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Thanks for your understanding, and we hope to have full customer support available as soon as possible and wish you well during these challenging times.



How Your Credit Score is Affected When a Default Drops Off

Posted by Richard Catlin in Dealing with Debt on 31 December 2019 - Richard is Marketing Director at checkmyfile.

If you’ve got one default, you might be counting down the days until it is no longer reported to the Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs). But if you have more than one, will you see your Credit Score rise as each one drops off of your Credit Report?

Defaults are reported to the Credit Reference Agencies for six years from date of default. This date is recorded on your Credit Report, so you can see the date that it is set to be removed – it’s worth making a note of these, although the CRAs do have an additional 28 day administration period to remove them.

Checking your Credit Report should be your first port of call to see the status of all defaults in your details. You can try checkmyfile free for 30 days then for £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can easily cancel at any time. You'll get full access to the UK's most detailed Credit Report, with the complete information from all four Credit Reference Agencies - including how long it’ll be before a default drops off.

How changing circumstances can lead to defaults

Defaults often occur during a specific period of your life - if you were made redundant or became ill and had difficulty repaying existing debt, for example. In these cases, there can be a fairly short time span between default dates, which means that six years later all adverse Credit History is removed from your Credit Report in the space of a few months.

While this situation can be a tedious waiting game over a number of months, those with a number of defaults spanning a much longer time period will often be left wondering if the removal of one default will have a positive impact.

Does your score go up when a default is removed?

Defaults are a serious form of negative marker, and if you only have one on your Credit Report, you are likely to see an improvement in your Credit Score once it has been removed, provided there are not more serious negative markers such as a CCJ present.

For many people it's unlikely you'll have just one default on your Credit Report, as a change in financial circumstances can lead to difficult times for your finances as a whole, rarely just one credit account. For that reason, it is rare to see an improvement in your score when one drops off if there are multiple others on your Credit Report. If you put yourself in the position of a lender, they are still able to see that you have been unable to meet the conditions of these credit agreements and are therefore still “high risk” in lending terms.

Put simply: removing one default from your Credit Report won’t make much of a difference if you have additional defaults remaining. Only when all negative markers on your Credit Report have been removed will you begin to see any real improvement in your credit score.

There are, however, ways in which you can improve the state of your Credit Report, even when your score is not set to improve for some time. This is important if you are still looking to borrow, but also for when your Credit Report is clear of adverse information.

How to improve your score when you have a default

There are still lenders willing to lend to those with defaults - different lenders have different criteria to mark your Credit Report against. While mainstream lenders might consider the presence of defaults as too risky, there are specialist (sub-prime) lenders set up to cater for this end of the market. Making payments on time to these lenders can be a strong start in getting your Credit Score back to where it should be.

Take control of your monthly outgoings

Managing your credit accounts is key to moving forward - rather than worrying about one default dropping off, the focus should be on ensuring that all of your current payments are made like clockwork each month. This will show lenders that you now have a more responsible attitude towards borrowing.

Use credit building-cards

When looking to build up your Credit History, a ‘credit-building’ credit card can help to show that you are now a more responsible bet when it comes to lending. Simply use it for small purchases and then ensure you pay the balance in full every month to prevent yourself from incurring high interest charges, and it will soon help to demonstrate that you are able to manage your finances.

Tidy up your finances

When ‘tidying up’ your Credit Report, there is always a risk that an unpaid default can potentially lead to further court action by the lender or debt collector. If you know that the default is staying on your Credit Report anyway for the six year period, you may think “what’s the point of paying it?” It’s important to remember that while a default remains unpaid, the creditor may take court action to reclaim the funds. A County Court Judgment (CCJ) will have an even more severe impact on your Credit Score than a default.

Try to settle any outstanding debts

Not only do some mainstream lenders lend to those with settled or older debts (which is particularly important if you are looking for something like a mortgage), but settling the debt also prevents continued chasing from debt collectors, or the possibility of further action being taken against you. If you have an unpaid default you may have heard of it being ‘statute barred’ after six years, when the debt can no longer be pursued through the courts. Even if a debt is statute barred, it is still owed to the lender.

Does that mean my credit score will increase after six years?

