Negative information in your credit report is removed automatically at times specified by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Here is a brief listing of the most common types of information in a credit report and when it will be deleted:
Open accounts with no negative payment history: remain indefinitely as long as they are open and active.
- Closed accounts with no negative payment history: remain 10 years from the date they are closed. Positive accounts remain on your credit report longer than negative accounts.
- Mortgage Refinancing- refinancing your mortgage loan with a new lender doesn’t mean the old loan and its history will be removed immediately from the report. The original mortgage (or previous if your refinancing second times) account will remain as a record of activity. However, the account should be updated to show it is now paid in full through the refinance. The status of the account should say “paid,” or “paid as agreed.”
- Auto Loan-When you pay off your auto loan, the lender contacts credit bureau such as Transunion, Experian and Equifax to have the account updated to show that it is paid in full, and therefore closed. However, paying off an account does not remove it from your credit report. Paid, closed accounts remain on the credit report for 10 years from the paid date if they have no negative payment history.
- Late payments remain seven years from the original delinquency date. A single late payment is deleted at seven years. If there was a series of late payments (not paid at 30 days, or 60 days, or 90 days) and then brought current, the payments would be deleted seven years from the first one missed in the series. If the account was never brought current and charged off and placed for collection, the entire account will be deleted based on the date the account became late and was never again current. This is known as the original delinquency date.
- Charge-off account and repayment plan payment plan did not “restart the clock” for removing the charge off unless you opened a new account and rolled the debt into it. Federal law requires that lenders and collection agencies report the original delinquency date of the debt, which is when the seven-year time starts. That date cannot be changed, even if the lender sells or transfers it to a new owner. If your account was charged off, or written off as a loss, that account will still be removed once the seven years is up, even if you are now making payments on the debt. In this case, once the account is paid off, the status of the account will be updated to show that it is a “Paid Charge off”. Although the account will still be negative due to the payment history, a paid charge off does look a little better than an unpaid charge off.
- Settle account: When you settle an account, the information will be updated on your credit report to show that the balance is zero and that the account has been settled for less than the full balance owed. However, the account and history of delinquencies will still remain on the report for seven years from the original delinquency date. Anytime you settle an account for less than the full balance, it is considered negative because the creditor agreed to take a loss and accept less than the full amount owed.
- Collection accounts remain seven years from the original delinquency date of the original account. Collection accounts are treated as a continuation of the original debt and are deleted at the same time.
- Account with a status of collection remains on your credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date. The original delinquency date is the date the account first became late; after which it was never again brought current.When you pay off the account, the status will be updated to show that it is paid in full, or that it is a “Paid Collection.” Although it is not removed, a collection account that has been paid is usually viewed slightly more positively by lenders than if the debt was still outstanding.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy is deleted seven years from the filing date because at least a portion of the debt is repaid. Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains 10 years from the filing date because none of the debt is repaid.
- Civil judgments remain seven years from the filing debt. A civil judgment is essentially a debt you owe through the court.
- Child support judgments: 7 years from date judgement is filed.
- Small claims and civil judgments: 7 years from date judgement is filed.
- Liens: 15 years for unpaid tax liens. 7 years for paid liens..
- Credit Inquiries: remain two years from the inquiry date. However, the impact of inquiries on credit scores is minimal and decreases rapidly.