Repossession and Voluntary Surrender on Credit Report

Pensive man at laptop in home office
Dear Experian,

How long does a derogatory closure of an account pertaining to an auto loan affect your credit scores?

- EST

Dear EST,

If the account in question is closed due to charge off, repossession, or voluntary surrender, it will remain part of your credit report for seven years from the original missed payment that led up to that derogatory status. That date is referred to as the original delinquency date.

As long as the account remains on your report, it will be included when calculating your credit scores. However, the further in the past the account was closed the less of an affect it will have on credit scores. The account will be deleted automatically when it reaches the seven year retention date and will no longer affect your credit scores.

If you still owe a balance on the account, the original creditor may attempt to collect the debt by sending the account to a collection agency or by filing a judgment in court. If so, the collection account and judgment may also appear on your report.

Collection accounts are treated as a continuation of the original account and will also be deleted seven years from the original delinquency date. Judgments remain on the report for seven years from the date they are filed, so could remain longer than the first debt and collection account.

Paying any outstanding balance will result in the debt being reported as "paid." A debt that has been paid will help your credit history recover a bit more quickly over time. Some lenders may also take into account the fact that you have paid the debt even after it was sent to collections, which could help you qualify somewhat sooner than if the debt is left unpaid.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

The purpose of this question submission tool is to provide general education on credit reporting. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team may include it in a future post and may also share responses in its social media outreach. If you have a question, others likely have the same question, too. By sharing your questions and our answers, we can help others as well.

Personal credit report disputes cannot be submitted through Ask Experian. To dispute information in your personal credit report, simply follow the instructions provided with it. Your personal credit report includes appropriate contact information including a website address, toll-free telephone number and mailing address.

To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through April 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.