What is a Credit Reference Agency (CRA)
A Credit Reference Agency is a company who provide information to lenders before they will provide a consumer with credit. The information that they will provide will help the lender to assess whether to lend to a person and also to help prevent the lenders from falling victim to fraud. The lender will use the information provided to help assess whether the person is likely to repay the money they have requested to borrow. They will look at previous credit agreements, income and current credit commitments.
CRAs will not make a decision on whether to lend to a consumer, the decision is down to the lender, however they will use the information provided by the Credit Reference Agency to help them measure the creditworthiness of the applicant. Past and present credit agreements and repayment history (inclusive of outstanding balances) will be provided to the lender.
Each time you apply for credit with a lender reporting to the TrueTime® database a ‘footprint’ will be logged onto your credit file and a record will be created.
How to improve your credit report
There are some key tips to help to improve your Credit Report these include;
- Keeping up with repayments
If you want a good credit score it is vital to maintain a good repayment history, lenders will look at whether your payments were made on time and if the amount you made was sufficient to cover the minimum payments. Missed repayments suggest that you may have struggled to manage credit in the past and may pose a risk to the lender. Missed payments will remain on your credit report for six years so if you have missed a payment it may take a long time to improve your credit score.
- Register to Vote
Lenders may use electoral information as a way of verifying your address so registering to vote will help to improve your credit report.
- Close unused accounts
It is more beneficial to have fewer, well managed accounts, so if you are not using an account close it.
- Build a Credit History
If you do not have a credit history it will be difficult for lenders to assess your creditworthiness, and to make a decision on whether you will be able to manage/ repay borrowings.
- Keep a Close Eye on your Credit Report
It is important to know what information is held in your credit file to ensure that there are no mistakes/ errors on there. If you do not monitor your credit report and there is a mistake this could have an impact on any credit that you may apply for and it could be declined based on incorrect information. If you spot an error on your credit report please see the information further down this page (Data Disputes) on how to get this information corrected.
Subject Access Request
Consumers have the right to request their data file from any Credit Reference Agency at the cost of £2.00. Should you wish to obtain your Credit Data File from LendingMetrics, all Subject Access Requests must be in writing to the below address (the request must include your full name, address and proof of identity). Alternatively LendingMetrics provides an option of completing a SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST form which should also be sent to the below address;
Please ensure that you include a cheque for £2.00 made payable to Perfect Data Solutions Limited. It may be useful to you to keep a copy of your letter and send it by recorded delivery. If we need more information in order to complete your request we will contact you accordingly.
Consumer data disputes
Sometimes incorrect or out of date information may appear on your credit report, if this happens you should follow the steps below in order to get this resolved.
- Step 1
Contact the creditor or lender and request that they correct the information. Most companies have processes in place for this.
- Step 2
If the issue is not resolved then you can contact LendingMetrics directly and request the information is corrected using the CONSUMER DATA DISPUTE form.
If you find an error you may wish to contact the other credit reference agencies as they may also hold incorrect information.
Our objective is to provide a high standard of service to you at all times. However, we recognise that things can sometimes go wrong. When this occurs, we are committed to resolving matters promptly. If you wish to make a complaint about our service you can contact us in one of the following ways:
- By telephoning 00 44 (0) 845 544 2823 between 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
- In writing to the Managing Director, Neil Williams, LendingMetrics, LendingMetrics, 1650 Parkway,
Whiteley, Fareham, Hampshire, PO15 7AH.
- By e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
If we are unable to deal with your complaint within three working days we will write to you within 5 days of receipt and inform you who is dealing with the complaint and when you can next expect a response.
If we believe the matter is the responsibility of another firm, either in whole or part, we will refer your complaint to that firm (or the part of your complaint they are responsible for), and inform you of this in writing. We will provide you with the other firm’s contact details, who will then assume responsibility for your complaint.
We aim to conclude our investigations promptly. However, in some circumstances our investigations may take some time, and we will keep you fully informed. This means that we will write to you as soon as we have concluded our investigation. If we are not able to reach a decision within 8 weeks, we will write to you again, either;
- concluding our investigation, or;
- advising you of when we expect to be able to conclude our investigation, or;
When we conclude your complaint we will write to you, giving you our “Final Response”. This will tell you if we have upheld or rejected your complaint (in whole or in part), and if appropriate we will make an offer of redress.
On receipt of our Final Response, or if your complaint remains unresolved after 8 weeks of initially telling us, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman if you are:
- a consumer (i.e. any natural person acting for purposes outside his trade, business or profession) or if you are;
- a micro enterprise, (i.e. an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 persons and has a turnover or annual balance sheet that does not exceed €2 million. In this definition, “enterprise” means any person engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of legal form and includes, in particular, self-employed persons and family businesses engaged in craft or other activities, and partnerships or associations regularly engaged in an economic activity), or;
- a charity with an annual income of less than £1m, or
- the trustee of a trust with a net assets value of less than £1m.
We will advise you as soon as your complaint becomes eligible for referral to the Financial Ombudsman.
Further details of the FOS can be obtained from www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk