If you’re late paying your required payments towards a debt, you miss your payments completely or pay the incorrect amount, your creditor will default the account. A default notice will usually be sent to you after three to six missed payments.
Receiving a default notice can be very stressful, but here you’ll find a full explanation of the impact it will have on your credit rating and what you can do about it. There is support available to help you deal with default notices.


What is a default notice?

A default notice is a letter sent from your creditor warning that your account is about to default because you haven’t met your regular payments.

The notice will usually allow you to catch up with the missed payment(s), often giving you two weeks to do this. If you do, your account will carry on as normal and won’t go into default. However if you can’t pay the amount required in the time given, your account will default.

What happens after an account defaults?

There are several options your creditor may take to recover the amount you owe, including:

  • Passing the debt to a collection agency
  • Taking legal action against you

The default will also be registered with one or more of the credit reference agencies, appearing on your credit file for 6 years. This means that any creditor who checks your credit file in this time will see the default and may refuse your application or charge you higher than average interest rates, costing you much more than others.

In some instances, a default notice may affect your job. Some industries, such as financial services, regularly check your credit file and may refuse an offer of employment on that basis or dismiss you.

Next steps

If you’ve received a default notice and are concerned about the impact on your finances and credit rating, click here to find out who you can speak to for advice.


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“Disclaimer: No information on this website shall be construed as advice and content is offered for information purposes only. You should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific legal enquiry, an appropriately qualified Independent Financial Advisor on any specific financial matter, or an appropriately regulated and qualified debt management company. Full terms of use

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