Author Topic: Credit score crisis!  (Read 1866 times)

shelivesthedream

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Credit score crisis!
« on: December 11, 2017, 04:54:43 AM »
I've just tried to get a £3.99-a-month mobile phone contract and was declined because of poor credit. So I check my Equifax score and it's 260!!! Very poor!!! Unlikely to be granted credit!!! WTF?!?!

I clearly don't understand how to read my credit report because nothing is leaping out at me as being highlighted in red or anything outrageous like that. In my financial life, I have had a mobile phone contract (three different ones over the years), one credit card (unused since about 2014, didn't realise it was still open), a Next account (briefly, by accident) and three current account overdrafts. None of which, to my knowledge, have EVER been anything other than paid in full.

I am really upset about this. I am not some financial delinquent. Nor am I a newly-moulded 18-year-old who has never had a bank account before. I cannot believe that I can't get a phone contract. I don't understand how to work out what the problem is. Help!

elementz_m

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 05:34:04 AM »
I promise I'm not following you around the forums!

Are you registered to vote at your current address? This has a huge effect. Also, make sure you're using the one address for everything.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2017, 05:53:31 AM »
I am definitely registered to vote here. I voted here in the last election!

What do you mean by "one address for everything"? In Equifax, when I click on "credit agreements", it says "Current Address: No Data Present" and then lists the following under "Previous addresses"

 Current Account from [BANK] - Satisfactory
 Current Account from [BANK] - Satisfactory
 Current Account from [BANK] - Satisfactory
 Credit Card from [BANK] (the one I forgot I still had - I thought I had closed it but clearly forgot to complete the process) - Satisfactory
 Communications Supplier from O2 (my current phone contract) - Satisfactory
 Communications Supplier from [OLD PHONE SUPPLIER] - Satisfied
 Mail Order Agency from Next Directory (the accidental one) - Satisfied

I've definitely changed my address with my bank to my current one. My phone contract may still be registered at my old address but I can change it with them ASAP. But if I've changed my bank address and it's still listed under my old address, what do I do?

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2017, 05:57:48 AM »
I promise I'm not following you around the forums!

And feel free to follow me around! That's why I posted in the UK subforum, so fellow UK-ers (many of whom I chat with on our respective journals) would find this post and help!

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 06:36:19 AM »
I have no factual expertise here but myself a long time ago was turned down for credit as I didnít have much of a record of paying debt off. I thought as I had never been in debt I was a sure thing. So I wonder if itís because your credit card hasnít been used for so long you havenít built up a solid showing of paying off what you have borrowed.

This is one of the reasons I like using credit cards for most of my payments. By paying it off in full each month I never pay any interest but it builds up the credit rating (useful for a mortgage) it gives me cash back on things Iím buying anyway, and they provide more consumer protection.

It seems ridiculous on such a low amount, but if youíve never actually done anything wrong credit wise I can only see that you havenít been in debt enough to be trusted to pay it off!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 07:24:39 AM »
I have no factual expertise here but myself a long time ago was turned down for credit as I didnít have much of a record of paying debt off. I thought as I had never been in debt I was a sure thing. So I wonder if itís because your credit card hasnít been used for so long you havenít built up a solid showing of paying off what you have borrowed.

This is one of the reasons I like using credit cards for most of my payments. By paying it off in full each month I never pay any interest but it builds up the credit rating (useful for a mortgage) it gives me cash back on things Iím buying anyway, and they provide more consumer protection.

It seems ridiculous on such a low amount, but if youíve never actually done anything wrong credit wise I can only see that you havenít been in debt enough to be trusted to pay it off!

Is that true even if you have available credit? I had always thought that never having had a credit card was a bad thing, but I have available credit that's 'in the green' every month.

I have noticed that my old mobile phone contract has three months in 2014 where for some reason it says "not updated" and is shaded grey rather than green. Any ideas what I can do about this?

