How Long Can Good and Bad Information Remain on My Credit Reports?

If you have good or excellent credit and haven’t had any late payments you’re probably not worried about how long data stays on your credit reports.  If there is negative data on your credit report, you may be somewhat concerned because of how it can impact your credit scores.  The time frame the data remains on your credit reports ranges from a couple of years to much longer, depending on the type of information.

Good Stuff

Current or active accounts with no late payments can remain on your credit report indefinitely.  If closed, however, they may be removed after ten years.  This isn’t a requirement of any Federal or state law but is instead the policy of the credit bureaus. There is no requirement to ever remove anything in good standing.

Current accounts with late payments will have the late history removed in seven years from the date the delinquency was first reported.  The positive information remains after the negative information is removed, if the account is still active.  For example, if an account was  60 days late in June 2006, the reference to that information would be removed seven years later in June 2013.  The positive information will remain, only the negative reference is removed.

Inquiries

Inquiries that you initiated by applying for credit, such as auto loan, mortgage or credit card, remain on your credit report for two years. Those are the so called “Hard” inquiries.

Negative information

Late payments are removed seven years from the date of occurrence.

Do you have negative information on your credit reports? Visit here to see your updated credit report and credit score online now.

Charge-offs, settlements, foreclosures and repossessions are removed seven years from the date they became 180 days past due, or went into default.

Accounts turned over to collections remain seven years from the time they went 180 days delinquent or into default.

Defaulted student loans that are guaranteed by the government can remain on your credit report for 7 years from the date they were paid.

Public Records

Bankruptcy – Chapter 7s are removed from the credit report ten years from the filing date.

Discharged bankruptcy Chapter 13 is removed seven years from the date discharged. It normally takes three to five years for a Chapter 13 to discharge, so that is when the 7 years begins.  The cap on all bankruptcies is ten years, so most Chapter13’s remain on file for a full ten years, just like Chapter 7’s.

Judgments stay on the credit report seven years from the filing date, whether satisfied or not.

Foreclosures are removed seven years from the filing date of the foreclosure.

Released tax liens (federal, city, state and county liens) remain seven years from the date released. This includes liens settled for less than you owe.

Unpaid tax lines can remain on your credit report indefinitely.

Paid and withdrawn tax liens are removed immediately.

JRU on 60 Mins SetCredit Reporting Expert, John Ulzheimer, is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, founder of www.creditexpertwitness.com and a Contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry.  You can follow John on Twitter here.

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