Credit reference agencies are here to help, and claim to “investigate” any information you report to them as incorrect. The video below from Experian who are the largest UK credit reference agency is very simple to understand, but it is also important to know what credit reference agencies actually do to investigate the information when you dispute it.
An investigation makes you believe they will investigate it, right? Wrong! This is misleading as there is no real “investigation” that takes place if you dispute something such as a mysterious default on your file.
What The Credit Reference Agencies Investigation Involves:
From our research the agency asks the lender or company who has reported the information if it’s correct. If the company says YES, that’s it case closed, investigation over!
See how the term “investigate” is misleading?
No real investigation has taken place. If the police investigate a murder and have a prime suspect, if they ask him “did you do it?” and he says “no”, is that it?
The agencies believe that marking the information as unreliable is sufficient to protect themselves from claims, including those for compensation. But it is NOT. The marker they place is swiftly removed shortly after they are told it’s correct by the lender, no proof, no further questions. The Information Commissioners Office also makes it very clear this action is not sufficient to protect credit reference agencies from claims, yet they still don’t do anymore.
So what do they do?
In essence they just take the lenders work over yours and investigate nothing. You then have the arduous task of battling with the company who reported the information to get it put right. This really isn’t easy, and can take Months or in some cases Years to even get a reply. Mistakes happen and not everyone is honest, not even in the credit and finance industry… ever heard of a dodgy banker?
This “investigation” is no such thing and credit reference agencies need to make it clearer that what they do is:
- Just ask the company who reported the data
- Close the case.
- Remove the “dispute marker”
Both Experian and Equifax have almost the exact procedure.
Any dispute is all heavily weighed in the businesses favor despite experian’s comments that:
“Experian believes that there is a natural and important balance of interests between the needs of people, businesses and the credit industry in this process, and we’re committed to ensuring that the balance is maintained. We make every effort to keep people’s’ needs in balance with the needs of businesses.”
Some respect must go to experian for making information more accessible than equifax, but it’s mostly just sales talk and business spiel on their website, when you look for actual “information” it doesn’t exist or is impossible to find.
Credit reference agencies are a business, they exist to make a profit and that IS the bottom line. Do they really care about an individuals credit report? Or are the more interested in making money from your £14.99 a Month, and by charging companies to look at your file before making credit decisions?