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The Meaning of “Derogatory Public Record”

Dear Experian,

My credit score states “time since derogatory public record or collection is too short.” What is a “derogatory public record”?


Dear JTR,

A derogatory item is an entry that may be considered negative by lenders because it indicates risk and hurts your ability to qualify for credit or other services. Public records and collections are derogatory items because they all reflect financial obligations that were not paid as agreed.

There are three kinds of public records that appear on a credit report: bankruptcy filings, tax liens, and judgments. Public record information is collected and updated regularly from the courts.

When a credit score is calculated a series of risk factors are generated. The risk factors describe what from your credit history most affected the score you received. “Time since derogatory public record or collection is too short” means your report shows a public record, collection account, or both, and that the item or items are recent enough that they are still impacting your credit scores.

Thanks for asking.
– The “Ask Experian” team