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Credit files &#39should be online&#39

Mortgage brokers are asking credit reference agencies to brush up their technology and make credit files available to borrowers online.

Although clients can apply for their credit file and query entries via the internet, Equifax and Experian still insist on sending the file out by post. This involves a delay of up to seven days – enough time to lose a sale in the busy housing market.

Bob Riach, proprietor of Scunthorpe-based Riach Independent Financial Advisers, says: “I&#39ve just had a case that was turned down on credit, but as far as the borrower is aware they have no bad credit history. They had to write off and wait a week for the reply, which was long enough for them to lose the property.”

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at Charcol, says: “To make things easier it would seem to me an obvious development to allow people to access their credit files online.”

Boulger acknowledges the security to be overcome and adds: “There must be adequate checks to make sure that people cannot download somebody else&#39s credit reference details.”

Experian already offers its US customers online access to credit files without pre-registration.

A spokeswoman says: “We&#39ve got the technology but it&#39s something the UK hasn&#39t quite accepted yet.

“Supplying confidential information over the web means our systems would be extremely secure, but we want consumers to feel secure too.”


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