Nationwide customers’ payment holidays reported on credit reports
Nationwide Building Society told us that it incorrectly reported the details of arranged payment holidays on some personal loan accounts as “missed payments” to the three main credit reference agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. It quickly realised its mistake, and contacted the agencies asking them not to upload the data, and provided replacement data which correctly described people’s accounts as being up to date.
However, Nationwide has admitted that one credit reference agency did upload the incorrect information. The building society says it worked with the agency concerned to replace the incorrect information, and this was corrected on Tuesday – four working days later.
Nationwide says there will be no “ongoing impact” on affected borrowers’ credit reports, and that the issue only concerned payment holidays for members with personal loans, and did not affect those who have payment holidays for credit cards or mortgages.
For more information about loan, mortgage and credit card payment holidays, see our Coronavirus Finance & Bills Help guide.
Why did details of customers’ payment holidays get uploaded to credit reports and has this been fixed?
Nationwide told us that it had uploaded some personal loan payment holidays to credit reference agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion as missed payments rather than as contractual payments. It quickly realised its error and alerted the credit reference agencies not to upload the erroneous data.
However, MoneySaver Annalese contacted MoneySavingExpert.com saying that she’d had a negative alert from two credit monitoring apps – Clearscore and CreditWise. When she signed in, she saw that the most recent payment on her Nationwide personal loan had been logged as “missing or in arrears”. Clearscore uses data from credit reference agency Equifax.
Both Nationwide’s payment holiday terms and the regulator’s guidance on payment holidays say that there should be no impact on customers’ credit reports from taking a payment holiday. Annalese says she would not have taken the holiday if she thought her credit report would be impacted. She said: “I am very angry. I am currently talking to a mortgage broker about an application, and said I had a ‘very good’ credit score. I have never missed a payment on anything, ever.”
Nationwide has confirmed that Equifax has fixed the error and replaced the payment holiday data with the correct data. It says customers who were affected by the error and who are checking their credit report should see that their payments are reported as being up to date.
Annalese has told us that her loan payment is now showing as up to date on her credit report. Nationwide has also offered her compensation for the error.
How can I check if my payment holiday’s been reported correctly on my credit report?
If you’ve taken a payment holiday with Nationwide (or anyone else) on any product, it’s worth checking your credit report to see that it’s been reported correctly.
If you were up to date with your payments on a particular loan, credit card or mortgage before the payment holiday, your credit reports should still be showing you as up to date on that product. If you were already in arrears and you were granted a payment holiday, then you shouldn’t be marked as being further in arrears due to the payment holiday.
For safety, it’s worth checking your reports from all three credit reference agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion (formerly Callcredit), though only Equifax uploaded the erroneous data from Nationwide and it has now corrected the error.
See our guide on how to check your credit reports for free.
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