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 07:31:44 AM »
It sounds like it could be the addresses that are tripping up the system. Is there an alternative way of writing your address? It doesn't need to be much - I had "Flat 2" and "Flat number 2" list as different addresses on a credit file. Ideally, you want your bank to have the exact same address as the electoral roll address, which should be the same as everything else. It can take a while for banks to update Equifax and co.

The MSE pages on improving credit scores are good for checking common pitfalls - don't use the score improving paid products - they can't tell you anything more than the MSE pages. MSE also gives you free access to Experian's credit report (the score can be different at each of the three scoring agencies) and comments on the aspects which are raising or lowering your score.

When addresses are sorted, asking your bank for a credit card (they can see how well you've managed the account so won't rely solely on a credit score) can help raise your score.

And it sucks that this is how credit scoring works.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 08:09:00 AM »
OK, so Iíve spotted something really bloody annoying. Iíve got a red flag for having had more than three credit searches in 12 months.

Two options:
I have, in fact, had EIGHTEEN if you include ďother searchesĒ. Looking at what they are, two of them are today from me opening a joint account with my husband earlier this year and me trying to get this mobile phone. Fair enough. Three of them are from when I wanted to find out how much it would be to insure my grandmotherís BMW (which, spoiler, I did not accept as a ďfreeĒ gift). And then ALL the rest are from this summer when every single place I have any money saved (I am a Mustachian Ė this is quite a few places) had to re-verify my identity to comply with anti-money laundering regulations and apparently did multiple credit checks. So the Ďsearch reasoní is clearly written there and not me trying to open lots of high-interest credit cards so I can spend all the money on coke and hookers and then skip out to Ibiza.

Or, allegedly only ďrealĒ searches impact your credit score (so the joint account and mobile phone). But in the detailed table listed underneath, each of my past three addresses shows up a separate credit check, even though itís just the two instances checking my whole history. So maybe they are being counted as separate checks and adding up to five? (Didnít live here when opened joint account.)

SoÖ what should I do? Is there anything I can argue with Equifax about here? Iím clearly getting a Ďdingí for ďitĒ, whatever ďitĒ may be, but I donít know how to make things different.

It sounds like it could be the addresses that are tripping up the system. Is there an alternative way of writing your address? It doesn't need to be much - I had "Flat 2" and "Flat number 2" list as different addresses on a credit file. Ideally, you want your bank to have the exact same address as the electoral roll address, which should be the same as everything else. It can take a while for banks to update Equifax and co.

It does look like my address updates haven't been passed on to Equifax, so I have submitted a query asking them to confirm that [current address] is the one my bank and phone company hold for me, not [past address]. Should I do the same for the two accounts (Next and old phone) classed as "Settled"? I mean, presumably those companies don't hold any information on me any more, so I don't really know what I'm asking them to do.

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 08:46:44 AM »
Yes I think the searches are known as hard or soft or something like that. Can you not contact the phone company and explain the only reason you have failed is due to these searches? For such a low monthly payment can they not override this ruling or something? Surely they want the business as much as you want to use their service. Sorry for such a rubbish suggestion, I wish I knew the best way to proceed but perhaps its worth a go?

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2017, 09:10:32 AM »
Yes I think the searches are known as hard or soft or something like that. Can you not contact the phone company and explain the only reason you have failed is due to these searches? For such a low monthly payment can they not override this ruling or something? Surely they want the business as much as you want to use their service. Sorry for such a rubbish suggestion, I wish I knew the best way to proceed but perhaps its worth a go?

I rang them up when I first got the email saying I'd failed but they just told me to check Equifax :( I'm hoping, though, that once I've got my address details consistent my credit score might jump up to "poor" or "adequate". Once that's happened you're right, it's probably worth ringing them up and having a bit of a discussion about it.

I would like to be in a position to get a mortgage in 2020 (though won't *need* to, it's just a long-held fantasy of mine that we might buy a house then - probably won't) so I'm happy to play the long game on that and start using a credit card little and often but dammit, 3.99 a month (LESS than I am currently managing to miraculously pay in full every month for my current phone) is not going to bankrupt either me or them!

