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How Long Late Payments Stay on Credit Report

Dear Experian,

How long does a negative payment status of “Paid, Past due 30 days” remain on my credit report? The item in question occurred in March 2006, while I was out of the country. I would really like to get this one potentially negative item off of my credit report.

– DHB

Dear DHB,

Late payments remain on a credit report for seven years from the date of the missed payment, which is called the original delinquency date. So, the late payment should be removed no later than March 2013.

The thing to remember is that the longer ago the late payment occurred, the less it will affect lending decisions. So, it is important to bring the payments current and then to continue to make the payments on time. The missed payment could have a significant negative impact on your credit scores initially, but that impact will diminish over time.

Credit scoring systems reflect patterns of behavior. A rare stumble along the way is not likely to have a long-long lasting impact on credit scores. If you continue to use credit wisely and demonstrate that you are managing it well, your scores will begin to climb back up.

After a short time it will become clear that the late payment was an anomaly in an otherwise pristine credit history, and your positive payment history since that time will offset any negative impact it had on your creditworthiness.

Thanks for asking.
– The “Ask Experian” team

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