10 Million Brits Risking Financial Future
- 10 million UK adults have found errors in their credit files
- Only 15% have tried to rectify the errors
- Real number could be much higher as less than half of UK check credit files
Millions of UK adults looking to apply for a mortgage, credit, a new mobile phone contract, or even a better utility deal, risk being rejected because of false errors on their credit reports, says Amigo Loans.
The UK’s largest guarantor lender’s latest research has found that 42% of people who check their credit report find mistakes, the equivalent to almost 10 million people across the country.
While small errors such as misspelt addresses are unlikely to have major consequences, an incorrect non-payment mark can be the difference between getting a mortgage or loan and being turned down.
Despite so many errors being found, just one in seven (15%) know how to report them to a credit rating agency. Almost one in ten (9%) spoke with their bank/provider, which cannot help and a similar number (8%) turned to family and friends for advice. 11% admit they took no action at all, with 5% admitting they had no idea how to correct it.
The study also found that only two in five (41%) of people have actually checked their credit report, with just one in five (21%) looking in the past month. This means the number of people with errors on credit reports could be far in excess of 10 million.
The proportion of people who have spotted mistakes on their report was highest among those aged 18-24 years (44%), while those aged 55+ (23%) were the least likely.
Kelly Davies, Chief Communications Officer at Amigo Loans: "The message is really simple – check your credit file for mistakes and get them sorted! You might be turned down for a mortgage or credit because of a silly error. We’d like to see this system changed. It’s not an easy job with a number of different credit reference agencies, all holding slightly different information, using words and formats people aren’t familiar with. But it’s worth a bit of effort."
Top tips for improving your credit score:
- Double check you’re on the electoral register. Lenders use the electoral register to confirm an individual’s address and location and fight against identity fraud.
- Try not to have a high balance on your credit card. Lenders may view this as excessive debt and think you have an inability to repay.
- Make sure to pay your bills on time, or ahead of time, a good credit score will be built up over time.
- Do not make multiple applications for credit as this can impact your record negatively.
- If you notice anything unexpected on your credit report you could be a victim of identity fraud, i.e. someone could have applied for credit in your name, contact the credit reference agency who will try to resolve the issue, alongside the lender.
- Only apply for credit which is necessary – applying for more than four a year can lower your score.
- Cancel old credit card agreements and out of date credit cards, such as store cards you no longer use, as this will still show on your file. Lenders will be cautious about the possible size of your debt.
- If you are divorced or separated, cut all financial ties and make sure your former partner’s details are eliminated from any joint accounts. The credit history of anyone you are financially associated with, such as a joint bank account with a spouse, can affect your credit rating.
There are a number of credit reference agencies available which allow people to check their score before applying for credit including Equifax, Experian and Callcredit.
The statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including, most importantly, those statements preceded by, or that include, the words “may,” “believe,” “projects,” “expects,” “anticipates” or the negation thereof, or similar expressions, constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the securities laws of certain jurisdictions, These statements may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the actual terms of the notes, the completion, timing and size of the proposed private offering, and the anticipated use of proceeds from the offering. For all “forward-looking statements,” Amigo Holdings claims the protection of any available safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in such securities laws. Such forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Amigo Holdings and its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Amigo Holdings disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not rely on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.