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How could my credit rating slump after a house move?

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Anna Tims
·2-min read
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<span>Photograph: Dado Ruvić/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Dado Ruvić/Reuters

I read your article about a reader who had trouble remortgaging because Equifax failed to record his data correctly. I am having exactly the same trouble. I moved house nine months ago. At that time my credit rating was “excellent”. I registered on the electoral roll two months later.

However, when I applied for a loan and a mortgage, I found my credit score, according to Equifax, was “poor”. It admitted it had made a mistake when recording my electoral roll details and sent me £100 as compensation, but has not returned my score to excellent.

It’s a disgrace that some company can, at the touch of a button, cause so much financial hardship.

GN, Northampton

Equifax admits that its system failed to update your credit report to show that your new address was added to the electoral roll, but says that credit scores commonly decrease after a house move, even if your income and outgoings are unchanged.

Lenders are spooked by change, and a decreased score anticipates the fact that spending patterns may alter following a relocation, and it takes a while for a credit history to accrue at a new address. Failure to update accounts with the new details, or to close down old ones, can also affect perceptions of your creditworthiness.

Even more crucially, several applications for credit, as you kit out a new place, can deplete a score. Credit checks made by telecoms or energy suppliers show on your report and can make lenders fear you’re on a rash spending spree.

Scores usually inflate within a couple of months as lenders submit data linked to your new address. Always give lenders plenty of notice of a move, and register to vote as soon as possible. Try not to apply for credit at your new address until your addition to the electoral roll is shown in your credit reports.

If you need help email your.problems@observer.co.uk. Include an address and phone number. Submission and publication are subject to our terms and conditions