Credit Score

How Long Does Negative Info Stay on My Credit Report?

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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.

Image: Hemera

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  • Joe

    There is a judgment on my credit report/public record that I did not know until now. The filing data: 8/2008. Account status: unknow. when I searched the case index number at, it shows status: disposed.
    What is “disposed” mean? Can I request CRA to remove it? If yes, how?

    Thank you.

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  • eric

    At what point does the late payment nolonger effect my credit score? some places say the full 7 years, others say 12 months, most say 24 months. what would you say?

    • Deanna Templeton

      This is a good question, Eric. Most negative information remains in your credit report for 7 years and as long as it’s in your credit report, it *will* have an impact on your credit scores. (For more on how long negative information remains in your credit report, read: How Long Does Negative Info Stay on My Credit Report?)

      However, the older the information gets the less impact it will have. To give you a little more perspective, credit scoring models place more emphasis on your credit patterns in the most recent 24 months. This means any negative information that’s occurred in the last 2 years will hurt you much more than older information. They key is to offset the negative damage by adding new, positive payment information to your credit reports. If you’d like to learn more about improving your credit scores and rebuilding from past credit problems, here are a few excellent resources to get you started:

       • Rebuilding Your Credit
       • 11 Tips to Rebuild Your Credit

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  • dw

    My son just went to a dealership to buy a car. He had a credit rating of 710 at the time. They claimed they could get me a better rate than he could get himself. He said OK. He ust ran his credit report and found out that they ran 12 hard inquiries. His credit is now ruined….what does he do now?

    • Credit Experts

      It’s unlikely that your son’s has been ruined inquiries at an auto dealer. Here’s why: After 30 days pass, auto inquiries are grouped together in 45-day increments. This means you could have 100 different auto inquiries in a 45-day period, and your credit score would count them as one inquiry. This custom logic only applies to auto, mortgage and student loan inquiries, and was specifically designed to allow consumers to rate-shop for the best deal without being penalized for excessive inquiries.

      If your son’s credit score is now below 710, it might have fallen from the “good” to “fair” range. His best bet now is to work hard to rebuild his credit by repaying debts on time and using 25% or less of his credit limit on credit cards. For more on inquiries and credit scores, see Tips for Improving Your Credit: Your History of Searching for Credit.

  • Credit Experts

    Hard inquiries generally cause a small, temporary drop in credit scores. You’ll find more information here:
    How Credit Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

  • ABA

    there are 9 inquiries on my credit card can you please tell me how lont they will be there 5 of them are from tmobile verizon sprint and 2 from sears

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Inquiries are reported for two years and have the most impact on your score in the most recent twelve months. You can find out how these inquiries are impacting your credit scores by getting your free credit score from

  • Gerri Detweiler

    It’s actually Congress that wrote that law, not the FTC. And I imagine trying to get them to change it now would be nearly impossible! The good thing is that older information carries less weight in most scoring models provided current bills are paid on time.

  • Kali Geldis

    Hi Roger —

    Great question.

    It’s all a matter of whether you’ve kept any U.S. accounts open and in good standing.

    Here’s an article that will hopefully answer some of your questions about re-establishing credit in the U.S.:

  • Credit Experts

    Hard credit inquiries remain on your credit report for two years, but most scoring models include only those from the past 12 months. You can see the credit inquiries on your credit reports.
    Here’s how to get your free annual credit reports.

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