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Missed payments: how long do they stay on your credit record?

John Fitzsimons
by Lovemoney Staff John Fitzsimons on 14 August 2012  |  Comments 7 comments

Guest blogger Darren Beach of Experian looks at how long your credit record suffers for if you happen to miss a payment

Missed payments: how long do they stay on your credit record?

Most of us have known at some point the creeping realisation dawning on us that we have forgotten to pay our credit card bill on time. Or perhaps seen the ‘red bill of doom’ lying on the doormat when we come back from holiday, to tell us that the gas bill is overdue. Some may find that their regular mortgage payment was rejected due to lack of funds.

We all know that missing a payment is bad news for our credit record. But just how long-term is the damage?

The first thing to note is that missed payments are recorded on your credit report for at least six years. Court Judgments for non-payment of debts, IVAs and bankruptcies also stay on your credit report for at least six years and can be seen by lenders.

Why does a missed payment stay on my credit record for so long?

This is because lenders want to check your credit report to judge for themselves whether or not they think you are likely to keep up payments on any credit they give you.

If they see late or missed payments on credit agreements with other lenders, they may worry that you might miss payments to them too. They want to be sure that you aren’t taking on more credit than you can comfortably manage.

You may still get credit

Even if late payments can affect your credit score, it needn’t stop you from getting credit. You may still be eligible for credit, but it might cost you more to do so as the most competitive deals may now be out of reach.

A single late payment won’t do you any good – but it needn’t be the difference between getting a deal or not. Credit scores weigh up lots of different pieces of information and if everything else on your report and application form is favourable it may not be an issue. It is best to make sure that you don’t miss any further payments from then on.

It’s fair to say that most lenders focus on your most recent payment history. A solitary missed payment from over a year ago is probably unlikely to worry them very much.

Darren Beach is editorial content co-ordinator at Experian.

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Comments (7)

  • Dampflok
    Love rating 24
    Dampflok said

    So much for 6 years. I have a single late payment from May 2002 and Equifax say that it will remain there until May 2012.

    Report on 19 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Pitachok
    Love rating 21
    Pitachok said

    I missed a payment on Amex and it didn't go on my record. They told me they didn't put one missed payment on your record. Experian have a vested interest in getting you to worry about your credit record (getting you to pay to check yours). Better to check with your lender

    Report on 19 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • PDB11
    Love rating 75
    PDB11 said

    And don't forget that, while credit mistakes stay on your record for years, insurance mistakes stay on your record for ever.

    Report on 20 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Porter
    Love rating 0
    Porter said

    Hello. I had a phone call today from an Asian gentleman saying he was from 3 mobile phone company. He said I owed them £62-40 and they let me have fifteen days to pay it back in. He also said I would keep getting these phone calls until I paid the £62-40. I know he is lying about the fifteen days because the last time they phoned me was a week last Friday. I think this is a scam. Crocus.

    Report on 27 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • BGM
    Love rating 12
    BGM said

    @Porter - You have of course called three and asked them this yourself yes?

    Report on 28 December 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • mrskpnutz
    Love rating 0
    mrskpnutz said

    Morning I have been trying to get a mortgage to buy my council house but due to my credit score being poor high st lenders will not assist even though my house is valued at £125000 and my right to buy being £68000

    My bad credit appeared when my son passed away a few yrs ago I have placed a message on my file explaining but it hasn't made any difference.

    I work full time as a nurse can you advice whom maybe able to help?

    I am 50 this year so would only want a 15 yr mortgage .


    Report on 18 March 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • oldbloke
    Love rating 3
    oldbloke said

    mrskpnutz - whatever you do, don't end paying a high rate or high fees to some 'specialist lender'. I would start by contacting a mortgage broker (preferably a fee-free one like London and Country - one of their advisers used to appear on BBC's Working Lunch to give advice) who can look around for you....I don't know whether you'll qualify for any Key Worker or Government backed schemes but get advice and don't get ripped off....if no-one will give you a good deal 'now', then I should just wait - as time goes by your record will look better and better, you'll have more savings, no debts and your choices might improve...don't rush into anything and don't get ripped off

    Report on 18 March 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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