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Questions & Answers > Credit Report > How Long a Negative and Positive Record Stays on My Credit Report?

How Long a Negative and Positive Record Stays on My Credit Report?

By Derek Brown
Published: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Every financial information found in your credit report affects your credit score depending on the information listed whether a positive (e.g. long account history) or a negative (e.g. past due accounts) record.

An interesting fact is that positive information stays in your credit report indefinitely. This would just mean that making sure that your credit life is being managed well would pay a lot. Additionally, making sure that you are managing your credit from the start would benefit you forever. However, negative records would stay in your credit file in various years depending on the “gravity”.

Whenever a lender or a creditor request a copy of your credit report upon your authorization, it becomes a source of a “hard inquiry” on your report. There is also another kind of inquiry which is the called the “soft inquiry”. This happens when you check your own credit report and when an employer checks it as well. Another source of soft inquiries are the pre-approved offers that you might have encounter with online purchases. The significant difference between the two is that the former may cause a slight drop on your score especially if there are a lot of them, while the latter would not affect your score. Hard Inquiries may stay for up to two years on your report.

If you constantly have late payments (i.e. 30-180 days late) it will affect your record for 7 years. Consequently, if your present creditor passed your loan to a collection agency, which is typically on the 181st day of your delinquency, it will damaged your report for 7 years as well. The previous account will still stay on the report even if the account was passed to a collection account. These delinquencies will still stay on the report even if you have paid the balance though they will be mark as paid.

If the account on the other hand was marked as charge-off, it will stay on the report for 7 years. Charge off happens when you still have a small amount of balance with a certain creditor and after not paying for a certain amount of time, the creditor did just decide to charge off the balance instead of passing it to a collection agency.

Chapter 7 and 11 bankruptcies stay on the report for ten years. Judgments such as small claims and civil or child supports stays on the report for 7 years as well. Tax liens which are harmful can stay on your report indefinitely but if paid will stay for 7 years from the payment date.

Considering these, it pays off when you take time and effort in managing your credit.

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