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FAQ: How Long Does Information Stay on My Credit Report?

Written by Diane Moogalian on May 10, 2010 in Credit  |   267 comments

How long does information stay on my credit report? By Diane Moogalian 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…

Credit report informationHow long does information stay on my credit report?
By Diane Moogalian

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.

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:

Credit Accounts

  • Accounts paid as agreed generally remain on your credit file for up to ten years from the date of last activity (DLA).
  • Accounts not paid as agreed generally remain on your credit file for seven years from the date the account first became past due, leading to the current not-paid status.
  • Late-payment history generally remains on your credit file for seven years. It’s important to note that accounts with current statuses, such as R1 (revolving debt) and I1 (installment debt), that reflect previously late payment history will remain on the credit file for up to ten years from the date of the last activity-only the late payment history is removed after seven years.

Collection Accounts

  • Collection accounts generally remain on your credit file for seven years from the date the account first became past due, leading to the account’s placement with a collection agency.

Public Records

  • Judgments generally remain on your credit file for seven years from the date filed, whether satisfied (paid) or not.
  • Paid tax liens generally remain on your credit file for seven years from the date released (paid).
  • Unpaid tax liens generally remain on your credit file indefinitely.


  • A bankruptcy under chapter 7 or 11 or a non-discharged or dismissed chapter 13 bankruptcy generally remains on your credit file for ten years from the date filed.
  • A discharged chapter 13 bankruptcy generally remains on your credit file for seven years from the date filed.


  • Inquiries are a record of companies and others who obtained a copy of your Equifax credit file. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that Equifax disclose to you who requested copies of your credit file. Depending on the reason your credit file was accessed, credit reporting agencies generally retain these for one to two years.
  • Some types of inquiries you might see on your credit report are not reported to others or used in credit score calculations. Promotional inquiries, in which your name and address were provided to a person who made you a firm offer of credit or insurance, such as a pre-approved credit card offer, generally remains on your credit file for twelve months and does not affect your credit score. An account monitoring or account review inquiries happen when one of your creditors performs a periodic review of your credit file in connection with reviewing your account. These inquiries generally remain on your credit file for twelve months and do not affect your credit score. Remember, when you request your credit report, these inquiries will generally remain on your file for twenty-four months and do not affect your credit score. Some states, like New York and California have additional laws

New York State Residents Only (must be current resident)

  • Satisfied judgments remain on your credit file for five years from the date filed.
  • Paid collections remain on your credit file for five years from the date of last activity/date paid.
  • All other deletion rules apply as noted above.

California State Residents Only (must be current resident)

  • Paid or released tax liens remain on your credit file for seven years from the date released or ten years from the date filed.
  • Unpaid or unreleased tax liens remain on your credit file for ten years from the file date.

Consumer Statements

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.

Read More.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. jenn says:

    Good to know that those pre-approved credit inquiries don't affect your score. Thanks for sharing.

  2. riverrat says:

    Unlike many other's who have posted on Ilyce's "Loan modification hell"I am fortunate enough to have been succesful. Having gone through the bank's process, I was put on a forebearance plan then a reduced payment plan before being modified to a permanant plan. Do you have any early indication's how this is going to impact my credit.

    • pumza says:


      I have accounts that are listed at credit beaures, I am currently paying these accounts on a monthly basis by a debit order arrangement. Can’t this information be removed from my credit record? I want to buy a house and this affecting my score.

  3. Yvette says:

    Can you explain if an account is closed-no activity, how can there be recent activity posted on the credit summary.

    • Steve says:

      I have worked out of the country for nearly two decades and have very little on my credit report. Is it possible to get my former paid off GMAC car loan and university Perkins loan to appear on to a current credit report? Or…as I fear…all information purged after 10 years? Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.

  4. Mike says:

    You must in most cases demand that all negative credit reports be removed after the specified time has elapsed, the credit reporting agencies are very lax about updating YOUR file.

    • Debbe says:

      I disputed some old things on my report and they refused to fix it. It had been sold to them and they just keep renewing it..what do I do???

      • Glenn says:

        if you have any info to show you owe nothing submit these to the credit agencies and they will close these accounts for you and send a notice to the creditor.

        If you have no info about these or these are fraud im then over my head myself at least and you will need to seek a debt councilor.

        Hope this helps.

        The best way to take care of any issue is to monitor it frequently the best is to make sure you know all three of your credit reports while the scores are helpful they don’t tell you nothing really important all you really need is the data on the reports to make sure your info is good and the scores are gonna reflect the data being shown.

    • J9ryan says:

      Do I write to the company with whom I had the negative credit or the credit reporting agencies to ask them to remove negative credit information after the allotted time has passed?

      • Anonymous says:

        write to the credit reporting agencies

      • Anonymous says:

        If it has just been sold, and they send a notice to pay or dispute, request that they verify the debt… If the debt is stale (older then 7 years), and it’s been sold around multiple times, they might not even have the original information on file anymore and might not be able to verify anything.

        In any case, by challenging the validity under the fair credit reporting act, and asking them to verify the debt; they now have a certain time frame to reply to you. If they don’t verify the debt within the elapsed window, forward to the credit agencies your request to them that the debt be verified (do remain professional and cordial of course), and that to date, x amount of time elapsed beyond the set time within the FCRA, they have failed to reply and seem unable to supply verification of the debt.

  5. mitsubishieclipse says:

    Another person with the same name as me had her positive credit reporting on my credit score. I alerted Equifax of this problem and they were very prompt and helping in getting the situation fixed.

  6. Diane says:

    How do I dispute my credit score going dropping 300 points because the bank refused to agree to a short sale within a reasonable amount of time.

    • Matt says:

      No one has to agree to a short sale. Doing so represents a favor to you………..

    • Lynn C. says:

      How did you not completing a short sale make your credit score go down 300 points? No matter who was at fault. Do you mean the bank choose to foreclosed and your score went down? If so then that would be the event that triggered the hit to your score. They are thieves. They bundled the Notes and re sold them to multiple pools and made 3 to 20 times the Notes value. So banks stealing the homes is just like vultures picking the bones. Sadly, most people have no idea how this was done but wow,it was huge and Congress approved robbery. Every one, Google Money As Debt. See all 3 parts! Great way to begin to understand, it’s entertaining too! Good luck everyone and remember, knowledge is power.

  7. Jenn says:

    Why is it that you can go to annualcreditreport.com one time a year to view your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and True Credit for free but you have to pay for your score? It's yours just like your credit report so both should be free to look at on a monthly basis if the consumers choose to do so.

    • Joe says:

      Is the internet yours, too?

      • Anonymous says:

        No, but her information is. Lenders, prospective employers and prospective lessors can see every last detail of your financial past, should they wish to. It would at least make sense that if you’re going to be held ransom by this system, you’d be able to view the information at will in order to check for errors or take action to improve your standing.

    • Mark says:

      Credit scores, such as FICO, are not considered public information. Credit scores are calculated numbers based on proprietary software programs that weigh a consumer’s payment history, length of history, credit utilization, and other factors.

      One open secret in the credit score world is there is no such thing as one true credit score. FICO sells consumers their credit score, but when the very same consumer goes to buy a car or house, the prospective lender may see a different score based on their industry. Also, some Web sites will sell a competitor to FICO, called VantageScore. It is possible in theory for a consumer to get their credit score from a Web site, a vehicle finance company, and a mortgage lender on the same day and be told their score is three different numbers.

    • Jeremy says:

      CreditKarma.com!!! I recently found them via a TV commercial. It’s free and seems to have all three credit bureau’s scores up to date. You can create an account and immediately see your scores. I’ve been using it for 6 months now and have not run upon a hitch yet other than they incessantly try to advertise you to death! No popups or emails, just a lot of ads cluttering the screen, but still very clear and concise!

      • Stacyt says:


        Credit karma is free, and mostly accurate, however it is only the TransUnion score. The three on their site, are the TU auto insurance score and wat not.

        Again, a good site and no cost, so not a bad gig, but its only one score.

        Hope that helps out.


        • Anna s. says:

          Actually credit karma has Trans union and equifax both. So you get two out of three. Not a bad deal for free. I was just on yesterday.

          • Anonymous says:

            Credit karma no longer used the FICO score on their website. They use the Vantage score which runs about 100 points lower than FICO. Still, it’s free. Credit cards such as Discover (non cardholders can use too) Capital One, City Card show the FICO scores to their customers. The Wal-Mart c.c. too but they may have a fee

    • Stephanie says:

      I use creditkarma (dot) com to get my credit score for free. It may be a little off sometimes but its better than nothing and it even alerts me of any changes on my report. I was a victum of identity theft 6 years ago and I’m still trying to get accounts taken off that were never mine so credit karma is a blessing for sure.

      • ~me says:

        i used creditkarma.com recently when my husband and I bought a new car. Creditkarma.com was WAY off. by about 100 points! It is nice that they alert you when someones looking into your credit but I would not even go by they credit score info.

        • Johnny says:

          That is because where you went to buy a car probably only looked up the Experian score. I have seen consistently year after year, that my TransUnion and Equifax scores were very close, while my Experian score was way off. This has to do with the fact that not all creditors report to all 3 agencies. I have some credit cards that appear on one credit report, but not on others.

          • Crystal says:

            Actually a car dealer pays for your auto fico which is a different calculator then maybe a credit card would use.
            Usually a bank will want your experience but will accept the transition if the experience is not under 610 🙂
            I worked in car finance for years.. credit karma is good but not always an accurate score for car buying…
            You can get the accurate score at the dealer and always request a copy cuz by law they have to give it to you. And make sure they show u both experience and trans. They can be dramatically doffered and a dealer may only show you the l
            ower to make 2 % points on your loan ..
            And that’s how you get the big discount on the car. It’s all money… no worries it your rates a little high you can refinance as all California loans are simple interest with no pre payment penalties. . Going to a cu.. is always best.. pre approval is good too if your going to take a cash incentive and not finance with the factory bank…

  8. Diane says:

    Hi everyone! Thanks for your questions and comments. Sorry for the delay…

    @Riverrat: I'm assuming your question pertains to how your credit score will be impacted. That said, since your credit score is based on the elements contained within your credit file, any impact a payment plan might have on your credit score would be dependent on your overall credit history. I'd suggest obtaining a free copy of your credit reports from the three nationwide CRAs at annualcreditreport.com or at any of the CRA websites directly. You will be given the opportunity to purchase your score after you've received your free annual credit report. You may also purchase a score directly from the three CRAs. After validating the accuracy of the information contained in your credit report, you can also add a consumer statement explaining the issues surrounding the forbearance plan.

    @Yvette: There can be recent activity reported on an inactive closed account if the creditor recently reported activity such as changing the report date or the date of last activity of the account, etc. You should contact the creditor to determine what changed on the inactive account.

