Removing A Default From Your Credit Reports
When and how you can have a default removed from your credit reports.
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Your credit history and score is a really important part of any finance application you make. Even if you think your score is perfect, your advisor is going to want to see and understand your report and make sure they’re supporting you in the right way.
When can a default be removed from your credit history?
There are only really two scenarios when you can have a default removed from your files:
- If the default has been settled and six years have passed since it was registered
- The default in question was registered in error or as a result of fraud
Defaults stay on your credit reports for six years regardless of whether they have been settled, but some credit reference agencies are known to be slower to update their records than others. If a default that is more than six years old is still showing on your record despite having been paid off, you should have a case to request its manual removal.
The same applies if the default showing up shouldn’t be there in the first place. If it was a simple mistake or suspected fraud, there are steps you can take to rectify the issue.
How to remove a default from your credit records
Here are the steps to follow to get a default that fits the criteria above removed:
- Don’t take on extra debt: You may wish to place any applications for finance on hold, where possible. If you have a contestable default against your name, waiting for it to be removed could mean your prospects of securing finance improve.
- Download your credit reports: You will need to see which credit reference agencies are showing the default. Head to our credit reports hub and sign up for a free trial with one of our affiliate partners to access your credit files in minutes.
- Request default removal: If you have a legal right to contest the default, you should contact the credit reference agency that is displaying the issue and argue your case with them directly. If the problem is that the default has been repaid, make sure you have evidence of this to hand. If the default is the result of suspected fraud, you should take this up with the lender who placed it there so they can investigate.
How much will your credit score improve by?
A default can impact your credit score by between 350 points and 250 points during the first two years, and by 200 points by the time it enters its fourth year. The exact effect, however, will depend on which of the credit reference agencies you are using.
Removing a default can result in an uplift of this amount to your credit score once the matter has been resolved and the full six years have elapsed.
Download your credit reports today
If you want to have a CCJ removed from your credit files, your first step should be to download your credit reports so you have visibility of the issue and know which agencies are displaying it. Head to our credit reports hub to access free trials with two of the leading credit report providers. Through them you can review your files with all three of the UK’s main credit reference agencies and take swift action to get the matter resolved.
Yes and it may boost your creditworthiness if you do so, but keep in mind that the default will remain on your credit reports for six years regardless of whether it has been settled.
Yes. If you fail to pay a default the creditor can take you to court to obtain the money. If the situation escalates like this, you could end up with a county court judgement (CCJ) against your name, and this is considered a more serious form of bad credit than a default.