Credit Scoring

I read the thread on identity theft with interest.

Some of the exploits discussed by FS has also resulted in service personnels personal details ending up in terrorist intelligence files.

Conversely I and a few others have been ex directory and off the electoral rolls for a number of years.

Domestic bills are in maiden names etc.

The consequence of this is difficulty in getting new credit arrangements, loans & cards.

Has anyone :

1.  Had similar experiences?

2.  Found a solution or compromise that allows you to retain some degree of domestic anonymity?

At least we don't get our identity stolen.  My wife's ex bill, it does happen.

As Gerry Adams said " they have'nt gone away you know"  and I sense that there may me some new challenges ahead?


Credit rating is a nightmare for people who move house frequently.  It makes it even worse when you have served overseas.  When I returned from overseas many companies would not touch me because I had not resided in the UK for the last 3 years.  If you have this problem speak to the manager and explain your circumstances.  If you get nowhere then you can always go to your bank, however, their interest rates are often higher than other well known companies.

Speak to CAB, they may be able to help! :-/
I have a complete guide to credit rating issues - will post it later today.
It is a sobering thought. Somewhere, there is at least one file all about every financial move we have made. It may even contain financial information about our parents, children, spouse, flatmates, neighbours or a complete stranger. It is our credit rating file.

Britain's two credit reference agencies, Equifax and Experian, collect literally millions of records about us and our finances every month. They are sent information from financial institutions plus shops and commercial businesses which are licensed to offer consumer credit (such as mobile phone companies).

The credit reference agencies do not make any judgements themselves about your credit-worthiness. They collate and issue information to and from credit issuers and lenders.

This will typically contain your current address and all previous addresses, confirmation that your name and current address appear on the electoral roll and a record of all your past and present applications for loans and credit (and whether or not they were successful), information about arrears, defaults, county court judgements and bankruptcy.

It may also include similar information about your spouse and possibly your parents and any adult children or flatmates. Lenders claim that this often indicates how much financial pressure you are under or that children will learn bad credit habits from parents. Shocking stuff. The good news is that you can get your mitts on the files and make sure that any inaccuracies are deleted. You can also 'disassociate' yourself from a crooked flatmate or parents with expensive habits.

When you consider that there are currently over 100 million credit, debit, charge and storecards sloshing around Britain, it makes sense to have some kind of central point of information so that lenders can make responsible judgements.

But surveys show that one in 10 credit records are inaccurate. Barry Conroy of Equifax says: "Mistakes do happen. With 165 million records coming in every month, it is inevitable".

Experian is fed up with customers being told that the files are the problem, when more often it is their genuinely poor history or the lender's judgement. It is pushing for wider use of the Guide to Credit Scoring which came into force in March 2000 but which has so far not been applied wholeheartedly. The guidelines require a lender to explain why they have declined their application - but only if the applicant asks. It is time to get a copy of your credit reference files.

One million people per year apply to see their files. And because details sent to credit reference agencies by lenders will vary in level of detail, it is important to get your credit file from both to make sure that you are not being hampered by the black marks destined for someone else, possibly with a similar name. Or penalised for applications or defaults which have never occurred.

Research reveals 23% of people aged between 18 and 65 would have credit applications rejected by UK banks and building societies. A so called 'credit underclass' of more than 8million people in Britain (1 in 5) are blacklisted and cannot use plastic or take up any kind of credit agreements. It is thought that this has come about as a result of automated credit scoring techniques used by lenders and many of these are turning to loan sharks and facing interest charges of up to 300%.

This is why US card issuers Providian and Capital One are enjoying increasing success in the UK. Their offers are geared to borrowers with poor credit records. They often have a low credit limit - such as £250 - which is gradually raised if the card is used responsibly. They make their money from high APRs, knowing that their customers have very limited choice.

Too much credit can be a problem - one bank takes a dim view of anyone applying for more than one card per month. On the other hand, having no credit at all is just as off-putting for some lenders.

And a high salary is no guarantee of getting credit - earning a six-figure sum is unlikely to make a difference if you are not on the electoral roll. Of course the lenders are not keen to share their credit scoring criteria with the public.

Unless you have any obvious financial horrors such as bankruptcy, you should be half way there if you appear on the electoral roll. This is supposedly the main way in which a firm can tell if you have a permanent address and will not run off with its money.

Next steps

To get a copy of your credit files, send a cheque or postal order for £2.00 to the following credit reference agencies, including your full name and details of your addresses over the last six years plus moving dates. Sign and date the application. Alternatively, click on the related links below and print off the pro-formas from each credit reference agency.

Remember, it is advisable to apply for BOTH records as the agencies may have been given different information.

Equifax Plc, PO Box 3001, Glasgow, G81 2DT. 08705 783783
Experian Ltd, PO Box 8000, Nottingham, NG18 5GX. 0115 976 8747

Or you can order online and pay by credit or debit card:

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