Being in debt can be a worrying time without the added pressure of others knowing all about your financial situation.
However, knowing where details of your debt solution will be published and who can view this information can help put your mind at ease.
What is the Register of Insolvencies?
The Register of Insolvencies (ROI) is a public register that contains information about two debt solutions in Scotland: Trust Deeds and Sequestration (bankruptcy).
The Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), the government agency responsible for administering and managing personal bankruptcy and business insolvency, oversees the Register of Insolvencies to ensure all entries are accurate and up to date. This is Scotland’s version of the Insolvency Service.
There is a separate register, known as the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) Register, for people in Debt Arrangement Schemes. This is also overseen by the AiB.
In England and Wales, bankruptcies, Debt Relief Orders (DROs), and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) are documented on the Individual Insolvency Register.
In Northern Ireland, they are listed on the Individual Voluntary Arrangement Register.
What information is included on the Register of Insolvencies?
The Register of Insolvencies includes the following information:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your date of birth
- The date the debt solution started
- The name of your trustee or insolvency practitioner (there is no official receiver in Scotland)
- The date you were discharged
This level of information might seem excessive but the more details that are listed, the less chance there is of an entry being misinterpreted.
For example, if you have a common surname, your entry can be verified by your address or date of birth.
How long will details of my Trust Deed stay on the Register of Insolvencies?
If you have a Trust Deed, it will be listed on the Register of Insolvencies until five years after your discharge date.
However, because a Trust Deed can last between 48 months to 60 months, your Trust Deed could be visible on the register for up to 10 years.
During this time, you might find it difficult to be approved for credit, even if you have settled your debts.
Who can access the Register of Insolvencies?
Knowing your details are listed on a public register can be daunting. But while anyone can view this information, it is usually only accessed by people and organisations that have a valid reason to research your financial situation.
Lenders might access the register when determining whether you should have access to further credit.
If your details are on the register, you may be seen as a bigger risk and are less likely to be approved for credit, including a loan, mortgage, or phone contract.
Credit reference agencies
Credit reference agencies may carry out regular searches of the register to ensure your credit rating is accurate.
Having an entry on the register will lower your credit score for a number of years but it can be rebuilt over time.
Some employers may check the register to ensure you are legally allowed to work in a particular field.
However, this is usually only the case for roles within the legal or financial industries or the police.
Landlords must be able to guarantee their tenants can pay rent in full and on time. If a landlord discovers you have had trouble making payments in the past, they may be less likely to let you rent a property. Alternatively, they may ask for an advance payment or request you have a guarantor for extra security.
However, it’s important to know that information contained on the Insolvencies Register won’t show up if someone was to simply search for your name online.
For someone to access your entry on the register, they must know the specific details of your Trust Deed or Sequestrian.
For example, if a family, friend, or colleague is unaware of your financial situation or that you’re in debt, they won’t be able to find out by searching for your name online.
How can I improve my credit score after a Trust Deed or Sequestration?
Having a Trust Deed or Sequestration will lower your credit score and make it difficult to be approved for further credit.
This is because it indicates you have a history of missing payments.
However, there are various steps you can take to gradually improve your credit score.
Keep an eye on your credit report
Lenders rely on the information contained on your credit report when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Checking your credit report on a regular basis can ensure you pick up on any mistakes or errors that may be unfairly damaging your credit score.
Register on the electoral roll
Lenders check the electoral roll to confirm you have a permanent address. Registering on the electoral roll is the easiest way to confirm your address and can improve your chances of being approved for credit down the line.
Never miss a payment
It can be easier said than done but making sure you never miss another payment can prevent your credit score from dropping again.
Even late payments can stay on your credit file for up to six years, making it difficult to make any big financial decisions during that time.
Get a credit card
Getting a credit card can be a good way of proving to lenders that you are capable of making payments in full and on time.
However, if credit cards are what led to you needing a Trust Deed in the first place, you must exercise caution and only ever spend what you know you can afford to pay.
Request a completion certificate
There are some instances in which you might be asked to prove you have stuck to the terms of your agreement.
If you didn’t receive a completion certificate when your Trust Deed came to an end, requesting one can prove you made the necessary payments which can speed up the process of getting credit down the line.