'Barclays ruined my credit file after wrongly saying I missed six mortgage payments'

A Barclays customer has described how “let down” he feels by the bank after they “ruined” his credit file by wrongly marking down missed mortgage payments.

Steve, 56, from Uckfield, was shocked when letters started dropping through his door at the end of 2020 – including one on Christmas eve – saying he was £3,000 in arrears.

But he’d actually been spending the last few months overpaying his mortgage to the tune of around £8,000 – and had never missed a payment.

Steve and his partner say they were told by Barclays there had been an error and the situation was resolved.

But in January this year, he received a letter from Halifax who told him they wanted to revoke his credit card because of “erroneous” information found against him during a routine check.

'Barclays ruined my credit file after wrongly saying I missed six mortgage payments'
© Huddersfield Examiner Steve isn’t the only Barclays customer to have complained about similar arrears mistakes

It turned out six arrears linked to his Barclays mortgage were showing on his Equifax credit file – leaving a “delinquent” mark on his once “squeaky clean” report.

Steve contacted The Mirror after seeing other people had also had their credit files mistakenly marked with mortgage payment arrears by Barclays.

Steve, who works in the utility industry, told The Mirror: “I was really shocked and said to my wife, ‘this is the sort of thing you see on TV’.

“I’d been trying to apply for another job at the time that depended on me having a squeaky clean credit rating, which I’ve had all my life. I couldn’t believe we were in this position.

Have you been affected by a similar situation with Barclays? Let us know: mirror.money.saving@mirror.co.uk

“Normally, everything I do financially wise, I’m in control of and I know what I’m doing.

“To log on and see your credit rating going down the pan, and you try and do everything you can about it, but you can’t – it was unbelievable.”

Steve says there was further confusion down the line.

The original letter the couple had received from Barclays stated the couple were £3,000 in arrears – but their mortgage was later adjusted by £2,000.

“It is contrary to what I was told by Barclays and what the arrears showed,” said Steve.

“It’s appalling and the lack of respect for customers is on a different level. I haven’t had a full explanation. They have really let us down.”

Steve says it took several months for his credit file to return to normal and the arrears have now been removed.

Him and his partner were offered £650 from the bank as an apology for the mistake but Steve hasn’t accepted this.

Steve is also awaiting a response from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) who are looking into his complaint about Barclays.

In an apology letter sent to Steve from Barclays, the bank admits: “You have made overpayments to your mortgage, whilst not missing any monthly payments.”

It goes on to explain how some payments “were not applied correctly” after the mortgage account was adjusted following the overpayments.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “We take the responsibility of reporting accurate data of customers’ credit reference information extremely seriously.

“As soon as this case was brought to our attention, we worked swiftly to resolve the situation and corrective action was taken to ensure accurate reporting.

“The Financial Ombudsman Service is currently reviewing this case, and we await the conclusion of their review.”

The FOS said it cannot comment on open cases.

It isn’t clear how many people have experienced similar issues with Barclays.

But as reported by The Mirror last month, other customers have complained of incorrect arrears also being applied to their credit files – and in some cases, they say they haven’t been removed yet.

JN, from Edinburgh, found Barclays had posted three missed payments on his Experian account over the last six years, despite him never have been late paying.

He said he only discovered the black marks after checking his credit file online.

They told The Guardian, which first uncovered the errors: “What I find most extraordinary is that at no stage did Barclays write to me or contact me about this.”

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