Frequently Asked Questions: CREDIT REPORTS
Our readers want to know...

"How long does a negative entry stay on my credit report?"

It's not uncommon for a negative or "derogatory" entry in your credit report to stay there for up to seven years.

This type of entry might include a charge-off, an account that went to collections, a judgment, a tax lien, repossession, or a slow pay noted on a particular account.

A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will most likely stay on your credit report for a period of 10 years. Therefore, you must consider bankruptcy only as a last resort.

These types of derogatory entries remain on your credit report from the actual reported delinquency. That is, if you want to know how long a negative entry will affect your credit score, read your credit report. Note the actual date the derogatory was added, then add 7 years. After that time (except for bankruptcies), derogatories will be removed automatically.

Some credit reporting agencies actually indicate on your credit report the month and year when a particular negative entry is scheduled to be removed.

If they aren't removed by that time, then you have the right to challenge them, and demand that they be deleted.

Once deleted, their absence will be like they were never there, and this will tend to improve your credit score.

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