    @Diane: Your credit score is determined based on information within in your credit file. You can dispute any inaccuracies on your credit report at any time by visiting http://www.equifax.com/dispute. You can also dispute inaccuracies by mail or phone. You will need to dispute inaccuracies on your credit reports with each credit reporting agency individually. You can also add a consumer statement explaining the issues surrounding the short sale refusal.

    @Jenn: The Federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act) which amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the three nationwide credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and Transunion, to provide consumers with access to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months. Since credit scores are not a part of credit reports, you are also given the opportunity to purchase your credit score after you've received your free credit report.

  9. Steven says:

    How often can a collection agency post on your credit report? If the original creditor is no longer showing on your report can the collection agencies keep filling up my credit report with negative information?

    • Debbe says:

      I would like to know that as well. plus I have a repo from 7 years ago that is still showing up as they ‘renewed’ it..

  10. Derek says:

    Can you explain this further –

    Accounts not paid as agreed generally remain on your credit file for seven years from the date the account first became past due, leading to the current not-paid status

    Does that mean if my first negative mark for an account that it was past due being in 2005, means it comes off in 2012? Or, the last time they marked it (took a little time to settle).

  11. Diane says:

    @Steven: Hi Steven. Yes, a collection agency who purchased a debt from a creditor still reporting or no longer reporting on your credit file, can continue to report the information within the reporting guidelines. The collections agencies can report to the CRA's for up to seven years from the date of the last activity (DLA). For example, the original creditor charged the balance off to bad debt in 2005 and subsequently sold the debt to a collection agency, the DLA in this example is 7 years from 2005, which was the original creditor's last activity on this account

    @Derek: Hi Derek. Thanks for helping to answer Steven's question! See the example above in my response to Steven for clarification to your question.

    • Jason says:

      Hi Diane! I was was wondering if you initiate a dispute of a negative item on your credit report if that will count as a DLA and reset the 7 years the item will stay on your report if you lose the dispute; also, does is there any chance initiating a dispute can further hurt your credit score? For example if an item is 6 years from the DLA is better just leave it alone? Thank you in advance for your help!

  12. Derek says:

    Hi and thanks for the detail – just one more question. So of it happened in 2005 I believe you are saying it can be reported on for up to 7 years. Does that mean in 2012, they can no longer report AND it takes 7 years from the last reported item to drop off? Or, does every negative for that account drop off 7 years after the first negative? Thanks!

    • Barbara says:

      I had 2 account collections on my credit from the collection agency, my last time paying them was 2005, I called Transunion to ask them to put a fraud alert on my account and ended up speaking to a nice lady,who informed me that since no activity had been done on these 2 accounts,they were scheduled to come off in June 2012, checked my report in August 2005 and they both were off.

      • amanda says:

        the best thing to do.. is when ever you are in a bad bundle u need to get the most expspenice payment paid off first and then drop that credit card or whatever is causing the problem I am a student at high school and il be 18 in april and I am taking a economics and personal fiancé class and I have leardned a lot so make sure that u take good care of your credit

  13. Diane says:

    Hi Derek. Delinquent items, excluding some bankruptcies, can be reported for up to 7 years from the date of last activity (DLA) or date of delinquency.

    You can contact the creditor directly if you have specific questions regarding information they are reporting.

    • Michael says:

      Be careful with contacting creditors who report derogatory, collection, or negative information. I’ve been told that if you initiate any contact, it simply resets the seven years from the newest contact date. So, if original reporting was in 2005, you contact the creditor in 2012. It could potentially reset the clock and extend it to 2019.

      • Sean says:

        Where did you hear this from? How credible is this information? Stop scaring people if you don’t have facts.

        • EFX Moderator, EM says:

          Collection accounts generally remain on your credit file for seven years from the date the account first became past due. You can read more about how long information stays on your credit report here: http://blog.equifax.com/credit/faq-how-long-does-information-stay-on-my-credit-report/

        • Anonymous says:

          i had heard the samething on 20/20 or some show like that they said the same that if just inquire about it it satarts all over

        • Mike says:

          It’s absolutely true.. If you set up a payment plan for even a dollar the seven years restarts.. Usually that’s when they call the craziest amount of times when the item is about to be removed

          • J says:

            That information is actually true, in fact If you indeed contact the creditor it will reset the life of the debt. I was told that by a actual creditor. A lot of debts recirculate when the debt is purchased by another creditor and if they send you a letter from the new creditor and you contact them or respond-they send the updated information to the credit bureaus. Another 7 yrs recycling again and again. I also have worked as a debt collector by in 2001.

          • Jane says:

            Does anyone have an actual reference to this besides “Oh yeah, I totally worked as a debt collector some year” or “a creditor told me so” that says simply contacting a creditor resets the 7-year expiration term? This seems pretty remarkable to me. I’ve heard it over and over again, but have never heard any authoritative source say so – in fact, every authoritative source seems to say the opposite. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be incredibly easy for any creditor to say “Oh yeah, they contacted us, so we reset the 7 year period the day before it was going to expire. What luck, eh?” Is there a part of the law which says something like this? It seems fishy to me.

      • Anonymous says:

        The only thing that can reset the clock is making or agreeing to make a payment

  14. parkerpprk says:

    how long will a late payment on a credit card account remain on your credit report?

  15. Vickie says:

    Okay so a collection account will remain on my credit for 7 years. Is there a way to remove it by paying the collection off. I mean is there point in paying off the debt if it is going to remain on my credit as a blemish.

  16. Diane says:

    @parkerpprk: Check out the article above under "Credit Accounts" for more specifics…generally, accounts not paid as agreed remain on your credit file for seven years from the date the account first became past due, leading to the current not-paid status.

    Also the blog has more points of clarification, hope this helps!

    @Vickie: As a general rule it is always better to pay off debt, even if it is charged off or in collections. While there is no way to 'remove' the collection for 7 years, creditors will often report the debt as paid and it is often viewed more positively.

    • Whateva says:

      YEAH RIGHT !!

    • Bill says:

      No always true. Paying a 6 year old debt will cause your credit score to plummet because it was, well, 6 years old and therefore not counting against you as heavily. When you pay it, it becomes a recent collection that you just paid off. It can also restart the clock so it can show as a collection on your report (admittedly now a paid collection at least) for another 7 years from the date you paid it. If you are working with a mortgage broker have them run the “what if” tools they should have from the major credit reporting companies like Factual Data.

      • barbra orr says:

        How many times to collection agencies get people to pay telling them it will help your credit??????? Isn’t there a law requiring collection agencies to be truthful. I cannot believe I said that.

  17. HEATHER says:

    If I choose to stop paying a revoving line of credit (due to unfair behavior from the creditor), once I settle the account, how long will it remain on my credit report?

  18. Toni says:

    I have many credit reports dating back to 2004. When reviewing past reports keeping some throwing out others. I came acroas a MY FICO report dated 2004.At this time i was going through a divorce and did not focus on the ACCOUNT SUMMARY Page. On this page it shows a creditor (JC Penney) with a date of .DATE OPENED: 9/1980. 1980-2004 is 24 yrs. (this was in 2004).Why would a creditor be on a credit report for 24 yrs.This acct shows opened Sept 2004. I never used this acct.I don't remember applying for it.. Thank You

  19. Toni says:

    Im now divorced and live in an apt. I have been here 5 yrs.When deciding i would like to purchase a home or condo so i can establish credit under my name, And going through all the procedures and paperwork credit checks my loan was denied. It was tated that my Equifax report showed no credit history..I do not understand why only one reporting agency was used. My Trans Union and Experian shows my credit history. Why dosen't Equifax?? I have a credit score for Equifax. but no credit history. All three of my scores show over 750.

  20. Diane says:

    @Heather: Thanks for reading and commenting. Most accounts will stay on your credit report for 7 years. Take a look at the article and posts above to find the specifics for your account type. However, you should make sure that you settle the account properly with your creditor. Stopping payment on your account may have a negative effect on your credit score.

    @Toni: Thanks for your questions. In general, the date of LAST ACTIVITY determines how long an account remains on your credit file. If you have inaccurate information on your credit report you can file a dispute. Please take a look at this blog post for more information:


    With regard to limited credit information on your Equifax file (if you have a score, you have a history), not all creditors use data from and report data to all three major credit reporting agencies. You may want to inquire about your specific scenario with your creditor.

    • Crystal says:

      Hi I have some concerns. I just lostca civil lawsuit and what do I do to have the soon derogatory judgment on my credit to be removed.

  21. ECJ says:

    I am in an active Ch 13 filed 2 years ago. Recently via the online dispute center i disputed a payment that was recorded incorrectly on a mortgage that is NOT included in my ch 13, it is a mortgage that is up to date and paid outside of the ch 13 plan. The payment history was updated correctly but at the same time the creditor changed the description of the account to being included in a ch 13 and erased 5 years of good payment history. When i tried to dispute that, they simply changed the wording from ch 13 to W.E.P(wage earner plan) which is another way of saying ch 13 and yet again wiped out 5 years of payment history. This unexpected result from my first dispute caused my credit score to drop by some 40 points with equifax due to the missing payment history. Is this kind of reporting allowed under the FCRA and if so for how long and why? how do i resolve it?

    • DIrk Jeanis says:

      Contact your BK atty and the Trustee of BK. Explain it to them. The Trustee of BK can take specific and harsh actions if the “creditor” is harming your BK estate willfully and in violation of law. He can actually place your house in the BK and wipe any debt over home value as well as lower interest rates etc.

      The issue is the CREDITOR may have entered your house into the BK as a third party applicant and the Trustee then has the right to even WIPE the debt entirely, or alternativley move the BK to chapter 7 and wipe the debt.

      You could actually make out very well.

  22. Diane says:

    @ECJ: Thanks for your question. It sounds like there is a discrepancy regarding what is included in your bankruptcy. The documentation from the bankruptcy should clearly identify what is included, so the first step should be to validate understanding with the bankruptcy papers. If the mortgage is not included in the bankruptcy, the creditor would probably need a copy of the papers to correct. The actions stated above are consistent with what would happen if the mortgage were included in the bankruptcy.

    Regarding the credit score, there are several factors that effect your score of which payment history is one. Each credit reporting agency has their own model for deriving a score, I have provided a link with more information on factors that impact your score below.


    Lastly, you mentioned The Fair Credit Reporting Act. This is a federal law that regulates how consumer reporting agencies use your information. Please see the link below for more helpful information.


  23. david-burgess says:

    You said:
    "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."

    Not so. I have accounts that are not reported to one agency or another. It appears it's up to the lender if they report, and who to.

    How can any credit decision be based on this incomplete information. If you are going to report on one account, you should report on them all.

  24. Equifax Personal Finance Blog says:

    Hi David, thanks for reading the blog. You're right, it's up to the lender to report accounts to the credit reporting agency. Check out this blog for more information about how the information is updated on your credit report:

    Thanks again for commenting and I hope you come back to the blog.