Not necessarily. A lot of people will hold out for this statute barred date (six years from when acknowledgement of the debt was last made) in the hope that the debt will be written off, and they do not have to make any payments towards the debt.

Unfortunately this poses the risk that the debt collector will contact the Court a few months before the six year period expires, to apply for a CCJ. If this is granted, you will then be given one calendar month to pay the debt before the CCJ is added to your Credit Report, creating another six years of credit-related pain. While this isn’t always the case, a CCJ will have an ongoing impact long after the original default has disappeared.

If you’re looking for any defaults or CCJs you may have, you can check your Multi Agency Credit Report with checkmyfile – it’s free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month. You can cancel without any fuss online or by email or freephone. Not only will you see your Credit Reports from all four CRAs, but our professionally qualified Credit Analysts are on hand to help if you need any guidance.

Original article posted by Richard Catlin. Updated 31 December 2019 by Sam Griffin

Northampton Court CCJ – Why is it on my Credit Report?

If you’ve been issued with a CCJ, chances are that it could appear on your Credit Report as having come from Northampton County Court Business Centre (CCBC), even if you or the claimant have no ties with Northampton whatsoever.

Published on 2 Jan 2020 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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Does Statute Barred Mean My Debt is Written Off?

If you look around on the internet for debt advice you might see one questionable tip popping up from time to time: ‘don’t pay off your debts, wait six years for it to become statute barred and you’ll be home scot-free.’ If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is, and if you think it’ll be without consequence you could be in for a nasty surprise.

Published on 30 Dec 2019 by Tom Magor

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Understanding a default notice and what to do when one arrives

No one wants a default on their Credit Report, but sometimes there’s little you can do to prevent it. Perhaps your household income dropped due to redundancy, you’ve suffered an illness, or an unexpected large expenditure has cropped up. Whatever the reason, in times of hardship financial commitments are often among the first things to be affected.

Published on 23 Dec 2019 by Ben Ryland

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The Price of Bankruptcy

Katie Price, the former glamour model turned anti-bullying advocate, was ordered into bankruptcy on 26 November 2019 by the High Court. There may never be a ‘best time’ to enter bankruptcy, but the run-up to Christmas might be the worst.

Published on 11 Dec 2019 by Sam Griffin

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Do I Have a CCJ? How To Find Out

If you have a County Court Judgment (CCJ) in your name, it can have a serious impact on your Credit Score and ability to borrow for the entire time it is active, as well as potentially affect the outcome of the checks carried out by prospective employers, landlords and insurers.

Published on 7 Nov 2019 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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Does a Debt Management Plan Affect Your Credit Rating?

If you’re feeling increasingly overwhelmed by debt and aren’t sure what steps you can take next, the most important thing to remember is that there is plenty of help available and different solutions designed to get your finances back on the straight and narrow.

Published on 18 Jun 2019 by Kevin Pearce

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Late Payments & Defaults: What's The Difference?

When a lender checks your Credit Report, one of the most important elements it considers is payment history as reported to the Credit Reference Agencies. On a perfect applicant’s Credit Report, every credit account would be reported with a clean payment history, indicating that they are a low risk to the prospective lender, but in the real world this isn’t always the case.

Published on 23 Apr 2019 by Tom Blandford

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Do I Owe a Debt If It's Not On My Credit Report?

Information that appears on your Credit Report should (in most cases) follow a fairly predictable lifecycle. But don’t think that if an unpaid debt no longer shows up, you’re no longer responsible for it.

Published on 21 Apr 2019 by Tom Blandford

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Do I Have a Default? How to Find Out

For lots of lenders, coming across a Default on your Credit Report is a troubling sign. It’s certainly more serious than a missed payment or arrears on your file, which are likely to have less of an impact on your chances of being approved. A Default represents a key moment in the eyes of a lender: it shows that on a previous credit agreement you stopped being a borrower and became a debtor.

Published on 29 Mar 2019 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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How Bankruptcy Affects Your Credit Rating

In terms of negative information that could appear on your Credit Report, evidence of bankruptcy or other forms of insolvency is about as serious as it gets and it’s likely to adversely affect your ability to take out new forms of credit for a considerable amount of time.

Published on 7 Mar 2019 by Tom Magor

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