How will a default affect my credit file?
A default will appear on your credit file for six years, even if you pay off the debt in full.
Any creditor who checks your credit file in this time will see the default. They'll take this into account if you apply for other credit.
This means it’ll be harder to get cards, loans or bank accounts because the default tells the creditor there’s a greater risk of you not paying. You'll also find other types of credit such as mortgages and even mobile phone contracts may be harder to get.
Some creditors will refuse your application when they see the default on your credit file. Others will give you credit but they'll charge you a higher rate of interest. It won’t be impossible to get credit, but you’ll have less choice and it’ll cost you more.
Some jobs in the financial services sector may be affected if an account defaults. This is not common. This is a risk if your current employer regularly credit checks you, or if you’re applying for a new job that requires a credit check. Please call us for further advice if you think this might affect you.
It's important to remember that a default doesn't last forever. You'll find creditors are less interested in the default as time passes, and eventually it’ll disappear from your credit file.
What should I do if I get a default notice?
A default notice is a warning sign that your debts are getting out of control. That means you should get free and impartial debt help now before your creditors take any further action.
Free debt advice is available 24 hours a day. Use our Debt Remedy tool - it only takes 20 minutes to build a budget and get your personal action plan.
Or you can call our Helpline for expert advice on 0800 138 1111 free from all landlines and mobiles (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm).