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We’ve listed below some of the Frequently Asked Questions, which we hope will be of help to you.

Who is CreditKey.uk?

CreditKey.uk is a reporting service that retrieves information from a UK Credit Reference Agency. Credit reference agencies give lenders a range of information about potential borrowers, which lenders use to make their decisions. The information shared may include information about your previous credit history. They hold certain information about most adults in the UK. This information is called your credit reference file or credit report.

How can I contact CreditKey.uk?

If you are a current Member of CreditKey.uk, you can contact our Customer Services team on: 0330 124 3541.

How do I cancel my account?

To cancel, please call our Customer Services team on: 0330 124 3541.

Credit accounts explained

Credit account information shows the details of your credit agreements with lenders.

Most of the UK's major lenders have agreed to share details of their customers' credit agreements with the Credit Reference Agencies. When you apply for credit, you provide the lender with permission to check your credit profile with the Credit Reference Agencies. This helps them to decide whether you can afford to take the new credit and whether you are likely to maintain the payments on any credit agreement you take out.

Credit Reference Agencies can only change the account details they hold with the lender's permission.

How can I find out my Credit Score?

Our online service CreditKey.uk is where you can obtain your Credit Score online. This service will allow you to see what your Credit Score is based solely upon the information recorded on your CreditKey.uk Credit Report.

First-time customers of the CreditKey.uk service will be able to take advantage of a 14-day trial period. If you would like to take advantage of this service, then feel free to visit the CreditKey.uk homepage and click on the ‘See your Score Now’ button.

How is my Credit Score calculated?

Your Credit Score is based upon your credit history as recorded. This is the information included in your Credit Report. You can use your Credit Score to see how your credit history might influence a lending decision.

A higher score suggests that you will probably find it easier to borrow money or buy goods on credit. It is only a guide to help you see how your Credit Report information may affect a lender's credit decision. It does not a guarantee that you will be successful when applying for credit.

Several factors are taken into account when calculating your Credit Score. These include the total amount you owe across your accounts, the number of accounts you hold and whether or not you have missed any payments. Missing payments will impact your score as it can indicate to a lender that you may have difficulty making payments in the future.

Opening several new accounts in a short space of time can also affect your score as it may mean that you are taking out too much credit, which could lead to difficulties when you make repayments.

Being on the electoral roll can also help your Credit Score as being at one address for a period of time usually indicates stability to lenders.

Can anyone see my credit information?

Your personal credit information is private and confidential. Only authorised organisations such as lenders and Credit Reference Agencies can view it.

Lenders can see only information similar to that which they provide to the Credit Reference Agencies and they follow strict rules about what they can use the data for.

Can lenders see or use my Credit Score?

Lenders do not have access to or use your Credit Score. This information is only accessible by you as a guide to help you understand your credit profile. When you apply for credit, the lender will assess your application based on the most recent information on your Credit Report. Any old information that has since changed will not be seen by the lender during the assessment.

Lenders use a combination of the following to help them make their lending decision:

  • Information supplied by you when you apply.
  • Data supplied by a Credit Reference Agency which help lenders check if you're on the electoral roll at your current address, if you've paid your credit commitments on time, and if you have insolvencies or County Court Judgements.
  • Information about any existing accounts you already have with the lender.
  • Their own policies and rules.
  • CreditKey.uk can show you the information they hold (this is what lenders access when running a search on you) but only the lender can give you a definite reason for declining you.

Why have I been refused for credit?

A Credit Score is a number that reflects the likelihood of someone making repayments. A high score means they are more likely to offer you credit, however it is not an assurance that you will or won't be granted credit. Each Credit Reference Agency has their own version of a credit score so the credit score used to assess your application will depend on which Credit Reference Agency the lender is using.

Is there a credit blacklist?

No, there is no such thing as a blacklist. Credit Reference Agencies don't hold blacklists relating to people or properties. They provide lenders with factual information about individuals at the addresses they have lived at.

Some of my account information is wrong. How do I get it changed?

