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What Is A Notice Of Correction And How Do You Get One Added To Your Credit Report?

There are few things more unfair than seeing information about you that, while technically true, reflects on you badly because it doesn’t tell the whole story. And, it can be particularly frustrating when one of those not-the-whole-truths pops up in your credit report, blocking you from getting the best credit deals, or even from getting credit at all.

But, rather than sucking it up and waiting the long six years for information to drop off your credit report, there is something you can do about it when true but perhaps misrepresentative details about you crop up. Introducing the Notice of Correction.

What is a Notice of Correction?

A Notice of Correction is a short statement that you can request be added to individual records included in your credit report. It’s designed to be used to explain why you have things like missed payment records in your credit report, and why that information about you doesn’t necessarily reflect your usual approach to managing your financial commitments.

Once added to your report, a Notice of Correction will be visible to any lenders you apply to, and they have a legal obligation to read it. Some lenders will then take this into account when deciding to approve or decline your application, while others may not – it’s their choice.

Can I use a Notice of Correction?

A Notice of Correction is designed to be used in one-off or temporary situations where there were mitigating circumstances to explain why the incident occurred. For example, if you usually make all your payments on time but missed a payment one month because a payroll error meant you were late receiving your wages or salary, and you haven’t missed any payments since, then a Notice of Correction could be a good option for you.

However, if your credit report shows that you’ve been missing payments fairly regularly, then a Notice of Correction may not be suitable for you. While a one-off missed payment in an otherwise perfect payment history can be chalked up to a blip or explained away by mitigating circumstances, regularly missing payments to your account providers can indicate that you’re experiencing some issues managing your finances, and a Notice of Correction may not be useful in this situation.

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

Once you’ve decided that a Notice of Correction is the right move for you, then adding one to your credit report is simply a case of contacting each of the credit reference agencies to request they add it. You will need to get in touch with each of the three UK credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – separately to request they each add your Notice of Correction to their versions of your report.

What should I write in a Notice of Correction?

A Notice of Correction can be no more than 200 words long, so whatever you write, it’s best to keep it short and sweet. Stick to the facts, including dates if they’re relevant and can support your mitigating circumstances, and avoid emotive language or expressing your opinion on the situation as far as you can. Swear words are also a big no-no when it comes to a Notice of Correction. If you include any language that could be considered foul, defamatory or slanderous, then you may be asked to amend your Notice of Correction before it is added to your credit report. And, credit reference agencies reserve the right to share your Notice of Correction with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for investigation if they think it necessary.

Will a Notice of Correction improve my credit score?

Adding a Notice of Correction to your credit report won’t change your credit score. But, it could impact lenders’ decisions on whether to approve your applications to them or not. When you add a Notice of Correction to your credit report, lenders you apply to have a legal obligation to read it, and although they’re not required to then take the contents of your Notice of Correction into account when deciding whether to lend to you or not, they may choose to bear it in mind.

Because lenders must read a Notice of Correction if you have one in your credit report, you may find that it takes a little longer for your applications for credit to be processed while they’re manually reviewed. This may also mean you’re not able to get your applications approved or rejected automatically online, as you’ll need to wait for a human to read your Notice of Correction and make a decision.

Can I use a Notice of Correction to point out a mistake in my credit report?

No. Rather than using a Notice of Correction to point out mistakes and errors in your credit report, it’s better to get in touch with the company or credit reference agency who’s provided you with your credit report to ask for their help removing the incorrect information. They will then contact the company who provided the information to work out if a mistake has been made, or if the information is correct. A Notice of Correction can be added to your account while the issue is under investigation, to explain what’s going on to other companies who might see your credit report. But, a Notice of Correction shouldn’t be used as an alternative to getting errors removed, when having them removed is an option.

Why can’t I get negative information removed from my credit report?

Your credit report is an independent and unbiased account of your use of credit that helps lenders decide whether to approve your applications to them, or not. Lenders have a duty to lend responsibly and only approve your applications if they believe you can and will pay them back. If you were able to remove negative information from your credit report, and then a lender gave you a loan you couldn’t afford to repay, you’d end up in debt and they wouldn’t get their money back, which isn’t good for anyone! So, it’s important that your credit report contains both the good and the bad about you to avoid this happening, and you can only remove information from your credit report if it’s incorrect.