Negative information on your credit report can last for years, but fortunately, there are statutes of limitations for such occurrences.

When it comes to negative information related to individual accounts, a credit report's memory may last anywhere from two to 10 years.

Understanding how long negative information stays on your credit report and how it influences your credit score can help you make better decisions, especially if you need to rebuild your credit for access to better interest rates or to become lendable again.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The impact of negative information on your credit report makes it harder to get financing for a mortgage, auto loan, or any other kind of loan or line of credit.
  • Negative information can stay on your credit report from 2 to 10 years, and judgments along with tax liens have been removed from credit reports.
  • It’s important to know what’s on your credit report and how to access it, as one in five consumers have mistakes on their credit report.

What Is Negative Information On Your Credit Report?

Negative information on your credit report can have a detrimental affect on your credit score. 

This makes it harder to get financing. Negative information can include late payments, bankruptcies, foreclosures, or collections, among others. Anything that tells lenders you are a risky borrower can make it harder for you to borrow money in the future.

Fortunately, the information doesn’t stay there forever. Each negative event has a statute of limitations timeline when the information must fall off your report. 

The three credit bureaus must follow these timelines and remove the information as it expires.

Additionally, since your credit score changes monthly, it’s possible to overcome negative information. Knowing how long they stay on your credit report is important, but even more important is learning how to overcome the negative information, such as finding solutions for debt relief.

How Long Does Negative Information Stay On Your Credit Report?

Negative information often stays on your credit report for 7 – 10 years. Here's how each negative event can affect your credit.

Late Payments

Time on credit report: 7 years

Late payments are any payments made more than 30 days past the due date. So, if your payment was due on September 1st and you paid it on October 5th, it would show as late. But if you paid it on September 20th, it would not show up on your credit report as late.

The good news is that the damage late payments cause to a credit score slowly diminishes with time. They hurt your credit score the most initially. With good credit habits afterward, you can improve your score.

Bankruptcy Records

Time on credit report: 7 – 10 years

The type of bankruptcy you file determines how long it stays on your credit report. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a restructuring of your debts and eventually pays off most of your debts, if not all. It stays on your credit report for seven years.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a dissolution of most debts. This means most creditors don't receive their payment. Because this bankruptcy is worse for creditors, it stays on your credit report for ten years. 

Collections or Charged-Off Accounts

Time on credit report: 7 years from the date of the first missed payment

If you miss your payment for over 90 days, most creditors will sell the account to a collection agency for a fraction of what you owe. Others may not sell it to a collection agency and instead consider it a charge-off or bad debt.

Either way, this is the worst type of delinquency because it shows potential lenders that you don’t handle your financial responsibilities. Your timeline starts from the date of the first missed payment on the original debt, not the date the collection agency first reported your account.

Repossessions or Foreclosures

Time on credit report: 7 years

A repossession or foreclosure is another form of default but on a secured debt. A repossession typically occurs with car loans. If you miss a few payments, the auto lender can repossess your car to sell and make back the funds. A foreclosure occurs when you default on your mortgage. The lender can take possession of your house and sell it to regain their funds.

The timeline for repossession or foreclosure to fall off your credit report starts on the date of your first missed payment.

Hard Inquiries

Time on credit report: 2 years

Each time you apply for new credit it shows on your credit report as an inquiry. Too many inquiries can be a red flag for lenders because it shows you are desperate for loans or lines of credit. 

With each inquiry, your credit score drops a few points, but you can quickly gain those points back by using your credit properly. 

Judgments

Time on credit report: No longer reported

As of 2018, the three credit bureaus no longer report judgments or tax liens on their credit reports. If your credit report contains information about a judgment or tax lien, you can dispute the line item with the credit bureau that reported it to have it removed.

How To Find Out What’s On Your Credit Report

It’s important to know what’s on your credit report. One in five consumers have mistakes on their credit report, so knowing what’s on yours is vital. 

Order your free copy from all three credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com to find out what's reporting on your credit report. Before the Covid event of 2019, consumers could only order a single copy of their report from each bureau annually. Today, however, you can get a free copy weekly to stay on top of your credit reports.

Seeing what's on your credit report can help you determine if you need to dispute any errors or if any negative information didn't fall off when it should have. 

For example, if you had a late payment from 8 years ago still reporting on your credit report, you could dispute it since it's outside the statute of limitations for that type of delinquency.

Final Thoughts About Negative Information On Your Credit Report

Knowing how long negative information stays on your credit report is vital to your financial wellness. It helps you understand your odds of getting new credit and what you must do to improve your score.

Bad credit doesn't stay on your credit report forever, but it can be there for 7 years or more in most cases. The key is to back it up with good credit information, showing future lenders that you have learned from your mistakes and are moving forward. 

Your credit score won’t change overnight, but knowing how to fix your credit and have a better score moving forward is the key.

How Credit9 Can Help You

At Credit9, we offer loan options that could provide you with the financial solution that works best for you. 

Since 2018, Credit9 has provided over $460 Million in loans to over 36,000 of our customers, and we’re confident we can help you too. 

For more information about Credit9’s unique debt consolidation services, contact us today to see how we can help you consolidate your debts and receive a free, no-obligation, and fully-customized Credit9 loan solution!