Do Library Fines Impact Your Credit Score?

  • Do Library Fines Impact Your Credit Score?
29 Nov, 2023
Daniel Cohen
7 min
do overdue library books affect credit

In most cases, no.

Can something as small as a library fine have a negative effect on your credit score?

We are well aware that any missed loan repayments or minimums on our credit cards will likely appear on our credit report. However, if it happens more often, you will have permanent scarring on your credit report as it negatively impacts your credit score.

  • But what about the smaller, less prevalent debts?
  • Something like library fines that we consider so insignificant?
  • Can these fines damage our credit score?

Let’s find out!

Why Library Fines May Never Hurt Your Credit Score

Even if your school librarian told you otherwise as a kid when you failed to return your book on time, library fines are not out to get your credit score. The main reason debts as library fines go unregulated when it comes to your credit is that libraries are not mandated to report directly to credit reference agencies.

So even though your local library may be very strict about maintaining the discipline of the institution, the repercussions of not paying a fine may not be as severe as a reduced credit score. Instead, you may get banned from issuing or borrowing a book there, which can be tough if you are a bookworm.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to be a responsible adult for such fines. Pay them off as soon as possible because you don’t want your library authorities to send out a debt collector your way, depending on where you live. You want to avoid facing one because debt collectors record your late fine as a county court judgment (CCJ), which will show up on your credit report if not paid off within a month. It can stay on your credit report for as long as six years and damage your credit scoring chances.

However, it is unlikely your library fines would mount up to such an extent, especially since all three of the national consumer credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) have agreed to change the type of public information that appears on credit reports.

Bottom Line

Hence, if you believe you were wrongfully reported to a credit bureau for a library fine, with help from Consumer Attorneys, you may be able to fix errors in your credit reports promptly and potentially obtain compensation for damages caused by such mistakes. Contact us today for more info.

About the author
Daniel Cohen
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Daniel Cohen is a Founding Partner of Consumer Attorneys and a co-chair of Consumer Finance Litigation practice. Since 2017, he is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and the National Consumer Law Center. Mr. Cohen is a nationally-recognized practitioner of consumer protection law. He has a wealth of proven legal experience in the US in: collective claims, representing visually impaired people who believe their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been violated in both the physical and digital environments, corporate governance and dispute resolution. Read more

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