Collecting debts after they are deleted from the credit report

Dear Experian,

After seven years, if a payment has not been made on a student loan can the creditor or collection agent still try to collect payment on the loan?



Dear QUA,

Creditors and collection agencies may be allowed to try to collect on any unpaid debt even after the seven year period. However, the debt will no longer appear on your credit report.

Negative information, such as late payments and collection accounts, remain seven years from the original delinquency date of the account. The original delinquency date is the date the account first became delinquent. Collection accounts must carry over that date from the original account. Both the original account and the collection account are deleted at the same time.

Just because the accounts no longer appear on your credit report doesn’t mean they won’t continue to try to collect. However, attempts to collect typically reduce as time passes. The reason is simply a matter of diminishing returns. Often, the older the debt becomes, the less likely any funds will be collected.

Collection laws vary by state, so you need to check the regulations where you reside. But, depending on where you live, you still might get calls for many years, even after the debt has been deleted from your credit report.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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