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Loan Information - Credit Reference

 

Credit Reference Agencies

 

Obtaining your Credit Reference Information

When a Loan provider declines to give you a loan

Most lenders say they do tell applicants, in broad terms why their application was rejected. A majority of Loan Providers and Credit Card companies use a system of credit scoring to decide whether you're a good enough risk. They are in any event bound to tell applicants whether they sought information from a credit reference agency. Some people have complained they were 'refused' a loan because of information held on file by a credit reference agency.

 

When this happens what can you do?

If you apply for credit and are turned down, you could contact the Loan Provider / Credit Card company within 28 days. They are legally obliged to tell you whether they used a credit reference agency, and if so, which one. If they did not use an outside agency and you were turned down, you failed the 'credit scoring' ratings.

Everyone has statutory rights in this regard. These statutory rights were formerly enforced by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), but a change in law means that responsibility is passing to the Information Commissioner.

Now Data Protection Act is fully in force, individuals have the right to see all information about themselves, whether it is on computer or not, and to have incorrect records amended.

Under the 1974 Consumer Credit Act, it is already possible to ensure that credit-linked information is accurate. Anyone refused credit for £25,000 or less may write within 28 days to whoever has refused, asking the reason why and the name of any credit reference agency consulted. More information on this can be found below.

It is not mandatory to give a reason for a credit refusal, the name and address of any agency used must be supplied within seven working days. Section 158 of the Act says you can ask the named agency for a copy of your file. The agency must send a copy of the information or tell you if it has no file.


Credit Reference Agencies

Most of the credit reference information held by credit reference agencies will be correct, but their is a significant amount of information that is wrong. If you think that the credit reference information on you is incorrect, you can correct your records by writing to the credit reference agency asking them to change the incorrect references or remove the entry altogether. There may be a small charge for this.

If within 28 days, you have not received a reply, or the credit reference agency disagrees with your request, send within the next 28 days 'a notice of correction'. This notice should be up to 200 words long and give your side of the story. If the agency agrees to change your records or add your notice of correction, it will send details to everyone who's requested information on you in the previous six months. Should you reach a stalemate with a credit reference agency, you can write to the Office of Fair Trading.


Useful contact information

You can obtain copies of your personal credit file by writing to:

Experian,
Consumer Help Service,
PO Box 8000,
Nottingham
NG1 5GX

http://www.uk.experian.com

Equifax,
Department 1E,
PO Box 3001,
Glasgow
G81 2DT.

Tip: Make copies of all the correspondance sent and if you need to phone make sure you note the time the names of persons you speak to. This may prove useful if the dispute prevails.

Tip: Here at Online Consumer Information services ( OCIS ) we also provide details on a large number of consumer watch dogs and UK Government Department who may also provide additional information or help. In most cases we also provide contact details and telephone numbers for your convenience.

Also look at How does a Credit Rating work?

and The Information Commissioner

 

OCIS provide general financial information, we urge you to consult an Independent Financial Adviser ( IFA )
before making any important decisions about your finances.