If you’re reading this, most likely you have a TotallyMoney account and you have already checked your credit report and credit score. If you haven’t got one yet, don’t worry. You can sign-up for yours in less than five minutes. It’s totally free, forever!
Regardless of whether you have a high or a low credit score, your next thought will be: how can I improve it? Part of the answer lies in your past. It’s the information contained in your credit report that records where you live, if you have paid your bills and whether you’ve been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. The credit score is a calculation based on that information and it’s an attempt to break down the complexity of your credit report into a single number. Fundamentally, your past, as seen through the lenses of your credit report, dictates the value of your credit score and this is a very important first step to improve it.
Think of the credit score as a scale measuring what’s good and bad about your credit report
Time is on your side
The other part of the answer on how to improve your credit score lies in your future. Knowing the value of your score and the negative factors affecting it can be a powerful insight on the kind of problems that you want to avoid. You see, something very interesting will happen to the bad stuff on the scale above. It will get lighter and lighter with time until it’s completely gone! And this isn’t magic, it’s just how the credit score works.
Stay tuned for part II of this blog post. I’ll tell you about the incredible effects of time on your credit report.
But for now, let’s talk about that bad stuff affecting your credit score and, more importantly, what you can do about it today! To do that we first need to understand how that bad stuff ended up in your credit report.
Check your report regularly
That information comes directly from banks, building societies and other organisations, such as local authorities and gets sent to credit reference agencies (CRAs). TransUnion is the CRA that TotallyMoney has partnered with to get the necessary information to generate your credit report.
It’s highly recommended that you check your credit report at least once a month to keep track of your credit score and of your data. You should look carefully at all the details because it’s not uncommon for credit reports to contain errors and, depending on the error, they can have a significant impact on your score and on your ability to get credit. The good news is that you can raise a dispute of those errors with the CRA and, if the error is confirmed, they can make the necessary amendment to your credit report.
But, for us at TotallyMoney, this isn’t good enough. We believe that raising a dispute should be a simple and painless process for our customers. That’s why we have worked with TransUnion to create a brand new dispute system built directly onto the credit report. It can be as simple as a click on the element that contains the error. You confirm that you want to raise a dispute and it gets sent in real-time to TransUnion that will check the accuracy of that element and it will come back to you with an answer.
Anything from inaccurate late payments to accounts that aren’t yours or maybe even a falsely reported bankruptcy could mistakenly end up on your credit report. These are the types of disputes that you can raise:
- Financial accounts
- Aliases (1)
- Financial associations (2)
- Search history (3)
- Electoral roll
- Bankruptcies & insolvencies
- Judgments (4)
We are on a mission to help you take control of your finances, and helping you to fix errors in your credit report is just one example of this. You can expect more coming soon.
(1) An alias is any name other than the one you use at present that you have been previously known as
(2) Any financial connections you have with other people
(3) Searches that have been made on your credit file through TransUnion within the last 24 months
(4) A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a type of court order that might be issued if you fail to pay money that you owe. CCJs can seriously limit your chances of getting credit