  25. Debra says:

    My son’s credit score is 50 points below what it needs to be to refinance his house at a lower interest rate, is there any quick ways to boost it. Also, he had a revolving account that is now closed, he had 3 late payments, but he did pay the entire balance and it shows “paid as agreed” how badly do these late pays affect him and is there any way to get them off before the 7 years, or is there something else we should be doing to boost his credit rating?

    • Diane Moogalian says:

      @Debra: It takes time and there is no quick fix for eliminating past aspects of your credit history that may be negatively affecting your credit score. Credit scores are based on your credit history and can generally only be changed over time. The key is focusing on positive behaviors such as paying bills on time, and paying off debt rather than shifting to another card. For more tips on how to improve your credit worthiness, check out our frequently asked question https://help.equifax.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/131/noIntercept/1/kw/how%20do%20i%20improve%20my%20score/session/L3RpbWUvMTMzMDQ0ODk5MC9zaWQvSXlFb2JSUms%3D

    • whateva says:

      How about making ALL your payments on time for a credit score boost! That doesn’t make sense, does it?

      • inkedchic says:

        @Whateva…. in the “nice, real world” that would be amazing wouldn’t it? I once had a credit score of 810, almost unheard of. What happened? I became disabled and no longer able to work, my husband committed suicide, I lost his entire income, had no life insurance.

        So, yes, in the real cushy, crap don’t happen to me world, your sarcastic answer would be the way to go. However, not everyone is fortunate enough for all life plans to go as planned. I am barely hanging on to my home by a thread. I have managed to make the mortgage payment alone since I lost my husband, but due to our amazing government and them not giving a good 2 cents about anyone other than their own pockets and of course by all means sending billions and billions of tax dollars to countries who could care less about the American people. I will probably lose my home, it’s on the market for sale if you wish to purchase it and bail me out. Otherwise, I go without most necessities in order to hang on for dear life so I do not lose what little equity I have in my home, since it is my “life insurance”… don’t point fingers unless your hands are clean. People here are trying to find out their rights, and your answer was so unnecessary. By the way, how about having some smart mouthed collection agent tell you maybe you should find a “corner” to help pay your bills?? I have had enough of these people calling me with their insensitive comments. I won’t pay a dime now. BTW, some of the debts I am being hounded about I am not even listed as a debtor on, they belonged to my husband. My husbands estate was put through probate as required by law, they were too lazy to fill out proper paperwork to file their claim against the estate, so now they want to hound me with phone calls, guess what? I don’t have to pay that either. If you don’t know what you are talking about, how about keeping your mouth shut??

        • shelly695 says:

          Your absolutely right. I too had excellent credit for a long time, then medical and unemployment happened. It can happen to anyone so I have learned judge not lest you will be judged.

        • CancerFighter says:

          I lived what you did inkedchic. I had to file bankruptcy. I lost my husband, house, car, etc. I am disabled from cancer. But I found a beautiful apt. and pay my bills. Easy to look down on others isn’t it.

  26. Sarah says:

    How do you get Equifax to correct a dissolved bankruptcy from 2004? I understand dissolved bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years. However your credit agency is the only one that has it opened/active from 7 years ago. I have written to you and sent you a copy of the court order dissolution document, however you still will not mark it dissolved on my credit report. Do you investigate when given a letter a copy of the dissolution?

    • Diane Moogalian says:

      @ Sarah: A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will report for 10 years from the date filed. Any documents received are accepted to aid in updating the file. The regular redispute process is to contact the data furnisher to have the reporting information updated, that would be your best course of action.

  27. Polly says:

    I filed for bankruptcy in 2005. at that time i reaffirmed my home and auto loan. Is there a way to make the mortgage company report my payments for the last 7 years? they show that it was included in bankruptcy with no balance due and no payment history. It also doesnt show as a mortgage account,which in my understanding would increase my scores. they also didnt start reporting until about 2 years ago, I didnt realize that until i tried to refinace and a broker told me there was no history.

    • Diane Moogalian says:

      @Polly: Since the Credit reporting agencies only report information received from credit grantors, the best route to understanding what and why things are reported is to go directly to your mortgage company and attempt to have them report you payment outside of the bankruptcy.
      Also note that as a consumer, you can always place a statement/explanation on your credit file.

  28. Anonymous says:

    We have been paying off credit but my question is on the 3 different credit reports luckily I save them from prior we have a few collections that should be off our report but the collection agency keeps changing the dates. so they stay on although we have done nothing with them.
    How is this legal as I have always been informed it is the date it first become a bad credit such as I missed a payment and 30 days later they turned it to collections it would be on the 30 days when they turned it over?
    One last question I had some medical bills go into a judgment years ago, it has been paid but while that was being paid the collection agency took some of the payment and put to a bill that I had disputed without my consent and they had garnished the money for my debt. Is that legal?

    • EFX Finance Blog Editor, JF says:

      @Anonymous – In general, the date of LAST ACTIVITY determines how long an account remains on your credit file. If you have inaccurate information on your credit report you can file a dispute. Please take a look at this blog post for more information:


      With regard to your garnishment, an attorney should be able to give you a legal opinion.

      Thanks for reading and we hope to see you on the blog again soon

  29. Kathy Y. says:

    If you have inactive or unused credit cards with a zero balance, and you close the accounts, when you close them does your credit history score go down?

  30. Kathy says:

    If I close an inactive account with a zero balance, will it affect my credit history score?

    • Mike S in NYC says:

      Just speaking from experience and my general understanding, closing any account can effect your score. Credit cards in particular effect the scores as the balance to availible credit is important to your score, both on an account by account basis and the overall picture of your credit card balanaces. For example having 3000 availible and a balance of 1000 is pretty good as only 25% of the credit is utilized. However if it is 4 accounts, each with 1000 dollar limits, this becomes a negative because while 3 cards have 0 balance, 1 is maxed out. It all depends on how the credit reporting calculates your score, and how the creditor reviews your report.

  31. Randy says:

    Once a creditor submits to Equifax for an item to be deleted from a credit report how long does it typically take Equifax to process the request?

  32. robert h says:

    So by recent activity you meen the original creditor not the company they sold it to? dish network say i owe $1000.00 that i know i owe but the amount is incorrect that was 2007 whan the account was closed but enhanced recover pushased the debt and keep reporting it last reported in 2012. When does the 7 years start when enhanced reported it or when dish netork closed my account..please help…i need 68 more points to get finance from my own bank thanks

  33. Stacy says:

    Do I have to wait until the 6th year anniversary of my discharge for a bankruptcy to come off of my credit file or 7 yrs from the date it was file?

    • Beth says:

      A BK doesn’t come off your file for 10 years. Sorry… The negative reported info on the accounts you included will come off after 7 years from the date of last activity. In other words, the bankruptcy shows up under a separate section and will report for 10 years. Those accounts show up under accounts and will be removed after 7 years. Those reviewing your credit score won’t know WHAT was included or HOW MUCH after 7 years. They will know you filed for 10 years

  34. ALMA says:

    what happens if the information there says i opened it in a certin year when i really opened it years befor that? how can i prove that what they have is wrong? and one of the thigs it says i owe my old aparment complex when i got my deposite ?

  35. GeezLouise says:

    Kewl. This blog states good entries can stay on report indefinitely. Don’t guess I realized that when I signed up for debt or I might not have gone there.

    My Equifax report states up front that accounts will be on record for 10 years, yet for one small account there is an individual notation that it will be 12 years. Guess they just keep adding on and don’t say so up front. All of my records are positive by the way.

  36. Ann says:

    My husband and I recently had our credit report pulled when we tried to get a 2nd mortage. The bank said they would not grant it, due to a couple of items that were on our report from almost thirty years ago. I thought that items were removed after 7 years. The late payments did not prevent us from buying our home almost 13 years ago. So why is it still there and why would the bank use information 30 years old?

    • EFX Finance Blog Editor, JF says:

      @Ann – Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog. If you think there are mistakes on your credit report you should file a dispute. More information here: http://blog.equifax.com/credit/how-to-find-and-dispute-credit-report-errors/

    • Beth says:

      All you have to do is file a dispute and simply state “Please remove this from y credit file as it is outdated credit information.” No other explanation is needed. The credit agencies will check and if it has been more than 7 years from the date it was reported then POOF, the will delete and update your file.

  37. Dustin says:

    I recently called equifax in regards to removing an collections item from my credit report. The date of last activity on the account is August 2006, I am current resident of New York State and have been all my life. Per the NY State law and Equifax website information, collections will be removed after 5 years for a NY State resident. After speaking with a representative from Equifax on the phone they told me this is not true and it only applies to “judgements”. I specifically told her it was information directly from the Equifax website and she still would not help me, or let me speak to a supervisor or manager. I am extremely upset!

  38. Brandy Carnes says:

    My husband recently filed chapter 7 bankruptcy which included a credit card issued in florida on which i was an authorized user not co-signer. The bankruptcy has since been discharged. Now Navy Federal has placed the “charged off” debt on my credit which dropped my excellent credit score down 150 points and I believe they intend to come after me for the amount owed. Remember I was an authorized user not a co-signer and according to Florida law I am not legally responsible for the debt. I contacted Equifax and desputed the claim but they informed me after investigation that I did own the debt. I believe I am in the right and I want that charge off removed from my credit report. Whose right?

    • EFX Finance Blog Editor, JF says:

      Hi Brandy, Equifax can only report the information given to them by creditors and lenders. If you’ve filed a dispute with Equifax and the lender has proven the debt is yours, you’ll have to contact the lender directly. However, if you disputed an item and the investigation did not resolve the dispute, you have the right to add a brief 100 word statement to your credit file, free of charge, explaining the nature of your dispute. Your statement will become part of your credit file, and will be included each time your credit file is accessed. Find more information here: https://help.equifax.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/154/search/1

    • Beth says:

      All you have to do is file a dispute with the credit agency and tick the box “this account does not belong to me.” or explain that you are not the account holder and do not want it on your file. They will remove it no questions asked. Often creditors will report on authorized users credit reports (which can be a bit sneaky) but not always a bad thing if the credit is good. But if it is bad then ask for your association to be removed. You are not legally responsible for this debt and reporting it is part of a legal repercussion. I have had lots of account removed that I was an authorized user on.

  39. EFX Finance Blog Editor, JF says:

    Thanks for all the great comments and questions on the blog. We’ll be updating this post and answering your FAQs in a new post soon.

