Paid debt not deleted immediately; documentation not necessary for removal

Dear Experian,

If you pay off a debt does it get taken off of your credit report with in a month? How does it get removed? Do you have to show proof of payment such as writing a letter?



Dear RDA,

Because your credit report is a history, paying off a debt does not cause it to be deleted. State and Federal laws specify how long negative information can remain in your history. When the required time period passes, it will be deleted automatically. You don’t have to do anything.

If the account is closed and has no negative information in its history it will remain for 10 years from the date it was closed. If there is negative information in the account history it will be deleted no later than seven years from the original delinquency date. The original delinquency date is the date the account first became late and after which was never again current. You can find more about the original delinquency date in previous columns.

If the account is open, it could remain on your credit report forever. Open, active accounts can remain on your report indefinitely. However, any record of late payments will be deleted after seven years, leaving only at the positive payment history.

If Experian did not receive the correct date of delinquency from the lender, it could prevent the information from being deleted at the appropriate time. In that case, please dispute the date so that it can be corrected.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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