I’ve been hit with a fine for not wearing a mask. I can’t believe it. Is this going to mess up my credit rating?
Because these fines are so new, it’s difficult to say for sure. But normally, things like parking fines or speeding tickets only affect our credit scores if we don’t pay them on time. It seems likely the same will apply to Covid-related fines.
If we get taken to court for non-payment, lose the case and fail to pay the fine within 30 days, this will appear on our credit file. It could affect our rating for up to five years. A poor credit rating can affect our ability to get a loan or even a phone contract. It can also impact the amount of interest we have to pay when we borrow money, as we’ll be seen as a higher risk.
It’s worth knowing that police and Transport for London officers have enforcement powers for these types of fines. If we pay the fine within 14 days it is reduced from £200 to £100. Those of us receiving repeat fines on public transport or in an indoor setting will have them doubled each time.
After the first fine, there will be no discount. For example, receiving a second fine will amount to £400 and a third fine will be £800, up to a maximum value of £6,400. For all the details including when you have to wear a face covering and when you don’t, see the government website.