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 09:27:16 AM »
Yep its crazy. If there is somewhere you always shop e.g. Sainsbury's then its worth getting a card for that store in question as the points can be used to get money off of stuff you are already buying. Again I'm sure you know this anyway but worth mentioning.

If you use it monthly then after a time they generally increase your credit limit. I believe the best way to have a good rating is to have a high credit card limit with a low balance, that is in itself always paid off monthly in full. A couple of years of doing that prior to a mortgage application can only help I would have thought.

By ticking the box to pay the balance in full each month it transforms the card from a form of borrowing to a means of payment only. I think of mine as a debit card because of this, so am never tempted to spend on something random as I have to have the money in the bank to use it. Again I know you know all this stuff but am only mentioning it in case there is a snippet of info that's useful that you aren't aware of.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2017, 09:44:37 AM »
I do know that, I just have this instinctive massive panic reaction to credit cards that ends up with me living under a bridge eating rats. :( I've been trying to work on it so I can get a rewards credit card but, uh, clearly my credit score is too bad to be thinking of that right now!

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2017, 09:57:53 AM »
You mentioned you still have a credit card account open somewhere. Perhaps use this for a bit to build your rating enough to get a better card that pays you rather than the other way around. I can't imagine you ever living under a bridge eating rats, you're too resourceful :-)

ExitViaTheCashRamp

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 11:43:04 AM »
Have you tried offering to pay 12 months in advance ?

 If not, can I suggest 3 mobiles 1-2-3 tariff ? I rarely use my phone and a £10 credit lasts me many months.

http://www.three.co.uk/Store/Pay_As_You_Go_Price_Plans

katekat

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2017, 11:57:47 AM »
I just wanted to register my surprise that they're acting like they're extending you credit (and therefore worry about your creditworthiness) at all. On a sim-only contract, surely if you don't pay, they can end the contract. It's not like you're getting a phone on it and they have to worry about you absconding with it. Or am I missing something?

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2017, 12:25:04 PM »
I just wanted to register my surprise that they're acting like they're extending you credit (and therefore worry about your creditworthiness) at all. On a sim-only contract, surely if you don't pay, they can end the contract. It's not like you're getting a phone on it and they have to worry about you absconding with it. Or am I missing something?


I know! You are not missing anything. It seems really odd to me too, especially as itís SUCH a cheap contract and itís only a monthly rolling one so on their end, if I didnít pay one month they could just terminate it. I Ďorderedí the SIM online, so the first thing I found out about not passing the credit check was an email. Then I rang up to ask why and they said to check with Equifax. I was still so surprised and upset I didnít think to say anything else. In a way itís good it happened because I havenít checked my credit score for about six years (when, BY THE WAY, it was excellent) so itís tipped me off to the fact thatís itís absolutely tanked.

If Iím feeling assertive tomorrow I think I might ring them up and have a discussion with them about it. It really is ridiculous. But I have discovered today that switching energy suppliers might result in a credit check too, which had been next on my list. Still, I donít mind holding off on that til January in the hope that tidying up my credit report will have improved things in the meantime.

You mentioned you still have a credit card account open somewhere. Perhaps use this for a bit to build your rating enough to get a better card that pays you rather than the other way around. I can't imagine you ever living under a bridge eating rats, you're too resourceful :-)


I am certainly going to ring up my bank tomorrow and ask about this old credit card. It is actually still showing on my internet banking, but Iíve just never really thought about it all these years. I very much hope that it *is* still open (rather than an internet banking glitch) and that they will send me a new one. I am planning to just do our monthly online shop on it (£100 ish, and zero worries about accidentally losing track of how much we have spent and ending up living under a bridge eating rats) and set it to pay off in full automatically. Should be a nice autopilot low-stakes way to build up a repayment history, which is perhaps what I am lacking.

