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Negative marks on your credit report can make it difficult to qualify for new credit cards and loans. After all, a seemingly minor action, like being 30 days late on a credit card payment, can decrease your credit score by as much as 180 points and raise red flags for lenders for years.
That said, bad marks on your credit report won't follow you around forever (even though it may feel like it at times). You should know exactly how negative information impacts your credit so when you make a mistake, you know how to recover and avoid similar errors in the future.
Ahead, we break down how long negative information, like late payments, hard inquiries and bankruptcies, remain on your credit report.
Generally, negative information remains on your credit report for seven years. However, it can be longer or shorter, depending on the information. Here’s a breakdown of common negative marks and how long they’ll remain on your credit file.
When you apply for new credit, the creditor will likely pull your credit report, resulting in a hard inquiry. While this isn’t necessarily a negative action, it can have an adverse effect on your credit. Thankfully, hard inquiries only remain on your credit report for two years and the negative impact really only affects your credit for one year.
Multiple hard inquires for certain credit products, like credit cards and personal loans, will each ding your credit score a few points. However, if you shop around for a mortgage lender and have multiple hard inquires within a 45-day period, all inquiries will only count as one inquiry.
Delinquencies, like late payments and past-due accounts sent to collections, remain on your credit report for seven years. Past-due accounts show up as 30, 60, and 90-days late (and so on), and the negative impact increases the longer your bill goes unpaid.
Bankruptcies can stay on your credit report for seven to 10 years, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically falls off your credit report after seven years. However, Chapter 7, 11 and 12 may remain for up to 10 years.
Losing your home to foreclosure can result in the negative mark remaining on your credit report for seven years.
If you have negative information on your credit report, you can keep track of it through various resources. Experian offers free credit monitoring, which lets you check changes to your accounts listed on your Experian credit report.
Regularly monitoring your credit report can help you spot fraud early and help you keep track of negative information, so you can take positive actions to improve your credit.