One of the most common questions I get from people is regarding how long certain items will remain on a credit report. Many people have heard all kinds of crazy answers, especially when it comes to negative information.People are usually shocked to find out how long something can stay on their report or they have been told lies by collection companies trying to scare them into making a payment.Here is the real truth about accounts and credit reporting limitations.
Accounts Paid on Time –Accounts that have never been late can stay on your credit report indefinitely or can be removed ten years from the last time the account had activity. If the account is closed, this would be based upon the date it was closed. If the account still has activity, it will stay until there has been no activity for 7 years.
Bankruptcies – Chapter 7, 11 and non-discharged or dismissed chapter 13 bankruptcies are removed in ten years from the filing date. Chapter 13s are removed seven years from date discharged, but not to exceed 10 years.
Charge-offs – Charged off accounts are removed seven years from the date it was charged off.
Collections – There are two types of collections: the original account, which was turned over to collections and an account reported by a 3rd party collection agency. Original accounts remain for seven years from the time they went 180 days delinquent prior to the default. Accounts reported by a collection agency remain for seven years from the same date. This means that the collection can remain on your report no longer than the original account that went into default. No where in that statement did I mention “from the date it was PAID” this is because paying a collection does not change how long it can be reported to your credit report.
Inquiries – Inquiries are placed on your credit report to indicate who has looked at your credit report. Inquiries that you initiate from an application (such as credit card, auto or mortgage loan) will remain on your credit report for 2 years. These type of inquires are commonly known as “hard inquires” and they can negatively affect your score. When you request your own credit report, that inquiry stays for 6 months and nobody other than you sees it. Inquiries that you didn’t initiate, such as pre-approved credit offers or companies monitoring your credit report, remain for 6 months and are not seen by other companies and do not impact your score.
Judgments – Judgments stay on the credit report seven years from the filing date.
Repossessions – Repossessions are removed seven years from the date your auto loan went into default.
Tax liens – Tax liens include federal, city, state and county liens. They remain seven years from the date they’re released. If they aren’t paid they can remain indefinitely.
Keep in mind all these times are the maximum things can stay, that doesn’t mean they can’t come off sooner. Also unfortunately not all companies always follow the rules, just one more reason to check your reports regularly for inaccurate reporting.