Friday, February 21, 2014

Your Credit Report: How Long Do Negative Entries Hang Around?

Your Credit Report: How Long do Negative Entries Hang Around?

As attorneys who often represent borrowers who are involved in mortgage loan disputes or other types of loan disputes, we are frequently asked how long certain types of negative credit report entries will impact their credit score. Of course credit scores and credit reports can be influenced by a variety of factors, and the same negative entries will not necessarily impact every one the same. Generally, this is how long key items will remain on your credit report and impact your credit score unless something is done which causes such entries to be amended or removed:

Credit score challenges1. Late payments. Late payments may remain on your report for up to seven (7) years. Late payment entries often include details regarding how late the payments were.
2. Collections. Accounts which were classified as being in “collection” will often stay on your record for seven (7) years, depending on age of the account.
3. Legal judgments and other items of public record.  A legal judgment against an individual is typically reflected on the credit report for seven (7) years. However some items of public record, such as unpaid tax liens, may remain on a credit report up to ten (10) years or even longer.
4. Foreclosures. Foreclosures, unfortunately for the many persons who have suffered the same in recent years, remain on the credit report for seven (7) years. Persons should be mindful that foreclosures can also preclude the foreclosed-upon individual from obtaining certain types of credit for years, independent of how the foreclosure itself directly impacts the individual’s credit score now and going forward.
5. Bankruptcies. A completed Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for (7) seven years, and certainly has an extensively negative impact. With regard to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy,  you can expect your credit report to reflect the same for ten (10) years. 

Given how incredibly influential your credit report and score can be, it’s important for you to monitor both and try to improve them whenever possible. Knowledge like this is a good place to start.