Why is 2005 missed payment still on my report?

Dear James,

I have a single missed payment on a credit card going back to 2005. I closed the account in 2008 and this account should fall off my credit report next January. However, if you only show defaults that are under six years old, why is this default showing on my report?

Stuart, Leighton Buzzard

Dear Stuart,

The blip on your credit card account is not a default, it’s just a missed payment. You’d usually have to miss at least three consecutive payments before an account is defaulted. You are right: defaults stay on your credit report for six years, which runs from the default date. But for accounts that haven’t defaulted, like your card account, we keep these on your report for six years from the settlement date. When an account is updated to settled, the entire record is frozen. This includes its previous payment history, which goes back up to six years. That information then stays on your credit report unchanged for six years until the entire record drops off your report, in this case next January. The odd missed payment from several years ago is unlikely to have a significant impact on your credit rating as lenders tend to be much more concerned with your more recent behaviour. So it really isn’t something I’d worry about. (December 2013)


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