This case is about:

  • retention timescales; and
  • defaults recorded on a credit file.

Ms S had a joint loan agreement with her boyfriend, Mr H. They borrowed the money so Mr H could buy a new van for his work as a delivery driver. Their relationship broke down and Mr H agreed to take responsibility for the loan repayments.

Some time later Ms S applied for a credit card, but was refused. She obtained a copy of her credit file to find out why and discovered that a default had been registered against her because the loan she had taken out with her ex-boyfriend had not been paid.

Ms S contacted us to complain about the situation. She said that the information was inaccurate as it was her ex-boyfriend that had failed to keep up the payments and the loan was nothing to do with her. Ms S also explained that she had been warned that a default would be filed unless the agreed payments were made.

We explained that because Ms S had signed up to the loan agreement and the required payments had not been made, the default would stay on her credit file for six years from the date of default. The recording was not inaccurate because Ms S had been jointly responsible for taking out the loan and the payments had not been made as agreed. This meant that there was nothing we could do to have the default information removed.

Although unhappy with the default, Ms S was pleased that we had explained the implications of the original joint application. We advised Ms S to apply for another copy of her credit file, six years after the date of the default, to check that it had been removed.