And thanks for the compliment! Iím sure Iíd get very good at outfitting my cardboard box and finding a nice bridge and spearing rats really efficientlyÖ 😊 But itís just a visceral panic that cannot be alleviated by crazy things like facts and logic.

Have you tried offering to pay 12 months in advance ?

 If not, can I suggest 3 mobiles 1-2-3 tariff ? I rarely use my phone and a £10 credit lasts me many months.

http://www.three.co.uk/Store/Pay_As_You_Go_Price_Plans

Thanks for the tip, but I use my phone for work and really value the predictability of my monthly costs and the fact that I donít ever have to remember to top up. I just canít not be able to use my phone because I ran out of credit, and I like knowing how much the line item in my budget is.

elementz_m

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2017, 01:42:40 PM »
I wouldn't worry too much when it comes to eligibility for a mortgage. The lenders are less likely to be interested in your credit searches, or your mobile contract. They'll be looking closer at bad debt, and your earnings. In the UK, there is no universal credit rating. You have a credit history, which is provided to lenders. Canned response from Reddit:

There is no such thing as a universal credit score or credit rating. Each lender will assess potential borrowers on their own criteria, and these algorithms are effectively trade secrets. You might look unattractive to one lender but be the right fit for another. "Credit scores" are the result of marketing departments at credit agencies realising they could sell a product to consumers, and nothing more than a rough indication of your credit-worthiness.

MarcherLady

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2017, 01:49:23 PM »
Another thing to try is getting your credit report via a site called Clear Score.  They give some good tips on ways to improve credit scores.  Recently they said that mine went down by a few points and I could see immediately from the site that it was because I had closed an old bank account.  They try to sell you stuff too, needless to say, but you can resist, I am sure.

And since I'm cross posting with elementz_m - I assume that whatever algorithms they (clear score) are using are typical of lenders - although it's not something I know much about - but it should be indicative of your credit-worthiness.
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PhilB

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2017, 03:07:00 PM »
If I can play devil's (or credit provider's) advocate here, when it comes to credit cards and people under the age of 50 there are three main populations:
1- Have cards and use them to your advantage for cashback, interest free borrowing, etc.
2- Have cards and lose money hand over fist on interest until eventually the bailiffs turn up.
3- Don't have cards because if they did they'd end up in group 2 / have previously been in group 2.
I don't think it's unreasonable for businesses to assume that an adult who doesn't use a credit card is a bad credit risk - particularly as you seem to be saying that the reason you don't use a credit card is you worry you would be a bad credit risk.
Unless you really do think you are so lacking in common sense and moral fibre that you'd end up in group 2 (and I see absolutely nothing in your posts to suggest that you would), reactivate that existing card and set it to pay in full by direct debit.  That will at least give you one to two months interest free credit on your purchases and start to convince other service providers that you are a normal, sensible modern human.  Once your score has improved you can start to search out the best deals to make credit cards work for you.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2017, 04:53:35 AM »
OK, so sadtimes. It was just a glitch that it was still showing up in internet banking so I'd have to apply again. So, the choice is... do I apply with my bank or do I pick one of MSE's "bad credit" cards? Showing here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/bad-credit-credit-cards A bank one seems like it would make me feel better about managing it but OMG what if I get rejected?! And MSE's eligibility calculator says I have a 90% chance of being accepted for the Aqua Rewards card which give 0.5% cashback on all spending. Obviously the APR is insane and the starting credit limit can be as low as £250, but that's both fine because I plan to spend about £100/month on it and autopay in full.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2017, 05:01:01 AM »
Rang up the mobile phone company and they basically wouldn't give me the time of day. Really fucking annoyed.

