Help Desk FAQ

Credit reports and scores


How long does negative information stay on my credit report?

Negative credit report information includes unpaid debts, charge-offs, late payments, judgments, liens, foreclosures and bankruptcies.

Negative information related to late and missed payments remains on your credit report for seven years from the original date of delinquency. If your debt is turned over to an outside collection agency and it reports the debt to credit bureaus, that same debt will be reported twice on your report (once by the original creditor and again by the collector).

A foreclosure remains on your report for seven years from its filing date, but its impact on your credit score will diminish over time.

Unpaid judgments against you can be reported for seven years or until the statue of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. 

A bankruptcy filing stays on your credit report for up to 10 years and has a more negative impact than even a foreclosure. (Many people find that a bankruptcy does not keep them from qualifying for new credit a year or two after the bankruptcy is final (discharged), though they must pay substantially higher interest rates or fees for that credit.)

Inquiries (requests to view your credit report) from prospective creditors stay on your report for one year. Too many inquiries may also be viewed as negative.

Note: If you apply for certain jobs with a salary above $75,000, or apply for insurance or loans over $150,000, all negatives may be seen, even if they are more than seven years old.

Learn more about credit reports in Consumer Action’s Credit Reports and Credit Scores and on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website.




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