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5 Debt Default Consequences Explained

Debt default consequences explained

What happens if you default on your debt? It’s not a pleasant thought, but it’s important to understand the consequences of doing so. Defaulting on your debt can lead to many negative consequences, including damage to your credit score, wage garnishment, and even legal action. We’ll explain the debt default consequences in this post.

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Debt Default Meaning

Debt default occurs when a borrower is unable to repay the full amount of debt owed. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but most often it is due to an inability to make the required payments or an unwillingness to repay the debt.

Defaulting on debt can have serious consequences, including damage to your credit score, collection activity, and even legal action.

Different Types Of Debt

There are many different types of debt, but they can broadly be divided into two categories: secured and unsecured.

Secured debt is backed by collateral, which the lender can seize if you default on the loan. Common examples of secured debt include mortgages and car loans.

Unsecured debt, on the other hand, is not backed by any collateral. Credit cards and student loans are both common types of unsecured debt.

Recommended reading; Is debt bad for your finances?

Consequences of debt default
Consequences of debt default

Consequences Of Debt Default

Defaulting on debt is a serious matter that can have many negative consequences. If you are unable to make your debt payments, you should contact your creditors as soon as possible to explain your situation and try to work out a payment plan.

If you and your creditors are unable to reach an agreement, your account will likely be classified as delinquent. This can result in late fees, additional interest charges, and negative marks on your credit report. Your creditors may also take legal action to collect the debt, which can result in wage garnishment, seizure of assets, and even jail time.

How Default Affects Your Credit Score

If you have defaulted on a loan or other type of debt, it will negatively affect your credit score. This can make it difficult to get new credit in the future, as lenders will be hesitant to lend to someone with a history of not repaying their debts.

Defaulting on a debt will also stay on your credit report for seven years, so it is important to try and avoid defaulting if possible.

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More Expensive To Borrow In Future

If you default on your debt, it will negatively impact your credit score. This will make it more expensive to borrow in the future because lenders will see you as a higher risk borrower. They will either charge you higher interest rates or refuse to lend to you altogether. Either way, it will cost you more money to borrow in the future if you have defaulted on your debt in the past.

Wage Garnishment

Defaulting on debt can lead to wage garnishment, which is a process in which a portion of an individual’s wages are withheld by their employer in order to satisfy a debt. This can negatively affect an individual by reducing their take-home pay and making it more difficult to meet their financial obligations. Additionally, wage garnishment can result in a lower credit score and difficulty obtaining new credit.

Asset Seizure

If a person defaults on their debt, the creditor may take legal action to recover the money owed. This can include asset seizure, which is when the creditor takes possession of the debtor’s assets in order to sell them and recoup the money owed. This can have a devastating effect on the debtor, as they may lose their home, car, or other valuable possessions.


If you default on your debt, it means you have failed to make payments on time or have otherwise broken the terms of your loan agreement. This can lead to bankruptcy, which is a legal process that allows you to discharge your debts and get a fresh start. However, bankruptcy has a number of negative effects, including damage to your credit score, the loss of certain assets, and the imposition of restrictions on your financial activities.

Debt default meaning and the consequences of debt default
Debt default meaning and the consequences of debt default

Can You Go To Jail For Debt?

In the United States, you cannot go to jail for debt. This includes both unpaid debts and debts that you cannot pay. A debt collector may not threaten to have you arrested.

However, you can be sued for your debts. If you are sued and do not show up for your court date, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest. This is called being in contempt of court.

It is always important to follow and respond to court orders related to debt. If you ignore a court order, you may be found in contempt of court and arrested.

Debt Collection

If you’re behind on your debt payments, you may be contacted by a debt collector. This is someone who works for a collection agency, which is a company that collects debts for other businesses.

Debt collectors can contact you by phone, email, letter, or text message. They can also visit you in person, but only if they have your permission to do so.

If a debt collector contacts you, they must tell you who they are and what debt they’re collecting. They can’t threaten to hurt you physically, have you arrested or take your property.

What To Do If You Are Struggling To Pay

If you are in danger of defaulting on your debt, there are a few things you can do. Even though it can be difficult, it is important to identify when you require help and take remedial action. Never just ignore the problems.

Defaulting on debt
Defaulting on debt

Contact And Negotiate With Your Creditors

You can try to negotiate with your creditors to lower your payments or interest rates. You can also look into consolidation or refinancing options.

Debt Refinancing Plans

Debt refinancing plans are available to help individuals who are struggling to pay their debts. These plans can help lower monthly payments, interest rates, and overall debt balances. To proceed with a debt refinancing plan, an individual will need to contact their lender to discuss their options.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is when an individual takes out a new loan to pay off multiple, smaller loans. This can be beneficial because it often results in a lower interest rate, and can make monthly payments more manageable.

Credit Counselling

Credit counseling is a process that involves working with a credit counselor to identify ways to improve your financial situation. This may include creating a budget, negotiating with creditors, and developing a plan to repay your debts. Credit counseling can help you get out of debt and improve your financial future. You can find US Department of Justice approved credit counselors.

Debt Default Consequences Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are thinking about defaulting on your debt, it is important to understand the consequences. This includes damage to your credit score, increased interest rates, and legal action.

While it may seem like an attractive option at first, defaulting on your debt can have long-lasting negative consequences. In order to avoid the debt default consequences, speak to your creditor or seek professional financial advice.

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