How do late payments affect credit status?

Equifax provides an insight into the impact of late payments on credit scores

In a move to help consumers understand the different information on their credit report, Equifax, the online credit information provider, is reminding individuals about the impact of late or missed payments.

When applying for credit, lenders will typically look at an individual’s credit history to help them assess the applicant’s ability to meet their financial commitments. Evidence of late payment of credit agreements is, therefore, likely to influence a lender’s decision about granting new credit.

“Many people may not realise that a missed payment on a utility bill or mobile phone agreement could have a negative impact on their credit report” explains Laura Barrett, Equifax Consumer Affairs. “If an individual has missed or made a late payment on a credit or service agreement then prospective lenders could see this and take into account during the application process. This doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t get the credit deal they want, especially is there is evidence of them resolving any financial difficulties. However it may be more difficult than if their previous finances were all in order.”

The right to explain

There are certain steps that individuals can take to explain any items on their credit report which may have occurred for various reasons.

“Life changes, such as separation, divorce or losing a job can all have an impact on an individual’s finances and in turn could result in missed or late payments,” continued Laura Barrett. “It is important that, if faced with financial difficulty, individuals are able to speak to their lenders or credit providers to explain the situation and seek a solution early on; rather than waiting for the problem to get worse or avoiding the issue altogether.

“For those with negative indicators, such as missed payments, already on their credit file, they may wish to explain any extenuating circumstances by way of a ‘notice of correction’. A ‘notice of correction’ is a brief explanation provided by the individual to explain the circumstances surrounding an item on their credit file and will remain indefinitely so that lenders can see it when considering an application.”

Equifax is reminding consumers about the importance of looking after their ‘financial wellbeing’. By understanding what’s on their credit report, individuals can take steps to address any negative factors which could impact their ability to obtain credit in the future.

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £9.95 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.


For further press information, please contact: Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn, Parm Heer or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or email:

About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 600 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide.  The company’s significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enable it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 19 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index.  Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. In 2013, Equifax was named a Bloomberg BusinessWeek Top 50 company, was #3 in Fortune's Most Admired list in its category, and was named to InfoWeek 500 as well as the FinTech 100. For more information, please visit

Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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