Once you’ve settled your IVA, been discharged from bankruptcy or simply completed your debt management plan….you’ve made it, so congratulations are in order! The hard work of paying back the money you owe is over and you can look forward to a more prosperous and financially stable future.
However, before you get too carried away, there are still some things you need to do in order to help your credit status recovers as quickly as it should. One of those things is checking that your credit file reflects your new debt free status, as it doesn’t always get communicated to all three of the UK’s credit reference agencies Experian, Equifax and Noddle (Call Credit).
What will tend to happen is that when you settle your debt with a creditor, that creditor will inform just one of them and not the other two. Creditors aren’t obliged to inform all three, so it’s down to you, the debtor, to ensure this new state of affairs has been communicated to all of them.
With any company that you might owe money to, delinquent accounts are the responsibility of the credit controller, so this is the person that you need to report incorrect information to about you or specific default dates. Should your defaults be showing as later than the start of your IVA or bankruptcy, then this needs to be rectified as soon as possible. Typically, your IVA or bankruptcy will be on your credit file 6 years from the date it started. Applying for a mortgage or other types of credit is going to be curtailed if your file is still incorrectly showing as having active defaults after the agreed date.
When you do contact the offending creditor, it’s recommended that you do it in writing and you address it to the aforementioned credit controller. If you phone it in, they’ll likely just ask you to write in and if you call the credit reference agency, they’ll tell you to do the same. Save yourself time and stress by writing first. Using an IVA as an example the letter can be wording like the bellow;
re: [account/reference xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
I started an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) on dd/mm/yyyy. You can confirm this by checking the Insolvency Register at https://www.insolvencydirect.bis.gov.uk/eiir/.
I am writing to ask you to correct my credit file for [details of your debt with the creditor, including the account number or reference number]. This debt is included in my IVA.
At the moment [there is no default date shown / the default date is shown as dd/mm/yyyy]. This is incorrect and a breach of the Information Commissioner’s Office guidelines and the Data Protection Act 1998. There should be a default date not later than the start date of my IVA.
Please correct this entry within 28 days or supply me with a written reason why you will not do so.
We’d also recommend that you keep a copy of this letter for your own records, just in case it gets lost in the post! It doesn’t cost that much more to get the letter signed for on delivery, so if you want to make sure your creditor definitely gets it, recorded delivery might be an idea.
Verifying that the credit reference agencies all have the right information on you is an important job which often gets overlooked. If more people knew the impact of not doing it, then it probably wouldn’t get forgotten as much as it does. At Niche Mortgage Info, we are dedicated to ensuring that people get the information and assistance they need to get on with their lives after financial issues.
For more information on this and all matters relating to getting a mortgage after all types of bad credit, take a look through our website www.nichemortgageinfo.co.uk.
Thanks so much for reading our blog and we’ll see you next time.