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Default notices, missed payments and your credit file

i All UK

You may get a default notice or "notice of default" if you miss or do not make agreed payments. This is recorded in your credit file and can affect your credit rating.

An account defaults when you break the terms of your agreement.

The people you owe money to may cancel your contract if they think you cannot get back on track.

A debt can only default once, but afterwards creditors can take further action to collect it.

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What is a default notice?

A default notice is a letter the people you owe send to warn that:

  • You are behind on payments
  • Your account may default

The people you owe usually send this after six months of missed or under payments.

They give you at least two weeks to make up missed payments.

Your account defaults if you cannot pay in this time.

Default notices apply to debts regulated by the Consumer Credit Act, like:

  • Credit and store cards
  • Payday loans
  • Personal loans
  • Hire purchases

Does a default notice affect your credit rating?

A default notice does not affect your credit file, but the account defaulting does.

Your credit file will show that you did not make your agreed payments.

This impacts your credit score.

Creditors may think the default makes you high risk to not pay them back.

This makes it harder to get:

  • A new loan
  • A new credit card
  • A new mortgage
  • Certain bank accounts

Find out more about how debt affects your credit file.

The people you owe must send you a default notice and give you time to act if the debt is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act.

What happens when you get a default notice?

The people you owe ask you to pay the full amount owed instead of instalments.

You can ask to pay in affordable instalments, but they may not agree.

After the account defaults, the people you owe can:

We can help if you are worried about missing payments and getting a default notice.

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