to be manually assessed by the lender. This can lead to delays, whilst carrying very little chance of influencing the decision.

Additionally, Notices of Correction run the risk of highlighting negative information that the lender might have otherwise not noticed. For this reason, it’s best to think carefully before lodging a Notice on your Credit Report, as they can cause more harm than good.

A time when adding a Notice of Correction would almost certainly be a good idea is after you’ve fallen victim to identity fraud. You can then put a Notice on your Credit Report informing lenders that your details have been compromised – meaning that they should take extra security steps when authenticating your application.

All other information on your Credit Report will be reported by a lender, or local council for example, directly to the Credit Reference Agency. This is how information finds its way onto your Credit Report, without you having to add it yourself.

If your mortgage is not visible on your Credit Report, you cannot manually add it yourself. Instead, your lender should share the account information with the Credit Reference Agencies that they have reciprocal data sharing agreements with. As long as your mortgage is older than six weeks and is correctly registered to your name and address, it should appear on your Credit Reports from the relevant CRAs.

If the mortgage account is missing from your Credit Report, despite knowing that it fulfils the criteria mentioned above, you should contact your lender so they can look into this further for you.

Which Credit Report should I check?

If you have seen that your mortgage is missing on the information from one Credit Reference Agency, it may be present on your Credit Reports with the other CRAs. There is no guarantee that all lenders will report information to all Credit Reference Agencies, so the only way to know that you’ve seen everything is to check them all.

checkmyfile makes this process quick and easy by collating your complete information from all three CRAs – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – onto a single, easy to use platform so you can see the full information in your details.

You can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month. You’ll get access to the UK’s most detailed Credit Report, dedicated support from professionally qualified Credit Analysts should you need it, and you can cancel online at any time.

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