Credit Advice

Repossession remains seven years and can affect credit scores for the entire time


Have a question?

Do you have a question about consumer credit? You may find an immediate answer by using the search engine. If you can't find what you're looking for, please fill out the form, being as specific as possible.

Please note: The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future column.

Our policies
The information contained in this column if for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation.

Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Column responses reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived responses may not reflect current Experian policy.

Credit Advice

Repossession remains seven years and can affect credit scores for the entire time

Dear Experian,

How long does a repossession reflect on your credit report, and how does it affect your credit report?


Dear MMY,

A repossession will remain on your credit history for seven years from the delinquency date of the first missed payment leading up to the status of repossession.

For example, if you have a car loan and the first payment you miss is this month’s payment and you do not bring the account current before the repossession, this month will be the original delinquency date. Assuming you never bring the account current, the debt is charged off and the bank subsequently repossesses the car, the account will be deleted seven years from this month.

The term “repossession” will be shown as the status of the account until it is deleted.

Your lender will sell the item that is repossessed in order to recoup the remainder of the debt owed. If the sale of the item does not cover the entire remaining amount, you can still be held accountable for that amount.

The bank may send that amount to collections or could sue for the remainder. The collection account would appear for seven years from the date original delinquency date. A civil judgment would remain seven years from the filing date.

A repossession, collection account and a judgment are all major derogatory items in a credit history and could significantly affect your credit scores.

In addition, if the remaining balance of the account is forgiven, it could be reported as income. You would then owe taxes on that amount.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

  • © 2016 Experian Information Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.