Lenders use your credit score and the information in your credit report to assess your risk as a borrower, so it is important to understand the rules about how long information stays on record.
Your credit activity, including payment behavior, plays an important part in how your credit score is calculated. Lenders who have extended you credit regularly report your payment behavior—whether it is positive or negative— to the three national credit reporting agencies. This data can also be pulled from public record information.
Not all of your credit information will stay on your credit report forever, which can be good news if you are worried about how long negative information, such as late payments, bankruptcies and judgments, will impact your credit history and credit score.
How long information remains on your credit report varies.
Accounts paid as agreed will generally stay on your credit report for up to 10 years from the date of last activity. If you’ve paid off your mortgage, for example, that positive information can stay on your credit report for up to a decade from the account’s date of last activity.
A revolving credit account—such as a credit card—that is paid as agreed can stay on your credit report forever, as long as the account remains open. If you close the revolving credit account, the positive information can stay on your credit report up to 10 years from the date of last activity.
How long negative information appears on your credit report depends on the type of information:
Inquiries are a record of companies that have pulled a copy of your credit report. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit reporting agencies must inform you of who has made an inquiry. Generally speaking, credit reporting agencies will report inquiries for one to two years, depending on the reason your credit report was accessed
Certain state laws may also impact how long information stays on your credit report. For current New York residents, for example, paid collections will remain on your credit report for only five years, while unpaid collections will remain for the full seven years.
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