Welcome to our first monthly Q&A session, where we shine the spotlight on some of the questions we get asked by our Noddlers each month.
To kick things off, we’re taking a look at the codes you might see from time to time on your credit report.
What are they?
When you’re in the financial accounts or short-term loans tabs in your credit report and click the arrow next to the account, you’ll see your status history (which covers the last six years). Against each month will be a code, such as UC or OK. These are known as status codes.
What do they mean?
These codes basically explain what’s happening on that account, based on the most up-to-date information we have from a lender.
Different codes mean different things, as you can see below.
This is the one we all want to see, as it tells us that we met the payment requirements for that month.
If you see this, unfortunately your account is now in default. If you didn’t expect this, contact the lender to see what’s going on. It’s important to note that defaults have a negative impact on your credit report – as well as no doubt causing stress for you – so working out a plan for clearing your debts should be a top priority. Find some tips on the options available to you here. We’ve also taken a look at some free debt management tools that might help.
You’re 1-2 months late on your payment. This is known as early arrears.
If you’ve spoken to a lender about difficulties you’re having making payments, you may be able to negotiate a partial settlement, whereby the account gets settled but you don’t pay off the full amount. This can have a negative impact on your credit score and will appear with the code PS.
You’ll see this if your debt has been assigned to a collection company. Unless you’re told your debt has been sold on, a debt collector is still working on behalf of your lender and it is still them that you owe. Don’t ignore the debt collection agency, but work with them to pay back the debt in an affordable way. Charities like Stepchange can help you make a plan and know what your rights are once your debt has been passed to a collector.
If you’ve asked for the account to be reviewed, you’ll see the QY code, which stands for ‘query’.
Another code you might be glad to see – this means the account has been settled or closed.
If you’ve defaulted on your account but then paid back the debt, you’ll see this code to show that the account has been satisfied.
When you’re 3-6 months late on your payments, you go into what is known as ‘sustained arrears’, which is what this code means.
If you have a financial account that you don’t use but that you haven’t closed, you’ll see the code DT, which means the account is dormant or inactive.
If you’ve submitted a debt management plan to a lender and they’ve accepted it, you’ll see this code to symbolise that the debt management programme is in force.
If an account status cannot be updated, whether because it isn’t known or because the account has just been opened, you’ll have the UC mark. It’s usually nothing to worry about though.
This means you’ve voluntarily terminated the account.
What to do if the status of your account doesn’t seem right
If the code you’re seeing doesn’t seem right to you, always reach out to the lender to see what’s going on. They’ll be able to check their records and, hopefully, put your mind at rest.
It’s worth noting, however, that each lender has a different schedule for updating each credit reference agency (usually every 4-6 weeks). This, coupled with the 30 day refresh period on your report, means you may not see the most up-to-date information straight away.
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