Today we launched our ‘Its My Report‘ campaign calling for reform of the credit reporting market. We think credit reporting is broken and needs to be fixed, so we’re calling for three specific changes:
- We want to see free annual credit reports and scores
- We think lenders should tell you if you’re rejected because of your credit file and give you a copy
- We think the credit scoring scale between the three credit agencies should be standardised
The great news is you agree. At the time of writing almost 4,500 of you had signed our petition within less than ten hours of our launch.
What’s more many of you have left comments, so we thought we’d take a look and pull out some of the key themes.
One of the key reasons behind our campaign was the need for greater transparency. Our research shows that credit reporting generates a huge amount of confusion, with people unsure what it is, how to get their hands on a credit report, and how to improve their score and make amendments.
Here’s a sample of some of your comments:
- Ernest says: As you say this is my report and access should be free to me at any time. Errors can happen any day and should be open to inspection and correction immediatly. No information should be carried if I am not aware of it.
- George says: Turned down for many things by credit report I have no access to, to check if it’s correct. Even turned down for small overdraft. Fuming.
- Robert says: I have no idea how the system works!!
- Mike says: It is “My Report” and I have never seen mine.
- Rhys says: I was unable to buy my mobile phone in an EE shop apparently due to my credit rating. When I checked it was A1 perfect. They would not tell me why the refused me. I therefore fully support this petition in the light of my personal experiences.
Another key issue is errors on your report. We know lots of people get rejected for credit, or get a higher rate than advertised, and often this is down to errors on their report.
While the changes we’re calling for won’t fix the errors – only you can do that by speaking to the lender or putting a notice of correction on your file – we believe that having access to your report for free, and seeing what problems are causing rejections, will make it easier to fix your report.
- Paul says: I only checked my rating when a credit card application was refused only to find out that I had a bad debt that had been registered against me 5 years earlier. British Gas had failed to collect the final payment for a previous address when I moved even though the direct debit was valid. They claim they sent the final account to my old address in error (although it did not get sent on to me by the Royal Mail redirect) and it was an unfortunate clerical error. I only got he offensive threatening letter from a debt collection agency a few months later and it was resolved within 24 hours but I kept the bad debt report until I threatened British Gas with a legal action. An annual free check would have resolved this much earlier. How many others have had their records messed up by a corporate failure like this?
- John says: I know that there are errors on my credit report as some details have been told to me by recipients. As these errors do not appear to have affected my credit score I am not willing to pay for a report for myself. It should be free, the credit score company should then be obliged to make corrections as reported to them and be legally liable if changes are not made in an appropriate timescale. Any serious errors should make the company liable for compensation.
- Alan says: We spent nearly 12 months cleaning up an error by Orange, spending monthly memberships with experience and equifax. Once clear our bank again refused to top up a loan that we had paid for 5 years without missing a payment by informing us that they now use another agency, one that we never heard of. Now they want £15 per month for us to look at the report…….
- Tony says: A mistake that vodafone admitted to after one year set my score back for 18 months. This is for a second mobile phone I didn’t ask for and posted back to them immediately yet held me accountable for the contract that I refused to pay whilst I kept my original account in perfect order.
Perhaps the most serious issue relating to credit is debt. Not having access to credit can lead people to riskier borrowing methods, and we believe a better credit reporting system will allow to better assess where they stand, and what they can do to get access to credit.
- Chelsea says: I work in a finance company dealing with peoples debt and all I can say is I think it should be free for people to look at as a lot of people do not know what is on there and what is outstanding it needs to be looked into to help people.
- Bhagabhai says: As a lay person, I get to know absolutely nothing about what goes on behind the scene & it costs money for nothing. At times they look at the previous address & blackmail one even without knowing. It’s terrible and must be stopped as it is a matter of survival and death in some cases. Once one is black-listed for no reason then one is doomed. I have suffered for nearly 6 years through no fault of mine.
- Shona says: I hope they do something as having a poor credit score literally strangles your future and isn’t fair when someone is doing their very best to clear all debts.
If you’re struggling with debt please see our debt help guides. If you’re facing severe difficulty and need immediate debt help we also recommend StepChange, a registered charity which offers free, confidential advice and debt management support. They also provide an online debt advice service.
Join the campaign
If agree with these comments and want to show your support, sign our petition and leave a comment of your own.