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How Long Do Collections Stay on Your Credit Report?

Dear Experian,

How long does it take for a collection to be deleted from my credit report?


Dear SMQ,

Your credit report is a history of all your accounts and your payments on those accounts. Most negative information, such as collections, stay on your credit report for seven years, while positive information is kept longer.

Collection Accounts are Removed Based on the Original Delinquency Date

Collection accounts stay on the credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date of the original debt, or the date of the first missed payment after which the account was no longer brought current. You may see both the collection account and the account with your original creditor on the credit report.

The original delinquency date is calculated based on the payment history of the original account. If both the original account and the collection account are appearing on the report, they will both be deleted at the same time.

Paying a Collection Can Benefit Your Credit Scores

Although collection accounts stay on the credit report for seven years, the longer ago they were paid off, the less of an effect they will have on your credit scores. A collection account that has been paid in full is often viewed more favorably by lenders than if left unpaid, especially after some time has passed.

In fact, some newer scoring models no longer include paid collections when calculating scores, so paying off a collection could benefit credit scores even sooner.

Thanks for asking,
The “Ask Experian” Team