A third of us find mistakes on our credit report

17 December 2014

More than a third of British consumers who checked their credit report in the last two years have discovered mistakes, new research has found.

The most common errors include the wrong products, such as credit cards, listed (39%), the wrong address (23%) and even the wrong name of the bank or company providing credit (18%).

Errors on a credit report can lead to people not being approved for the interest rates they've applied for - or even being turned down completely.

According to uSwitch, a quarter of people (25%) have experienced this, with 26% turning to more expensive forms of borrowing such as payday lenders, while a fifth (20%) take out credit cards with a higher rate of interest than they were expecting.

Consumers are also unaware of how credit decisions are made. Only 38% of people said they were told by the lender why they were refused credit, while 34% of people refused were given no explanation at all.

While the proportion of consumers who have experienced errors equates to five million people, and a further 15 million have never bothered to check their report at all.

Difficult debt

David Mann, head of money at uSwitch.com, said: "If your report contains errors, you can quickly find yourself rejected for credit.  As a result, the research shows many consumers are turning to more costly forms of obtaining credit and can end up with debt that's difficult to manage.
"We perhaps place too much blind faith in credit reference agencies to maintain accurate data about us, when mistakes are almost inevitable. But the process to correct these errors is lengthy and complicated."

He added: "The problem is further compounded by there being multiple credit agencies so the incorrect information held about us could be included in more than one report. This makes it harder for consumers to know where to turn."

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