FAQ: How Long Do Late Payments Stay On My Credit Report Responding to Your Frequently Asked Credit Questions | Equifax Finance Blog

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FAQ: How Long Do Late Payments Stay On My Credit Report

Written by Equifax Experts on April 8, 2013 in Credit  |   18 comments

We receive a lot of great comments and insightful questions here at the Equifax Finance Blog. Sometimes we can answer them individually, but a lot of consumers have the same questions and concerns about their credit. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be answering some…

how long do late payments stay on my credit reportWe receive a lot of great comments and insightful questions here at the Equifax Finance Blog. Sometimes we can answer them individually, but a lot of consumers have the same questions and concerns about their credit.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be answering some of your most frequently asked credit questions. We hope that this discussion will increase your understanding of how the credit reporting process works.

Q: How long will a late payment remain on my credit report?

A: Consumers are often concerned about how late payments and other negative information, like bankruptcies and judgments, will impact their credit history and score.

In general, negative information that is more than seven years old from the date of last activity will be removed from your credit report. For bankruptcies, though, the time frame is normally 10 years from the date of last activity.

The on-time payment of your credit card bills or your mortgage, known as positive information, can remain on your credit history forever.

Remember that the information in your credit report does not come from the credit reporting agencies. Instead, credit reporting agencies compile the information that lenders, collection agencies, and public records report to them, and then they record it in your credit report.

If you’re concerned about how long information will remain on your credit history, it might be a good time to review your credit report. When you review your report, confirm that all of your information is correct and accurately reflects your financial history.

Check out a complete breakdown of how long credit accounts, collection accounts, public records, inquiries, and bankruptcy remain in your credit history.

Q: How are early payments factored into my credit score?

A: Early payments are factored into your score just like on-time payments. They are considered positive information on your credit report.

Learn more about how your credit score is calculated.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I disputed several items on my report and this is what you sent me. It does not make sense. I have been trying for more than 10 years to clean up my report and you do not cooperate.
    Come on, wipe it clean and watch me grow even more positive.
    I know a lawyer who had a terrible report and bankruptcy and he got several new credit cards and bought a house.
    So it looks like you only help those people, people connected with law and those who have considerable money.
    I have been trying literally for years to buy a sailboat . . . TO LIVE ON. I could live more economically while advancing with my life-long goal (dream) of becoming a well published author. My work can help others. (I have published but it takes time and constantly working at it to reach the goals I want to reach, the goals that I have the talent to reach. You and inept business people ignore me and get in my way.
    What have you got to say about that?

  2. David Morris says:

    My wife has generally excellent credit, with ratings of about 800. Recently, however, in the midst of an overseas work assignment, we weren’t getting mailed statements forwarded and were having trouble logging in to several of our online credit card portals. As it happens, there was a $30 charge on one of these we missed, and after four months…without notifying us…the card company wrote off the $90 it had grown to through late charges, and closed the account. Two days later (March 22nd)we finally got a statement informing us we were overdue and needed to pay by April 17th. We called at once to take care of it, but were informed that there was nothing they could do and the account is now closed. And this for a card she had since 1993! How much of a problem is this likely to cause for her credit score…and what can we do to correct, or at least mitigate, the problem?

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck. I have been trying for 5 years to get a problem like this corrected and still have not got it corrected with equifax or experian. Transunion has removed it.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      David, I’m sorry to hear about the trouble. Unfortunately, it’s up to the discretion of the lender to close your account. It’s hard to know exactly what the impact will be on your wife’s credit score but closing the account may change her average length of credit history and the available credit limit. Can you ask the lender if it will be reported as closed and paid as agreed? Next time you travel, is it possible to check with your lenders to see about additional notifications or alerts for bills? They may be able to set up email alerts.

      Here’s more information on how your credit score is calculated.

  3. Warren B. says:

    Perhaps the moderator will discuss EARLY payments, as they occur & likely have some impact on credit scores (?)

    Thank you

    • Credit Guru says:

      Early payments count as ‘on time’ and have the same effect. There is no ‘bonus’ to your credit score for making them.

  4. Kristine says:

    Does closeing credit card accounts that are paid in full have a negitive impact on a credit score? I would like to close a couple with a 0 balance but not intirely sure how it may look in the world of credit.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Kristine, that’s a really great question. It’s hard to say if it would help or hurt your credit score since it is based off your unique credit report, but closing a credit account will affect your available credit limit and your average length of credit history. Here’s more information about how your credit score is calculated. Why are you considering closing the credit card? It’s important to consider your financial plan and do what’s best for your situation.

  5. Constant says:

    I have a charge off from a major credit card company that I cannot do anything about. About eight years ago, I stopped a payment on a check to them because after about 15 days, they did not receive it and I had had a payment to a utility confiscated and rewritten from another State. My Bank caught the fraudulent check and after a couple of years, the situation was rectified. Regarding the charge off, the credit card company started adding exhorbitant fees even after I immediately issued another check payment. They just kept saying that I stopped the check payment and because of that, I deserved the fees which were approaching $1000.00. I stopped paying and they carged off the account. I have written them and asked for some type of agreement in that they will remove the charge off and I will pay what I owe. They do not respond to my inquiries. I now have a low credit score and cannot refinance my home. I have never had a late mortgage payment.

    • Bill says:

      If the charge off was 8 years ago you should be able to have the credit agencies take it off. Get a copy of your CR and trace the charge off. If the Date of Last Activity is more than 7 years ago, dispute it with the CRA’s and give them that reason.



  7. Kim Pierce says:

    I would like to know what the Equifax policy and procedure is for bankruptcy chapter 13 reporting is. my bankruptcy was filed over 7 years ago and funny that Experian and Transunion have removed it. You removed it and then put it back on. It seems like your company plays games with our reports.

    • EFX Moderator, KB says:

      Kim, good question and sorry for the frustration.

      In general, a bankruptcy will continue to appear on your credit report for 10 years after the filing date. Individual accounts may fall off your credit report after seven years and 180 days from the start of the delinquency. So you may see individual accounts removed from your report before you see the record of the bankruptcy disappear.

      Click this link for more information: http://blog.equifax.com/credit/what-to-know-when-filing-for-bankruptcy/

  8. James Darrall says:

    Your advice is incorrect, I have has a previous mortgage and loan, payments to both we’re up to date an settled but you have removed this from my report. This is positive information of the best kind but you removed it from my file!!! Both accounts were settled at the end of 2007.

    You say positive information can stay on a file forever but this is simply untrue.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have been late on paying my credit cards for up to 90 days….If I pay off all of my credit cards now,will they remove the late payments on my credit??

  10. Chuck says:

    I recently went through a divorce in which my ex wife was awarded one of our vehicles which is still financed in both our names. During the separation and leading up to the actual divorce, my ex wife purposely made late payments on the vehicle which in turn hurt my credit score. I did not find out about this until recently. What if anything can be done about this? I fully understand I signed the purchase contract, however, do you think the lender will remove negative information if I explain the circumstance regarding my divorce?

  11. Sharon says:

    If I have a current account in good standing with a company, and an old closed account with negative information on it; can the company in question remove the old account with the negative information?

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