Your credit report provides a detailed history of your credit usage. It’s unfortunate, but even one missed payment can bring your score down significantly. However, the negative items on your score don’t hang around forever. Let’s break down exactly how long you can expect to wait before your credit report is washed of those negatives.
How Long Do Negatives Stay on Your Credit Report? 7 Is the Magic Number
Most negative items will be reported on your credit report for 7 years. This includes:
- Missed Payments
- Public records
- Bankruptcies for Chapter 10
If seven years sounds like a long time, you’ll probably be relieved to learn that the effect of these negative items decrease with time. This means that the older a negative item is, the less impact it will have on your credit score.
Negative Items that Hang Around Longer Than 7 Years
The main exception to the 7-year rule is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In this case, the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 10 years.
An unpaid tax lien is considered the most serious, and may remain on your credit report indefinitely. Once it’s paid off, then it remains on your report for another 7 years.
The Good News
While negatives can seriously hurt your credit score, you may be pleased to learn that positive information (like an account paid off as agreed) will remain on your credit for up to 10 years, according to Equifax.
Inquiries, which have a relatively small impact on your credit score (and some types of inquiries have no impact on your score), will stick around for 1 to 2 years.
To learn more about what’s contained in your credit report, read this blog about understanding your credit report and improving your score.