  40. Toni says:

    In 1998 I opened a Capital One Credit Card..In 2006 I closed account (Divorce)Paid with NO Balance (2 late payments30 days).On T.U. Report states “Closed by Credit Grantor”.incorrect.I requested to have account “Closed”.In Payment History it shows “2 Late Payments” in the last 12 months (one year). How can I have 2- 30 day late payments in 12 months if I closed this account in 2006. The issue date for this report was 04/2012. Last 12 months would be 04/2011.How can this be possible.?
    Thank You

  41. David CT77 says:

    Ok, you filed bankruptcy 09/2005 I understand the bankruptcy itself will remain on the credit report for ten years, but what about the accounts that were included into the bankruptcy that show charged off or included will these come off the reports at the 7 year marker? If so will they be automatic or do I have to dispute the accounts that are still remaining to have them removed from the report leaving only the BK 7 for ten am I under the correct assumption?

    • Beth says:

      They report under separate sections so the accounts should fall off at 7 years. The BK will still report but after 7 years those new creditors looking won’t know what you included, how much etc… after 7 years. A good thing if you included BIG debt which could make a new lender worried.

  42. John McCue says:

    I don’t believe the banks and other lenders limit their knowledge of anyone’s past credit history to seven years, ten years or any years. They are not going to ignore information in their own files or available to any accredited lender. any info they have about you is there forever.

  43. Revolutionary in waiting. says:

    All 3 credit bureaus do a terrible job, not accurate at all. Furthermore, the entire credit reporting and scoring process in the U.S. is a joke. But what do you expect, government regulation will eventually be the fall of the one time greatest County in the World. Good day fellow peasants!

  44. Matt M says:

    I have an old card that I was late on back in 2005. It’s now 2012 and it’s been 7.5 years since I was late. The late payment is still on my record. I cannot get them to clarify if it affects my credit or not. Back in 2007 I called the credit card company, paid it off and told them to close the account but they didn’t do the last one, just stopped sending me statements. In Jan of this year there was a mistake which caused an activity on my account. This started back up the entire retention period for the credit card.

    I called several times and asked them and they said that the account will purge after 6 years but would not say anything about the 7.5 year old late payments.

    I have this from the website:

    Late-payment history generally remains on your credit file for seven years. It’s important to note that accounts with current statuses, such as R1 (revolving debt) and I1 (installment debt), that reflect previously late payment history will remain on the credit file for up to ten years from the date of the last activity-only the late payment history is removed after seven years.

    This seems to hint (“only the late payment history is removed after seven years”) that my late payments should be gone.

    I’m wondering, do these late payments still affect my credit? I’m in Canada. If they do, it’s very odd.

    If I get visa 1 now and pay the first bill in 3 months I get a 3 month late. If I keep that card open for the next 25 years, according to the lady I spoke to, the late payments will still be on record and affecting my credit. However, if I’d just cancelled the credit card that first year, I’d be good to go again in 6 years. Basically, if I’m late on a payment I should close the account immediately and get a new card with someone else to avoid having my credit hurt forever by some very, very old late payments.

    PS: I was a student eating once every two days at the time of my late payments. It is now almost a decade later, I am educated, have a career and a family of 4 but these late payments seem to be haunting me and I don’t understand it.

    If anyone knows what I can do, please post…

    • Matt M says:

      As a follow up, if the suggestion is for a dispute, is there a point?

      Is it PC Financial that I have to call? I called and spoke with one lady who said that yep, they are still reporting the old late payments but it’s impossible for them to take those off and why would they? It’s the credit bureau that is supposed to. I was so polite that I was actually in physical pain because of it but from the second she picked up it sounded like she was having a bad day and I was preventing her from going on break. She put me on hold for over 10 minutes just to look at my account and kept telling me that not only would they never erase a late payment (why would we, she asked me), they absolutely can’t.

      Equifax says that PC Financial is the only one that can remove the late payments. It is absolutely absurd and illogical that someone who was a student in distress be punished for it more than a decade later. Fiscally it’s dumb because it takes valuable money out of the economy.

      On the other hand, for all I know they might just be visible to me but might not affect my credit at all, I just want to know for sure. Will 7.5 year old late payments affect my credit and will I have to put up with that for the next 6 years because they made a mistake activity this year (totaling 13 years of bad credit for late payments)? If so, as a Canadian, are there no laws to protect me from this? It’s been years since I was late on any other payments because I make lots of money now and have a wife who also makes a decent chunk.

  45. Curious says:

    I have an old debt (6+ yrs) that was recently sold to a debt collector. They have been reporting this to the credit agencies as a “current debt”. Is that legal?

    • Ben says:

      It is not legal, after two years I was told they can’t take legal action and it is just best to wait out the 7 years.

    • Tom K. says:

      It is not legal. You should hire an attorney immediately to resolve the matter. To receive monetary compensation, other than recouping legal costs, you must document and demonstrate intent and damage.

  46. very confused says:

    I submitted a dispute with Equifax. I have on my credit report an apartment owner filed against me. This was taken to court and the case was dismissed in my favor. I mailed a copy of it in with my dispute and Equifax sent me back a paper stating it will remain on my report. If I want to have it removed then I need to contact the business its self. I’m very confused…any answers would be greatly appreciated!

  47. thom says:

    I have a bankruptcy that was granted in 2007 ut some of the debts under that are estimated to come off my credit report. Does that mean that each item will come off when the estimated time occurs or do all the Chptr7 bankruptcy accounts remain until the chtpr7 is removed (10yrs)??
    any help? thoughts?

  48. Advocate for my brothers and sisters in Christ says:

    Equifax is currently employing some undereducated or vengeful verification staff. I filed two disputes, sent proper documentation, and to no avail. In the end, Equifax told me to contact the creditor.
    There is another way to assert our rights. We can request in writing that Equifax send proof of the method they used to verify the disputed debt. If they cannot prove that they took the time to CALL the creditor and VERIFY the dispute, they have to remove it. do not understand why the site reps are not mentioning that fact. People are not stupid. A statement on the report means NOTHING to a potential creditor. Quit harming people already!

  49. Jenelle says:

    @ Thom You’re bankruptcy will remain under the public record section for 10 years…the accounts themselves should be removed after the 7 years…at least that’s how it worked for me, my bankruptcy discharged in oct 2002 so the public record just came off last month, the accounts themselves I haven’t seen in a long time.

  50. KLee0915SAV says:

    I have an account in which I am an authorized user that reports as both positive and negative with the statuses of PAID AS AGREED (on both sides, same acct number). The date of verification is N/A. If there is no date of verification, how long should I expect the account to report as negative PAID AS AGREED? Also, I recently refinanced my home and now the OLD mortgage is completely gone – closed. I thought positive accounts remained on your report even if paid off. Am I mistaken? It seems to be the case for installments. Cars that have been paid off for years still show on my report and is included in the debt amount. Seems like the algorithm is off and needs tweaking.

  51. jamie says:

    in jan 07 i have a late payment when will it be removed in 2013 or 2014?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Jamie, You’re almost there! Late payments typically stay on your credit report for 7 years, so if you missed the payment in 2007, it should be removed from your credit report in 2014. There are some exceptions though, so read our blog How Long Does A Late Payment Stay On My Credit Report for more details. Thanks for asking and come back again.

  52. jamie says:

    in jan 07 i have a late payment when will it be removed in 2013 or 2014?

  53. Karen says:

    Does anyone know about the following – I am current on my mortgage payments and am doing a short sale; how will that be shown on my credit report and how many points will it affect my credit score. I have received different answers depending on who answering. Thank you.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Karen, You’re probably getting varied answers because a credit score is based on all of the information on your credit report. A late payment, closed account or short sale, for example, will all affect each person’s score differently depending on the rest of their credit report. Click here to learn more about how your credit score is calculated. After the short sale, you can increase your credit score following tips to improve your creditworthiness. Click here to learn more about what you can do to reestablish your credit.

    • Anonymous says:

      If at all possible I wouldn’t recommend a short sale. I went from a 835 to a 559 credit score. I followed what the bank asked me to do and became behind on my mortgage (I wasn’t behind at that time either). I am hit with 7 yrs on my credit score….I regret it.

  54. Bill says:

    I just found out that somebody applied for and obtained a Master Card using my social security number and address. This happened in May of 2012. I received no paper statements from the company until January 2013. I think the person doing this asked for online, paperless statements. They gave a false email address and a false phone number. The man from the bank (G.E. capital) said: “We’ve been sending you emails for months, and have been trying to call you.” He told me the numbers and address and they were fraudulent. G.E. Capital is sending me a “fraud package” to fill out.
    My question is: How do I get this negative information out of my credit report? It will probably take several months to clear this up. I have asked to see the paper application filed in my name, and find out what was purchased. The card had a credit limit of $3,000.00 and there was one transaction for $2,950.00. I bet it was a cash advance. Anybody out there been down this road before?

  55. Becky Mowry says:

    I had two credit cards that I was using too often. I always paid them off at the end of each billing cycle but it was just too easy for me use them. I decided to cancel the cards. They had a zero balance and were always paid on time, usually in full. Why did my cancelling these cards hurt my credit rating?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Becky, great question. Your credit score is based on a few factors from your credit report, and one of them is the length of your credit history. When you closed your accounts, you changed the length of your credit history, which can lower your credit score. The good news is that you had on-time payments and I’m assuming the account closed in good standing. This information can stay on your credit report forever, which is important for creditors to see. Read this blog for more information on how your credit score is calculated. Thanks for posting.

  56. Becky Mowry says:

    My secoond question to you….most of the credit checks on my report are made by places I’ve never heard of. Others are by companies where I have made a general online inquiry about the nature of their services or the cost of the long term care insurance thy offer etc. I never applied for their services nor did I give them permission to run a credit check. Now my credit score has been negatively impacted because of “too many inquiries.” Why is this?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Becky, welcome back! Your credit score is also based off of the number of inquiries made for your credit report. I’m concerned though that some of the inquiries are made by companies you haven’t heard of. It could be a sign of identity theft. I encourage you to read these blogs on how people become victims of identity theft and what to do if you’re the victim of identity theft.

      For the companies where you know you did submit an inquiry, it could be that you included your personal information and social security number and missed the fine print saying they may use the information to review your credit file. It’s really important to guard your personal information since you may not know how another party will use it.

      I hope this helps, and I congratulate you on being proactive about your credit history.

  57. Roseann says:

    My credit cards are maxed out right now but I’m paying them all off in June, how long will it take to improve my credit score?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Roseann, I’m glad to hear you have a repayment plan in place. Part of your credit score is based on your balance to limit ratio. Keeping your balances low will have a positive impact on your credit score. It’s hard to know how quickly the impact will be shown on your credit score because your score is based on multiple factors. Click here to learn more about how your credit score is calculated. Thanks for posting and I hope it helps.

