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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 2016, 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. If an account is still open when the seven years are up, only that late payment would be removed.

In your case, the account is paid off and closed, so the entire account will be removed seven years from the date of that missed payment, or seven years from the original delinquency date. If the late payment occurred in March of 2016, the account should be removed no later than March 2023.

How Late Payments Impact Your Credit Scores

The longer ago the late payment occurred, the less it will affect lending decisions. So, if you miss a payment, the most important thing to do is to bring the payments current and then continue to make all payments on time going forward. 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- 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