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When Does the 7 Year Rule Begin For Delinquent Accounts?

Dear Experian,

I had a 30-day late payment in April 2011 and one 90 days late in September of 2011. When would the seven-year rule start? April or September?

– BAJ

Dear BAJ,

Late payments remain on the credit report for seven years. The seven-year period is based on when the delinquency occurred. Whether the entire account will be deleted is determined by whether you brought the account current after the missed payment. If the account was brought current, the late payments that have reached seven years old will be removed, but the rest of the account history will remain.

If you had a single late payment in April of 2011, that late payment will fall off by April of 2018. If the account was brought current between April and September of 2011 and then the second series of late payments occurred, those late payments would be removed seven years from the first missed payment in that series.

How to Calculate When Late Payments Will Be Deleted

Late payments, called delinquencies, are deleted seven years from the original delinquency date of the debt after which it was never again current.

That means that if you have 30-day late payment reported and then bring the account current the next month, the late payment will fall off seven years from when it was reported.

If you miss three payments in a row, your account would be reported 90 days late. The seven-year period would begin with the first payment you missed in that series. All three payments would be deleted seven years from that date. The date is called the “original delinquency date,” or sometimes the “date of first delinquency.”

If you have a late payment and never bring the account current, it will eventually be written off as a loss. The debt then could be sold or transferred to a collection agency. In this case, the entire account will be removed seven years from that original delinquency date, along with the subsequent collection account.

You didn’t indicate whether the 90-day delinquency began with a first missed payment in September of 2011, or a couple of months earlier in July. If the account became 30 days delinquent in July, then 60 days delinquent in August, and 90 days delinquent in September, that series of late payments would be removed seven years from July of 2011.

If the initial 30-day late payment was in September of 2011, that string of delinquencies would be removed by September of 2018.

Experian removes late payments automatically after seven years, so you won’t have to request they be deleted when the time comes.

What Happens to Your Account Once Delinquencies are Removed?

If your account has been current ever since, the status will change to show “never late” when the last series of late payments falls off, and the account will appear as positive. However, if the account was never brought current, then the entire account will be removed seven years from the original delinquency date.

Thanks for asking.
The “Ask Experian” team

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