However, turns out USwitch has a filter for "no credit check", so I've found a £7.50 deal that refunds you £1.25 for 1GB of unused data, so hopefully it will work out at £6.25/month for me if I pay attention. So I've decided to go with that for now and reassess in six months after checking my credit report again. And it looks like this SIM will suit my husband too, so I'm going to persuade him to switch as well.

https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/sim_only_deal/7d40f0d3a7babd79aa57cd2c825577e8289bd24a?comparison=cz1tb250aGx5X2Nvc3QmcD0vbW9iaWxlcy9jb21wYXJlL25vX2NyZWRpdF9jaGVja19zaW1fb25seV9kZWFscy8mcG89Mg==
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 05:05:36 AM by shelivesthedream »

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2017, 08:51:00 AM »
I would personally go with the Aqua card I think SLTD. It fulfills all your needs (cash back, sufficient credit limit, likely to be accepted) and is only a stop gap. A year of paying off your monthly shop in full every month and Iím sure youíre credit rating will improve.

Unless your bank gives a lot more cash back/useful rewards and they can give you assurance around acceptance beforehand I think I would be tempted to go with the Aqua.

The only other option I can think of is some sort of bank account switch that gives you cash or some incentive for switching to them. I wonder if applying for a new bank account and cc with the same bank simultaneously gives more chance of getting the cc as they want your business?

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2017, 03:24:14 AM »
OK, so sadtimes. It was just a glitch that it was still showing up in internet banking so I'd have to apply again. So, the choice is... do I apply with my bank or do I pick one of MSE's "bad credit" cards? Showing here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/bad-credit-credit-cards A bank one seems like it would make me feel better about managing it but OMG what if I get rejected?! And MSE's eligibility calculator says I have a 90% chance of being accepted for the Aqua Rewards card which give 0.5% cashback on all spending. Obviously the APR is insane and the starting credit limit can be as low as £250, but that's both fine because I plan to spend about £100/month on it and autopay in full.

I'd apply for Aqua first. The credit search will have a lower impact on your bank's decision than it would on Aqua's. It may have improved of late, but I have previously had success applying for a bunch of credit products right after each other (as in the same evening or weekend).

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2017, 04:55:45 AM »
I have noticed that my old mobile phone contract has three months in 2014 where for some reason it says "not updated" and is shaded grey rather than green. Any ideas what I can do about this?

I got an email today to say something had been updated, and my old mobile phone contract now shows up properly as being paid on time for all the months. "Hurrah!" I thought, and thought I'd give myself a treat by seeing how much my credit score had gone up. Up? Oh no. It's gone DOWN. From 260 to 182. FML.

Can one ring up companies like Aqua and ask for guidance on applying (and likely approval) without them actually making a credit check? I cannot believe I am having to ask these questions on the MMM forum.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2017, 05:09:51 AM »
I tried to join MSE's Credit Club for their free Experian updates and it said it couldn't verify my identity, even after I deleted some of the optional information and double checked everything. WHAT IS GOING ON??!

I know it's not an exact science, but I got married in late 2014 and some stuff is in my maiden name and some stuff is in my married name. In particular, I work under my maiden name so have kept my bank accounts in my maiden name. Do you reckon there is any mileage in going through every single financial product/relationship I have and changing them all meticulously to the exact same version (middle names/initials and all) of my married name? It'll be a bit annoying for work but no massive deal long-term as it'll only affect the name on my invoices.

katekat

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2017, 05:24:25 AM »
I've tried to join credit club and it has never been able to match me either. I have never changed my name but I have moved around a lot. Have you tried clearscore? They give equifax scores instead but were able to match me.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2017, 05:46:23 AM »
I tried to join MSE's Credit Club for their free Experian updates and it said it couldn't verify my identity, even after I deleted some of the optional information and double checked everything. WHAT IS GOING ON??!

I know it's not an exact science, but I got married in late 2014 and some stuff is in my maiden name and some stuff is in my married name. In particular, I work under my maiden name so have kept my bank accounts in my maiden name. Do you reckon there is any mileage in going through every single financial product/relationship I have and changing them all meticulously to the exact same version (middle names/initials and all) of my married name? It'll be a bit annoying for work but no massive deal long-term as it'll only affect the name on my invoices.

