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Can Library Fines Affect Your Credit Score?

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The library is an excellent resource and tool for learning and increasing your knowledge. It is also a great place to develop a love of reading for fun. Libraries allow township or city members to check out books and other media, free of charge, and borrow them for a time period, after which they must be returned. If books are not returned on time, many times there are overdue fines. Because the library is a public resource it is important for members follow the rules regarding borrowing books and other media so all community members have equal access to the material. Library fines encourage members to return material on time and add to the funds needed to maintain the library when they are incurred. Most public libraries will have email notifications, “snail” mail notifications, and handy reminders for returning library material on time for members’ convenience.

It is important to pay your library fines because many libraries will have a limit on the monetary or collective number of fines a cardholder can incur before their card is blocked until the fines are paid. If you are not a frequent user of your library card it may not seem like a huge blow to you but don’t be fooled. In some cases library fines can affect more than just borrowing library books and media, it can affect your credit score. Libraries can report your unpaid fines as debt to collection agencies, which in turn can report it to credit reporting agencies, lowering your credit score. Different libraries will have different policies on this practice and some may not even adher to it. It is important to know what your library’s policy is on fines and reporting them to collection agencies. It is even more important to make sure you’re up to date on all your fines and library material.

One way to make sure that you don’t get stuck in situation where your credit score could be affected is to ask your librarians to check your account for any fines and pay them off as soon as possible. You can even call on the phone and see if the librarian is willing to help you that way.

Paying your fines and being a helpful member of your community is the right thing to do and we all have a duty to do it.



Detweiler, Gerri. "How an Overdue Library Book Can Hurt Your Credit Score - DailyFinance." Daily Finance. AOL, Inc, 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 29 July 2014. .

Joseph M. Ghabour
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