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How Long Does Negative Information Stay on Your Credit Report?

David Andrew 7/24/14

The information in your credit report is constantly under review. Creditors, landlords and even employers make decisions based on what’s listed on your report.

If this document includes any negative information, it can be a serious problem.

Fortunately, credit rating agencies eventually remove most pieces of negative information from your file.

The amount of time before this happens depends on what type of negative information is on your credit report.

1. Missed payments.

If you are late on a debt payment, the record of late payment will stay on your record for seven years.

If you completely stop paying a debt, the record of the unpaid debt will also stay on your record for seven years, starting from the day your missed payment was due.

2. Bankruptcies.

The length of time a bankruptcy stays on your credit report depends on what type of bankruptcy you declared.

If you declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy, meaning you restructured your debts to eventually pay them off, this declaration will stay on your report for seven years.

If you declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning you discharged your debts, this declaration will stay on your report for 10 years. If you foreclosed on a home, this record stays on your file for seven years.

“When it comes to negative

information, time matters.”

3. Public records.

If you lose a financial judgment, this judgment will show up on your credit report for seven years from the day the judgment was filed.

It doesn’t matter whether you pay the judgment or not. It still stays on your report the same amount of time.

If someone placed a lien against your property, this also shows up on your report.

If you paid off your debt to remove the lien, this record will stay on your report for seven years from the day you paid the lien. Unpaid liens can stay on your credit report indefinitely.

4. Inquiries.

Any time someone requests a copy of your credit report, it shows up on your credit report.

If your report shows many inquiries in a short time, it could worry lenders. Depending on the rating agency, inquiries stay on your report between one and two years.

5. Time matters.

When it comes to negative information, time matters. Lenders will be much more concerned about something that happened last month than something that happened five years ago.

Old negative information also hurts your credit score less than recent negative information.

When you have negative information on your credit report, all you can do is wait for it to go away. Use this as motivation to avoid adding negative history to your file in the first place.

Photo source: blogcdn.com.

About David Andrew
David Andrew is a former New York Life financial adviser, holding Series 6 and Certified Financial Planner credentials from his years with the company. He also holds degrees in economics and finance from McGill University. David is now a well-published finance writer with special expertise in credit cards and auto insurance. In addition to his work on BadCredit.org, his articles have been featured on eHow, Zacks.com, TheNest.com, Chron.com and other popular sites. When he's not keeping up with the latest news in the world of finance, David enjoys playing tennis and golf.
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