How Long Does Negative Information Stay on Your Credit Report?

The time period that information that is negative can stay visible on the credit report is controlled by a law that is federally referred to in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Most negative information should be removed within seven years. Certain information, like bankruptcy, lasts until 10 years. Concerning the particulars of negative credit information the law and time limitations are more complex. Here are eight kinds of negative information, and the ways you can keep from any harm they could cause.


  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates the amount of time negative information will stay visible on the credit report.
  • The majority of negative information remains the credit report for seven years. A few items are left for a period of 10 year. 1
  • You can minimize the harm from negative information even though it’s still present on the credit report.
  • Removing a negative record removed from your credit report doesn’t mean that you are no longer in debt the obligation.

Hard Inquiry: Two Years

The hard request, sometimes referred to as a”hard pull” isn’t necessarily negative. But, a request that includes your complete credit report can subtract a few points from the credit score. A lot of hard inquiries could be a problem. Luckily, they will only be visible on the credit record for two years from the date of the inquiry. 2

Limit the harm: Bunch up hard inquiries, like mortgage or car loan applications over a period of two weeks to count them as one request.

Delinquency: Seven Years

Late payments (usually more than 30 calendar days late) or missed payments in addition to collections, or even accounts handed over to a collection agency may be listed in the credit file for seven years following the date of late payment. 3

Limit the harm:Be sure to make your payments on time or make up the difference. If your payments are typically current, contact the creditor and request that the delinquency be not reported to an credit agency.

Charge-Off: Seven Years

If the creditor is able to write off the debt due to non-payment that is known as the charge-off. Charge-offs stay visible on the credit file for seven years, plus 180 days from the time the charge-off was filed with an credit agency. 4

Limit the amount of damage: Try to pay the entire or a pre-negotiated amount of the amount owed. The ding on your credit isn’t going to be lifted however you are unlikely to be sued.

Student Loan Default: Seven Years

In the event that you fail to repay the loan will remain in the credit file for seven years and 18 months from your first payment that was not made for students who have private loans. Student loans from the Federal government are eliminated seven years after their default date or the day that the loans are transferred to Department of Education. 5

Limit the harm: If you have federal student loans, you can take the advantage of Department of Education options including consolidation, loan rehabilitation or repayment. For private loans, you must contact the lender and ask for a modifications.

Foreclosure: Seven Years

Foreclosure is a type of default, which entails your lender taking over your property due to failure to pay on time. The default will remain permanently on the credit record for seven years after the date of your defaulted payment’s first time. 6

Limit the harm: Make sure you pay your other debts promptly and follow the steps to restore your credit.

Lawsuit or Judgment: Seven Years

Civil judgments were recorded visible on the credit file for seven years after the date of filing in most instances. However, by April 2018 all three main credit organizations, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion have deleted all civil judgments from credit report. 7

Limit the harm: Check your credit report to confirm that your public record section doesn’t contain information regarding civil judgments. If it is, request to remove it. Also, make sure you safeguard your assets.

Bankruptcy: Seven to Ten Years

The time period that bankruptcy remains permanently on your credit report is contingent depending on what type of bankruptcy you file that you have, however, it typically is between 7 to 10 years. The bankruptcy process, also known by the name of “credit score killer,” could knock between 130 and 150 points from you credit score, as per FICO. If you have filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that is discharged or dismissed usually comes off your credit report seven years after the filing. In rare instances, Chapter 13 may remain for 10 years. 8 Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcies go away 10 years after date of filing. Chapter 12 bankruptcies go away seven years after day of filing. 910

Limit the damages: Don’t wait to start building your credit. Secure a credit card, make payments to accounts that aren’t bankrupt in accordance with the agreement and then request new credit only when you’re able to manage the credit card.

Tax Lien: Once Indefinitely, Now Zero Years

Paid tax liens, as well as civil judgments, can be on the credit file over a period of seven years. Lies that are not paid could be present on your credit report for a long time in nearly every instance. Since April the three main credit agencies have removed all tax liens off credit reports because of incorrect reportage. 7

Limit the harm:Check your credit report to confirm that it doesn’t contain any information concerning tax liens. If so, file a dispute via your credit agency to remove it.

The Bottom Line

After the credit reporting deadline has been met the negative information will disappear from on your credit report. If not then you may dispute it to the credit agency concerned, which will have 30 days in which to reply to your request. If the information that you are concerned about has errors then you are able to contest the report and demand for it to be taken off before the deadline. In addition, if you want to be able to get a negative mark off the credit report removed but are unable to let it expire then one of the top credit repair companies may be able to assist.

Be aware that the expiration date of the credit reporting deadline doesn’t mean that you are no longer in debt the debt. Collectors and creditors can continue to pursue payment even if the debt is not paid. If you are not within the statute of limitation for the state in which the debt occurred, then the collection agency or the creditor might not be able to utilize the courts to compel you to pay.

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