Financial troubleshooter Jessica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money problems
Npower ruined my credit score
My father died two years ago, leaving his house to myself and my brother.
I wanted to move into it, but needed to extend the property before doing so.
We let the house for a short period while obtaining planning permission and it was then left vacant.
I continued to be responsible for utility bills and council tax.
These bills were sent to my current home, which I am now selling.
I found out that npower, the electricity provider, had affected my credit rating. I hadn’t got the bills so they hadn’t been paid. As soon as I knew, I paid what amounted to £111 outstanding.
This slur on my credit record means I am unable to port my interest-only mortgage, which has another nine years to run at 0.88pc, to the other property.
If I cannot do this I will need to raise another mortgage in order to pay my brother his share of the inheritance once my credit rating is restored. For this I will be paying something like 3.5pc, so that the extra interest payments over the nine years would amount to more than £55,000.
This is what npower’s actions could ultimately cost me. Can you make sure it doesn’t come to this?
PF, SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND Npower mentioned that you had requested paperless bills when you had not.
When you had a paper bill it was estimated so you sent two readings and asked for a correct bill.
It seems there may have been a mix-up of npower’s as to where to send this.
You did not hear anything back and tried unsuccessfully to access the account online.
A screenshot, which you copied and kept, said: “Sorry. Your online account isn’t working right now”.
Meanwhile, unknown to you, npower had notified Experian, the credit reference agency, of five missed payments.
When you tried to sort this out, npower again failed to respond.
Further to my involvement, npower emailed and phoned you saying it had heard from a national newspaper and was sorry it had made a mistake.
In a contradictory statement to me, npower said that “unfortunately the credit markers on file are correct”.
I challenged npower over this discrepancy and it apologised for the confusion. You had provided the evidence showing you were unable to access your online account and on the basis of this it then removed the markers.
Your Experian credit score then went back to 999.
Meanwhile, though, the mortgage went under a lot of scrutiny.
Paperwork was required that you thought would not have been the case but for the trouble with npower.
You kept asking me to hold the story until you had been able to port the mortgage and made sure there had indeed been no consequences from this.
More than a year after the credit markers had been removed you did get a
Why can’t Aviva find my pension?
I would be grateful for your help to sort out and reclaim my pension pot.
I have been working in New Zealand for many years and have not maintained pension contributions in the UK beyond what I paid before I left.
My contributions paid while I was still in the UK started with CGU Life and were transferred to Norwich Union, then to Aviva.
– and my father’s, on my behalf – have produced no success whatsoever in tracing these funds.
The 0800 help numbers do not work from New Zealand and no one will communicate with my father.
TH, NEW ZEALAND
You had paid a total of £6,203 over three years,
One reader’s pension vanished after their move to New Zealand