How Long Does Bad Credit Last in the UK?

There are many different things that go into having bad credit; bankruptcy, late payments, credit searches, default debts, and plenty more. The thing is that each of these has a different impact on your credit, and for different periods of time. Bad credit is not something that goes away the next calendar year but eventually, all of these things will work their way off.

It is important to check your credit report at least once a year to verify everything that is on there. There are times when something may be wrong and you will want to report it. Generally, it is then taken off of your credit report which improves your credit score. So be sure to look at and research all parts of your credit report yearly.


Bankruptcy stays on your credit report the longest; either 6 or 15 years. It is 15 years for certain, more specific kinds of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a big thing in one’s life and it shows up just as much in one’s finances. Staying away from bankruptcy is the best option, but if you cannot then at least try and stay away from the kind that stays on for 15 years.

For discharged bankruptcy, the negative mark will only stay on your credit record for about 6 years. This is a more normal and well-known kind of bankruptcy. Although it does affect your credit it will be gone 9 years earlier than the other kinds. This means it is very important to research what type of bankruptcy you have on your record.


Searches on your credit are the things that do reset yearly, the fastest that something will get off your record. Searches on your credit reports show who has gone into this information recently, generally within the last year.

These searches occur when applying for a new credit card or a new place to rent, etc. This means that pretty much everyone will always have one or two searches on their credit history, but that is overall okay. These don’t normally impact your credit score too much and obviously, they do not impact it in the long run.

Six Years

The average time for something to stay on your credit record seems to be 6 years. Late payments, debt relief, and default debt all stay on your credit record for 6 years. These are all things that can greatly impact your credit score so be sure to stay away from these as much as possible.

If you are waiting for your credit report to improve it could do so in a matter of months if you get more credit line, pay things off, or searches go off your record. However, if you are waiting for larger things to make their way off your credit report you will generally have to wait 6 years.

That doesn’t mean that your credit score will be stagnant for those 6 years though. It will still fluctuate and still has the ability to rise. is written by David Jacobs who is on a quest to retire early and get out of the rat race. David is a financial expert who lives for early retirement. Follow his journey making money, saving and investing to retire early and get the best out of his retirement.

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