FAQ: How Long Does Information Stay on My Credit Report?
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In our regular surveys of consumers who come to the Equifax website and who call our call centers, this is by far the most asked question.
It’s understandable, given how credit is so important to someone’s personal finances. Mostly, consumers who ask this question are concerned about how negative information like bankruptcies, judgments, and late payments affects their credit history and score.
Luckily, there are set time frames for how long negative information remains on a credit report. In general, negative information more than seven years old from the date of last activity (ten years for bankruptcies) must be removed from your file.
Good information, like your on-time payment of credit card bills or your mortgage, can stay on your credit history forever. Having more good information helps strengthen your credit history and increase your credit score.
When it comes to a credit history and score, consumers often mistakenly believe that any negative information in their credit report comes from the credit reporting agency.
In fact, all information, both positive and negative, is reported to the three nationwide credit reporting agencies by lenders who have granted you credit, is included in public record information, or is reported by collection agencies. Credit reporting agencies compile this information and lists it in your credit report.
Here’s a rundown of how long certain types of credit information will remain on your credit history:
New York State Residents Only (must be current resident)
California State Residents Only (must be current resident)
If you disputed an item and the investigation did not resolve the dispute, you have the right to file a brief statement with the consumer reporting agency, free of charge, explaining the nature of the event(s) that led to the negative information reporting on the Equifax credit report.
Consumers can edit the statement or request that it be removed from the credit report at any time, also free of charge.
Opting Out of Promotional Offers
Consumers can request to opt out or have their name removed from any promotional offerings, free of charge.
Have you checked your credit report recently? Now that you know how long positive and negative information stays on your credit history, you should pull a copy and make sure that all of your information is accurate and reflects your personal financial history.
Check back next month, when I’ll share more answers to the list of most frequently asked questions.
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