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Credit rating calculations guide

All UK consumers over 18 receive a credit rating, based on various factors

Any consumers can appeal against the rating or question the decision to turn a person down for credit based on their report.
There is no right to credit for any consumer, and these ratings can adversely affect Loans, Mobile Phone contracts and if you are refused you can appeal.

An explanation of how lenders decide if you are credit worthy

When applying for a loan etc, many lenders make a decision on whether to grant you credit on the basis of data supplied by the UK's governing credit reference agencies - Experian and Equifax.

Experian and Equifax collect & store credit histories from a range of sources, electoral roll, county court judgements known as CCJ's and past debts payments.

The credit record will be automatically be flagged if there is an abnormal number of checks carried out - everything from buying an LCD Television on interest-free to applying for a secured loan, any activity such as this will leave an electronic note on your history.

Checking your credit history

Never will Experian or Equifax turn down your request to see your credit history. Equally, they don't hold a blacklist of people and property.

Your history will outline the below:-

Electronic data held
Electoral register
County Court judgements (CCJ's)
Bankruptcy and admin orders
Previous credit payment history
House repossessions

The decision on whether you get credit will then be decided by a lender, their own specific criteria determines whether you are elligible, and for how much. If you are refused, check your credit history, as there may be an error.

What to do if you are declined

Within 28 days of being declined credit by the lender, ask for the name & address of the providing agency. Write to the agency asking to see all the information about you on their files.

To do this you will need to send a £2 cheque, giving your full name, address & postcode, and details of any other places you have been living during the last six years. If you are a sole trader or partnership, give your business name and address in case information is held under these details. The agency must reply within seven days.

Right of appeal

If the decision is made to refuse you credit, the likelyhood this was determined by a computerised scoring method, therefore, you have the right to ask the lender to review their decision.

If the history does appear inaccurate, you are within your rights to ask for your credit history to be edited. This includes untrue details relating to others with whom you have no financial link.

There is also the option to get notes attached to explain certain times in your credit history. These cannot be because you find the period embarrassing.

Media publications advertise for companies purporting to repair credit ratings, these firms have no specific remedy or resolution and charge a fee.

You can view your history with any credit reference agencies who hold data about you. You can even ask in writing for a copy of your file.

If you need more data, the Information Commissioner offers consumer guidance leaflets.

Always seek independent, professional financial advice for your own situation

Useful Contacts

Information Commission: 01625 545 745 (Data Protection Helpline); 01625 545 700 (general)
Experian: 0870 2414297 (leaflet order line); 0870 2416212 (helpline)
Equifax: 0870 0100583
Callcredit: 0870 0601414
Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Scheme (Cifas): 0870 010 2091

Credit links




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