How Long Does Information Stay on a Credit Report?

How Long Does Information Stay on a Credit Report?

By TLB Contributing Writer: Alden

While your credit report is indeed a permanent record, it can be a bit less eternal than it might appear to be at first glance. The information it contains has shelf lives, which vary according to the types of data.

Thus, the answer to the question; “How long does information stay on my credit report,” is — well — it depends.

How Long Accounts Stay on Your Credit Report

Here’s an overview, according to information provided by one of the leading credit reporting bureaus, Experian.

Type of Account

Time Frame

Open accounts in good standing

Indefinitely

Closed accounts in good standing

10 years

Late or missed payments

7 years

Collection accounts

7 years

Chapter 7 bankruptcy

10 years

Chapter 13 bankruptcy

7 years

Credit inquiries

2 years

Let’s examine this a bit more in depth.

Positive Information

Credit reporting bureaus adhere to the tenets of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which defines the rights of consumers regarding things credit report related. The good news is there is no time limit set for the good stuff. In fact, a closed account paid as agreed will still show up some ten years distant.

The idea is to give you the best shot possible at maintaining a high credit score. Accounts in good standing demonstrate responsible management. Similarly, as only makes good sense, open accounts in good standing will remain on your report for as long as they are open.

Negative Information

While reporting agencies aren’t out to do you any harm, they do have a duty to report untoward behavior. So when it comes to reporting negative information, they strike a compromise in which durations vary according to the perceived severity of the action.

Bankruptcies, particularly Chapter 7, cause the most injury to creditors. Therefore, they stick around on your report for a longer period of time, A Chapter 7 filing will prevent a creditor from trying to collect on a debt from the original debtor. Legally dischargeable debts are written off altogether and are reflected as such for 10 years.

A Chapter 13 filing is less injurious to creditors, as the debtor is required to make payments to make lenders as whole as possible over a period of five years. Because some effort is made to pay off the debt, most bureaus will drop that information after seven years, rather than 10.

Missing payments, making them late, or having accounts go to collections will be reflected on your credit report for seven years. This is also the case for foreclosures and short sales or a deed in lieu of a foreclosure.

The same can be true if you avail yourself of some form of debt relief to resolve a debt. However, you can request a Goodwill Deletion as part of your settlement agreement, which will sometimes get such notations removed altogether.

Credit Inquiries

Another factor determining your credit score is the number of inquiries your record receives from creditors in response to your applications for credit. These “hard inquiriesare listed on your credit report for two years from the date of the inquiry.

However, if you submit a “soft inquiry, such as when you’re trying to keep track of your credit history, or a creditor seeks to pre-approve or pre-qualify you for a loan for marketing purposes will appear, it won’t affect your credit score.

With these factors in mind, it’s a good idea to keep a close watch on your credit report. You can get a free copy of each of the three of yours every each and every year at AnnualCreditReport.com.

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About the Author: Alden is a freelance writer who steps in every once in a while to share some of his wisdom with The Liberty Beacon Project.

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