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Will Debt Management Plan ruin my credit history?

Dear James,

How much of an obligation do the banks have to inform you what the impact of a DMP is? As I wasn't informed that I was on DMP or that it would be recorded on a credit file.

Ben, Exeter

Dear Ben,

In view of your comments I’m wondering if it is actually a Debt Management Plan (DMP) you’re currently on. This is because DMPs are usually set up and administered at your instigation by a third party, such as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. I think it’s more likely that your bank has agreed to vary your repayments for a short time, which should appear on your credit report as an Arrangement. DMPs and Arrangements aren’t currently registered on credit reports as standalone entries, but the lenders that share customer repayment details through Experian can highlight any special arrangements or circumstances like these on the entries they register with us using what we call ‘flags’. We certainly encourage lenders to add any applicable flags to the data they send us to make sure that people’s credit reports paint the most accurate and comprehensive picture of their current financial circumstances. When you take out any credit, you usually give your permission for the lender to share details about how you manage the account. Entering into a DMP or an Arrangement is certainly very relevant to this. Importantly, if you stick the whatever agreement you’ve reached with your bank any damage to your creditworthiness should be minimal. Once the Arrangement or DMP ends, the flags will disappear within six years, whether you keep the accounts open or you close them.

James Sign

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