How Long Does Something Stay on Your Credit?

The amount of time something stays on your credit report depends on the type of information that was reported. Although some items may fall off within a short time, others can remain for the better part of a decade. Here are the different types of information that appear on credit reports — positive and negative — and how long each type may stay on your report.

Positive Information

Positive information reported to your credit report has longevity — lasting a lot longer than negative information. Here are two types of positive marks that appear on credit reports.

Open Accounts in Good Standing

Accounts that have positive credit history can stay on your credit report indefinitely. It’s a continual cycle: positive information gets reported each month and added to your report as long as an account is open.

Closed Accounts With No Derogatory Marks

Unlike open accounts, closed accounts “age out” and fall off your credit report. Any positive accounts you close can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years from the date of closure.

Negative Information

Unfortunately, any negative information reported to the credit bureaus can remain on your credit report for at least seven years. The only exception would be if the negative information was reported in error, and you successfully dispute it and have it removed.

Late Payments

Late payments remain on your credit report for seven years from the original date of delinquency. Once payment is at least 30 days late, creditors may report your account to the credit bureaus. Depending on a creditor’s policies, it may wait until up to 60 days before reporting the payment as late.

The original date of delinquency applies to the first late payment on the account, no matter if the account is brought current in the next month or never brought current again, charged off and closed.

Charge-offs 

Charge-offs stay on your credit report for up to seven years from the date the debt was charged off. By law, your payment has to be at least 180 days late to be charged off. During those 180 days from your first date of delinquency, the creditor reports your payments as late each month you continue not to pay. Finally, it charges off your debt and closes the account.

Collections

Collection accounts can remain on your credit report for seven years from the date of the original delinquency with the original creditor plus 180 days that led up to the charge-off. Collections accounts are those that have been charged-off, closed and turned over to a third-party debt collector.

Bankruptcy

How long a bankruptcy remains on your credit report depends on the type of bankruptcy you filed:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: 10 years from the date of filing
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: 7 years from the date of filing

Repossession

Repossessions can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. Failing to make payments on your car loan can result in a repossession. In most states, the lender can repossess your car immediately once they determine you have defaulted on your loan.

Foreclosure

Foreclosures stay on your credit report for up to seven years. In general, according to federal law, loan servicers are not able to begin foreclosure proceedings until a homeowner is at least 120 days behind on payments.

Hard Inquiries

Hard inquiries can stay on your report for up to two years and one month. After one year, however, the impact on your credit score is lessened.

Hard inquiries are a result of applying for credit, not handling your credit negatively. Unfortunately, each inquiry can shave a few points off your score.

What If a Negative Item Doesn’t Fall off My Credit?

If you check your credit report the month after an item should have fallen off and the item is still showing up on your report, you can contact the credit bureau that is reporting the negative information and dispute it. All three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — have disputing processes.

Regularly monitoring your credit can help you know when any negative items on your report should fall off. You may want to consider ScoreSense® — a product that provides you with credit reports from all three credit bureaus, as well as helpful alerts in the event of changes to your credit. If you’re not actively monitoring your credit now, are you ready to get started? Let us know in the comments.

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