Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about council tax arrears affecting your credit score at all. Local councils don’t report any data to credit reference agencies. However, not paying your council tax will ultimately lead to fines and court action.
Will council tax payments be visible on my credit file?
No, whether you pay your council tax late or on time, it won’t appear on your credit report.
Will council tax arrears affect my chances of getting a loan?
No. There’s no way of lenders knowing that you’re in council tax arrears. Even if the debt is referred to court, this would be dealt with by the magistrates’ court, because non-payment of tax is regarded as a criminal matter, not a civil matter.
No fines imposed by a magistrates’ court appear on your credit report. They’ll impact your chances of getting a loan indirectly – by reducing your overall wealth.
Pay your council tax on time. You can set up a direct debit to help ensure no payments are missed.
Miss council tax payments so you can pay back other payments. If you’re struggling with debt, seek help from the Money Advice Service.
John's loan application and his credit score
Following confusion with his tenancy agreement, John discovered that he owed almost a year’s worth of council tax. He thought it couldn’t have been worse timing, as he was just about to apply for a mortgage.
Luckily, after some research he realised that council tax arrears have no impact on his credit score, and he still had enough savings to fund a mortgage deposit.
The bottom line
It’s important to pay your council tax on time, or you might suffer fines for late payment. Missing council tax payments won’t impact your credit score though.
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Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
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