Nothing in credit lasts forever, so here’s how long you need to worry about negative items on a credit report.
Determining how long something negative will stay on your credit report
Negative items appear on your credit report for two reasons:
- You did something that creditors consider bad, like miss a payment or declare bankruptcy.
- There was a mistake in reporting, either by the original creditor, collector or credit bureau.
If the item is a mistake, then you need to go through credit repair to dispute it with the credit bureau. They have 30 days to verify the information is correct. If they can’t then it must be removed.
If you’ve found mistakes in your credit report, connect with a professional credit repair service to get them removed!
But oftentimes, the negative information in your report is legitimate. In other words, you really incurred the penalty and the information is correct. If so, then there aren’t many legal options for how to get something bad off your credit report. You usually just need to wait it out and take steps to build credit in the meantime.
Following up after the clock runs out
Even if negative items are legitimately earned, you must make sure they only affect your credit for the allotted time. You basically need to follow up by reviewing your credit after the item should expire. Then you check to make sure it no longer appears.
So, let’s say you missed a payment in June 2011:
- The creditor would only report the missed payment to the credit bureaus once it was 30 days late.
- That means the missed payment got reported in August 2011.
- Missed payments stay on your credit report for seven years from the date they were reported.
- As such, the last month it should appear on your credit report is August 2018
- Thus, you should check your credit report in September 2018 to make sure the missed payment item is gone.
The easier way to fix your credit report
Removing negative items doesn’t have to be that difficult. With a credit monitoring system like SmartCredit®, you can view and take action to fix negative items all in one place. Their action buttons enable you to reach out to creditors directly about changing information that could improve your credit report and credit scores.
Start rebuilding your credit. Try SmartCredit now.
Credit Reporting Reference Charts
Negative items on your credit report
This shows you how long a negative item can stay on your credit report:
|Type of Negative Item||Amount of Time It’s Reported|
|How long do charge-offs stay on your credit report?||180 days plus seven years from the date the first payment was missed (creditors move an account to charge-off after 6 months on nonpayment)|
|How long does Chapter 7 stay on your credit report if you declare bankruptcy?||10 years from the date you filed|
|How long does Chapter 13 bankruptcy stay on your credit report if you declare bankruptcy?||7 years from the date you file|
|How long does a collection account stay on your credit?||180 days plus seven years from the date the first payment was missed on the original account (i.e. it should the collection account disappears at the same time as the charge off)|
|How long does a credit inquiry stay on your credit report if you authorize a credit check?||“Hard” inquiries stay on your report 2 years from the date that you authorized the credit check; however, these inquiries only affect your credit score for 6 months|
|How long does debt settlement stay on your credit report?||7 years from the date of final discharge (i.e. after the creditor receives the settlement money and discharges the remaining balance)|
|How long does a defaulted private student loan stay on your credit report?||7 years from the date the account first became delinquent (i.e. you missed your first payment)|
|How long does a defaulted federal student loan stay on your credit report?||7 years from the date of first delinquency OR after 6 consecutive payments to bring the loan current, except for Perkins Loans, which remain until the loan is paid in full|
|How long does a delinquent account stay on your credit report?||7 years from the date that the account first became delinquent|
|How long does a default stay on your credit report?||6 years from the default date|
|How long does an eviction stay on your credit report?||7 years from that of the eviction; it’s the same amount of time it takes for the eviction to be deleted from the public record|
|How long does a foreclosure stay on your credit report?||7 years from the date your mortgage first became delinquent|
|How long does a judgment stay on your credit report?||Paid court judgments remain for 7 years from the judgment filing date; unpaid court judgments can remain indefinitely if the judgment is renewed; otherwise, it matches the statute of limitations on the judgment|
|How long do late payments stay on your credit report?||Late payments are only reported after they are more than 30 days late; then they stay on your report for 7 years from the date the creditor reported it|
|How long do medical collections stay on your credit report?||7 years from the date the original medical expense became delinquent|
|How long do missed payments stay on your credit report?||Creditors report missed payments after 30, 60, 90 and 120 days; they remain on your report for 7 years from the date they were reported|
|How long do missed child support payments stay on your credit report?||7 years from the original date of delinquency|
|How long do public records stay on your credit report?||These vary based on the type of record; see: judgments, Chapter 7, Chapter 13, evictions foreclosure, repossession and tax liens|
|How long does a repossession stay on your credit report?||7 years from the original delinquency date on the loan secured with the collateral taken|
|How long doe settled accounts stay on your credit report?||7 years from the date of final discharge|
|How long does a tax lien stay on your credit report?||In the past, tax liens could remain on your credit report for up to 15 years if they went unpaid. However, as of April 2018, all three credit bureaus stopped reporting tax liens on consumer credit reports.|
Positive items in your credit report
That covers all the negative items that can appear in your credit report. But there are also positive items in your credit. Those generally stay longer. In fact, neutral or positive credit report information can remain indefinitely. However, to keep credit reports manageable, the credit bureaus remove information after a certain amount of time.
|Type of Positive Action||Amount of Time It’s Reported|
|How long does a closed account stay on your credit report?||As long as the account was closed in good standing, it remains for 10 years from the date of last activity (DLA)|
|How long do open accounts stay on your credit report?||As long as there is activity on the account, open accounts in good standing remain indefinitely|
|How long does a debt stay on your credit file?||A debt stays on your credit 10 years from the date of final payoff|
|How long does payment history stay on your credit report?||Positive payment history (i.e. payments you make on time) can remain indefinitely; however, the credit bureaus typically only show payments going back 10 years on your credit report|
Need help cleaning up your credit report so you can maximize your credit score? Debt.com can help you connect with an accredited credit repair specialist now.
Article last modified on January 2, 2020. Published by Debt.com, LLC