Just to say that's likely the problem, if they can't verify you, neither can other financial institutions.

So yes, I'd change everything into the same name, and check they all have the exact same address.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2017, 06:21:57 AM »
If I ring up Equifax or Experian, is the person on the other end of the phone likely to have any more information than that which is shown to me?

icbatbh

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2017, 06:26:42 AM »
If I ring up Equifax or Experian, is the person on the other end of the phone likely to have any more information than that which is shown to me?
I don't think so. I had a default on my credit report once that I needed to remove and when I contacted Experian the only information they could give me was the company name and the date and amount of the default.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2017, 07:48:17 AM »
Le sigh. Alright, the plan is as follows:

1. Make sure I am listed under the exact same name and address with everyone who shows up on my credit report and that it's exactly what's on the electoral roll. ASAP.
2. In January, when my Equifax free trial expires, sign up for Experian (ideally though the MSE credit club).
3. By then HOPEFULLY my score has gone up just a wee bit, so apply for an Aqua rewards credit card, set it to autopay and use it to buy £100 worth of groceries a month.
4. If my credit score has gone up sufficiently by March, change utility suppliers. If not, wait until June and check again.

financialfreedom

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2017, 07:49:08 AM »
It is a bad score. You say your accounts have been in good order, so have you checked the CCJ (court) section?

That and mortgage arrears/defaults are the only things I would have thought would make it so low.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2017, 09:04:58 AM »
Le sigh. Alright, the plan is as follows:

1. Make sure I am listed under the exact same name and address with everyone who shows up on my credit report and that it's exactly what's on the electoral roll. ASAP.
2. In January, when my Equifax free trial expires, sign up for Experian (ideally though the MSE credit club).
3. By then HOPEFULLY my score has gone up just a wee bit, so apply for an Aqua rewards credit card, set it to autopay and use it to buy £100 worth of groceries a month.
4. If my credit score has gone up sufficiently by March, change utility suppliers. If not, wait until June and check again.

Yes, that sounds like a good plan - there is nothing bad there, however as nothing is registered to your currents address that makes lenders nervous, how do they know you really live there? Add in the different names, and no current credit being used and it doesn't fill them with confidence.

MmatoO

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2017, 01:32:39 PM »
Is Noodle credit report any use since it is 'free for life' and they make money by matching you with applicable financial products (e.g. you might get a bit more info on whether you can be accepted by Aqua)?
Haha, I can't believe I have a journal!

May2030

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2017, 03:01:01 PM »
I have used a free Noddle account for a while and itís appears quite good.

I would get your address or any identity issues sorted before taking out any other credit accounts. Check everything on the report. If anyone living at your address has poor credit this can also reflect on your score. If there is anything to fix you may get a better deal.

Is your husbands credit score ok? Any strangle letters from previous occupants?

daverobev

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2017, 04:45:37 PM »
I've only skim read this, so apologies in advance if it's been answered/dealt with.

Do you have ANY credit? Any current credit?

In order to be 'creditworthy' you have to show you can borrow and repay. If not you will have a 'thin file' and they won't be able to validate/verify.

You should be able to get your credit report from Equifax and Experian for free I think (not the score, just the report). If you don't have anything in the last few years showing 'credit available X, balance Y, all OK!' then.. that is why. You need to HAVE credit and USE it. That is what a credit score is - if there is no activity, there is nothing to score on!

You should always have a credit card and use it always online at the very least. Consumer protection is much stronger on credit than debit.

You could go to your bank and explain the situation. Or get a 'secured' credit card. If you've banked with one place you might get them to give you a low limit card, if they review your file and you tell them that you just didn't realise having credit meant you had a credit score.
Amex Cobalt - 5x points at grocery stores/restaurants converts 2:1 to SPG - better than the SPG card! Or redeem at 1c/point = 5% for travel.

