You’ve worked hard and finally paid off your judgment — congratulations! But the pesky thing is still showing up on your credit reports, and you want it gone. Depending on when your judgment was filed, it may take a while for that to happen.
“A judgment will remain on a credit report for seven years from the date it was filed, whether satisfied (paid) or unpaid,” Barry Paperno, a credit expert who blogs at Speaking of Credit, said in an email.
However, now that it’s been paid, you should make sure you’re getting credit for it, even if it won’t age off your report for a while.
“When paying a judgment, it’s important to follow up with the creditor to ensure the public record has been updated to reflect the satisfaction,” Paperno said. “Otherwise, the judgment could continue to be reported as unpaid, which could jeopardize a future mortgage or other credit application.”
It’s also a good idea to request a copy of your satisfaction of judgment documents for your personal records. You may also want to file a copy directly with the courts to ensure they mark it as paid in full. If you have any other local record authorities who may need to be made aware you completed the payments, like someone managing a lien on your property, it’s a good idea to notify them by sending a copy of your paperwork.
Keeping an Eye on Your Credit
You certainly want to keep track of your credit reports and make sure the judgment is removed when it’s supposed to be. Until then, it’s a good idea to get a fresh copy of your reports to ensure your judgment is marked as paid. You can get free copies of your credit reports every 12 months by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also keep an eye out for any changes in your scores by viewing two of your credit scores for free, updated each month, on Credit.com.