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How long do accounts/defaults remain on your credit file?

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How long do accounts/defaults remain on your credit file?

edited 18 January 2016 at 8:38AM in Credit File & Ratings
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edited 18 January 2016 at 8:38AM in Credit File & Ratings
For FAQ - How long do accounts/defaults remain on your credit file?

Equifax has the most succinct answer to this on their FAQ, but the same principle applies to all 3 CRAs
Six years from the date the account was settled, written off or defaulted – whichever happened first
So in more detail.....

Non-defaulted accounts.

For an account that has never had a formal default recorded on the CRA record, the account and history will remain visible on your report for 6 year from the eventual/recorded settlement date. This may include up to 6 years of the prior history.

At the 6 years point from settlement/closure, all details of the account are removed. Nothing will remain.

Defaulted accounts.

All trace of the account and default is removed from your report 6 years from the recorded default date.

All traces are removed; the default, the account/status history, balances, everything. Nothing new is ever recorded, even if you are still making payments.

As far as anyone checking your report after that point is concerned, they will see no evidence that the account or default ever existed.

Q&A on defaulted accounts.

Q. Is the account and default still removed even if the debt has not been paid off?

A. Yes. The status of the account makes no difference.

Q. I see Ds or 8s each month. Do these new defaults mean the 6 years runs longer?

A. No, as they are not new defaults, but merely status updates on the original default. Everything will still be removed 6 years from the original recorded default date.

Q. Do I still owe/have to pay the debt once the default drops off?

A. Yes, if you are still liable. Presuming that the debt is not time barred, then the creditor can still obtain a County Court Judgement, which would result in a new separate entry in the public record section of your report for another 6 years.

Q. 6 years has passed but the entry remains on my report?

A. It should have been removed by the CRA, so complain to them.

Q. Once the default has dropped off can another be added?

A. No. Only one default can be entered on any account. Once dropped off it cannot be re-added. If that happens then complain.

Q. A debt collector has added a new default or changed the date of the original?

A. A debt collector can have the default record changed into their name, but the default date itself must not be altered. If it is then they must correct it to match the original.

Only one default record is allowed per account, so if a duplicate is created then:-

- one of the two must be removed, or
- it must be clear that both records relate to the same account. May be achieved by a debt assigned marker on the original and it;s balance being zeroed.

Also see:

Q. I need to complain about something that is incorrect?

A. Dispute the entry/information with the CRA and the lender if possible. If the lender refuses to correct the entry, then complain to the ICO and if it falls within their remit, also the FOS..
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