Over the coming months, I will write a number or articles from my website which I hope readers will find interesting, informative and useful when they need to dip their toe into what can be the icy waters of mortgage finance and house buying. I will share amusing and interesting stories of my day to life as broker working in the UK mortgage market in 2016/2017. All names and places will be altered so that no confidences are betrayed.
Last week a number of things happened that could affect you and me in this digital age. Two clients had recently been declined by a smaller but excellent Building Society that we use, for “adverse credit”. A difficult one at the best of times. For data protection reasons, we will never know what the exact problem is so we should be vague and evasive in explanation and sympathetic too even though the customer might have been hoping by some miracle that no one would find out their long-forgotten problem. However, this one is different.
My clients, it would appear have some time ago had a loan fraudulently applied to their name, then it was sold to a debt collection agency for real money who tried to collect the “debt”, were unable to and so noted the credit file accordingly. My clients thought the whole thing a scam and ignored it. One can sympathise with them but the mistake was not to keep a constant check on their credit file because now they are trying to borrow bona fide monies, all the lenders are saying “No not until you sort the problem” My customers are slowly getting there with this. They have an admission of guilt from the pay day loan company they had never heard of and the credit agency are now trying to help but these wheels are turning ever so slowly and lots of stress and worry is being spent by my poor, older than average, customers who have never seen the like.
So what is the moral of this sad but all too often happening tale? I would advise everyone nowadays to subscribe and check their credit files on a regular basis. Free searches are available. I use Noddle myself. There is no harm in paying a small amount of money to the likes of Experian or Equifax monthly for a while as you start to apply for credit or a loan. You will be able to check you are on the voters roll and everything “under the bonnet” is as you thought.
Buying a holiday, a book, or some new clothes from the comfort of your living room on a cold rainy night can be very satisfying and when the white van turns up with a brown Cardboard packet next day it’s great and I for one still marvel at the fantastic process. But the internet is a dangerous place with dark corners and people who can cause you real financial harm, so take care. Change your passwords, don’t use your date of birth as a password and be careful who you respond to but don’t push stuff under the carpet that may cause you trouble down the line.
Next time we will look at preparing for a loan application. Have a good week