Negative Items On Your Credit?

Many of your neighbors, friends, and coworkers are unable to take advantage of the best, or even average interest rates on credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages. The best interest rates are only for those with excellent credit. So if you want to take advantage of historically low interest rates before they rise, you need to take a look at your credit, and get active improving your profile.

Most Americans are also unaware of what makes up their credit score, including what will make it subprime, and how long these negative items stick to your credit profile. So how long do some of these negative items impact your financial situation?


One of the most negative items you can have on your profile is a bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcies will stay on your credit report for 7 years, while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will impact your credit score for 10 years from the date that you filed for the paperwork. If your bankruptcy was dismissed and your debts weren’t discharged, then it will stay on your report for 10 years from the date it was dismissed. If you had a strong credit score in the past and you declare bankruptcy, you will see a large impact on your credit score. If you previously had subprime or bad credit, then the impact of bankruptcy won’t be as great. If your bankruptcy included numerous accounts, the impact can be serious.

Lawsuits and Judgments:

If you have been sued, or had a judgment against you, it will also stay on your credit report for up to 7 years from the date it was filed, made against you, or until the statute of limitations has expired. Once you have paid off the judgment against you, even though paid off, it will impact your credit score for 7 years.

Tax Liens:

Even when you pay them off as soon as possible, the tax lien will stay on your credit report for 7 years.

Delinquent Accounts:

A delinquent account will also affect your credit profile for 7 years from the date that the account was declared delinquent. If you catch up on your payments, and maintain a good payment history, the negative mark will still remain for 7 years. Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO score. This, combined with the fact that the negative mark will stay on your report for 7 years is why on-time payments are crucial to having a good credit score.

Repossessions and Collections:

Any time that you have an account referred to a collection agency, or have something like a car or major appliance repossessed, it will have an impact on your credit score. These marks will stay on your credit report for 7 years plus 6 months after the first missed payment. If there is a charge-off marked on your report, that means that after the 6 months of non-payment, the company has removed it from their balance sheet, but you still owe the debt. Unpaid debts on your credit profile will make it difficult to get any credit in the future. Take care of your debts on time unless you want them to stick with you for 7 years or more.

Child Support:

Just like any other legally binding debt such as credit card payments, mortgage payments, or student loans, if you get behind, or make late payments, they will remain on your credit report for 7 years. Treat them like any other account, and make the payments on time.

Student Loans:

Student loan debt is guaranteed or insured by the federal government, so they carry much more serious consequences than other types of debt. You cannot discharge student loans by declaring bankruptcy, and defaulting on your student loans will stay on your credit report for much longer than 7 years.

Credit Inquiries:

Inquiries will show up on your credit any time that you apply for a new form of credit. They can stay on your report for 2 years, but only impact your score for the first 12 months. This will not have a disastrous impact on your score, however, they cost you 5-15 points each, so too many inquiries can significantly lower your credit score.

What you can do to clean up your credit profile:

While it is not an easy process, disputing the accounts on your profile can help you get rid of some of the negative remarks on your profile. Aside from challenging your negative accounts, will teach you how to build positive accounts on your credit profile to counteract any negatives that might remain, speeding up the process of improving your financial situation.

Learn More

Each person’s credit situation is unique. Results may vary, and makes no guarantee of any particular result. The information in this site is intended for general informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as legal, tax, accounting, or other professional advice.  As such, it should not be used as, or relied upon, as a substitute for seeking professional legal, tax, accounting, or other advice. All information in this site is provided “as-is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness, or other results obtained from its use. In no event is, its Affiliates, or their agents or employees liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this site. “Affiliate” means any entity that directly or indirectly owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or common control of the party in question.

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