How Long Negative Credit Card Information Stays on Your Report[yoast-breadcrumb]
How Long Negative Credit Card Information Stays on Your Report
Having negative information on your credit report can be super stressful. It’s like this black mark that follows you around, making it harder to get approved for loans or credit cards. But the good news is, negative information doesn’t stay on your report forever. Here’s what you need to know about how long different types of negative credit card information stick around.
If you make a late payment on your credit card, it can show up on your report for up to seven years. The late payment starts from the date you actually missed the payment, not when it got reported to the credit bureaus. So if you were 60 days late on a payment in January 2020, it would stay on your report until January 2027.
Now, just because it can stay on your report for up to seven years doesn’t mean it always will. Credit card companies and lenders don’t always report information for the full seven years. But to be safe, assume it will stick around for the full term.
Also, even if the late payment stays on your report for seven years, its impact on your credit score will decrease over time. Recent late payments hurt your score more than older ones.
If your unpaid credit card balance gets sent to collections, it also stays on your report for seven years. The timeline starts from the date the account first became past due, before it went to collections.
Getting sent to collections is obviously worse than just a single late payment. It makes you look like a higher credit risk, which can really tank your score. An account in collections can lower your credit score by up to 110 points.
As with late payments, collections items technically fall off your report after seven years. But again, don’t expect the credit bureaus to remove it right at seven years on the dot. It might stick around a little longer.
A charge-off is when the credit card company basically gives up on you paying your balance and writes it off as a loss. It’s obviously not good. Charge-offs also stick around for seven years just like collections.
Now even if a charge-off drops off your credit report, you still legally owe that money. The credit card company can still come after you for it. It’s not just erased after seven years.
Declaring bankruptcy is the nuclear option when you’re in serious credit card debt. It devastates your credit score, but it does wipe out your balances. The catch is it stays on your credit report for 10 years.
That’s right, a bankruptcy sticks around for a full decade. And it can lower your score anywhere from 130 to 240 points. That’s a massive drop that makes it very hard to get approved for new credit.
But after 10 years, it finally falls off your report and stops affecting your score. Just keep in mind future lenders may still be able to find out about a past bankruptcy through public records.
Hard inquiries are when creditors check your credit report, such as when applying for a new credit card. Too many hard inquiries in a short period can negatively impact your score.
The good news is inquiries only affect your score for 12 months. After a year, they’re removed and won’t drag down your credit anymore.
How to Deal with Negative Info
Even though negative information eventually comes off your report, those black marks can make it really hard to get credit in the meantime. So what can you do?
First, you can ask the credit bureaus to investigate any errors. If a late payment or collections account is reported incorrectly, they have to remove it. Disputing errors is a good way to potentially get negative items taken off your report sooner.
Next, try calling your credit card company and asking them to remove a late payment as a courtesy. There’s no guarantee, but they may withdraw the negative mark if you have a good history.
Lastly, don’t make any more credit mistakes! The fewer negatives that get added, the faster your score will start to recover.
The most important thing is time. As long as you start practicing good credit habits, your score will slowly improve as the bad marks fade away.
So don’t stress too much. With a little patience, those credit report stains will be just a distant memory.
The Bottom Line
Here’s a quick summary of how long major negative credit information stays on your report:
- Late payments – 7 years
- Collections accounts – 7 years
- Charge-offs – 7 years
- Bankruptcy – 10 years
- Hard inquiries – 1 year
The clock starts ticking from the date of the incident, not when it gets reported. So even if a late payment shows up on your report years later, the seven years is from the missed payment date.
You can try disputing errors or asking for goodwill removals. But otherwise, it’s just a waiting game for the black marks to fade away. Stay diligent about paying bills on time moving forward so you don’t prolong the damage.
And over time, your credit can fully recover and those dings will be forgotten. So don’t lose hope! Just focus on good financial habits and be patient.
Here are some references I used in writing this article: