Small Steps – Credit Report

Have you ever tried to tidy up your financial affairs? It can be overwhelming to try and do everything at once. Like most big projects, the best way to achieve success is to break it down into bite-sized chunks. Our Small Steps blog series is all about tidying up your finances one step at a time. This article focuses on checking your credit report is correct.

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There are a lot of companies that provide your credit report.  One of the easiest to use is My Credit File by Equifax.  It is a free service and takes around 20 days to arrive (although they can arrive significantly faster than that).

The report will tell you your overall score and also any "blips" that have come up. Remember that credit agencies now track whether you pay your utility bills (phone and electricity) on time, so there is a lot of information in there.

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What do I do if there is an error in my credit report?

If there is an error, it's important that you address this immediately. Mistakes are notoriously difficult to (a) prove and (b) remedy because of shady people that try to remove true statements from their record, which completely defeats the purpose of a credit report. Be prepared to compile all sorts of paperwork and continue to call them every day to make sure things are proceeding.

Most importantly, if there is an error, be nice to the person on the other end of the line. They are dealing with frustrated, angry people all day. If you are nice, you'll find they prioritise your file over the "fire and brimstone" files.

If nothing is wrong with your credit report, work on lifting your score by paying all your bills on time and reducing your credit limits.

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