    • Vardan says:

      Have You Ever Recovered from Bad Credit? The first step you must take to recover from bad cridet is to know what is on your cridet report. You are legally entitled to one free cridet report each year. My Journey to Millions

  58. Kelly says:

    I keep reading in the responses that collections will fall off your report on the date of last activity with the original creditor. My question is, I have a copy of my Equifax report, and under the section titled “Collection Accounts” it reads as follows:
    “A collection account under public records will automatically purge from the system SIX (6) years from the date of last activity.”
    So, if my date of last activity with my original creditor was June 2007, would this be coming off my report in June 2013 even though the collection agency has listed my date of last activity as June 2008, and date assigned as July 2009?
    I’m writing from Canada so maybe our laws state a purge after 6 years and not 7?

  59. SDD says:

    I filed for bankruptcy and dismissed it 7 years ago this February. I technically needed it as a tactic to delay a foreclosure and give enough time to do a short sale. SO, i never had intentions of filing for bankruptcy. My question is, since its been 7 years, do i need to contact the credit bureau or will it come off automatically? Is there a form i need to fill out? Is it true that If i contact them that the time will start over?

  60. Nat W. says:

    I have an account with Capital One that should have dropped off of my credit report in 2012. I have not contacted the creditor. When I last pulled my report they updated the amount owed to over $10k when prior to this it was a little over $6K. This account is closed but not charged off…will it ever fall off of my credit report if they keep reporting information. The card was opened in 2002/2003 with the last activity in 2004/2005. I don’t want to contact them or disupute it I simply want it to fall off of my credit report.

    • Christo says:

      If the last activity that you’re aware of was in 2005(ish), then the first action, unfortunately, would be to contact Capital One and find out what action *they* are seeing. It is possible you may be the victim of identity theft and/or just a stolen credit card number. Contrary to one of the first comments, simply calling them does not “reset” the 7 year period. The concern with many people is that when they call a creditor or collection agency, they may be persuaded to make payments (maybe they’re offered an extremely low balance to pay off, or low low minimum payments, etc). In this case, though, they have now caused “action” which can reset the 7 year period if the consumer fails to pay on time for the remainder of the balance.

  61. EFX Moderator, EM says:

    Thank you everyone for all of your comments and interest. It’s great to see so many people interested in improving their creditworthiness. Every situation is different and every credit history is unique. We’ll be answering your most frequently asked questions in upcoming blog posts. Be sure to come back to the blog soon. Thanks again.

  62. Confused says:

    I guess I am lost on this topic! Can someone clarify for me? I understand that negative reports drop off after 7 years. Is that 7 years from the date the debt occured or from the date it was reported?

    For example…

    Date Opened: 04/06/2012
    Date Reported:08/10/2012

    When is this due to drop off (as long as there is no new activity)?

    • Confused says:

      One more question. If a creditor is reporting to only 1 of the 3 agencies can I request that they report to all 3?

      • Christo says:

        Hi Confused! The 7 year limit is from the date of the last negative action. For instance, if you were late on a credit card, then 7 years from the last time that happened. If it got sent to collections, then 7 years from when *that* happened. It is common for creditors to continue reporting accounts to the credit bureaus, but the 7 year limit is *not* from when they last reported!

        You can request that of the creditor, but typically it’s not going to happen unless it’s a small company. Larger companies have established relationships and processes set up to report to the bureau(s) of their choice. That said, most creditors report to all three; it’s typically collection companies that only report to less than all.

  63. Right-n-tha-EyE says:

    WoW,, you open an account, 4 months later, your late? you really suk!! it should stay on YOUR record for 30 years & you shouldn’t be granted credit ever again

  64. mrfredb says:

    Is it possible to have a negative account removed from your credit report before the seven year time limit? I have some this that is negative and would like to have it removed.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Great question. Since the information on your credit file comes from your lender, it would be up to them to make changes on it. Thanks for posting.

  65. John L. says:

    How are early payments treated ?

    (Late payments are nearly mortal sins…)

    Do early payments have positive impacts ?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      John, you’re right that late payments have a negative impact on your credit report. Since payment history makes up 35% of your credit score, a late payment could drop your score. Early payments are considered to be on-time payments since they’re still being made before the due date. On-time and in full payments will definitely have the positive impacts you’re looking for in your score. Here are more tips to improve your credit score and creditworthiness. Great question and thanks for posting.

  66. Cheryl says:

    I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2005. Currently I have a debit/credit card for purchases. I want to apply for a major credit card. Is it too soon to apply for a credit card?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Cheryl, great question. Opening a new credit card and paying the bills on-time are a good way to reestablish your creditworthiness after filing a bankruptcy. We have 10 tips on further improving your creditworthiness. Remember to pay on-time and don’t take on too much debt. Let us know how it goes. Thanks for posting.

  67. Crystal says:

    So the 7 yr mark for something to fall off was back in October 2012. Have not used any credit during this time. So why when I inquired about an auto loan at a car dealership, I was told that I had a credit score of 0. No credit history or score was found. However back in May 2012 I had checked my credit report and it said 620. Do I have to reestablish credit or am I missing something.

  68. Pamela says:

    After 15+ years of a clean report, this January I had a “Negative Account” show up. It is a an American Express card that was closed in 1990 and shows a past due balance of $9.00. I also see that me credit score has dropped because of this. As this is clearly over the 7 year limit, what would have caused it to show up now. Also, is this a situation where I go to the creditor or contact the reporting agencies to request that the info be removed from the report given it’s age.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Pamela, Fortunately it’s a very small debt. You could talk to the original lender, American Express, to find out why they’re reporting it now. A quick conversation could prevent any other surprises. You can also file a dispute with the credit reporting agencies. Even though it’s a small amount, it could still be a debt that you owe. You can verify that the debt is accurate with the lender and repay it if it is. I hope this helps.

  69. BOA worlds worst bank says:

    My credit score was negatively impacted when “the world’s worst bank” Bank of America, closed a zero balance credit card I had for about 20 years. I would have glady closed the account if I had been informed but because the “creditor closed the account”, it is a negative on the credit score. This of course caused me to jettison BOA and move to another bank. I contested it and the negative impact was upheld. To those out there with dormant credit cards, charge a couple of bucks on them every few months and pay it off so this doesn’t happen to you.

  70. Linette says:

    Hi, when the accounts come off the report after 7 years, does that do anything to your score?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Linette, if an item is removed from your credit report, it means it’s no longer used in calculating your credit score. Because your credit score is calculated by considering many factors, it’s hard to say how this will affect your credit score. Click here to learn more details about how your credit score is calculated. I hope this helps and thanks for posting.

  71. Teresa says:

    I had a captial one card years ago that had a credit limit of 300.00,Due to a illness the acct. went into a negative status ,payments were made but at this time they are saying we owe 2,222.00 which is nuts because the credit limit was only $300.00. looking at our credit report from experian it says this : This acct.is scheduled to continue on record until april 2013..

    It has been on there for years. after this clears will it still have a negative effect on our score or will it be as if it hasnt been there?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Teresa, those fees and charges can really add up. You’re right though that $2,000+ due on a $300 limit seems pretty high so you might want to check in to how that total was calculated. When a record on your credit file has reached its term limitations, it no longer impacts your credit score. That does not eliminate the debt though, you still owe that. Here are tips on how to prioritize paying off your debt. I hope this helps.

  72. jessica says:

    I had a default judgement filed against me,10years ago for a repo on my truck. I recently received a letter from an attorney claiming they can garnish my wages if I don’t pay what I owe Ford Motor company. Is this possible? I thought after 10 years a judgement was closed? And if so, how can I find out when the judgement was filed?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Jessica, great question. Judgments placed against you could be removed from your credit report after seven or ten years, depending, but that doesn’t eliminate the debt itself. To find out when the judgment was filed, you could look at your credit report to see if it’s still there or contact the attorney who is notifying you about the debt. They’ll have information on how and when the debt originated. If your debt is cancelled, you may have to pay tax on it. I hope this helps and good luck.

  73. Matt M says:

    I have late payments on a credit card I had a while back. I closed the account over 7 years ago. Just after the 6 year range I accidentally made a payment to the account and that caused them to report to equifax.

    Now it’s been over 7 years since my late payments and yet there they are, glaring at me from my credit report when I grab it. I call up and Equifax tells me that it’s 7 years from the date of last activity. That means I still have 5 or so years to go meaning my late payments won’t come off until almost 2 decades after they were done. How is this possible? Why is this possible?

    The thing is, I was a student at the time and very poor. Prior to that my credit was awesome and I haven’t had issues since. The late payments are completely unrealistic as they were from a specific context and event and do not reflect on the reality which is that at every point in my life otherwise I’ve made payments on time.

    What can I do? The bank refuses to do anything. Equifax refuses to do anything. This is my ability to get credit and yet it’s being goverened by something that is not a realistic situation.

    How is this all legal? Lol, I tried contacting my government folk and of course they said contact these other people that had months of backlog and never got back to me.

    Lol, there’s no real point in answering. The only answer will be: If you think there’s something wrong with your credit call us. Unfortunately, that’s useless as you’ll just tell me that there’s nothing you can do, call the bank that will say there’s nothing they can do, call the credit bureau.

    Why not just have a law that says that no institution can report things like late payments for more than X amount of time or one that says that credit agencies cannot divulge or use negative information whatsoever after a certain period of time?

    I now have a great career and make lots, there’s no reason my credit should suffer but it is and that’s the only explanation.

  74. AC says:

    I have 5 student loans that defaulted almost 5 years ago according to my Credit bureau report, however, when going over some of my old bills, it states that I became PD as of 2003 “DF- Defaulted Unresolve” Does this mean that The OC reported the incorrect “Date Of First Delinquency.” If so, can I contact the CRA’s w/ the proof that I have and have these derogatory marks taken-off from my credit report since it has been more than 7-10yrs since my first date of Delinquency.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      AC, You can and should contact the credit reporting agencies if you think there’s an error on your credit report. It sounds like you have proof that the lender made a mistake in reporting your debt. You could make copies of that proof and mail it in with your dispute claim. Supporting evidence can help settle your dispute quickly. Here’s more information on what to do if you think there’s an error on your credit report: http://blog.equifax.com/credit/what-to-do-if-you-think-theres-an-error-on-your-credit-report/

      I hope this helps and thanks for posting!

  75. Confused and regretful! says:

    This blog is so helpful! If I opened a credit card back in May of 2006 which went to into collection status a few years after around 2008? and the last payment was made in 2011, what will drop from my credit at the 7 year mark (which should be in a couple months)? I have a collection agency calling me and I’m not wanting to make any payments for fear of restarting the clock. Since I made a payment a couple years ago, does everything remain for 7 years from that payment date? Or the very first time I was past due? And does past due equate to 30 days past due or collections status past due? Sorry for the questions!

  76. Carrie says:

    My husband became delinquent on a CC in 2007. I am an authorized user and this is also appearing on my report. The account was charged off in 2008, the date of first deliqency is 2/2007, major delinquency 10/2007, date of last activity n/a. How can I get this off my report as my husband was financially responsible at the time. A 1099 was filed for the full amount and reported as income. The CC company continues to report each month and it shows that we still owe $10,000. We have been working on repairing our credit but this being on both of our reports is not helping at all. How long will it stay on here?