Great Canadian Rebates good extra sign up bonuses on credit cards, among other things.

Tangerine Orange Key: 48322202S1. I prefer Simplii (was PC Financial) to Tangerine, but you get $50 for signing up (and so do I).

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2017, 03:20:30 AM »
It is a bad score. You say your accounts have been in good order, so have you checked the CCJ (court) section?

That and mortgage arrears/defaults are the only things I would have thought would make it so low.

Absolutely zero under court information, and I've never had a mortgage.

Is Noodle credit report any use since it is 'free for life' and they make money by matching you with applicable financial products (e.g. you might get a bit more info on whether you can be accepted by Aqua)?

Noddle couldn't identify me either. Le sigh.

Is your husbands credit score ok? Any strangle letters from previous occupants?

I haven't the foggiest idea what my husband's credit score is, but no one is listed under 'Financial Associates' so I can't imagine it's affecting much.

Do you have ANY credit? Any current credit?

No current credit being used, although about £2000 available in bank overdrafts if I wanted it. But I have had and used a credit card in the past which is still visible on my credit report as I closed it in late 2014. So yeah, I understand that you have to show some repayment history, but I wasn't expecting it to be this bad!

cerat0n1a

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2017, 04:33:40 AM »
FWIW, my wife has never had a credit card, none of the household bills are in her name, and we paid off the mortgage in 2000. So no credit history there. She was still able to get a mobile phone contract for a larger amount than what you originally posted about. However, she hasn't changed her name or address in many years. So I tend to agree that the problem might be with them not being able to correctly identify you rather than you not having borrowed money and paid it back.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2017, 02:28:41 AM »
Unlikely but possible:
Have you checked the fraud section of the report? There could be an old alert on there. I can't fathom the score being so low. It might be called "Cifas" and you can get them removed if they are wrong.

When you get an automatic rejection letter, you can ask them to do a manual review of your credit report. This sometimes results in the decision changing and they'll sometimes give you more information.


shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2017, 10:37:22 AM »
Got another "we've updated a thing!" email and I'm still at 182 and can't see what's changed. I am going to hunker down and ring them up tomorrow and the day after and get them to explain what they are actually updating and why they are making things worse.

Absolutely nothing in the fraud section either.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2017, 03:19:28 AM »
Happy update! I finally got round to ringing up Equifax.

They basically had not read my online queries about address updates properly, and had closed them without actually resolving them. (They thought I was asking them to change my address with my bank. Er, no. I was asking them to re-ask my bank what address details they held so the bank could give them the correct answer.) They are now going to do as I asked, though it may take 21 working days so I might have to actually (gasp!) PAY for a further month of Equifax so I can keep an eye on all this.

She said they base my credit score mainly off credit agreements at my current address so once that's updated it should jump up at least a bit. Also recommended sending in a copy of my marriage certificate to officially link the two names.

never give up

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2017, 03:22:15 AM »
Hurrah. Positive way to end the year. Lets hope it jumps enough so you can apply for the things you need to. Then hopefully you'll never need to worry about it again.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2017, 09:09:38 AM »
Why do you need to pay for equifax?

You can get call credit free via noodle, and (I think it's Experian) through MSE's money club.

I used to keep a close eye on mine, but like never give up has indicated, I don't think I'll really need it again......which is an interesting thought.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2017, 09:18:09 AM »
Why do you need to pay for equifax?

You can get call credit free via noodle, and (I think it's Experian) through MSE's money club.

I used to keep a close eye on mine, but like never give up has indicated, I don't think I'll really need it again......which is an interesting thought.

I'm on a free trial of their £14.95/month service, where you can get unlimited updates of your report and various other stuff. They advise that submitted queries or disputes can take up to 21 days to be resolved and my trial expires on 9th Jan. I want to keep a close eye on it until this address business is properly sorted out, and also to switch utility providers and apply for a credit card shortly afterwards so I'm willing to pay for one month so I can make extra double sure that everything is as it should be.

