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Q&A on credit rating with Caroline Thomas from CreditExpert- ANSWERS BACK

(20 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 20-Oct-11 12:34:25

This week we're joined by Caroline Thomas from CreditExpert who will be answering questions on credit rating.

Your credit score is not just for loans, mortgages or credit cards. Phone contracts, landlords and other providers will base decisions on your score. Your credit report therefore shouldn't be something you turn to only when you're declined for a credit card or loan, it should be something you manage on an on-going basis, as part of good financial housekeeping.

If you want to know about what affects your credit score and how you can improve it, advice on identity fraud or tips on how to manage your credit report to improve your chances of getting accepted for the best deals, send your questions to Caroline before the end of Wednesday 26th October and we'll be linking to her answers from this thread on 10th November.

CreditExpert is the UK's most trusted credit monitoring service, with more than 30 years' experience. New customers can sign up now for a free 30-day trial * of CreditExpert, giving you unlimited access to your Experian Credit Score, weekly alerts of changes to your credit report and access to an award-winning customer services team.

*New customers only, monthly fee applies after trial ends

cazboldy Fri 21-Oct-11 12:58:03

why is having access to your credit score so expensive? it's too expensive for me to use as an ongoing "part of my house keeping"

supadupapupascupa Fri 21-Oct-11 13:02:24

i have been a customer of credit expert on two occasions and i have to agree that the service is brilliant. The information and website are all very good. However, i only join when coming up to getting a mortgage to check my rating because, like cazboldy it is too expensive. I would use it much more often if you could pay a small fee as you go. You don't need to see it every month, perhaps twice a year in my opinion.

scotchmeg Fri 21-Oct-11 14:30:21

I have a question. I have a bad debt dating to 5 years ago. I am ready to make a reduced payment that will stop them asking for any money and effectivly close the account. But it will still show the outstanding amount on my credit report.
Can this be removed at all or do I have to wait for the 6 years to be up before I am free of it?

Also, is it your credit report that shows you up to not be a first time buyer - and if so, does this vanish after 6 years like other things do?

I would also like it to be a lot cheaper. It would be great if you could be charged a smaller amount each month based on the number of times you need to look - i.e. once a quarter - £3, Once a month - £5, Once a week £10. £14 is far too expensive to rate as something you use as your monthly budgeting.

PavlovtheWitchesCat Fri 21-Oct-11 15:21:08

is this an opportunity to chat with someone from CreditExpert, or is this another income earning opportunity MNHQ? Nice bit of advertising in the opening post. Maybe there should be an advertising topic for all those wishing to pedal their products rather than dressing it up as money advice.

<removes cynical hat and leaves>

tiredemma Fri 21-Oct-11 17:24:00

Can I ask how I can stop them taking £6.99 per month from my account. I signed up for 'free' credit report over a year ago. I have phoned and sent 3 letters but they still take the £6.99

rather worryingly, they even continued taking payment after I had two new bank cards- which would indicate that they have access to my actual card number.

prioneyes Fri 21-Oct-11 18:14:15

DH had bad debt accrued in his first marriage which ended in divorce 6 years ago. For that reason I bought this house in my own name. He paid the last agreed instalment of the debt about 3 years ago and we've recently married. What are the implications of this when we next apply for a mortgage - would we be better to apply jointly or should we still try to keep him out of it despite being married?

VirgoGrr Fri 21-Oct-11 18:34:11

I agree with Pavlov, this is a marketing opportunity for Experian.
What's the betting that every answer will contain the advice to join up to the CreditExpert service. You would do better to get an IFA to give advice rather than a rep from Experian.

Consumers are misled into handing over £ under the impression that credit scoring is tangible data rather than a risk assessment tool. It is correct that they charge a fee for providing credit reports as it isn't a public service, but don't represent this q&a as independent advice.

yellowflowers Fri 21-Oct-11 19:02:58

I joined credit rating and was told my rating was excellent. But I got turned down for a loan from every bank and loan company I tried - why?

ZombiouslyGhoulblivious Fri 21-Oct-11 19:40:09

Why don't you make it clear that in order for an individual to get a full picture of their credit file they need to contact all three credit agencies? Not all lenders use Experian to credit check and therefore not all lenders provide you with information.

