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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Credit Reports

As is widely known, credit reports compiled by companies such as Experian are a "public" record of an individual's financial deeds and misdeeds.

They are used by credit card companies, banks, loans companies, phone networks etc to provide an assessment of an individual's credit worthiness.

Those with a "poor" rating are deemed to be a greater risk than those with an "excellent" rating; as such, those with the "poor" score may have their application for credit refused, or have higher than normal charges imposed.

It well known that having negative items such as, ccj's, debt defaults and related negative issues on the credit report can damage an individual's rating. However, the converse is also true.

Where there are no positive comments from lenders, banks or other financial institutions the individual will also be given a low credit score.

I discussed this matter with Experian, and asked how do people get positive statements added to their credit file. Seemingly lenders and banks will do so where the customer has had a good credit history.

However, there is a catch, where the individual has had a relationship with a company such as a bank for many years; without defaulting, or any other negative incident, the institution will not record a positive comment in the individual's file.

Why?

Simple, a relationship going back so long will have meant that the individual at the time of opening his/her account would not have signed a form giving consent to share information with a third party.

The result being that those of us with a decade or more of excellent credit histories with the same institution are being penalised by those who access credit reference agencies, as there is no positive affirmation of our good credit history.

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