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Bad Credit Rating - Getting Out The Mess

Aug 17, 2007
It sounds like a terrible diagnosis - you've got a poor, bad or adverse credit score - as far as a mortgage goes, surely now nobody would touch you with a bargepole?

In fact poor or bad credit is not the end of the world. Up to one in four people are turned down when they apply for credit - and the reasons why can be more complicated than you might think. Let's look at the reasons why your mortgage application may have been rejected.

Credit Reference

There are three main agencies in the UK that provide credit references, or credit checks on individuals. These agencies provide information on previous credit agreements, such as credit cards and loans, plus any County Court Judgements on your file (CCJs). Normally when you sign the credit agreement you give consent to the agency passing on the information. CCJs are registered automatically and will remain on your file for 6 years. You can request a copy of your 'statutory credit file' from these agencies, and by law they cannot charge more than 2 for sending the information to you. Contact:

Callcredit plc on 0870 060 1414
Equifax plc on 0870 010 2091
Experian Ltd on 0870 241 6212

You'll need to give your name, date of birth, and all addresses for the past six years. If you are a business owner, give the business details too as this may provide other information.

Credit Scoring

Credit scoring differs from your credit file - banks and lenders use this point-scoring system to assess how much of a risk lending to you would represent. In fact, this is a fairly vague system, and apparently subject to secret processes that the banks are loathe to disclose. The criteria they use to assess your application includes things like how long you have been on the electoral register, how many times you have moved recently, how many jobs you've been through in the past few years, and how often you've applied for credit.

There are also some rather peculiar cases that get turned down - such as people that have never been in debt, ever. If you've never had a credit card, loan or overdraft, this may actually count against you, as the more credit requests you have accepted, the happier the lender is to consider you a safe bet. In addition, people with unusual occupations may be turned down - regardless of their income.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for the Credit Card Guide, offering views on credit cards in the UK, visit them today for some great 0% balance transfer offers and start clearing credit card debt today.
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