UK citizens must control their credit references, says Information Commissioner's Office

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is calling on UK citizens to ensure their credit reference file is accurate and up to date.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is calling on UK citizens to ensure their credit reference file is accurate and up to date.

Almost a third of the data protection complaints the ICO received in 2010/11 were about lenders. Of the total complaints received in the last financial year, 17% were from people trying to correct inaccurate data held about them.

Under the Data Protection Act everyone has the right to obtain and protect the information financial institutions hold about them.

If the content of an individual's credit file is inaccurate, that individual can ask for it to be corrected.

The ICO has published a guide detailing people's rights, called 'Credit Explained.'

David Smith, deputy commissioner at the ICO, challenged the UK public to make 2011 the year they take control of the information credit agencies hold about them.

"Your credit reference file isn't something you should only worry about when applying for a loan or buying a house, because taking this approach could mean mistakes go un-noticed for years," he said.

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