As part of your own self-care program, particularly your finances, you need to be aware of what other people and companies are saying about you. I do not just mean on Social Media, but you also need to be aware that other people or companies can affect your credit score adversely, without even telling you!
I will explain what I mean by this. I always used Experian and had a good credit score, above 960, so never knew that unbeknown to me, I was receiving negative markers (alleged non-payment of due amounts) in respect of an alleged debt that I was not aware of. Well, how did I find out?
I applied for a mortgage in January 2021, and was led to a website called CheckMyFile.com which is claimed to be the only multi-credit score website. What this company does is to check your credit score across all credit scoring agencies, which includes Experian, Equifax and Transunion, thus giving a composite aggregate credit score.
I was surprised to find out that according to 2 of the credit scoring agencies (Equifax and Transunion) there were negative markers being reported in respect of an outstanding amount with TalkTalk, showing that there was a debt of 4.39 dating from December 2018. I knew that there was no such debt because I had regularly paid every amount demanded by TalkTalk with whom I had an account from prior to 2018 until April 2020, when I closed the TalkTalk account with all amounts paid on time. TalkTalk even acknowledged this was the case.
I contacted TalkTalk and complained about this alleged debt that they were recording against me, and initially, they said they were not reporting any amounts due from me, therefore no negative markers. I went back to the 2 credit scoring companies that were reporting this alleged debt and told them this, and neither Equifax nor Transunion would change their reporting and they insisted that TalkTalk was reporting an alleged debt against me, and therefore they would not change their records.
So I went back again to TalkTalk and told them that they were still reporting an alleged debt going back to December 2018, which they initially denied.
TalkTalk´s credit department was saying there was a debt on the account, and they would not answer any queries until it was settled. I was astonished to hear this because I knew there was no debt to TalkTalk, and I even had TalkTalk´s written acknowledgement that my account was settled in April 2020, with no late payment or overdue or outstanding amounts.
I persisted with my complaints both to Equifax and Transunion (who were still reporting this alleged debt of 4.39 payable to TalkTalk) however Experian, to whom I subscribe to, were still showing a good credit score of 960+.
The relevance of all this is that owing to the negative markers from TalkTalk, I was still unable to proceed with my planned mortgage and property purchase, owing to the aggregate effect of the negative markers on my credit score.
Eventually, in March 2021, i received an acknowledgement from TalkTalk that they had been reporting an alleged debt in respect of a different address, however, they had never ever notified me of any such outstanding amount. To this day, I have never ever received an invoice or statement in respect of this alleged debt.
This is despite TalkTalk having 2 email addresses for me, both of which they have used and I have acknowledged receipt of. TalkTalk and I also exchanged sms´s and telephone calls, and at no time prior to March 2021 was I ever made aware of this alleged debt to them, and I never ever received such an invoice or statement.
TalkTalk issued an apology to me and offered to waive the debt and pay me a token compensation of 30 pounds. This was of no real help because it meant that the alleged debt stayed on my credit record (for 6 years), and would show that I settled this alleged debt from 2018 in April 2021, ie 3 years late.
I declined this offer to settle from TalkTalk, and they came back with a revised settlement offer of 100 pounds compensation, which again I declined for the same reason.
I took my case to CICAS which is an arbitration body to which TalkTalk subscribes to and recently received their adjudication recommendation and award. The Adjudicator agreed that the debt was not valid and should be removed from my credit score.
What the CICAS adjudicator did not properly assess was the effect of 3 years and 4 months of adverse credit scoring on my own finances, and his recommendation was an award of 200 pounds compensation (which i rejected).
The lesson of this article is to check all credit scoring agencies, as you need to be sure that no one is alleging that you owe them money, and affecting your credit score without your knowledge.