Will a missing bank account damage my credit score?

Dear James,

I have a current account with HSBC which has an overdraft facility included although I have never used it. This account is not shown on my credit record and so it looks like I do not have a bank account at all. Will this affect my credit rating and how can I get the account onto the record?

Andy, Oakham

Dear Andy,

Your first port of call should be your bank. They will be able to tell you why details of your overdraft facility are not being shared with the credit reference agencies. If the branch can’t help, ask for details of someone at their head office who can. Banks do generally share data about customers’ overdraft facilities.  I wonder whether your account was opened around ten or more years ago, before full data sharing was really envisaged. As a result, consent was never obtained to share information with the credit reference agencies, except if the account goes into default. If this does apply to your account, your bank might actually be able to accept your consent to share the data now. I’ve seen several cases where this has happened and within four to six weeks the information has appeared on the customer’s credit report. If for some reason details about your account cannot be shared, this shouldn’t affect your credit rating as long as you have other accounts that demonstrate that you can be trusted with credit. Lenders usually ask about your bank account on your credit application form, so your relationship with your bank can still be factored into any credit assessment. (November 2011)

James
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