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How long does a late payment stay on my credit report?

Written by Equifax Experts on July 17, 2012 in Credit  |   16 comments

How long does a late payment stay on my credit report? Questions like this and others related to the consequences of negative information on your credit report are some of the most frequently asked questions on the blog and on Equifax.com. Here are the answers to…

How long does a late payment stay on my credit report? Questions like this and others related to the consequences of negative information on your credit report are some of the most frequently asked questions on the blog and on Equifax.com. Here are the answers to some of these questions, and in the coming weeks we’ll answer more of them for you.

Q: How will a loan forbearance plan affect my credit score?

A: Because your credit score is based on the elements contained within your credit file, any impact a payment plan might have on your credit score is dependent on your overall credit history. You should obtain a free copy of your credit reports from the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (CRAs) at annualcreditreport.com or directly from any of the CRA websites. You will be given the opportunity to purchase your score after you’ve received your free annual credit report. Once you have validated the accuracy of the information contained in your credit report, you can also add a consumer statement explaining the issues surrounding the forbearance plan.

Q: If an account is closed with no activity, how can there be recent activity posted on the credit summary?

A: 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.

Q: How can I dispute credit score changes?

A: Your credit score is determined based on information within 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 CRA individually. You can also add a consumer statement explaining the issues surrounding the credit score change.

Q: If the original creditor is no longer reporting past due accounts, why can a collection agency continue to report negative information on my credit report?

A: A collection agency that purchased a debt from a creditor can continue to report the information within the guidelines for up to seven years from the date of the last activity (DLA). For example, if the original creditor charged the balance off to bad debt in 2005 and subsequently sold the debt to a collection agency, the DLA would be seven years from 2005. You can contact the creditor directly if you have specific questions regarding information it is reporting.

Q: Is there a way to remove a collection item by paying off the debt? Why pay the debt if it’s going to stay on your credit report?

A: 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 seven years, creditors will often report the debt as paid — it is often viewed more positively.

Q: If I choose to stop paying a revolving line of credit, how long will the unpaid debt remain on my credit report?

A: Most accounts will stay on your credit report for seven years. 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.

16 comments

  1. C. lange says:

    The day my balloon payment came due was the day of my back surgery. Before that i was reseaeching the doctor, the hospital, etc. I now have another small home equity. It has a balloon of 10 years and it is a small amount to pay.
    I hope that will not work against me. The bank is familiar with the surgery since they see me walking with a cane.
    The home eqauity was the last thing on my mind. I could make double payment since payng it off early will not go against me. Do you hava an opinion on this? C. L

  2. Ken L says:

    why is it when a lender pulls your credit specifically with equifax they almost always report a credit score that i slower then the score that is reported to me

  3. susanp says:

    I filed bankruptcy in June of 09. The “accounts” included in bankruptcy are listed under “included in bankruptcy” however several companies are reporting their accounts as closed, included in bankruptcy BUT late 30 and 60 months . this is affecting my credit score it is never higher than 698 the rest of the report is pristine with no late’s and long credit histories, including mortgages. So why is Chase reporting their account included in bk but late 1 x 30 and 1 time 60. Aren’t you suppose to be given a clean slate when BK is filed, when it comes to late’s….????

    • Clarissa says:

      You dont receive a clean slate nor do you deserve a clean slate after taking advantage of so many companies with a bankruptcy!Just dont get yourself over your head again and pay your bills, your credit should be pristine again in seven years, but good luck until then!

      • Erin says:

        You aren’t taking advantage of any company by filing bankruptcy. It is a legal right and remedy prescribed by the federal government for hundreds of years. You are entitled to use it you qualify and if you choose to do so. Your penalty is negative credit reporting for 7 – 10 years, but it isn’t anything to be otherwise embarrassed about anymore so than getting unemployment benefits or Medicare. And companies get to write off the loss in their taxes.

      • Mary says:

        Clarissa really don’t understand life. I file bankruptcy because I was diagnosed with leukemia and during this time I was preparing for a bone marrow transplant I was laid off of my job. Things happen to people that you cannot predict. Bankruptcy was not my easy way out. It was necessary to maintain the little health I had. Sometimes Clarissa it is necessary. Get off your high horse.

      • Sammy K says:

        Hope u stay in good health, never have life altering event,Clarissa. U sound like those fake abusive credit collectors…arrogant reply, shame on u

  4. Pauline A Moore says:

    I am 70 years old, my credit score is low, I am unable to mortgage my home that has NO mortgage. It is low in part because my income came from mortgages I gave. the Mortgagors stopped paying, so I was without income. NEVER THE LESS, even though raising five kids as a single Mom I paid every debt I ever had, I never filed Banktruptcy, nor was I ever foreclosed. I should have a great credit score with three stars instead I am handicapped by property tax leins (paid) and slow pays. at seventy I do not have seven years to wait to enjoy what a refinance would do for my life. I am current with everything and have been for a long time. It is not fair.

    • Vanessa LeRue says:

      If you utilize the Fair Credit Reporting Act to dispute your accounts on your credit reports, you may be able to get them corrected or deleted. This is better than waiting the 7 years for the accounts to automatically fall off. The credit bureaus want you to think you have to wait this time frame because they make no money when you take their time in disputing.

  5. Annette says:

    I have a car lone, for some reason, I set up a payment online and it did not go through. I made my next payment maybe a day or two late, but the financial institution never informed me in any way that I missed one payment. Without knowing, I was summitting my payments 30 days late. I learned about it because I recieved a negative information notice from my credit monitoring system. By the time I learned about it, I already had two 30 day late reports.
    I’m I entitled to at least a notice from the creditor before they report negative information? If so, can I despute that?

    • Ethan says:

      You are required to monitor your own finances. Banks and Credit Unions have too high a volume to have an actual person monitoring every single loan that they write. If you made your payments in person you should have been given receipts that would show you are pass due. If you called in then your financial should have been polite enough to inform you. If you mailed in your payments and then didn’t monitor whether they were posted (or any similar situation where you should have monitored) then this is definately not anyones fault but your own. Lets not play the blame game and own up to our mistakes.

      • Chris says:

        Thats funny. They have too high a volume to monitor every customers account that they have but they have time to report every one of them to the credit bureaus

  6. Tom Ross says:

    Nice work, regards

  7. Julia says:

    I have a question regarding when an collection will fall off my report with Equifax. I’ve compared my 3 reports from the 3 credit reporting agencies and the same collection is coming off on Experian and Trans Union in Oct 2013 on Equifax it shows date of last activity as N/A so when will this fall off my report. Should I call to get this information. Your help with this is much appreciated.

  8. DOING MY BEST says:

    HOW OFTEN CAN A CREDIT COLLECTION AGENCY REPORT TO THE CREDIT REPORTING AGENCY, IS IT LEGAL TO REPORT AN ACCOUNT EVERY 7 TO 10 DAYS, JUST BECAUSE THEY GOT PISSED OFF WITH YOU.


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