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Have you ever found yourself wondering, how long do negative marks stay on my credit report? Fear not, we’ve done the legwork of compiling information from leading credit sources to calm your credit fears. Your credit report provides a snapshot of your creditworthiness and credit history to lenders and banks. It contains various types of information, which can generally be broken down into positive and negative. A bad credit report can affect your eligibility for a loan, mortgage, or apartment rental and can get you denied credit. If you have negative marks on your report, how long lenders and creditors see them depends on the type of derogatory information.

How Long Do Events Stay on Your Credit Report?

Negative marks can lower your credit score years after they occur. Here is a more precise look at individual factors, which can help you answer questions such as, “Why did my credit score go down?”:

  • Bankruptcies: How many years does bankruptcy stay on your credit report? Bankruptcy is public record and how long it stays on your credit report depends on the type you file. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stay on your report for 10 years. Legally, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can remain for up to 10 years, although Experian, one of the three main credit bureaus, removes it after seven years.
  • Closed Accounts: If the account is paid as agreed, and/or in good standing, it can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years after the lender reported it. Closing an account can harm your credit. Part of how your credit score is calculated is the ratio of available credit to what you owe; closing one credit card reduces your open credit.
  • Missed or Late Payments: If you miss a payment, it usually stays on your report for 7½ years from the date it was first reported. A missed payment is one that is at least 30 days late. The later your payment, the greater the damage, so late payments on a credit report can have varying effects. A late payment can be indicated for up to 7 years. If you still use the same card, make on-time payments to reduce the damage.
  • Collections: When your account goes to collections, it can stay on your credit report for 7 years. If you miss several payments, a creditor can send or sell your debt to a debt collector. Having a collections account can weigh heavily on your credit. If this occurs, paying off the debt won’t remove it, but you can avoid being sued.
  • Credit Checks: There are many sites where you can do a credit check for free. Checking your credit won’t lower your credit score or harm your credit report. In fact, it can help because you can verify information is correct and spot signs of errors or identity theft, then report it to minimize the damage.

How Long Do Positive Marks Stay on Your Credit Report?

Positive information generally remains on your credit report for 10 years. If there’s any positive information with a closed account, it will go away as the account ages off your report. Keeping an account open and in good standing helps your credit indefinitely. Managing a loan properly is positive, although paying one off can lower your credit score. However, the effect should reverse after a couple of months. As for compensating for negative information, what is good for credit in this case is to make on-time payments over time to help your credit recover.

How Long Do Inquires Stay on Your Credit Report?

After a hard inquiry, a credit report may list it for two years, although it can only hurt your score for 12 months. However, a soft inquiry on a credit report has no effect on your credit score. The good news is if you have more than one hard inquiry during a 14-to-45-day period, most scoring models will group them together. You therefore compare lenders without penalty.

Contact American Credit for Credit Repair

If you are trying to improve your credit or in need of credit repair, we apply a pre-litigation process to achieve successful results. American Credit bypasses the dispute resolution step that is often ineffective. To learn more and get started with your free credit consultation, call us at (877) 856-4999 today.