  77. Amy says:

    How long does it take for Court fines and fees to fall off of a credit report? Thank you.

  78. Dan says:

    I missed payments on a hospital bill that eventually was filed with the local court and added as a “Public Record” on my credit report. As soon as I was notified, I called the hospital billing department and paid the amount in full, so no judgement was ever filed. How long will the “public record” stay on my credit report and how damaging will it be to my chances of obtaining loans in the long run?

  79. marlene says:

    I was discharged from bankruptcy in 05/10. The majority of my credit card accounts were last reported in 08/10 but I have one that was reported in 05/11 and another that was reported in 08/12. They are all showing as “included in bankruptcy” with a balance of “not available”. I’m wondering though why a card would still be reporting in 2012 if it was included in a discharged bankruptcy 2 years earlier? Is this correct?

  80. Gil says:

    I just check my credit report today and i found this on my credit report. Late by 2 payments in the past. Occurred in 10/2006. What is the estimate month and year before it will deleted out of my credit report. Thank you

  81. Zane M. says:

    Do all lending and or equipment financing companies report?

    If not, is it possible from companies that do not report, to request account payment history information be reported to a credit reporting agency(s)?

  82. N S says:

    If I file a dispute and the results say that the item has been deleted, how long would it take before it is removed from my report? I have 6 items that were to be deleted as of the end of March but are still there as of today.

  83. ss says:

    We have a foreclosure from 2009 on our report. I understand it stays for 7 years from the original date in 2009. However, after 3 years of silence the mortgage company is now reporting late payments to Equifax which has caused our credit to drop once again. The only thing that occurred in 2013 was we received a 1099 from the mortgage company. Is there any way to stop these frivolous late payments from being reported?

  84. Denise Mancini says:

    If negative items have to be removed after seven years does this include an account that you haven’t paid? And if so, how can the collection agency keep “updating” it every month so that it looks current instead of 4 years old?

  85. Roger O. says:

    I have seen in several responses that a collection will be removed from your credit report 7 years from the date of LAST ACTIVITY. My question is, what is the date of last activity. I have a collection on my credit report, and I do not see a date of LAST ACTIVITY listed anywhere. The “Date of First Delinquency” is 10/2007, the “Date Assigned” is 12/2007, and the “Date Reported” and “Balance Date” are both 12/2011. Which one of these dates is the magical “Last Activity” date that starts the 7 year countdown?

  86. Mary M. says:

    I cant find an answer to this question. If accounts says CLOSED because of an unpaid balance what does that mean really? Can anyone else pick up this account still and try and collect on it or suite over it if it is closed.

  87. godiva says:

    Question: I am in the process of looking for a new apartment. I applied at one i really liked. I was declined residency because of my credit. While disappointed this was the kick in the butt i needed to get a copy of my credit report. I did just that and have paid off 3 of the smallest bills. I am not sure how long each had been on my report. My question is how long will it take for those to show paid on my report and by paying them off will my credit score go up and how long will that take before i should re apply to the apartment.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Godiva, I’m sorry to hear you were denied an apartment but it is great motivation to get your credit file in order. It’s up to the lender to report the updated information. Click here for details on how your credit report is updated. You could always call your lender and ask how often they report information to the credit reporting agencies. I hope this helps.

  88. Anonymous says:


    Question: How long do I have to pay the amount owning in my collection account before it moves to my credit history. Also if i pay off the collection will it ever appear in my credit history?

  89. kinimaboyay says:

    I applied for a loan at the bank and got approved but later the LOAN OFFICER told me that i have to satisfy a certain debt on my credit report that was charged off 8 years ago, what should i do next after i have contacted that creditor and they could not traced anything on me because of the long duration.I dont have account info any more and i gave them my SS# TO LOOK IT UP but still cannot find anything .The loan officer is still reluctant to do closing on my approved loan untill that negative info is removed from my credit report .PLSE HELP WITH SUGGESTIONs. Or may be i need to know what does approve mean?THANKKS.

  90. anthony says:

    I have an auto loan that that was late for the 2nd payment due to me trying to get the payment days straight but have since had all payments ontime. It has been two years now and I am just finding out that it was reported on my credit. What can I do to get it off my credit.

    • EFX Moderator, KB says:

      I am sorry to hear that. You may want to consider talking to the original creditor to get this issue resolved. Good luck.

  91. Need Assurance says:

    Does a creditor or collection agency have the choice to removed a negative item that has been paid in full before the 7 years is up?

    If the answer is yes….If I obtain a letter from them stating that they will immediately remove it and they do not, can I submit the letter to the credit bureau and have them remove it?

  92. NeedToKnow says:

    If I have a 2010 negative medical account deleted from my credit report because of an error how much would my FICO increase?

  93. Liz says:

    Because of a layoff I stopped paying on a CC. It shows up under two areas in my credit report Closed accounts and Other Closed Accts. It shows Closed Accts as Charge-Off Last payment 11/08, First Delinquency 01/09, Date Major Deliquency first reported 08/09 This 10K debt was sold to a Collection Agency which is listed under Other Closed Accounts Date Opened 05/12 Date of First Delinquency 01/09 Major Delinquency first reported 09/12 Are both these areas being used to determine my Score? It’s a duplicate debt. My other question is can the Collection agency sell the debt again and the 7 years starts all over.

  94. Laurie says:

    I understand that judgements come off in 7 years, but that debt is still owed, right? My credit was good, not great, 10 years ago. My now ex and I bought a business together, which he sabotaged with bad decisions he made before the purchase. He then stopped working at the business and continued to take from it, often throwing us into overdraft and eventual foreclosure (2007). Add the expense of a divorce (same day in 2007, oddly enough) and restarting in the workforce, and I am seriously under water. He also filed for bankruptcy about a year after the divorce, thereby wiping out the “split the debt 50/50″ stipulation in our divorce. I have 2 garnishments on my wages (mortgage & taxes).

    1) does making payments on the non-garnished old debt restart the clock?
    2) obviously the garnishments are a result of a judgement – does the 7 years on the mortgage start the date of 1st late payment, date of foreclosure, date of judgement, date of beginning garnishment, or some other scenario I’ve missed?

    Also, I see that some creditors issue 1099’s for “earnings”. Our bank never sent anything to me, only to my ex because his name appeared first. That changed when he filed for bankruptcy. If they send one, would/should it go to him or me?

  95. Lakru says:

    Hello All,

    Just wondering if there is an affect on my credit score, once all baddebts accounts and public records goes away from the report after 7 yrs ?

  96. jim raub says:

    I have came to the conclusion that no matter what I do, pay, make arrangements my credit will NEVER be restored. For example, every bill I have is auto pay. I’m not nor haven’t been late except on one not (and thats another story) in at least ten years. I have never been ONE DAY late on my rent. The ones that apparently still haunt me are 7-10 years old. I have settled with several of them.Im not behind on ANYTHING but my credit scores are still low whereas they affect my interest or no credit at all. I am about to just plain quit.

  97. Waterlilly says:

    I had a judgement 5/08 and my debt continues to be sold to different collection agencies, including an attorney. They are telling me that I will have added interest and court cost if I do not pay. Incidentally, I did receive another notice from another collection agency offering a pay off that was less than 10% of the total debt. Is this a tactic to get me to activate the account again?

  98. jjam says:

    Is a credit score of 157 good or bad? Just asking…

  99. Alan says:

    My credit is good and I have done all I can do to maintain and excellent paying history. I monitor my credit each day .I have been able to maintain a credit score of over 725 for the past three years and I have worked hard to keep this .I saw that after almost ten years I still had on Equifax a unfiled bankruptcy that appeared on my report. Never filed this withdrew it because it was going to haunt me for ten years never took a penny from any creditor ,I filed a dispute thinking I would have it removed .Well thanks to that It has showed up on my credit report and dropped my score from 755 to 741.My question is how after 9.8 years ,would this be filed against me .I just wanted it removed if that was even possible .So be careful if your filing disputes. This now shows as filed 9/20/2013.Why was it not just removed?

  100. Sebastien says:

    I was in the US in 2000 as a trainee on a J1 visa. I had to move out of the US abruptly in the same year before my visa expired as my employer decided to move location. At the time I had a few hundred dollars still pending on my Credit Card that I was unable to close. I now have a potential employment opportunity in the US. From this article I assume that the debt should have been removed from my credit report. Is there a chance that there will be trouble when my old SSN is activated? I don’t mind closing the old debt if its still affordable but I don’t want to get into an embarassing situation with my employer or family.

    • April says:

      Well as per my knowledge its already more than 10 yrs and it should have droped from your credit report, just try to pull your credit report, in any case do NOT acknowledge the debt.

    • EFX Moderator, KB says:

      Sebastien, good question. In general, negative information that is more than seven years old from the date of last activity will be removed from 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.

      Here is more information on how long a late payment remains on your credit report: http://blog.equifax.com/credit/faq-how-long-do-late-payments-stay-on-my-credit-report/

  101. Glenn says:

    I have an item that was registered in my name and reported to my file in February 2009. I paid the item off when it matured in August 2010. The credit report says it matured in August 2010 but it still appears on my report with the amount still showing. It also says that the balance is not available from credit grantor. What do I do about this or is the fact that the “matures date” is past all that is needed to show I don’t owe the debt any longer.

    • April says:

      Try to contact your credit granter, since date of last activity was Aug 2010, will drop off from your report after 7 years

  102. Vikincal says:

    I have a credit card that was accidently used 3 months ago,(this card is about 8 years old and never used) I have been out of the area for 3 months and when I returned home last night I opened what I thought was another credit card promotion, to my suprise it was a late notice (90 days now!) I have good credit with relvolving accounts, homes and lines of credit, I have no negitive marks… till now.
    I called and paid the small balance off immediatly,and updated all the contact info, but am afraid it will still have negitive marks against me. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

    • EFX Moderator, KB says:

      Vikincal, sorry to hear about your situation. It’s great that you paid the balance immediately. In general, negative information will stay on your credit report for seven years from the date of last activity. Late paid accounts that are still active will be removed from your credit report seven years from the start of the delinquency, which is when the payment was missed.

