Apr
01
2009

Auto repossession remains for a time after being paid off

Dear Experian,

How long does an auto repossession stay on your credit, even if you paid it off right after the car was repossessed?

- ERV

Dear ERV,

An auto repossession will remain on your credit report for seven years from the date you missed your first car payment and were never again current. The date of that first missed payment is called the original delinquency date. The status was updated as it became more delinquent, was repossessed and, ultimately, was paid in full.

But, paying off an account, whether it’s a repossessed car or a collection account for a credit card, doesn’t cause it to be deleted immediately. Your credit report is a credit history. It shows the life of the account, both good and bad, over a period of time.

Having all of your payments current is important, but it is even more important that your credit report show a history of your debts being paid on time. The further in the past a late payment occurred, the less important it becomes.

Paying off the auto loan was a very good first step. Now you just need to continue paying your bills on time. Eventually the repossession will be deleted and you will once again have an unblemished record of on-time payments.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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