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How Long Does Negative Info Stay on My Credit Report?

If you’ve ever had negative information show up on your credit report, you’re probably wondering how much longer it will stay on there — and affect your credit score. Information that can have a negative impact on your score includes hard inquiries, accounts that have gone to collection, bankruptcies, tax liens and judgments.

To start with, inquiries remain on your credit report for 2 years (24 months). The good news is that they can only impact your credit scores for the first 12 months — and only if they are a hard inquiry (like when a lender pulls your report as part of your application for credit, for example). After 12 months, hard inquiries will have no impact on your score.

Most negative information remains on your credit report for 7 years, with a few exceptions:

Credit Accounts

Negative account information remains on a credit report for 7 years from the date it was first reported as late. If the account containing the negative information has been closed, the entire account will be removed after 7 years. If the account remains open, the negative information will be removed, but the account will remain on the credit report past the 7 years.

Positive information can remain on your credit report indefinitely. If the account is closed, it will typically remain on the report for 10 years after closure.

Collection Accounts

A collection account remains for 7 years plus 180 days from the date the account was delinquent leading up to when it was placed for collection. After that time, it must be removed regardless of when it was paid or when it was placed for collection. Watch out for duplicate collection accounts.

Public Records

Chapter 7, 11, and 12 bankruptcies remain for 10 years from the date filed.

While completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies may be reported up to 10 years after the filing date, credit reporting agencies typically remove them 7 years after the date filed.

Tax liens remain for 7 years from the date filed if paid and remain indefinitely if not paid. However, if you qualify for the IRS Fresh Start program you can request a paid or satisfied tax lien be removed from your reports.

Paid judgments remain for 7 years from the date filed, while unpaid judgments remain for seven years or the governing statute of limitations, whichever is longer. Since unpaid judgments can usually be renewed, these may remain on credit reports for a long time.

New York State Residents Only

Satisfied judgments remain for 5 years from the date filed and paid collections remain for 5 years.

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