When a person does not pay a debt that is owed, he risks suffering not just financial penalties from avoiding the debt, but facing damage to his credit rating too. If a creditor reports the overdue debt to a credit reference agency, he will be viewed as less creditworthy by other potential creditors. A cancelled gym membership will usually not go on a person's credit report, but a debt arising from the action may.
A person's credit report contains a record of all of their recent debts, both paid and unpaid. When a person fails to pay back a loan on time or does not pay a bill and the default is reported to the credit reporting agency, he may see the debt appear on his credit report, causing his credit rating to drop. This can happen in the case of a gym membership if a financial agreement was made and not honoured.
The terms under which a gym membership is taken out will vary, depending on the gym. Some gyms will require that people take out memberships for a set period of time, but allow them to pay through a monthly instalment plan. Others allow people to pay month-to-month for membership or pay for a long period of time in advance. If a person agrees to pay a certain amount for membership and does not, it may count against his credit score.
Whether a gym membership cancellation will count against a person's credit score depends on the terms of the cancellation. If a person cancels when payments are still due, not during a stated cancellation period, then his default of the debt may be reported to a credit reference agency. The cancellation terms of the gym membership agreement will be contained within the original contract. A copy can be obtained from the gym if the original has been mislaid.
An unpaid debt will only show up on a person's credit report if the creditor reports it to a credit reference agency. If the bill for gym membership is small enough, the gym may not consider it worth their time to report it and instead just write it off. However, unpaid debt can also be pursued through the county courts in England and Wales and any unpaid debt can result in a county court judgment, which would have a very adverse effect on future credit applications and could even affect your career if you work in the financial sector.