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Find out about how we share data with Credit Reference Agencies and what this means for you. 

Like many other utility companies, we share your personal data with, and receive your personal data from, Credit Reference Agencies.

This helps us maintain up-to-date customer records, prevent fraud and identify customers at risk of falling into debt. It makes it easier for us to find and help customers who need financial help. This helps us manage debt levels and, in turn, keep prices lower for all customers.

If you pay your bill on time, sharing your data will also positively impact your credit rating.

We share data with; TransUnion.

They hold and share information about your previous credit history and payment behaviour. This includes whether or not you’ve paid your bills on time and in full in the past. This data is refreshed and updated every month and contributes towards your credit score.

How your data will be used by the Credit Reference Agency

Information we provide to the Credit Reference Agency, about you and your payment behaviour, will be used to:

  • Prevent crime, fraud and money laundering by checking your details when you apply for credit
  • Check the operation of credit and credit related accounts
  • Make decisions in relation to credit and credit-related services you use or apply for. Decisions will be made based on information the Credit Reference Agency has about you, people you’re financially associated with and members of your household or business
  • Manage your personal, business credit or credit related accounts or other facilities, and those of your partner
  • Determine your current residence and recover any debts owed
  • Check if you're eligible for assistance from our financial help options or our Priority Services Register

Sharing payment behaviour information

Every month we’ll share your outstanding balance and a status reflecting your payment behaviour.

If you pay your bills on time and in full, this will be shared each month along with your account balance and a status “0” which tells the Credit Reference Agency that you’re up to date.

If you’re over one month late in your payment your credit score may be impacted. If your account is one month behind it’ll be shared as a “1”, two months behind a “2” and so on, up to a 6 for an account that's six months behind on payments.

If you’re on one of our payment plans, for affordability reasons, or to cover debt on the account, you’ll be reported as an “i” to the Credit Reference Agency. This indicates to the Credit Reference Agency that a non-standard payment arrangement with Affinity Water is active on your account. We report alternative payment plans as a different payment plan to support other businesses make responsible lending choices.

Where it’s relevant, we also take into consideration the additional needs of our customers who are registered on our Priority Services Register.

Further details about how we share data with the Credit Reference Agency are in our Privacy Notice. The Credit Reference Agency we use, TransUnion, publish an information notice (also referred to as CRAIN - Credit Reference Agency Information Notice). You can find details of the TransUnion CRAINs on their website:


If you fail to pay your bills or keep up-to-date with the agreed payment arrangement, your account may fall into debt which may lead to a default.

If you don't pay your water and sewerage bill, after we’ve sent you a reminder, we may register a default with the Credit Reference Agency which shows you haven't paid us. When a default is registered against you for non-payment, it will remain on your credit file for six years.

We’ll always write to tell you of our intention to register a default to allow you time to contact us or make payment. If you receive a notice of our intention to register a default we won’t contact you again before we register a default against you, so it’s important you get in touch with us - we’ll do our best to help you.

We’ll go through payment options with you and help you find the best way to pay your bill. If you need some extra help, we can tell you about the financial help schemes that we have available and let you know if they’ll be suitable for you.

If a default is registered with the Credit Reference Agency, we’ll continue to report a default status to the Credit Reference Agency until you’ve cleared the default balance. Once you’ve paid it in full, we will notify the Credit Reference Agency that it has been ‘satisfied’.

The ‘satisfied default’ status will continue to be reported to the Credit Reference Agency. Lenders will be able to see this for the remaining part of the six year period. However, satisfying the default may help to strengthen your credit file.

If you don’t satisfy the default balance, the default status will continue to be reported to the Credit Reference Agency. However, this may be viewed less favourably by some lenders. After the six years has elapsed, these entries will be deleted with the Credit Reference Agency and will no longer be visible to lenders.

Your credit score

Your credit score’s an indication of how financially healthy you are and indicates to other lenders how likely you are to repay a loan, a credit card, a mortgage or pay for a service.

Most companies you deal with will share your payment history and behaviour with Credit Reference Agencies. When you apply for credit in the future, for example for car finance, your future lender could assess your credit score and determine whether they’ll lend to you in the future.

If you’re on a payment assistance scheme or have a history of missing payments or pay late, it can result in a negative credit score and potentially prohibit you from receiving credit in the future.

We’re aware that sometimes the scores can be reported incorrectly, and customers get scored either with the wrong score, or circumstances out of their control lead to their credit score being negatively impacted. Please contact us if you feel that you’ve been scored incorrectly in your latest credit file.

Please be aware that we’ll not change credit scores unless we consider that:

  • There’s been an error in our processes.
  • There’s been an exceptional circumstance that’s prohibited you from paying your bill, in accordance with our policy. We’ll ask for further information or documentation relating to this before amending your credit score.

Maintaining good credit scores

The easiest way to maintain a good credit score is to pay your bills when they’re due, or to have payment plans in place which means making regular payments of a specific agreed amount on agreed payment dates. This payment covers your usage on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

If you’re on a payment assistance scheme, or have a non-standard arrangement to pay, these will be reported differently to the Credit Reference Agency and could affect your credit score.

Payment plans which can impact your credit file are:

  • Third Party Deductions - where payment for water and sewerage bill is deducted directly from benefits payments
  • Non-standard payment arrangement - where payments are below the required amount to cover charges and/or arrears in full (these are reviewed regularly)

It will state on your bill if you're on one of these plans. If you're unsure, contact our team to find out what payment plan you're on. You can change your payment details, payment method or payment date online through MyAccount, or by contacting our billing team.

You can also get free, independent advice on managing your debts from Citizens Advice and StepChange DebtCharity.

For more information on where you can get independent advice, visit our struggling to pay page.

Need more information?

Our Frequently Asked Questions give you lots more information on data sharing and Credit Reference Agencies.

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