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?

As these 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. 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 and affect our rating for up to five years. In turn, poor credit ratings affect our ability to obtain a loan or the 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 fines, and that fines paid within 14 days are reduced from £200 to £100. Those 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.

More info, including how to make your own mask