Data Retention Summary
The table below sets out, at a high level, the periods for which Equifax retains credit reference data. These periods will be subject to review from time to time and may change.
|Information Type||Retention Period(s)|
Identification data like names, addresses and dates of birth are kept while there is a continuing need to keep it. This need will be assessed on a regular basis, and data that is no longer needed for any purpose will be disposed of.
|Electoral register data||
We keep this information indefinitely and hold records back to 1983
|Credit account performance data||
Up to four (4) years of monthly credit performance is held on each credit account.
Should the account be closed or settled, the information will be retained for live decision making for a further six (6) years from the date the credit account is closed or settled.
If the account is not closed or settled, and the account is not updated by the provider, the information will be retained for live decision making for four (4) years after the most recent update to the credit account.
|Bank account turnover data||
Up to two (2) years of monthly bank account turnover data is used on each account.
Should the account be closed or settled, the information will be retained for live decision making for a further nine (9) months from the date the account is closed or settled.
If the account is not closed or settled, and the account is not updated by the provider, the information will be retained for live decision making for nine (9) months after the most recent update to the account.
Judgement data is retained for use in live decision making for six (6) years following the court date.
For discharged records, data is retained for live decision making for six (6) years from the court date (date of insolvency).
If the insolvency has not been discharged (is still ‘live’) then the data is held (and used in live decision making) for at least six (6) years or until such time as the insolvency becomes discharged (if later).
Note: For Northern Ireland insolvency records are retained for live decision making for up to six (6) years (from the court date), irrespective of whether or not the record has been discharged.
|Rental related data||
Up to four (4) years of monthly rental data is held on each account (where available).
Should the account be closed or settled, the information will be retained for live decision making for a further six (6) years from the date the account is closed or settled.
If the account is not closed or settled, and the account is not updated by the provider, the information will be retained for live decision making for four (4) years after the most recent update to the account.
|Fraud prevention indicators||
Cifas data is retained for the periods specified by Cifas. This is currently six years for individuals who are suspected to pose a fraud or money laundering risk, or two years for individuals who are suspected to be victims of fraud.
From the date on which a search is undertaken, we retain the associated footprint for two (2) years where the search is for debt collection purposes and one (1) year for other search footprints.
Scores generated for use by lenders and other Equifax clients are calculated at the point of enquiry and not retained.
|Other third party data||
Other third party data may be kept for a range of different periods depending on the nature of the data and the licence period granted by the data supplier.
|Other data credit reference agencies create||
Address links and aliases are retained for as long as they are relevant for the purposes for which they are used.
Financial association links are made between people for as long as the credit reference agencies believe that those individuals continue to be financially connected or until notified that they are no longer financially associated. When two people stop being financially associated, either can write to Equifax or ask for the link to be removed. Equifax will then follow a process to check the people are no longer associated with each other. The fact that the individuals were once financially associated will be retained for audit and analytical purposes.
|Data provided by individuals themselves||
Notices of correction are retained for the same duration as the data to which they relate.
Credit reference agencies may hold credit reference data in an archived form for longer than the periods described above for activities such as research and development, compliance with legal requirements (including supporting third parties with such requirements), audit, and the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- Information about a judgment can be removed if the judgment is paid within one calendar month of the date of the judgment or if the judgment is set aside or recalled by the courts.
- Insolvency data may be retained for longer than indicated if the relevant event (such as the period of the bankruptcy) is extended. Some data, such as a bankruptcy restrictions order, can also remain in live use for longer than six (6) years. Although the start of these events is automatically reported to the credit reference agencies, the end (such as a discharge from bankruptcy or completion of an Individual Voluntary Arrangement) might not be. Therefore, consumers are advised to contact Equifax when this happens to make sure their credit reference data is updated accordingly.
- Where the table above does not provide a specific retention period, the credit reference agencies retain data for a period which is appropriate taking into account factors such as the period for which the data is expected to remain relevant, accurate and necessary to achieve the aims for which it is being held; any contractual restrictions imposed by the relevant data suppliers; regulatory requirements; industry practice; and any limitation periods set out in law.