Your credit report plays a very important part in your finances, but if not monitored carefully, its long lasting effects can cause a problem for your financial future. The real question for many of us is, “How long do items stay on your credit report?” It’s an important question that people tend to ignore, but understanding the implications is important when you need to take out a loan or open a new credit card.
The majority of negative information will stay on your credit report and will affect your credit score for 7 years. This includes Chapter 13 bankruptcies. However, if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this will stay on your credit report for 10 years. This may seem unfair, but credit bureaus do take into account how long it has been since you had the problem. Negative items include the following events:
- Late payments (anything that is paid after the last day of the grace period)
- Collection agencies (the type of debt being collected can affect the amount of time it is on your report)
- Public records, although tax liens can stay on your record indefinitely
Negative items aren’t the only things that affect your credit score. So how long do items stay on your credit report that aren’t negative?
The number of accounts you have will stay on your credit report for as long as you keep them open. This is also a consideration you should keep in mind when you want to close one or two of your credit cards. The older the card, the more it can benefit your credit if payments are up to date.
Inquiries about your credit will stay on your credit score for up to two years. This can affect your credit score, but it plays only a minor role.
There are also a few states that have their own rules and regulations on credit scores, most notably New York and California. Check your local laws to learn more about how long items will stay on your report.