      However, this could be a red flag if you are unaware of the person who gained access to your credit. Unfamiliar activity on an inactive account could be an identity theft red flag. Contact Equifax and the other credit reporting agencies in order to dispute any errors.Here is the link to file a dispute: https://www.ai.equifax.com/CreditInvestigation/home.action

  103. Cj says:

    What does it mean when the status of a dispute says that the disputed judgement is no longer reporting on your equifax credit file

  104. John says:

    I am a very unhappy bunny! Recently unfortunately I could not replenish one of my bank accounts so a direct debit was returned unpaid. They only informed me of this 8 days after the event by a letter that appeared out of the blue. The letter from the Bank – First Direct – stated they would charge me a £25 fee – for what goodness only knows – the value of the payment was only £95.15 to a Life Assurance Company so it was not so crucial, but what really got my goat is they would have to report this to Equifax with whom I have an account. I pleaded with them not do to this but whoever I spoke to there – even senior staff – refused to reverse this saying it was ‘factual information’ and not an error of theirs. Two days later there were sufficient funds in the account but they STILL wouldn’t pay it!! Unbelievable I know but thanks to their stupid and unnecessary actions I fear I may get declined credit for a new heating system my house desperately needs as the present one is old inefficient and consumes vast amounts of gas. The uncaring bank couldn’t give a sh** and to add insult to injury said they looked at my Equifax account over the past six months and say I had other ‘problems’ without specifying what they are, yet when I purchased an online credit report from Equifax, nothing adverse appeared! Are they lying?? Help!!! What do I need to do next?? Advice please!!

  105. jennifer says:

    I have an old charge off im trying to figure out when it will drop off the charge off is from 2006. so since they change the report date to feb 2013 this will remain on my credit report until feb 2020 as long as they dont change the date again?

    • dollar786 says:


      How can they just change it to Feb 2013 ? did you ever acknowledged the charge ? please get your report and find out the date of last activity ?


  106. Steve says:

    Hello, first I would like to say in adavance that I appreciate any input or answers that I receive in response to my inquiry.

    I’ll make it brief:

    I’m in Texas. Had several credit cards go into charge off status in approximately 2000 and 2001. As of June 2009, my credit reports reflected an average score of 590.

    Recently, I’ve received a few collection letters (as recently as a few weeks ago). Curious to see where my score stands now, I purchased the service which gives you access to all three bureau reports. I was shocked to find that my average score is now 744 and all of the bad debts (charge offs) are no longer reflected on my report.

    Here’s where I need some clarification:

    I seem to believe that it’s possible for the bad debt to fall off of the report after 10 years or so, but that collection agencies can continue to attempt to collect the debt. Do I have this correct? Would this explain the letter attempting to collect, even though the item has expired from my reports?

    Next, if the agencies continue to attempt to collect, or sell the account to another agency, can this cause something to re-appear on my credit reports? I’ve tried to research this as thoroughly as possible on my own and I believe, from what I’ve found, that once the debt has expired from the report, it can no longer be re-added unless it’s the outcome of a judgement, lien, etc., as a result of going to court.

    I suppose the easiest way of asking my question is, now that the negative items have fallen off of my report, is there any way that they can re-appear (assuming there is no judgment, etc,. that is pursued)?

    I’m just wondering if I can finally put all of this behind me and focus on maintaining my good-standing credit that I currently have. I was young and stupid when I messed up my credit by allowing a co-signer to make purchases across four different cards without ever paying me a dime for any of it. Stupid, stupid….NEVER again. I’ve had to pay for this mistake via extremely high interest rates on my car loans (19%, 21%) and credit card (31%). To say the least, I’ve definitely learned my lesson and will not repeat past mistakes.

    Again, any insight you might provide would be most appreciated.

    • dollar786 says:

      An expired debt should not appear on your credit report; some collection agencies attempt to improperly “re-age” debts – if a collection agency is using a fake date to add an expired debt back to your credit report, dispute the entry with the CRA and consider also making a report to the FTC and to the agency in your state that oversees the conduct of collection agencies. You may also be able to pursue a claim against the company that improperly listed the expired debt under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

      Note that if you make payments on a debt, in most states that will renew the debt and again permit it to be listed.

    • dollar786 says:

      Any credit card debts should be off your credit report after 7 years.

      That is also the maximum statute of limitations in all states.

      No collection agency can legally force you to pay those debts.

      Trying to be a nice guy and paying on them is the worst thing you can do.

      That can reset the SOL and put them back on your credit reports.

      Have no communication other then to tell them that the SOL is up and to cease and desist all communications with you.

  107. ka says:

    I had something where 2 of my creditors reposted debt from 5-6 years ago, its on my report as collections, but just a few months ago they posted the collection as if they reported it a few months ago not years ago, and my credit score is going down. ( I recently applied for a house loan, and was told they denied me because of my recent collections. the collections are years old how are they recent?) I want to know can they do that, and is there a way to stop them from reposting old debt as if it just happened.

  108. Carl says:

    I understand that the “Date of Last Activity” determines when an item will come off of a credit report. I have 6 potentially negative accounts on my report and they all have a Date of Last Activity of “N/A”. How do I fix this to show a date and how long should I expect an N/A to stay on my report.

  109. Grace Hogan says:

    How does one go about disputing a debt that has exceeded the number of yrs that it should be reported–this account was previously disputed but now it has aged out and experian will not allow an online dispute?

    • EFX Moderator_KB says:

      Grace, thanks for posting. If you find an inaccuracy with one credit-reporting agency, you may want to get your credit file from the other two credit agencies to see if their files contain the same error. After you’ve corrected an error with one CRA, the other agencies should eventually receive the corrected information. However, for prompt correction, it’s best to contact the other two agencies individually to dispute the error. You may also contact your creditor directly to dispute inaccurate information. At Equifax, you can file a dispute online, by mail, or by phone. How to find and dispute credit report errors. I hope this helps.

  110. Karen says:

    I moved from Ontario (Canada) to the states for school back in 2009. I thought I had paid and closed my account with a cell phone company but it turns out that it wasn’t closed. They put me into collection but I never received a letter or phone call about this. The only reason I know about this is because I started to look into my credit score (hoping to buy a house soon) and found the negative reporting on my credit report. Last payment was made April 2009 and now the bill is way over $3,000 from when they put me into collections. I was told that (by TransUnion) that if I don’t pay off this collection agency that they can keep reporting me to TransUnion and Equifax and it will just keep giving me negative dings on my report. Is this true? I called Equifax and a debt free counselling hot line and they both told me to wait out eh 7 years since it is almost over and it will be dropped for good. What should I do?

  111. Jamie says:

    My husband and I have recently filed chapter 7, prior to filing I had negative items on my credit that are showing closed or charged off. My question is, after the bankruptcy is discharged can I request for those items be removed prior to the 7 years wait time or do I still need to wait the full 7 years. I am assuming closed accounts are not apart of bankruptcy.

    • EFX Moderator says:

      Jamie, the exact length of time the closed account appears on your credit report will depend on the payment history of the closed account. Generally speaking, negative information will need to stay on your credit report for seven years from the date of last activity, and bankruptcies can appear on your credit report for 10 years from the date of last activity. Please take a look at this blog post for more information: http://blog.equifax.com/credit/how-long-do-closed-accounts-stay-on-my-credit-report/

  112. maize says:

    Bad credits/judgement last for 7 years on a credit report, but on equafax credit report , there is an
    Open Date
    Balalnce Date

    Last Reported Delinquency Date
    Charge off Date

    Which dates activate the 7 year clock, please anyone!! this is so confusing

    • EFX Moderator says:

      Maize, that’s a great question. How long negative information appears on your credit report depends on the type of information. Late paid accounts that are still active will be removed from your credit report seven years from the start of the delinquency, which is when the payment was missed. If you have an account that has been charged off or is in collections,it will typically remain on your credit report for seven years and 180 days from the start of the delinquency that led to the charge off or collection. Please take a look at this blog post for more information: http://blog.equifax.com/credit/how-long-does-information-stay-on-my-credit-report/

  113. whittiv says:

    Hi, I paid a catalogue payment 11 days late and had a derogatory status alert. 20 days after the payment was made this derogatory status appeared but it does now acknowledge that the account is up to date. Is it correct that a derogatory status can be applied then as I thought it was if a payment was still overdue after 30 days? Thanks

  114. Integrity Mom says:

    Please, please help!!!
    I had perfect credit for 20 years – never a late payment, always paid more than required and often in full. I made double car payments, and even paid utilities in advance.
    Over a couple of years and some big life challenges, all of my cards are maxed, closed, in collections, charge offs, and judgements. Many advised bankruptcy but due to integrity, I have said, somehow, I will figure out how to pay these off.
    Well, I am finally getting things back in order. A few accounts that didn’t go to collections, charge off, or judgement, I have up to date – yay!!! A few in collections I am on a payment plan with at the full balance …
    And I have 2 remaining accounts that are very large balances that I am in the process of making payment arrangements with.
    One is in collections, the other went to judgement and now with a collection company.
    If I look at 10-20 years down the road, I figure, in 10 years I can pay off everything in full, with a large portion of our money going towards debt, and my credit would be repaired, showing we were responsible and paid everything.
    As I read through everything here, it seems that 10 years from now, taking my kids entire childhood… As my youngest will be 18 in 10 years, my credit will still be horrible for another 7-10 years in addition to the 10 it takes to pay everything off.
    I am wondering if doing settlements that I can pay off in a year or two and at least be back to financial stability, even if not credit soundness, might be as good if not better of an option.
    Please, please advise!!!
    Huge, huge, huge thanks in advance.
    The only thing I have ever known is paying everything on time and in advance .. This is all foreign.

  115. Lisa says:

    If you have an excellent credit score about 480 but have one red mark on your file (for £58)(which was put there due to the company not resolving an issue – how do you rectify this or when does the red mark come off the file? Its affecting me getting any credit including a mortgage. 7 years is a long time for £58 which wasn’t my fault and is the same as bankruptcy!
    Thanks for your help in advance.

  116. Joe Fabitz says:

    I need to have negative info removed. I understand the time frame is 7 years since the date of the last activity on the acct. How can I tell what that date is?

  117. Rhonda says:

    I have a mortgage that was open in 2005 and it became a closed account, still owing a high balance. I stop paying the mortgage in mid-2009 due to a change in my financial situation. The mortgage has since then been sold to another mortgage company and is showing as an open account with late payments. It is still on my credit report from the original mortgage company showing closed transferred/sold with the open date of 2005. This is 2015 now, technically can that negative trade line on my credit be removed because of the SOL?

  118. Jenny 1971 says:

    I’m very confused I’ve been reading the blog post in hope of having an a-ha moment. In April 2007 I acquired my first last payment. Doe to personal crisis I made payments the I couple while still a curing interest and late fees. My last payment was on November 2008. Subsequently it as listed as a charge off on 11-2008. I don’t believe more pyment were made. I have nov received a litter from Mcm who I guess purchased the account. The letter states the balance at the time of purchase was $748, and the are saying the balance has now jumped to $1173 because of the collection fees.
    So if I’m reading the fcra and blog correctly that provided I don’t make ANY contact with MCM including not sending then ANY payment than legally this should fall off, calculating 7 years from the date of last activity of November 2008. 7 years would be contact with was November 2008. I have not called then (contacted was from then)
    My question is does a new collection buying the contact on September in 9/8/2009. Since I have made any payments, the 7 years started from November 2008, no contacted them myself. Does this mean it should all fall off my report in November ((dTe)
    I need the explation I few clear con ice SMS
    No to mention that inhibits
    of the actual late payment made OR does it stay on my recorded for 7 years from when they sent it to Mcm? 7 years from the date of the actually date is march come off or when a new. Contact boston. Or others and provider me step by step written with instruction as to why in November 7 years. I appreciate ur el

    • Jenny's sis says:

      Last payment made was November 2008. No contact with creditor since then. Now new collection agency has bought the contract and is charging me original amount plus $400 interest. If I have no contact with new agency should the debt still fall off my report 7 years from November 2008? What constitutes a reset due to contact made (pymt, correspondence by me, etc)?

