Cleaning Up Your Credit Report

More people or businesses than you realise have access to your credit score or rating. It isn’t just those who deal in finance, loans and credit cards but any business that trusts you with instalment payments.

So obviously you need a good credit rating to apply for a mortgage or to rent a property. A bad rating can also affect insurance premiums including car insurance or taking out a new mobile phone contract.

It’s a mystery

One of the other points to make is that no two companies necessarily look for the same ratings. So you could get passed by the mobile phone network but your potential landlord may not think you’re worth the risk. The problem is they do not have to disclose exactly what ratings they are looking for.

There’s no doubt that making an application for any product or service for instance switching your utility provider and finding that you aren’t accepted can be embarrassing, frustrating and annoying. Even more so if you aren’t aware of any problems with your credit rating.

Keeping an eye on your credit score

Anyone can apply to see their credit scores from the main companies such as Experian and Equifax. They usually charge a couple of pounds to send you a copy of your report.

Once you have your credit rating in front of you the very first things to check are all your personal details to make sure that they are correct i.e. name, address, telephone numbers etc. If this basic information isn’t correct then that will immediately alert any company checking to see you are who you say you are.

What does it all mean?

Your credit score is listed as a three figure number which is a statistical representation of your credit versus your debts; while your credit rating is your score out of five.

There are a number of companies who can assist you to clean up your credit report and also allow you 24/7 access to your credit reports. This is a real help if you are doing all you can to get your credit score ‘cleaned up’ and need to check back regulalry.

But I’ve always paid any bills or contracts on time

If you think that your credit rating should be good because you have always conducted any financial dealings well then check your credit report carefully.

Have you ever shared responsibility for bills – perhaps shared rent or utility bills? If the other person’s information is still listed but you no longer share, get their name removed. Maybe they have defaulted somewhere since you parted company?

Equally maybe you aren’t on the electoral roll. Perhaps you have moved recently or didn’t realise that this could be a factor. So providing you are over 18, you should register your name on your local electoral roll. Of course if you aren’t 18 you aren’t in a legal position to receive any credit from a company anyway.

Sound intimidating?

If this sounds rather daunting, look for companies that can help for a small fee. Credit Cleaner is one such company. It is more than worth it to get your credit report cleaned for the use of financial services like Experian.

Bill Turner is a free-lance writer and landscaping artist. He enjoys his quiet life on the sea when he’s not travelling with his consultancy company.

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