Don’t assume your credit score is good!
You might pay your bills, fraudsters don’t!

Don’t assume your credit score is good!
You might pay your bills, fraudsters don’t!

Whether you are thinking about applying for credit or not, it’s never a bad time to check your credit score. Within this blog post we argue the case for staying on top of it.

Earlier this week we shared a blog post telling you where you can access your credit score for free. For many, your credit score is a bit like going to the dentist, until you need it, you kind of put it to the back of your mind. Research by Which? in 2018 showed that 47% of people had never checked their credit score and only 26% of people claiming they know what their credit score was. Don’t put your credit score at risk by not checking as it could hit you when you need it most.

That’s all well and good, but it’s always best to be proactive to ensure that when you need it, you aren’t going to be in for a shock. Whether it’s dental surgery or poor credit, both can cost you a lot of money!

Unfortunately there are lots of fraudsters that will try and obtain credit on your behalf. If you don’t take action to remedy these, they can stay on your account for years and have a detrimental impact on your credit rating. The longer a default is on your account, the worse you credit score gets.

Every year, as technology improves so too does the sophistication of the fraudsters, it might be the case you don’t even know fraudulent activity has occurred.

When it comes to your credit score it pays to be proactive, it can take months (if not years) to see significant improvement. Whilst you might assume that you pay all your bills on time, if there are bills you don’t know about that have defaulted it can drag you down and see you “declined” incorrectly when you most need it.

To help you stay on top of your credit score, there a few things you should know:

There are three major credit referencing agencies, Experian, Transunion and Equifax.

All of them compete for business with companies offering credit which means that there could be issues with Experian but NOT with Equifax.

Knowing this is important as if you are applying for credit you can ask which credit reference agency they use before making the application e.g. Santander uses Experian.

Use this blog post to sign up (for FREE!) for all three and take action to stay on top of your scores – many also give tips on how to improve your score (but don’t feel you have to have six credit cards if you don’t need it 😉).

Don’t assume the credit provider will remove fraudulent transactions from your file.

The credit provider takes the decision to add a default to your credit file and they have the decision whether to delete it. If you’ve been subject to a fraud, make sure that you get in writing that they have deleted it. If you push you can get the credit provider to have a fraudulent transaction to be deleted within 24 hours.

Speak to the fraud team of the credit provider, not the telesales advisor

If your identity has been subject to a fraud, don’t take the advice offered by telesales advisors – speak to the fraud team to get immediate resolution. A Quo employee was told by Grattan after reporting a fraud by the telesales advisor that it would take 2 years to remove, the compliance team said it took 28 days and the fraud team 24 hours.

Don’t take what you are told as gospel – push for the outcome you want!

Don’t assume that deleted defaults won’t be re-added in the future

Unfortunately after a credit provider has deleted a default, there is always a risk that it can reappear.

Taking the time to regularly check your file will ensure that you get the best possible outcomes and avoid issues down the line.

Keep an eye on your post from the postman

Fraudsters typically look to obtain credit with mail order providers that offer lower levels of credit (typically £100 or less) without doing many of the more sophisticated checks done for larger amounts.

Being that this is the case, make sure you open all of your mail. If you don’t recognise a retailer it’s quite easy to assume that mail with a logo you don’t recognise could be junk mail but might be final demands. Be vigilant.

Check your transactions regularly via online and mobile banking

It’s a good thing to check your account transactions every month to spot small transactions that might slip through but could be the identifier for obtaining larger credit balances.

Request that your bank statements are only sent electronically (or use Quo Money)

Aside from helping to save the planet 🌍, it’s good practice to have your statements delivered digitally. This way you aren’t subject to someone intercepting your post and using this information to obtain even more credit fraudulently.

Quo Money aggregates all of your transactions into one place to help you stay on top of them across multiple accounts. You can view them either as a big list, in our sleek calendar view of filtered by specific account depending on your financial makeup. Want to find out more, why not sign up to our wait list?

If you’ve had any issues with your credit file we’d love to hear from you by emailing us at social-media@quo.money. We’d love to hear your story.