Want a good credit card deal? Then fix your credit rating
By AdFeatures | Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 16:33
It is easy to find the credit cards that provide the lowest interest rates and best all round deals, all you need do to find them is to compare credit cards using a comparison website, but finding the best deal does not mean that you will qualify for it; the best deals are reserved for customers with the best credit ratings.
So what can you do if you think that your credit rating is not what it might be? The first thing to do is to find out what it actually is. Credit ratings and credit histories are available from the major credit rating agencies which are Equifax, Experian and Callcredit. These can be obtained by post for £2.00 or online for either the same or just a little more depending on the agency. You should bear in mind that each agency is independent and they may hold different details, so if you want to be certain then it is advisable to check with all three.
If there are problems then there are a number of things that you can do about them. There are many companies that offer to clean up your credit history for a fee, but these are not really worth the money. They can do nothing that you can’t do yourself, so you might was well save the money. The first thing to do is to correct any errors in your credit history. You can report errors to the credit agencies along with a request that they correct them; this can be done either online or by post.
Next you should try to get rid of any reported defaults. If they are correctly reported, getting rid of them might be difficult. You will need to contact the company that has reported the default and agree to settle any outstanding debts on the basis that when you do so the default will be removed from your credit file. If this fails, then you should settle the debt anyway and post a Notice of Correction to your file. In this you should state the cause of the problem and what you have done about it.
If you believe that you are being treated unfairly by a previous creditor, then you should contact the Ombudsman stating the problem and detailing the attempts that you have made to resolve it. If the Ombudsman decides in your favour, then he will contact the creditor and request that they remove the default from your record.
However, if you have any CCJs (county court judgements) in the last five years, you will not be able to remove any reference to them for a period of six years, however you can remove the actual CCJ once its terms have been met, for instance you have settled to debt in full. You will need to request that the CCJ is set aside. You must write to the clerk of the court that issued the CCJ and enclose confirmation that the judgement was settled, which should include a letter of confirmation provided by the creditor. The clerk will then set the CCJ aside and confirm to you that it has done so. Once you have this confirmation you will need to send copies of it to the credit reference agencies.
It will take around a month for it to be cleared, so you should that it has and delay any further credit applications until you have this confirmation.