FoxyFi Fri 21-Oct-11 22:16:03

I too have an excellent credit score (over 920) and report yet I have recently been turned down for a remortgage and even a small loan of £2000. I was quite puzzled as I checked my report with all the ratings agencies including Credit Expert which I have been a member of for more than 6 years as I have worked really hard to improve my credit score and all said that there was nothing untoward on my report. After I was turned down for the small loan I contacted Credit Expert again and this time their agent checked my file again and found that I have a judgement against me since 2007 linked to a commercial address that I used about 3 times when I was inbetween buying my property - I have no bad credit listed at any of the places I have been living and those are the addresses they ask for. I have been in my current property since 2005. Since 2007, I managed to get a re-mortgage, buy a brand new car, take out a loan against the property and I wasn't turned down for anything until this year - how come I was ok to lend to when I was less financially secure than I am now?? And why was I unable to see the commercial linked address which has the judgement yet the lenders were - I thought that through Credit Expert I saw EVERYTHING on myreport and the information was limited that the lenders can see. I might have a judgement against me but I have not missed any payments on any mortgage, loan, CC etc. for the last 8 years at least. Why don't lenders take this into account instead of one black mark which is an insurance policy which I can NEVER claim on but am expected to pay for??! Please explain....

ToothbrushThief Sat 22-Oct-11 00:07:20

A relative was using my address as a postal address (moving around a lot) and has now gone bankrupt.

They have not changed the address on their accounts despite my requests hmm and I'm concerned my credit file will be marked

I have completed a financial dissociation with all 3 main agencies and written to the banks/other companies as their letters arrive. They are ignoring me though! ... and still the post arrives - anything else I can do?

crushonyou Sun 23-Oct-11 09:50:38

DP is a US citizen (who has lived in the UK for 5 years, with indefinite leave to remain) but is not able to register on the electoral roll. We want to buy a house next year but we are concerned how this will affect his credit rating. He has a good salary, one credit card (paid off in full monthly) and his name is on household bills. The mortgage would have to be based on his income alone as I am not currently working.

What can we do to ensure his credit rating is not adversely affected by not being on the electoral roll? Are there any other issues might arise because he is not a UK/EU citizen?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 24-Oct-11 13:34:57

In response to Pavlov and Virgo. You're right, some (though not all) Q&As are commercial ventures and this has been paid for by CreditExpert. We are, however, quite selective in the Q&As we decide to run and only choose subjects that we think will be of interest to mumsnetters. We stipulate to all Q&A guests that their answers mustn't be used as means of pushing their latest products on to mumsnetters and we have editorial control over all archived Q&As. We think they generally work well and give mumsnetters opportunities to ask questions on all sorts of subjects as well as being a stream of revenue for Mumsnet. This said, we take your point that we should be totally transparent about which Q&As are paid-for and in the future we will make sure this is clear in our OP.

VirgoGrr Tue 25-Oct-11 00:34:37

Thank you Rachel, that is a fair and objective response.
I think you can see from the questions already asked, MNers want advice about a range of personal issues that can affect their credit reports. Experian provide credit report data for a fee. Interpretation of that data would be the role of an underwriter or a risk analyst. Unless Experian are willing to let an analyst reply to each question according to the questioners circumstances and also point out that every lender will have their own 'score card' criteria that they apply when assessing applications for credit that no-one else is privy to, the advice will not be worth much, IMHO.

MoreSpamThanGlam Wed 26-Oct-11 18:59:16

I was made bankrupt 4 years ago and STILL the debts are showing as a default. I rang Egg, one of the creditors, and was told that I still owed the money and it had to stay on file. I said that as it was showing as a live debt it was misleading shareholders. How is this legal and how is it remedied?

I also could not de-register from Credit Expert until my card expired.

LemonDifficult Wed 26-Oct-11 22:28:58

Hi Caroline

I signed up for a credit report from CreditExpert some time ago wanting my credit score. After the 'free trial' you started debiting £7.99 from my account every few months, without warning of email, etc. I tried to cancel my direct debit, but for some reason there wasn't one on my bank account. I rang the bank and they told me I couldn't cancel with them and they couldn't stop you taking money, I'd have to cancel with CreditExpert. So I went to CreditExpert's website to find out how to cancel and again, no details of how to cancel. I looked in FAQs but again no details. (What no one ever wants to cancel?!) In Contact Us, there is a number for general enquiries but I haven't done it yet as every time you've taken the money and I've seen it, I've not been in a position to call (my own disorganisation, I admit).

Why no normal direct debit? Given how hard you've made it to cancel your services, I have to assume you've worked out there are plenty of people out there just like me - disorganised with their admin - and these are the people who probably also have credit issues they need to get to the bottom of. What kind of customer service is that? It seems sly and opaque. My £7.99's are a tax on my admin skills but as it happens, I AM reasonably well organised, but there will be hundreds of vulnerable others who aren't.

Please, MN, I've no idea what makes CreditExpert 'trusted' but customer satisfaction focused, they ain't.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 27-Oct-11 00:55:28

This Q&A is now closed. Thanks for all your questions and comments which we'll be sending over to Caroline and we'll be linking through to her answers on 7th November.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Nov-11 17:15:51

Caroline's answers are now back and you can read the full Q&A here

Credit Rating Q&A

yellowflowers Fri 11-Nov-11 22:52:26

I can't click that link for some reason

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