How long does negative information stay on your credit report?

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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 a 30-day delay on a credit card payment, can lower your credit score by as much as 180 points and raising red flags for lenders for years to come.

That said, bad scores on your credit report won’t follow you forever (although it can sometimes seem like it). You need to know exactly how negative information affects your credit. So when you make a mistake, you know how to recover and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

In advance, we break down how long negative information, such as late payments, inquiries, and bankruptcies, stays on your credit report.

How long negative information stays on your credit report

Usually, negative information stays on your credit report for seven years. However, it may be longer or shorter, depending on the information. Here’s a breakdown of common negative ratings and how long they will stay on your credit report.

Difficult investigations

When you apply for new credit, the creditor will likely withdraw your credit report, which will lead to a thorough investigation. While this is not necessarily a negative action, it can have a negative effect on your credit. Fortunately, serious inquiries only stay on your credit report for two years, and the negative impact only really affects your credit for a year.

Multiple inquiries for certain credit products, such as credit cards and personal loans, will each add a few points to your credit score. However, if you are looking for a mortgage lender and have multiple inquiries within 45 days, all inquiries will only count as one request.


Payment defaults, like late payments and overdue accounts sent to collections, stay on your credit report for seven years. Overdue accounts appear 30, 60, and 90 days late (and so on), and the negative impact increases the longer your bill remains 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 on your credit report after seven years. However, Chapters 7, 11 and 12 may remain in effect for up to 10 years.


Losing your home to foreclosure can cause your credit report to persist for seven years.

How to monitor your credit report

If you have negative information on your credit report, you can keep track of it through various resources. Experian offers free credit monitoring, which allows you to check for changes to your accounts listed on your Experian credit report.

You can also extract your credit reports with Experian, TransUnion and Equifax at free every week until April 20, 2022.

When reviewing your credit report, pay close attention to the accounts listed and the associated payment history, balances, and account status. If you find any errors, dispute them immediately.

Regularly monitoring your credit report can help you quickly spot fraud and keep track of negative information, so you can take positive steps to improve your credit.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.

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