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In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
In our regular surveys of consumers who come to the Equifax website and who call our call centers, this is by far the most asked question.
It’s understandable, given how credit is so important to someone’s personal finances. Mostly, consumers who ask this question are concerned about how negative information like bankruptcies, judgments, and late payments affects their credit history and score.
Luckily, there are set time frames for how long negative information remains on a credit report. In general, negative information more than seven years old from the date of last activity (ten years for bankruptcies) must be removed from your file.
Good information, like your on-time payment of credit card bills or your mortgage, can stay on your credit history forever. Having more good information helps strengthen your credit history and increase your credit score.
When it comes to a credit history and score, consumers often mistakenly believe that any negative information in their credit report comes from the credit reporting agency.
In fact, all information, both positive and negative, is reported to the three nationwide credit reporting agencies by lenders who have granted you credit, is included in public record information, or is reported by collection agencies. Credit reporting agencies compile this information and lists it in your credit report.
Here’s a rundown of how long certain types of credit information will remain on your credit history:
New York State Residents Only (must be current resident)
California State Residents Only (must be current resident)
If you disputed an item and the investigation did not resolve the dispute, you have the right to file a brief statement with the consumer reporting agency, free of charge, explaining the nature of the event(s) that led to the negative information reporting on the Equifax credit report.
Consumers can edit the statement or request that it be removed from the credit report at any time, also free of charge.
Opting Out of Promotional Offers
Consumers can request to opt out or have their name removed from any promotional offerings, free of charge.
Have you checked your credit report recently? Now that you know how long positive and negative information stays on your credit history, you should pull a copy and make sure that all of your information is accurate and reflects your personal financial history.
Check back next month, when I’ll share more answers to the list of most frequently asked questions.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.