Can I order my son’s report to help sort out his debts?

Dear James,

My son is in prison. Prior to being put in prison he had run up debts. He is due to be released and I wish to obtain a credit report on his behalf. He wishes to make a fresh start and has no idea of the extent of any debt or if it is still on statute. He was/is of no fixed abode. How do I go about this?

Michael, Liverpool

Dear Michael,

Credit reports usually stretch back six years, so will include any debts run up during that period. In terms of getting a copy of your son’s credit report – which is certainly a very good idea – the best way to do this would be for your son to engage with an outreach/support worker in the actual prison, for example, from the local Citizens Advice Bureau. It would be very difficult for you to get hold of a copy of his report, even with his permission, but we do have a special process in place to provide credit reports to prisoners, to help them get on top of their debts. Of course, once he’s received the report, if he wishes to pass it on to you to review for him then that is absolutely fine. However, if the support worker is a trained debt adviser, and many of them are, they might actually be in a better position to help your son straighten things out and hopefully help give him a head start when he’s released. (November 2012)

James
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