How could you damage your credit file accidentally?

How could you damage your credit file?

While your credit file is possibly one of the most precious documents you'll have when it comes to getting financing, it's still important to ensure that you keep it healthy. Even simple mistakes could end up damaging your credit score, and some of the time you might not even know that it has happened.

Here are just a few scenarios where you could harm your Equifax credit report - and how to fix them.

Tired student on laptop.
Simple mistakes can make a big difference to your credit file.

Moving home

Moving home is a big job, and it's understandable that you might forget to do a few bureaucratic things. While you should always make sure to update the relevant companies as to your new address, you could still end up missing one of them out. If you had an outstanding debt to them, you could end up with a serious credit infringement listing on your credit file.

You can solve this by ensuring you set up a forwarding address, and better yet, make sure the new owner knows where to send any wayward mail. Should such a thing happen, get into contact with both the lender and Equifax to get your address updated and avoid any other mishaps. It's best to act immediately and get it rectified if possible. It is also a good idea to check your Equifax credit report or consider singing up to a subscription package that includes credit alerts let you know if changes occur on your Equifax credit report.

Automated payments

You could miss a whole heap of payments and discover that they have ended up on your credit report.

Many companies from which you purchase services or products will often allow you to set up automated payments on a debit or credit card. This can make it much easier to stay on top of your debt, but one issue that comes up in the fact that your card will eventually expire.

Companies will generally send out a reminder if this is about to occur, but even automated systems can fail. As a result, you could miss a whole heap of payments and discover that they have ended up on your credit report. Your best bet for defeating this is to make sure you put any expiry dates for your cards in a calendar, or alternatively switch to manual payments - though this comes with it's own set of problems.

If you find that there is an incorrect listing on your Equifax credit report, you can have it investigated by speaking with your credit provider or Equifax. If the listing is in fact incorrect and it is corrected after investigation, you may find that your Equifax credit report and your Equifax Score is improved through simply taking the steps to have it investigated.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a finance professional such as an adviser.​

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