What Happens If You Default On A Debt?

Last Updated: Jan 26, 2023

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One of the most common reasons for penalties occurring on credit reports are because of missed payments. Missing even one debt repayment carries heavy and long-lasting consequences. Still, most can recover from this easily by adopting credit improvement techniques to counter the negative impact.

A single missed payment is in a sense “forgivable” to a certain degree due to the multitude of reasons it could happen, but this is limited to just ONE missed payment. Missed payments on multiple debts. Or in succession would have a seriously compounded negative impact on your credit score.

In this article we will cover the concept and consequences of defaulting on a debt. This will only happen if you have missed multiple repayment obligations as agreed to in the terms of the agreement entered into.

Defaulting can happen for various reasons, including financial hardship, mismanagement of finances, or even being unaware a debt is outstanding. The consequence of defaulting on a debt will have consequences that can be categorised into:

  • Financial,
  • Legal, and
  • Non-financial consequences.

Financial Repercussions of Defaulting On A Debt?

The first, and often most impacted category belongs to your financial flexibility and the restrictions defaulting would have on it. Future lenders are likely to judge your application more harshly causing a ripple effect impacting your:

  • Increased interest rates,
  • Lenders may view default as a sign of financial mismanagement and therefore consider you a higher risk – this in turn will make it more expensive to obtain credit or a loan, mortgage and vehicle financing.
  • Late fees are additional charges assessed when a payment is not made on time. The additional fees will increase the overall cost of the debt.
  • Credit score is likely to lose significant amounts of points leading up to the subsequent default “To nail the final nail so to speak.

Legal Repercussions Of Debt Default

Secondly, we look at the potential legal consequences of defaulting on a debt. The lender will likely try to sue you in an attempt to recuperate some, if not all of the unpaid debt.

Alternatively, you may be subjected to wage garnishments, the process in which a portion of an individual’s wages are seized to pay off a debt. This can anchor an individual’s financial progress until the repayment obligations are met in full. This could lead to situations where individuals consider loans options with significantly less favorable terms,  to help cover their current debts. Effectively kickstarting a spiral effect into a hole of debt.

Non-Financial Repercussions Of Debt Default

The non-financial consequences may not seem as punishing as the legal and financial consequences, but make no mistake, this significantly impacts the individual’s relationships and financial reputation. Once you have defaulted on a loan, you are likely to raise red flags to lenders in all future applications.

The remarks indicating the default will only be removed from your credit report after seven years. Obtaining loans, especially in cases of emergency, will be particularly difficult and costly due to less flexible repayment terms to be offered by the lenders.

You are only as good as your word. In the financial world, a word with no value exposes individuals to only the least attractive of options. Lenders are always more likely to listen to you if you have a track record that shows you can keep to your repayment conditions.

Prioritize Paying Off Fresh Debt

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. It is important that consumers prioritize paying off their loans in an effort to avoid any negative consequences, like defaulting on outstanding debt.

We have already touched on the consequences associated with default, and it is essential to know that several other negative financial remarks are likely to occur before eventually leading up to default.

If you want to avoid scenarios that bring your financial reputation into disrepute, you may consider the following measures:

  • Get in touch with the lender.
  • Seek financial assistance.
  • Consider consolidation.

Summing It All Up

In conclusion, we understand defaulting on a debt has severe and long-lasting consequences that will impact various facets of an individuals’ life, including their; finances, relationships, and legal standing. To avoid defaulting on debts and the negative consequences that come with it, readers should aim to prioritize paying off their loans and seek help if that is too great a task.

By following the suggestions in this article, readers are likely to avert ever-crossing paths with the consequences of defaulting. Furthermore, you may consult the services of Credit Glory, the specialist credit repair firm, here to help you prioritize your financial future and maximize your credit score potential.

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