  119. Tracey says:

    How long can a creditor wait before they come after you for payment? I mean I received a car loan through a personally owned company and this and that happened, long story short, it has been 10 years since that loan, they have always known where I was/lived and they have never said anything about it, never took me to court for judgment. Now 10 years later they are coming after me with interest. I thought I saw it on my credit report once that they charged it off. How can I find out if this is what happened?

    • dollar786 says:

      Hello Tracey,

      First you should get your credit report and check whether the debt still exsist or not ? if the creditor got a judgement againts you than there is just a dead end. and i believe SOL just allows 1 year to creditors in which they can get judgement againt you, after that there is no chance. let me know where do you stand after geting your credit report.

  120. Mila says:

    Equifax, I don’t understand how this works. If someone has a debt on their report that is old, say from six years ago, it impacts their score less and less as it ages. It eventually just falls off. But if a debt collector buys this old debt and then reports it today, your credit score plummets. How is this fair? Exact same debt. Why should your score drop 50+ points just because somebody new buys the old debt and reports it. Shouldn’t it still count as a six year old debt and barely affect your score?

  121. ken says:

    if I pay my student debt off tomorrow how long until it is posted on my credit?

  122. Annie says:

    I have one account that I disputed and all I have received back is that, the account does belong to me. It went into my bankruptcy so it is a zero balance, so I am not able to make any payment obviously, but the number of late payments keeps going on. However it is only with Equifax, Transunion has me 100% on time payments. I’m trying to fix my credit, but this looks horrible with a 16% on time payments rate on Equifax. Do I just have to wait it out?

    • EFX Moderator says:

      Annie, We would like to help you address your matter. Please submit your matter/inquiry, along with your legal name, city/state & email address used for EFX registration, to equifaxsupport@facebook.com so that a Customer Support agent can respond to you directly.

  123. smhyper says:

    Due to bad decisions few years ago,i wasn’t able to pay my credit cards.my last activity with the cards were 2009 but I was paying the banks until 2010.when I was reading blogs about credit scores,I came across this and read that the credit history will be cleared after 7years.Does that mean that from the last activity which was 2009,,the history will be cleared on 2016?? and after that …can I apply for a credit card and start my credit history again? hoping you could enlighten me on this.thanks

  124. Chasedrovemenuts says:

    Might be a complicated question but I’m going to give as many details to help understand the situation fully. We short sold for our full loan amount in 10/2012. We pulled credit reports prior to and then in Jan to see how it was listed. We pull them yearly and just pulled them again. This time we noticed that the information had a little more detail but not really. We were late for the first time back in 2005 by 2 days and they told us not to make our payment and they had a “program”. I should’ve just sent the payment.

    Anyway, moving on…On the credit reports, the payments are listed from 6/06 as unknown on one report and ‘OK’ on the other until 10/08 and then it goes into 30/60/90 from then on out with one more UNK in 7/09. It says up top in the info last payment made 10/10-which is incorrect, and date updated 11/2012 which we closed 10/31/12 so that would seem fine.

    My main questions are (1) When does the time clock start on this falling off? (2)Should I be concerned about the UNKNOWN payments from 6/06-10/08 and is there a way I could get this fixed or should try? (3)What are the rules when it comes to this type of debt.

    We got lucky with our short sale because we were able to repay the entire loan with the sell, but im more concerned why late/UNK payments from 2006 are still on the reports.

  125. Jessica says:

    I had some small things on my credit that I took care of already, now that they are all paid how much longer is it going to stay on my credit?

  126. Bobby says:

    If i have an R9 on my report and its due to be removed after the 7th year, what does my rating goto?

  127. Bobbie says:

    I currently live in NY but my debt is from when i lived in PA. If i pay it off now would the collection show for another 5 years as stated above for NY residents or would it fall off after seven years from the date the account became past due because the debit is from PA?

    • Anonymous says:

      it goes to the last activity date, if you pay a payment, that extends the total time,

  128. Tammy says:

    when you say “from the date of last activity” does that mean from the late payment date or the last payment on the loan (payoff?)

  129. TennisMom says:

    When a credit card company sells your balance to a new company, I wonder how long that can stay on your credit? Can they just keep passing it around and around?

  130. Anonymous says:

    My question is on my equifax report. My late payment is still listed but my current good standing payments are not. So for instance on my capital one account it lists my last four years of “ok” payments but it lists a 30 day late payment from 4 and half years ago. If equifax is going to only list the last 4 years of good payments but also list only bad payments between 4 and 7 years old than that seems unfair.

  131. Arch A. says:

    What is the best way to have collection accounts removed? I have some that are over 11 years old.

  132. Amy O. says:

    Hi everyone,
    I have two questions about the same collection agency causing me grief…Portfolio Recovery…
    1. It is passed the 7 plus time frame that is allowable for negative reporting to be on my report from a 2008 debt. Equifax has removed this from their report and Experian will before the end of this month (Dec. 2015; however, Transunion says they will not before the end of February 2016. I told them that is incorrect, but didn’t get much warmth or any sense or understanding or support. I don’t have proof of my last payment, but the originally debt was never paid in 2009. Even the old debt’s co. had an 08 next to the name of the company and still does next to it on Transunion. I am so frustrated and feel bullied. I don’t know what I can do to correct this without it costing me a lot of money. Please advise.
    2. This same collection agency has been posting that I dispute their reporting for years, even though I don’t and wrote letters to the credit reporting agencies saying otherwise. The same comments remain today. When I called Transunion today, they told me the comment is only their because the collection agency put it there. Transunion confirmed there are no current disputes. I told them I never talked to the collection agency and want it removed and was told NO. This is now a over 7 year reporting that has been inactive since 2008, so what can I do. Yes, it will fall of by the end of February of 2016, but we should I have to wait when the two other reporting agencies recognize the true timeframe and respect the law. Please advise. I would like to refinance my home and the collection agency is causing conflict with my family receiving the best rate. I am beyond frustrated and just need some good advice that won’t backfire to hurt my chances at the best refinance opportunity. Thank you.

  133. Advisor says:

    I am very surprised that folks haven’t suggested the CFPB website. It’s easy to file a complaint with them regarding collections activity you feel is a violation of law whether the fair debt collections act or just an unfair and deceptive trade practice on their part. I have found quicker action via CFPB complaint than any other method if you have already tried to have the company fix their reporting, etc.

    • Harrison says:

      So have you had resolution with the CFPB that Equifax or other financial providers have resolved? If so how?

  134. Adri says:

    Hi everyone, if someone could just help me out here:

    I had an unpaid account reporting since 2010 (last date reported) when I stopped paying. I make several attempts to dispute the debt but was never removed from my credit. The account last reported date was 2010.

    Since then over the years I was able to establish new credit (Discover, Amex, even a car loan with a decent rate). My FICO last month was 703 and just today I discovered that my score dropped to 560 due to a new collection that was file from a new creditor (apparently they sold this old account to a new creditor).

    I am planning to buy a house in a couple of months (I guess now, was), is there anything that could be done to raise my score again (even is it means payment of the debt). I’m devastated by this news 🙁

    I really appreciate your help.

    • Anony says:

      Hi Adri,

      You might just have to wait until 7 years are up for it to go away. If it doesn’t go away, try to contact the credit bureaus and ask them to remove it. I think the reason it’s still there is because it has only been 6 years, maybe less,(depends on the last activity on the account) since your last payment. It seems that unless 7 years have past since your last payment, the negative information can still resurface, even if at one point it was removed.

  135. Harrison says:

    Very good and helpful information…

  136. Adraine T. says:

    Thanks! This information very informative.

  137. Wesw says:

    I have a few degroatory accounts on my credit will the ones that are not paid still fall off after 7 years?

  138. Nikki says:

    Hi If I have a delinquent account showing 6 months in arrears for the past 72 months on here when will the account be removed from the credit file. Ive not paid it as it was a business loan that they changed into my name, ive argued this with them back in 2008, at which point they confirmed they couldn’t locate the original paperwork to confirm whose name it should be in an also that it wasn’t enforceable. I have the paperwork but was advised not to send

  139. Nikki says:

    Hi can anyone tell me how long a delinquent account stays on here for, I have 1 that shows 6 mths o/due for passed 72 months ? I stopped paying this account as it was a business loan that they decided to swap into my name when the business went, I argued this with them in 2008 at which point they confirmed they couldn’t locate the paperwork to show whos name it should be in and wasn’t enforceable.

  140. Crissy says:

    If I have a derogatory judgment on my credit file what do I do to bounce back from this?

  141. Christina says:

    I was married in 2006 and 2 years after the housing market dropped my husband lost his mortgage business.
    I have about 4 credit cards (some are from him) and that last payment was made in 2010.
    Will these be takin off my credit report in 2017?

  142. Andres says:

    When filing bankruptcy chapter 7 or 13, how long does it stay on your credit report 7 or 10 years? Also, does the clock start counting at the time of filing or after the bankruptcy is discharged?

  143. Tom B says:

    One of the things I figured out was, when debt collector “A” owns your account and they report to a consumer credit reporting agency (CCRA) it’s on your credit right. So it remains there. Now “A” sells the debt to new debt collector “B”. Debt Collector “B” sends you a letter and from memory it usually says dispute this within 30 days or we will report it to a CCRA or something like that, if you received one you know what I mean.

    So if you pay “B” off as soon as you get that letter and before it is reported to any CCRA which you can do, then “B” most likely will not report the collection to any CCRA but if they do report it after you paid it then you can dispute that the debt was paid off prior to them reporting the collection so they have to remove debt collector “B”‘s negative information.

    Then you dispute debt collector “A” as to ownership of that debt and since they don’t own it they also have to remove it. Bam you removed the negative info. I did this and it worked maybe it was a fluke IDK. This was a medical debt and it was settled for an amount less then I owed.

  144. Stephanie says:

    How long does a broken lease stay on your credit report?

  145. Kathryn says:

    My bankruptcy was discharged 2 years ago and there was a collection included in it; however, my credit report still shows it open with $0 balance. This is hurting my rebuilt credit. How do I get this removed.

  146. Mary says:

    How long does a record stay on your report if you have excellent credit-no late payments?

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