In the last couple of days I wrote about how I went to a bank to apply for a small business loan, and got shot down because of a 'mark' on my credit history, not knowing what this was I decided to research this in more detail and find out exactly what was going on. Unsurprisingly, the result was the usual corporate banking fail whale.
The Credit Report
So the first thing I did was pay a quick visit to Experian, the site says 'as seen on tv' so they must be good. I signed up with them, which was free(ish) - you pay unless you cancel within 30 days. I put in a load of details, and then had to wait for a PIN number to be sent to me by post to verify my address, this arrived within 48 hours and I was good to go!
So I logged in, and did all the verification stuff and 'viewed my online credit report'. Unsurprisingly everything was green, no late payments, no nothing - as I expected. But then I delved a little deeper through the accordian menus to see more details on all of my accounts and I found the root of the problem and the reason for being denied credit when I was at the bank!
Here's what I saw:
The green ones mean you're up to date with payments and there are no problems at all, and well... here's what the yellow and red ones mean:
Now the problem with this is that the account in question is a student account with an interest free overdraft facility that does not have any mandatory payment plan! I've had the account for years and not really used it at all! However aside from the fact that there can't be any late payments, cause there were no payments in the first place - the account is also marked as up-to-date again for the most recent month of activity - and I haven't used it?
There's one more issue here, which is that that the red boxes (4, 5, 6) say that the bank has been in contact and agreed new repayments with me! I haven't received a single letter, phonecall, or email from them - not one!
I need to get this cleared up, and not just because I'm applying for a small business loan but because I do actually need a good financial record for the future regardless of that I do. So I called up Natwest, and they said I would have to take the matter up with the credit report company (fair enough) so I phoned them up thismorning and spoke to a really nice man called Guy, who said that they would put through a reques to Natwest to verify the error, and then send me an email with the result.
Although he said it could take up to 6 weeks, I'm confident that this will all be cleared up relatively quickly and easily! (I'll keep you updated)