If you think that any of the details on your report are incorrect, then you should contact the organisation or lender involved. If they agree that the information is inaccurate, they can make the necessary amendment or ask the Credit Reference Agency to update your file.

Please note that account balances are updated every 4–6 weeks. So, if the balance shown on your Credit Report doesn't reflect the actual balance there's no need to contact the lender unless you believe the balance is more than 4–6 weeks out of date. However, in some instances it can take 12 weeks for the data to be updated, so only contact us if you think that there is an error on your report.

How long does a default stay on my report?

A record is held of all the defaulted accounts for a period of six years from the date the lender decided that you had broken the terms of agreement (the ‘default' date). The lender may have already informed you about your account’s status and whether it is treated as a defaulted account. The current balance on a defaulted account should show whether payments have been made since the default or if the account is now being paid fully.

Why is a paid Judgement still on my report?

If the judgement is paid more than one month after the original judgement, it can be marked as Satisfied on your file. You just need to send a Credit Reference Agency the relevant Certificate of Satisfaction. The judgement will still remain on your file for six years from the judgement date but lenders will be able to see that the amount has been paid.

A judgement is only removed in the following circumstances:

  • If paid within one month.
  • If six years have passed since the original court case.
  • If the case is taken back to the court and set aside.
  • An insurance company was responsible for the debt and you can produce evidence of this from them.

What is a Notice of Correction?

If your Credit Score has been affected by something that you feel was unavoidable, you have the chance to explain this with a Notice of Correction. A Notice of Correction is a short explanatory note (up to 200 words) that you can add to an entry on your Credit Report to explain the background to that information. It's your opportunity to put your point across to lenders when they're considering you for credit worthiness. A Notice of Correction can slow down any future credit applications you make, as lenders are obliged to read it before making their decision.

After you've signed up for your Credit Report, write to a Credit Reference Agency with the wording you would like to add to your file. You must include your full name and address and your login email address. Please remember that the Notice of Correction cannot be more than 200 words long, defamatory, libellous, incorrect or frivolous.

How often is credit account information updated?

Lenders usually update their records with a Credit Reference Agency every month. However, in some circumstances it takes up to 12 weeks for data to be updated.

How can I improve my chances of getting credit?

Lenders are looking for evidence that you're able to repay existing credit on time. So it's important that you pay your bills and credit agreements on time. By reviewing your Credit Report, you can regularly check that your credit file is accurate and up to date.

You should always provide accurate, truthful and complete information on any credit application forms. If you leave anything out or don't give the true picture, it could affect your ability to get credit in the future.

  • Avoid credit repair companies as they cannot do anything that you can do yourself for free. They cannot remove a Court Judgement or Default from your credit profile unless the data is incorrect. If you think there is an error on your report you should contact the lenders directly in the first instance; they will advise a Credit Reference Agency if they agree that the data should be amended.
  • Check your Credit Report before you make an application for credit or if you are being declined credit. Your report includes the information that the lender will check and can help you find out why your application was refused. It does not state why your application has been refused, because only the company you applied to can tell you why this is.
  • If you make repeated applications for credit once you have been declined, then your Credit Score can be affected as the searches by the lender will be recorded upon your Credit Report. A high number of searches will indicate to lenders that you are credit-hungry, which could be an indication of financial difficulty. Please note that viewing your own report is not treated in the same way and these searches will not be seen by lenders.
  • Make sure the electoral roll information on your report is up to date. Lenders use electoral roll information to confirm your address. Being on the electoral roll shows stability and this may suggest to lenders that you are more likely to maintain payments on your credit agreements.
  • Obtain regular Credit Reports. You can visit CreditKey.uk and sign up for a credit monitoring service from CallCredit. CreditKey.uk gives its members unlimited online access to their Credit Report and also provides alerts, via SMS or email, about significant changes to the information held about them.

