Ask Jes­sica

Fi­nan­cial trou­bleshooter Jes­sica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money prob­lems

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Readers’ letters -

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.

My com­mu­ni­ca­tions

– 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

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