Why 72 months is the magic credit report number

Why 72 months is the magic credit report number

author: Hayley Cox

By Hayley Cox


Have you made financial mistakes in the past that you’d rather forget about? Well, don’t worry – they’ll be wiped from your credit report after 72 months.

Red marks, such as missed payments, unpaid CCJs and even debt solutions like an IVA or DRO, will stay on your credit report for six years, and six years only. That’s 72 months.

That means, for example, if you missed a payment on a loan five years and 11 months ago and it’s stopping you getting accepted for credit, in two months’ time, it’ll no longer appear on your credit report.

Lenders will no longer see it when you apply, so they may now accept you when they’ve rejected you before (as long as you haven’t had any more negative marks on your report since then, of course).

So, if you want to apply for credit but think a missed payment from years ago may hinder your application, it’s worth waiting until the 72 month mark has passed. In the meantime, make sure you follow all of our other tips to improving your credit rating here.

Lenders report new information to the credit reference agencies every four to six weeks

It’s also good to be aware that although things may change with your finances daily, lenders only update their records with the central credit bureau once every four to six weeks. Just as 72 month old information will drop off, the credit reference agencies (CRAs) will update your report with any new information the lenders give.

Depending on what the new information is, the credit rating that the CRAs give you may change too.

This could be because you:

-          made your monthly utilities, mobile phone and mortgage payment on time

-          made a loan payment on time

-          paid off or reduced credit that you owed

-          signed up to certain utility companies

-          got a new phone contract

-          took out credit with someone else

And all of these are likely to be positive to your credit score

-          made multiple credit applications (even if you’re rejected)

-          took out car finance or other types of finance

-          missed a payment

-          had a CCJ awarded against you

-          moved house and didn’t update your address on the electoral roll

 Whilst all of these are likely to make your credit score worse.

How can I check?

If you think a red mark will drop off your credit report soon, you can check. Use one of the links below for free and you’ll see all of your payments on there. 


ClearScore (which works with Equifax)

Check your eligibility

If a red mark has dropped off or you’ve noticed that your credit report has changed and want to see if that now means you’ll be accepted for credit, look out for lenders that offer eligibility checkers.

This is different to making a full application, as it lets you see if you’ll be accepted before you apply. The lender should make it clear on their website whether it’s an eligibility checker or not.

Using an eligibility checker will protect your credit rating as no one else but you will be able to see this search on your credit report.

If you get a yes, great! You can go on and apply with confidence.

If you get a no, work on improving your credit rating in different ways instead before trying the eligibility checker again.

If only all mistakes we’ve made in life could be wiped after 72 months! Those awful 1980s perms still haunts us! 

Disclaimer: We make every effort to ensure that content is correct at the time of publication. Please note that information published on this website does not constitute financial advice, and we aren’t responsible for the content of any external sites.

Why 72 months is the magic credit report number Why 72 months is the magic credit report number