Credit reports give you a chance to look over your credit history, so you can check for errors or signs of identity theft. Before making any major purchase, you should review your credit report so you'll be aware of any potential problems in advance. You should also realize that any negative information that shows up accurately on your credit report isn't going away quickly.
So just how long does that negative information stay on your credit report? That depends on the type of information. Missed or late payment information can stay on your report for around seven years. While one or two of these entries may not be too devastating, if you have racked up a large number of past due payments on your accounts then you can expect your credit rating to go down considerably.
Check your credit report for negative information
Judgments against you will also stay on your report for approximately seven years. These judgments occur when a creditor has to turn your debt over to a collection agency, then that agency pursues legal action against you in order to obtain payment. If you have ever had your wages garnished because of a debt, that's an example of this type of judgment.
Bankruptcies are different. Regardless of which type of bankruptcy you filed, it will remain on your credit report for ten years after the discharge date. However, a bankruptcy will not automatically ruin your chances of getting a loan or a credit card. In fact, many people who file bankruptcy end up back in the same boat because they are offered so much credit after their case is completed.
Tax liens, legal claims attached to property for non-payment of taxes, also appear on your credit report. If the tax lien has been paid, it will be removed from your report in seven years. If unpaid, it will remain for up to fifteen years.
Other information on your credit history also vanishes from your report after so long. For example, accounts you have paid off and closed will stay on your report for approximately ten years while hard credit inquiries will vanish in only two years. Thankfully, most positive information will stay on your report forever. You'll want to remember these facts as you review your credit report.