There are a lot of different things that can be reported to the credit bureaus and put on your credit report, but how long do the negative items stay?
That depends. As stated above, there are many different types of negative information that can show up on your report. For instance:
Late Payments can stay on your report for up to 7 years. After 30 days you will be reported by the creditor, but you can also be reported for late payments of 60, 90 and 120, too.
Collections can stay on your report for up to 7 1/2 years. There are state statute of limitations that can keep you from being sued after that 7 1/2 year period. Remember, collections are accounts that are purchased from the original creditor for the sole reason of collecting on that debt. This is how they get paid; they purchase the debt for pennies on the dollar and attempt to collect the entire amount. The original creditor no longer owns the account after it’s sold, so they can no longer collect the payment(s).
Bankruptcies can last anywhere from 7 to 10 days, depending on the type of bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on your file for 7 to 10 years, while Chapter 13 will remain on file for 7 years. Dismissed bankruptcies are cases that are dismissed by the court, and these can actually stay on your report for 10 years, regardless of whether it was discharged.
Tax Liens are public records. They can remain on your file forever, until paid. However, if they are paid off they will last for up to 7 years.
Inquiries occur when you apply for a loan or a credit card. Any time you apply for credit or a loan via a “hard pull,” these inquiries will appear on your credit for up to 2 years. Soft pulls do not affect your credit. These types are usually done for new bank accounts, etc.
Chargeoffs are debts that the creditor decided to close out due to failure to collect (usually after 180 days). These will usually turn into collections (see above) and be reported by those collection agencies that purchase the debt you owe.
Foreclosures occur when you default on your home loan/mortgage. Once this happens, the bank will then repossess the house and report the foreclosure to the credit bureaus. These will stay on your report for up to 7 years and can prevent you from purchasing another home during that time.
Child Support non-payment can also appear on your credit file as it is public record. These can stay on your report for up to 7 years. These can also affect new employment opportunities.
Judgements occur after being sued. If you are sued by a creditor, these will stay on your credit for up to 7 years, but they can also be renewed! This can negatively affect you for up to 20 years, or until you pay it off.
So, to recap:
Late Payments: up to 7 years
Collections: up to 7.5 years
Bankruptcies: 7-10 years
Tax Liens: 7 years if paid. Lifetime if not.
Inquiries: up to 2 years for hard pulls.
Foreclosures: up to 7 years
Child Support: up to 7 years
Judgements: 7 to 20 years