I'm fixating on Equifax because the phone people gave that as the reason I was rejected. Once I'm done sorting things out with them I'm planning to sign up to MSE's credit club (it is Experian) (assuming they can verify my identity this time!).

I had never realised how many things required a credit check. It never crossed my mind I'd need it for a dirt cheap phone contract so I haven't paid any attention for years!

Kwill

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2018, 05:21:56 PM »
Wow. This sounds like a mess, but you are getting it all figured out.

In the UK, you are entitled to a statutory credit report for £2 from each credit agency, and signing up for those should give you a way to submit additional documentation or request that notes be added. It sounds like you have taken care of Equifax, but it might be worth also checking with CallCredit and Experian as well.

I can't register to vote here, so I was worried about not being able to establish any credit history. But I was able to submit a scan of my passport and ask for a note to be added explaining why I wasn't on the electoral roll. Also, I think the process of doing the statutory credit report request may have helped clarify for the credit agencies who I was and where I lived, though I'm not sure really how that works behind the scenes. Anyway, in your case, it would be worth contacting them with documentation of your name change.

I wonder if it might be worth going to your bank in person and ask about how to improve your credit score. Chances are they would love to sell you on some product.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2018, 01:01:13 AM »
I wonder if it might be worth going to your bank in person and ask about how to improve your credit score. Chances are they would love to sell you on some product.

Careful here, some payday loans companies were marketing their products as improving your credit rating by paying it back on time, when actually a payday loan is a red flag for a lot of lenders reviewing credit files.

Kwill

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2018, 12:16:33 PM »
I wonder if it might be worth going to your bank in person and ask about how to improve your credit score. Chances are they would love to sell you on some product.

Careful here, some payday loans companies were marketing their products as improving your credit rating by paying it back on time, when actually a payday loan is a red flag for a lot of lenders reviewing credit files.

That's a good caution. I was thinking more of a traditional bank or wherever Mrs Dream is already a customer.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2018, 03:01:02 PM »
Cool, I didn't anticipate SLTD taking advice from Wonga, but there are snake-like and clueless salespeople infesting every bank. I still hear people saying that leaving a balance on a credit card increases a credit score.

londonstache

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2018, 04:40:53 AM »
SLTD, I've had big issues with credit scores in the past - for stupid reasons, really.

In the past I was a fiscal nightmare, which I squarely knocked on the head nearly 5 years ago and since then have been working on building my net worth. However despite some facepunch-worthy financial decisions, I always paid back debt on time until...

I had a phone contract with O2 which was paid up in full, but I was emigrating to the US (I've subsequently moved back). I called several times to insist that as I was moving away it was important that everything past and future was paid and covered, which they agreed to. However when I returned at Christmas apparently they had decided there was an extra £20 outstanding, which I promptly paid, however this was enough to trigger the account as 'in arrears', which they kindly logged on my credit score. I asked them to amend this, and their answer was that as they weren't bound by the consumer credit act they didn't have to do anything!

So I took the hit to my credit score for 6 years until it dropped off last year.

As a result I have a 'bad' credit card with CapitalOne which I repay in full each month (and always have done) so the APR is effectively irrelevant.

I'm pleased it's getting resolved - getting married and purchasing a property has impacted my credit score as as some of my financial products have changed names and I've got less address history at our new address. The silly thing is that I'm more credit-worthy in reality as net worth has substantially increased as Mrs Londonstache is also a mustachian, but a credit score does not reflect this!

I'd also echo that it shouldn't have any impact in getting a mortgage.

aoedae

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Re: Credit score crisis!
« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2018, 05:41:39 AM »
Thanks for the timely reminder to check out my credit information and update my new address (thanks also for the electoral role tip up-thread, had forgotten about that one!)

I'm sorry that you're going through the wringer with this. Credit: it's all fine until it's not, and then it's *really* a pain.