How long does debt stay on your credit report in the UK?

5 September2021

Debts are visible on your credit history for as long as they remain unpaid. So, if you have a credit card and you have an outstanding balance, it'll be visible on your credit report. Once you pay it off, a record will remain on there for six years from the date it was settled.

How long do debt solutions stay on your credit report?

According to the credit reference agency Experian, Court Judgments for unpaid debts, IVAs and bankruptcies stay on your credit report for at least six years and missed payments stay on for at least three years.

A debt management plan is slightly different. If you're on a debt management plan, your payments appear on your credit report - and any that you miss are visible too. The fact that you've lowered your repayments technically counts as missed payments. But on the plus side, a debt management plan shows other lenders that you're taking steps to repay your debts in full instead of writing them off.

Click here to find out more about how debt management could help you to repay your debts at a rate you can afford.

The way other lenders see you

Your credit report is important because other lenders look at it when you want to borrow money from them. If you want to rent a home, a landlord/letting agency could check your credit report. If you apply for a mortgage, a lender will look at your credit report. In fact, if you apply for any kind of credit, loan, overdraft, credit card, store card, in-store credit or catalogue, most lenders will check your credit report.

And if a lender thinks you have too much debt, or that you couldn't afford any more debt, or that you pose a risk of defaulting, they'll be less likely to lend you any money. This decision would be based on your credit report, and other factors - like income.

It is still possible to apply for credit while you have other debts, but be warned - if you are borrowing money to fill a shortfall in your monthly finances, borrowing money could cause you problems later on if you can't repay. You need to be fairly confident that your circumstances aren't going to change for the worse and that you'll be able to keep up with any repayments - or you could get into trouble later on.

If you have been refused credit

If you have been refused credit and you're finding it difficult to repay your debts, then it might be time to speak to a debt adviser about your situation. You can contact one of our debt experts with this form.

Tags: debt, credit history, IVA, bankruptcies, debt management plan, credit report

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