How Long Does Negative Information Stay on Your Credit Report

Published: 12th March 2012
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What is a credit report and why is it important? Your report is a snapshot of your payment history. It details when you applied for credit, how many positive and negative accounts you have, who viewed your report, and all of your personal information. Reviewing your report every four to six months gives you a chance to check for identity theft, inaccurate accounts, and incorrect information. It allows you to manage your financial situation before applying for a credit card, auto loan, bank loan, mortgage loan, employment, or insurance. For example, if you check your credit and notice that there were a few negative items on your report, you will have a chance to fix those items before applying for credit. By doing this, you avoid embarrassment and several inquiries, which lower your credit score.

How Long Does Negative Information Stay on Your credit file? Every month, the creditors and collection agencies that you have accounts with?will report positive and negative information to the credit bureaus through a computer tape monitoring system that is updated regularly. The credit bureaus then turn around and update the information. A third-party company normally passes public record information onto the credit bureaus.

When does negative information come off my credit file? Each negative item has a federal statute of limitation on when it must drop off your credit report. Once the statute of limitation has expired, the item must be deleted from your credit report according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Federal Statute of Limitations

Late payments: Once you become more than 30 days late on any of your bills, the financial institution that you hold the loan with will disclose your late status to the credit bureau. You can be reported as either 30, 60, or 90 days late, and by law, the late marks will remain on your credit report for seven years.

Inquiries: Whenever you apply for a credit card or a loan, your report is checked, which results in a hard inquiry. These inquiries could damage your credit score if you have more than six in two months. They can also stay on your credit report for up to two years.

Charge offs: These are debts that the creditor felt that they could not collect on anymore after 180 days, so they charged them off as a bad debt. However, the creditor can still sell the account to a third-party collector for collection purposes.

Judgments: If a creditor takes you to court and sues for a judgment, this destructive item will be placed on your report. The courts issue judgments that can stay on your report for up to seven years, but it can be renewed until it is paid or until it reaches the 20-year mark. See appendix for your state statute of limitation on judgments.

Child support: If you stop making child support payments, it becomes part of your public record and will therefore show up on your credit report. This negative mark can stay on your report for up to seven years.

Foreclosure/Repossession: Foreclosures take place when you default on your home mortgage and the bank takes the house back. Repossession is when you can no longer pay your car note, and the lender confiscates the vehicle without your permission. Both create negative marks that will remain on your credit report for seven years.

Tax liens: Tax liens are public records that will find their way into your credit report if you default on your tax liability with the IRS. Paid tax liens will stay on your credit report for seven years, but while owed, they can remain on your record forever.

Collection: If you see an old account on your credit report under the collection trade line, this is a bill that was sold or assigned to a collection agency. It was passed onto the collector from your original creditor because you refused to pay. These debts can legally stay on your credit report for up to seven years, but you cannot be sued for it after the state statute of limitation has expired. See appendix for the state statute of limitation on revolving accounts.

Bankruptcies: Your credit report will list the date you filed for bankruptcy and the time it was discharged. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for ten years, and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for seven years.

To answer your question on how long does negative information stay on your credit report various by the type of negative information on your report.

If you want to get the best credit ever, get approved for your dream home, car and stop collectors from harassing you on a daily basis, then it’s time to take action by signing up for you free Self Credit Repair E-Class. Click Improve My Credit Mark Clayborne is Amazon’s best-selling author of “Hidden Credit Repair Secrets” and a credit repair expert with 10 years of experience assisting consumers with credit related issues.

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