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How a Notice of Correction works

A Notice of Correction in the UK is a short statement of up to 200 words that you can add to your credit report to explain what may have caused you to miss debt payments, declare bankruptcy, or go through some other adverse event.

For example, you might want to add a Notice of Correction if you defaulted on your debt because you lost your job or became ill.

In other words, it gives you a chance to tell your side of the story and to provide some context for lenders reviewing your credit file.

How to add a Notice of Correction to my credit report?

To add a Notice of Correction, you have to go directly to the leading credit reference agencies (CRAs): Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Here is how to do it:

  1. Get a copy of your credit report from one or even all of the main CRAs. You can get it for free by requesting your Statutory Credit Report.
  2. Check your credit report and identify any information that is misleading or needs some explanation. Anything that's caused by things like job loss, illness, or identity theft is worth a Notice of Correction.
  3. Contact the CRA and request to add a Notice of Correction to your credit file. You can do this by phone, email, or through their website.
  4. Provide the exact wording you would like them to include in the Notice of Correction. You need to make sure it is 200 words or less, factual, and not defamatory.
  5. The credit reference agency will review your request and add the Notice of Correction to your credit report if it meets the requirements. They have to respond to your request in 28 days.
  6. Repeat the process with the other credit reference agencies if you need to add the Notice on all your credit reports.

The key is to provide a clear and short explanation of what led to the negative information on your credit report so that lenders can take this into account when reviewing your loan application. Be as objective as possible so that lenders don't perceive the Notice as an excuse for bad behaviour.

What information should I include in a Notice of Correction?

When you write your Notice of Correction, make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Make it clear: Make sure the lenders understand what it was that affected your situation at the time: illness, job loss, identity theft, or something else.
  • Keep it factual: Make sure the Notice of Correction is based on facts and not on personal opinions. Back up any claims with evidence.
  • Non-defamatory: Avoid using language that is defamatory to any third party. CRA won't accept notices that are not truthful or that harm others' reputations.
  • Keep it short: It has to be under 200 words.
  • Update it: Explain why things have changed since and why lenders can now rely on you to make your payments on time.

What is the difference between a Notice of Correction and a dispute?

A Notice of Correction and a dispute are two very different things. While both are used to address issues with what's on your credit file, they serve different purposes and have different outcomes.

A Notice of Correction is simply a short statement that tells lenders why a sure thing happened, and it gives you a chance to influence how they view your credit history. For example, you would add a Notice of Correction if you couldn't pay a credit card balance because you lost your job and had the account closed by the provider. You're not disputing what happened – just explaining why.

A dispute, on the other hand, is a formal process to challenge something on your credit report. When you raise a dispute, you are saying that a particular item on your credit report is an error or shouldn't be there at all and that the CRA should investigate and correct it. An example here would be if a credit card provider marked your account as being behind on payments even if you paid all bills on time. You're trying to get the error removed entirely.

How long does a Notice of Correction stay on my credit report?

A Notice of Correction will stay on your credit report for as long as the item it refers to appears on your report or until you request for it to be removed. Until then, the Notice will remain visible to lenders and anyone else checking your credit report.

How do I remove a Notice of Correction from my credit report?

The steps to remove a Notice of Correction are similar to the ones when you added it:

  1. Get a copy of your credit report.
  2. Review the Notice of Correction and decide if it still applies.
  3. Contact the CRAs and ask them to remove it from your credit file. Provide a clear explanation why the Notice of Correction is no longer relevant or factual.
  4. The credit reference agency has 28 days to respond to your request and remove the Notice if they agree.
  5. If the agency refuses to remove the Notice, you may have to escalate the issue by filing a formal complaint or dispute with them. It's doubtful this will happen, though.

Can a Notice of Correction affect my credit score?

No, a Notice of Correction does not directly impact your credit score. All it does is provide some context and a short explanation for why something is on your credit report.

However, just because it is not reflected in your credit score doesn't mean that lenders ignore it – in fact, they are legally required to review the information you provided in the Notice of Correction.

This does have a downside, though. Because lenders have to review it, a Notice of Correction can occasionally slow down your credit applications. Generally, though, it's worth it.

Also, while a Notice of Correction can't improve your credit score, other tools can. One such tool is Wollit.

Wollit is an app that reports your monthly subscription to all the leading credit reference agencies as loan repayment. This directly improves your credit history, which is the main factor that goes into your credit score.

And if you're looking for an extra line of "positive financial behaviour" to add to your credit report, Wollit also reports your regular rent payments to Experian, helping you show lenders that you've taken steps to become a reliable person and pay their bills on time. Similar in some way to what a Notice of Correction does, but far more effective.


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