This report explains the information shown on your credit file and explains how to correct any details that you feel need updating.
Understanding your file
Any queries you have concerning Northern Ireland judgments should be sent to the Enforcement of Judgments Office, 7th Floor, Bedford House, 16/22 Bedford Street, Belfast BT2 7DS.
These codes show, for the last 12 months (or for the last 12 months of the life of a closed account), whether you have paid according to the terms of your contract and, if not, by how many payments you were behind.
Information about other people
Information about other people may be recorded on your credit file because the finances of people living in the same household are often linked. If another person’s financial details are recorded on your file and you share no financial link, you may wish to request that we delete the information from your file. To do so, please send us a request in writing providing your full name and the full name of the other person, the addresses you have shared and your relationship, if any, to that person. However, if any financial connection does exist between you and the other person, such as a joint account, we will not be able to remove the information.
Electoral Roll details, in other names, will be retained whether or not a financial connection exists.
The Electoral Roll is published each February, using information supplied by the public to their local authorities. We hold copies of this from 1980 onwards to help lenders confirm the identity of applicants and check that the addresses given on application forms are correct. Lenders will often ask for your addresses over the last six years in order to build up as full a picture as possible of your previous credit applications and account history.
The date shown for you when you left a previous address may not always be correct. This is because local authorities have different policies for updating the Electoral Roll. In order not to prejudice people whose names are accidentally missing from the Electoral Roll, we only close an entry when the new occupants register. If your date of moving is incorrect, please let us know.
Records of money judgments in the county court are held by us for six years from the date of judgment. The information is supplied to us by Registry Trust, an independent organisation established by the Lord Chancellor’s Department. Registry Trust’s address is 173-175 Cleveland Street, London W1P 5PE.
We do not receive information about the identity of the plaintiff. For this you will need to contact the county court concerned. Judgments that are paid in full within one month are deleted from our records, providing that a Certificate of Satisfaction is obtained from the court. Judgments paid in full after one month, where a Certificate of Satisfaction has been obtained, remain on our records as ‘satisfied’. Scottish courts do not issue Certificates of Satisfaction. If you have paid off a Scottish Decree, you should send Registry Trust a receipt or letter of confirmation from your creditor, the pursuer.
If your file contains information on English or Welsh judgments or Scottish Decrees which you consider to be inaccurate, you should write to Registry Trust enclosing the statutory search fee of £4.50. They will contact us directly with any amendment.
Individual voluntary arrangements
We hold details of bankruptcies and voluntary arrangements. These are obtained from the official Gazettes and Insolvency Service, and are held for six years. If a bankruptcy is annulled or discharged, or a voluntary arrangement is completed, we will amend our records on receipt of documentary evidence. Queries regarding bankruptcy information should be addressed to the Official Receiver who originally dealt with your case. Queries about voluntary arrangements should be addressed to the supervisor of the individual arrangement.
A database of customer accounts is maintained by us on behalf of lenders. It contains details of accounts that have been active in the last six years. Some lenders provide information only on customers who have failed to meet their obligations. These records are known as ‘defaults’.
Others provide information throughout the life of a customer account.
Account information is valuable in assessing a customer’s ability to manage his or her finances. We enable lenders to share this information in order to help identify good payers, as well as those who are already over-committed.
If your file contains account records there will be a set of up to 12 status codes for each account, such as STATUS 010100000UUU.
Other lenders need to know whether you have made your payments to the terms originally agreed. Arrangements to pay reduced payments will therefore not necessarily be recorded. Similarly, arrangements to pay after a default has been recorded will not lead to the default record being removed.
The most recent status code is on the left and the oldest on the right of your file.
In addition, beside each account there may be the entry ‘Number of status 1-2’ and ‘Number of Status 3+’. These identify how many times payments have been either up to two payments late or three or more payments late since the account was opened (or in the last 36 months if this is shorter).
Status Code Meaning
- 0 Payment to date.
- 1 Payment up to one payment late.
- 2 Payment up to two months late.
- 3 Payment up to three months late.
- 4 Payment up to four months late.
- 5 Payment up to five months late.
- 6 Payment up to six or more months late.
- U Account status unclassified.
- ? Account details not updated that month.
- D Account inactive or dormant that month.
- 8 or 9 Account defaulted.
The customer has failed to meet his or her contractual obligations and has not responded satisfactorily to requests that the account be put in order. As a result the contract has been deemed terminated. Where appropriate action may have been taken subsequently to obtain payment of some or all of the amount. Some or all of the amount may have been paid.
Understanding your file
Banks classify accounts as delinquent that are three months in arrears for two consecutive months, or are more than three months in arrears.
If the account is already closed the record will show the status code for up to three years before the close date. Where the status codes relate to a current account they may indicate, for example, that there has been unauthorised overdrawing, that cheques or direct debits have been ‘bounced’ or that no money has been paid into an account that has been overdrawn for one or more months. In addition to status codes, some lenders may also provide one of the following classifications on a customer record:
Deceased – customer has been reported as deceased.
Gone away – lender has reported that the customer is no longer at the address given.
Recourse – lender has reported that the account has been transferred to the dealer or retailer who introduced the customer.
Voluntary termination – lender has reported that the account has been terminated under Section 99 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
Arrangement to pay – lender has agreed to vary the amount of payments from the customer for a period of time.
Debt management programme – lender has reported that the account has been included in a debt management programme organised by, for example, a Citizens Advice Bureau or Consumer Credit Counselling Service.
Credit protection insurance claim – customer has made a claim under a credit protection insurance policy.
Account query – lender as reported that the customer has queried the accuracy of this information. If the outstanding balance on a defaulted account is not up-to-date, please ask the lender to tell us so that we may update it.
Use of the term ‘credit sale’ includes both hire purchase and conditional sale agreements.
Customer records are held by us on behalf of lenders. If you think there are any inaccuracies that might adversely affect your ability to obtain credit, you should write to the lender concerned.
Members of the Council of Mortgage Lenders record information on customers whose homes have been repossessed or surrendered voluntarily. The information may include the address of the repossessed property, the address from which the application for the mortgage was made and the address to which the customer has moved.
We maintain a record of applications for credit and enquiries we receive from lenders. Although both types of searches appear on your credit file, only records relating to credit applications will be seen by lenders. This information helps to identify unusual activity, which may indicate fraud or over-commitment.
Information on previous enquiries is held for one year.
Associations and aliases
Associations will be recorded on your file if we have been advised of a joint account, joint judgment or application for finance. The file will show when and how the connection was created. We may have a record of other names by which you have been known if we have been notified further to information provided to a lender.
If you believe details of an association or an alias to be incorrect, please advise us of the circumstances and we will be pleased to investigate the matter and make any appropriate amendment.
You may find a record of any previous or forwarding addresses on your credit reference file. Links are created by the movement of account information or as a result of previous addresses being searched by a lender.
Gone away information network
We are members of the Gone Away Information Network (GAIN), in which lenders share information on customers with debts who have moved home without providing a forwarding
address. The information may include both the original address and the address at which the customer has subsequently been recorded.
CIFAS – Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System
Members of CIFAS provide information about suspected frauds. Only members of the scheme can see CIFAS flags.
Details include the name of the subscribing member and a contact. An explanation of the category of fraud is also included.
An individual must never be automatically refused on the basis of a CIFAS record. The rules of CIFAS require a member to fully investigate the situation before making a decision. If you are a member of CIFAS and a customer has a query about information subscribed by you, you should follow the guidelines issued by CIFAS.