How can I fix my credit report so I can get my mortgage?

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Q I have recently had an offer accepted on a new house. As a result, I am attempting to port and increase my current mortgage. The loan amount is being increased to an amount that I can comfortably afford. When speaking to a mortgage adviser, it would not allow them to process as there was a problem with the credit check. Having investigated, it seems that while my Experian credit report is perfect, my Equifax score is terrible, largely because it is missing almost all the information. It lists both myself and my husband as not on the electoral roll and having no credit cards or a mortgage. I am trying to rectify this but wondered if you know a way in which this can be worked around? This will very quickly become an issue and I am a little concerned as to how my credit report could be so nonsensical.

A First, thank you for providing a timely reminder that it is always wise to check your report at each of the three main credit reference agencies (CRAs) – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) – before you apply for any kind of credit. But even if you are not planning to apply for a credit card, mortgage, personal loan or mobile phone contract any time soon, Which? suggests that you should check your reports at each of the three CRAs at least once a year.

Checking your credit reports well in advance of applying means you have time to get any mistakes corrected or – if the CRA doesn’t amend your record – you have a chance to add what is known as a “note of correction” of up to 200 words, explaining why you think a particular piece of information is wrong. The reason for checking your report with all three CRAs is that lenders don’t always share the same information with them all, so there can be differences between credit reports held at different agencies.

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This may explain why your Equifax report is quite so lacking in information about you but it may just be one of those random administrative blips. Whatever the reason, “if you find any inaccurate information on your Equifax credit report”, says the Equifax website, “you have the right to challenge it” – which you can do by going to “Any data on your credit report,” Equifax says, “is subject to the Data Protection Act, which means we [Equifax] have an obligation to ensure the information is accurate and up to date – something we take very seriously.”

All three CRAs allow you to access your statutory credit report online for free. With Equifax and TransUnion, you get to see your report straight away. With Experian, you only get to look at it once you’ve received a passkey in the post.

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