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How to fix your credit report

In order to be considered for credit you have to have a good credit report. If your report is littered with inaccuracies and doesn't properly represent your credit history, it will need to be fixed. If you want to fix your credit report, you should first understand a little about how it works.

How it works

Each company you borrow from provides information to Britain’s three main credit reference agencies, which is used to make up your credit report. The report contains information on any missed payments, any late payments and any debts that were written off. This payment history, along with information on how much credit you have outstanding and how much you have available to you, is used to determine your credit worthiness. It’s important to check your report every year in order to make sure that there are no mistakes on it as a poor credit rating can stop you getting the credit you need. There are two ways you can fix your credit report.

Credit reference agencies

The first way to correct a mistake is to contact the agency that compiled the report. In order to correct the mistakes you will need to send them documentation along with a letter outlining your query. You should include your name, date of birth and address. You should also include the creditor’s name and some account details (for example a credit card number). The credit reference agency have to review all claims within 30 days, so you should hear back from them within a month.

Creditors

Another method you can use is to approach the creditor in writing to outline the problem on the credit report. This is the best approach if you find a recent change in your credit status has been incorrectly entered onto your credit report. For example, if a credit card you cancelled is marked, ‘closed by creditor’. In this case, you should write to them outlining the query as above.

Final word

There are several reasons why you might need to fix your credit report. Perhaps a clerical error needs correcting or an ex-spouse’s credit history is still linked to yours. Identity theft can also lead mistakes on your report if the resultant damage wasn’t corrected properly. Companies like Experian and Equifax make credit reports available quickly and cheaply through the web, so there's no excuse to be in the dark about your credit rating.

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