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When Is Negative Information Removed from Credit Report

Dear Experian,

If the account status information says the item will be moved from negative to positive on a certain date, what determines when and why that happens?

– AJH

Dear AJH,

Negative information in your credit report is removed automatically at times specified by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Here is a brief listing of the most common types of information in a credit report and when it will be deleted:

  • Open accounts with no negative payment history: remain indefinitely as long as they are open and active.
  • Closed accounts with no negative payment history: remain 10 years from the date they are closed. Positive accounts remain on your credit report longer than negative accounts.
  • Late payments remain seven years from the original delinquency date. A single late payment is deleted at seven years. If there was a series of late payments (not paid at 30 days, or 60 days, or 90 days) and then brought current, the payments would be deleted seven years from the first one missed in the series. If the account was never brought current and charged off and placed for collection, the entire account will be deleted based on the date the account became late and was never again current. This is known as the original delinquency date.
  • Collection accounts remain seven years from the original delinquency date of the original account. Collection accounts are treated as a continuation of the original debt and are deleted at the same time.
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy is deleted seven years from the filing date because at least a portion of the debt is repaid. Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains 10 years from the filing date because none of the debt is repaid.
  • Civil judgments remain seven years from the filing debt. A civil judgment is essentially a debt you owe through the court.
  • Unpaid tax liens remain 10 years from the filing date. Once paid, the lien will remain seven years from the paid date.
  • Inquiries: remain two years from the inquiry date. However, the impact of inquiries on credit scores is minimal and decreases rapidly.

Note that, except for tax liens, making a payment or any other activity on the account will not impact these rules.

Thanks for asking.
The “Ask Experian” team

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