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Individuals having an impaired credit rating and hence unable to obtain fresh financing can have their credit report fixed so that accurate and updated information is available whenever they approach a lending institution for a new credit product. Fixing a credit report firstly requires knowledge of what exactly is the information contained in the credit file. Information can be broadly categorized as (a) public information; and (b) credit information. Public information includes names and addresses, CCJs and other judgements and details of bankruptcy, IVAs and Administration Orders.

Credit account information includes reports of all credit accounts across various lending institutions, records of all searches conducted by credit providers, record of repossessions of assets, information on fraudulent transactions and details for individuals who have 'skipped' and are currently untraceable.

Steps to fixing a credit report:

  • Get a latest copy of your credit file from either Experian or Equifax which are the main credit reference agencies by paying a fee of £2 and giving details of full name, date of birth, current address and previous addresses in the last six years, if different from your current address.
  • Check the report carefully and identify any errors or incorrect information recorded with respect to CCJs, defaults/termination notices by lending institutions, bankruptcies and/or repossession orders.
  • If any of the information on the above details is incorrectly recorded, raise a dispute in writing along with supporting documentation with the credit reference agency. In the case of multiple errors, raise each dispute individually one at a time.
  • Credit reference agencies are bound by law to investigate inaccurate entries and respond to the applicant within 28 days, in writing.
  • If the disputed record is incorrect, or the agency is not able to confirm or deny the record, they should have that record erased from your file.
  • Where the disputed record is verified and confirmed by the credit reference agency or the lending institution, such records cannot be removed from the credit file.

Valid reasons for fixing a credit report:
Providing logical arguments against a CCJ or default or termination notice will help having these adverse entries amended in your credit file and fix your credit report.

For CCJs, valid reasons are if you've received 28 days notice to pay, whether your received a default notice before receiving the summons, or paid within 28 days of notice or reached a settlement with the plaintiff before the ruling in court was made, no notice of judgment against you was received, etc.

For default and termination notices, valid reasons are: payments have been regularised after receiving notice; loan is fully repaid; alternate arrangements have been made with the credit provider or the notices are inaccurately put in your records. Removing CCJs & default/termination notices to fix a credit report:

  • List all CCJs & default/termination notices in the credit file; submit a request in writing to the County Court for details of all judgments against you, or to the lending institution or mail- order company which has filed the default and termination notices respectively.
  • Fill and submit form N244 with details and reasons for setting aside of the judgements.
  • Get a receipt of acknowledgement from the court of having received your N224 and the relevant judgements set aside.
  • For default and termination notices, write to the respective lending institution and mail-order company and come to an agreement to settle or repay the debt.
  • Get a written confirmation from the county court or credit provider or mail-order company of the setting aside of judgment or confirmation of clearance of debt in full.
  • Send copies of the above to the credit reference agency and check after a period of three weeks to see if the records have been correctly modified and if your credit report is fixed.

Credit in Minutes Tip #1

Stay on top of your credit report. Most credit reports contain errors. Make sure you check your credit report every year (you get one free credit report every twelve months) and if there are errors make sure to challenge them with the reporting credit agency. Credit agencies are required to investigate each and every challenge that gets reported.

Credit in Minutes Tip #2

Just because you qualify for all of those credit cards does not mean you should get them. A person with too many credit cards looks sketchy in the eyes of a potential creditor. Think of it this way: if a person is financially stable does he or she need ten different credit cards? Wouldn’t just one or two suffice?

Credit in Minutes Tip #3

The best way to raise your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. It sounds too simple to be true, but that’s all there really is to it. Staying out of debt and/or making all of your debt payments on time will keep your score up where it should be.

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