You probably know that any missed credit payments will show up on your credit report. This might include failing to pay the minimum on your credit card or falling behind with a loan repayment.
But what about smaller types of debt, like if you check out a library book and forget to return it? We explore whether library fines will show up on your credit report.
It's important to know that libraries do not report directly to credit reference agencies. However, some libraries take their book loans very seriously and may even get a debt collection agency to recover overdue book fines.
The best thing to do when facing a library fine is to pay it off as soon as possible. If the library passed the fine to a debt collector, they won't record a late payment themselves but you could find yourself with a county court judgement (CCJ) if you ignore them and the fine escalates.
A CCJ will show up on your credit report if you do not pay it off within a month. It will stay on your credit report for six years and could damage your chances of getting credit in the future.
How much are library fees?
The cost of a library fine can vary depending on your local council. The item you’re returning late and even your age can have an impact on the charge as well.
For example, Warwickshire council charge 18p per day for an overdue book to a maximum charge of £5.22 for individuals between 16 and 59 years old. Those aged 6-15 years and 60 or over pay 5p per day. The charge increases slightly for a CD – you'll pay 25p as a daily fine for a £1 CD after you go overdrawn by a week. The maximum charge is £5.50.
Check your local library to see what their charges are. But remember, you can often get around paying these charges by renewing the item you've borrowed. Most libraries will let you renew up to a set amount of times at no extra charge but there can be restrictions on this.
Keep in mind that you might have to return an item sooner if someone reserves it.
What else affects your credit rating?
There are a number of things that can influence your credit rating including whether you:
• are signed up to the electoral roll,
• make a lot of credit applications,
• continue making your regular payments including your rent,
• keep a regular income,
• close any old credit accounts that you have.
Not checked your credit report in a while? You can get a free credit report with Noddle and ClearScore.