When deciding whether you're worth lending to, a bank or financial institution will always look at your credit report to make sure that you're not too much of a risky borrower. They're also checking that you have a strong track record of managing your money and meeting repayment deadlines.
With this in mind, it's vital that you check your credit report to make sure that the information Experian has is up to date.
This applies even if your credit score is high. While a strong credit score is an indicator that you might appeal to finance companies, the decision to lend (or not to lend) relies on the actual content of the report. As a result, it's essential to keep this up to date and check that all information is accurate.
If you're concerned about information on your report that could give lenders a misleading impression, you can apply to have the information removed or you can address it directly through a Notice of Correction. Examples of why you might request a Notice of Correction include missed payments due to unemployment or illness.
What is a Notice of Correction?
A Notice of Correction is essentially a short statement that you can add to individual items included in your credit report. It should be no more than 200 words, but it explains why a debt is showing up and why this is not reflective of your general approach to meeting repayments.
At that point, if any lenders are considering your application with a view to lending you money, they have a legal obligation to read the Notice of Correction. However, they are not obliged to take this into account when deciding whether or not to allow you to borrow.
Is a Notice of Correction the right thing for me?
It's important to remember that a Notice of Correction is only to be used for one-off incidents, where there were mitigating circumstances. So, if you've missed a payment, and it's a one-off then this might be a good solution for you.
However, if you have regularly missed payments, this would suggest a consistent pattern of not being able to manage your finances.
How can I add a Notice of Correction to my account?
It's pretty easy to put a Notice of Correction on your Experian Credit Report if you feel that it's the right step for you. All you need to do is contact Experian and outline what you want your Notice of Correction to highlight and which transactions on your report it applies to. You'd need to contact the other credit reference agencies to request they add it to their reports too.
What should I include in my Notice of Correction?
It's vital that your Notice of Correction remains concise and outlines the facts around the transactions you're adding the notice to. For example, if the reason you failed to make a repayment was due to not receiving bills in a timely fashion, you should include this – with the relevant dates – to support your mitigating circumstances.
Be as clear as possible and refrain from using emotive language. You should also ensure that your Notice of Correction is based on fact, rather than outlining your opinions on the situation.
My credit report looks wrong, is a Notice of Correction the next step?
If there's something on your Experian Credit Report that doesn't look quite right, then it's important to contact Experian straight away to alert us that there might be a problem.
At that point, we'll contact the company that provided the information to work out if this is due to an error (which can happen) or whether the information is genuine. During this investigation, it's possible to put a Notice of Correction on your account until the issue is sorted.
Experian can only remove the information from your Experian Credit Report if the company providing the information verifies that it's incorrect or that there has been an error on your account. If the provider of the information disputes that the information is inaccurate, you should contact the company directly to get to the bottom of what's gone wrong, and keep the Notice of Correction on your credit report.
Will a Notice of Correction affect my ability to borrow?
Under current legislation, lenders are legally obliged to read a Notice of Correction when looking at a potential borrowers' credit report. However, there is no obligation for them to take this into account when deciding whether to offer you a loan. While some may, others may not – and this will depend on the lending criteria.