Electoral roll

The electoral roll shows when you have been registered to vote in local and national elections. Your Credit Report from the electoral roll will reflect the name of your local authority, the address the local authority holds for you or held in the past, and the dates you were registered. It is usually updated once a year by your local authority, although some areas may allow you to register at other points in the year.

Being on the electoral roll means that lenders can check that you reside at the mentioned address on your application form and helps them to prevent fraud and money laundering by checking that your address is correct.

Any monthly updates that your council makes to the electoral roll will be updated in our records.

Account status codes

Your Credit Report includes a list of ‘status codes'. These show whether you have made your credit repayments on time. They show if you are up to date with the payments or if you have missed payments, and how many months in arrears you are. Usually if you fall 6 months behind, the lender will deem that you have broken the terms of the credit agreement and the account will show as in Default. If you Default on an account this will remain on your credit profile for 6 years, so it is important to maintain your payments wherever possible.

Types of accounts

Active accounts are accounts that are still in open. Active accounts are usually updated by the lender on a monthly basis, although it can take up to 12 weeks in some cases.

A settled account is one where you have made all the necessary payments and which has been closed, either because you have closed it (such as a credit card) or the term has ended (a mortgage or other loan). Making repayments to a defaulted account after the defaulted date does not change the history of the account even when you have made all the repayments. The status history of 'D' shows that you have defaulted on the account.

What should I do if I am a victim of identity fraud?

If you check your Credit Report regularly, you'll soon notice if something looks unusual. This could be a sign that your identity has been stolen and is being used to apply for credit. You can add a Notice of Correction containing a password for your credit file and instructions to lenders to decline any application not quoting this password.

For an administration fee of £20.00, CIFAS (the UK's fraud prevention service) can place a 'Protective Registration' warning on your credit file. This will tell lenders that you think your personal information is at risk of being used fraudulently. When they receive an application with your details, they'll make more checks to make sure the person applying is you and not a fraudster. It may mean that any applications you make are delayed while there's further verification of your I.D.

If you think you have been a victim of Identity Theft you should:

  • Immediately report any lost or stolen credit cards, debit cards or documents to the organisations that issued them. If lenders or other organisations contact you about credit agreements you know nothing about, tell them this right away. They will inform you if you need to contact the police.
  • Check your Credit Report for credit applications and accounts you do not know about.
  • If you suspect your post has been stolen or fraudulently redirected, contact Royal Mail's Investigations Unit. If your details are being used at another address, contact the Mailing Preference Service and try to remove your name from any mailing lists.
  • Keep a record of all your calls, letters and emails connected with the fraud. Lenders and organisations are used to dealing with cases of frauds and will try to help you sort things out as quickly as possible.

Financial Associations

A record is kept of any person who is financially associated with you, such as someone with whom you have shared a joint bank account or a joint mortgage. The information you see will include the details of the person you are financially connected to (the associate), the name of the organisation that created the link and the date the link was created.

If you want to disassociate yourself from an ex-partner or anyone else with whom you have had a financial relationship, you will need to make sure any joint accounts are closed or transferred to a single name.

I am in debt. Who can help?

If you are struggling with debt there are a number of organisation who can provide you with free, impartial advice:

Citizen's Advice offer free, independent and confidential advice from more than 700 locations (known as Citizen's Advice Bureaux) throughout the UK. Contact the Citizen's Advice Bureau website at www.adviceguide.org.uk. You will be able to find details of your local branch on their website.

The StepChange Debt Charity is a registered charity dedicated to providing free, confidential counselling and money management assistance to financially distressed families and individuals. They provide counselling on budgeting and offer advice on wise use of credit. Call 0800 138 1111 or visit the StepChange Debt Charity website at: www.stepchange.org.

National Debtline provides free, confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. You can reach them by calling on 0808 808 4000 or by visiting the National Debtline website at: www.nationaldebtline.co.uk.

How will I be billed?

An initial payment at the time of application (if required) will be payable immediately or on the date specified in our offer to you (e.g. 7 days after sign-up) and thereafter the monthly fee in the amount of £19.95 will be payable on the same day of each month as our original billing.

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