A poor credit rating can be frustrating, preventing you from making important purchases. Credit reference agencies in the United Kingdom apply a ratings score based on previous credit history. If you fail to keep up with a credit arrangement you could end up with a County Court Judgment (CCJ), which is recorded on your credit history and can affect your credit rating, even if you pay off all your debts.
Write to the credit reference agencies and ask for a copy of your credit report. The three main credit reference agencies in the U.K. are Equifax, CallCredit and Experian. For a small fee, you may be able to view your credit report online.
Examine the report closely to see if there are any errors. If there are, write to the agency concerned and ask it to remove the entry. Provide as much information as possible, including proof of your current address, any previous address and your identity.
Get statements from your previous lenders that show you have finished paying the debt and ask the credit reference agency to make a note of this in your report. If you have previously made late payments but have cleared the debt in full, new lenders may take this into consideration when making a loan decision.
Search the Register of Judgments to find any County Court Judgments made against you. Sometimes a judgment is made without you being aware. This can happen if the court papers were sent to an old address, for example. There is a fee of £8 (as of 2010).
Seek advice about debt and credit problems from an independent advice agency. The advice is free, although you may have to complete a means test to qualify for advice. Three main advice agencies are the Citizens Advice Bureau, National Debtline and Community Legal Advice.