Wednesday, October 8, 2014

On Your Credit Report

Your credit score can affect everything from the interest rate on your loans to landing an apartment. It is based on the information found in your credit report. Knowing how long your activity remains on your credit report can help you better manage your credit score.

How long does information stay on my credit report?

Fraud alerts can last 90 days. They are free to set up and require businesses to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name.

Promotional inquiries can last 1 year. Things like pre-approved credit card offers stay on file for one year but are not factored into your credit score.

Soft inquiries can last 1-2 years. These are inquiries made for background check purposes, or by you. They do not affect your credit score.

Credit counseling can last 2-3 years. This includes records of debts paid through a debt management program or credit counselor.

Hard inquiries can last 6 years. Made by other lenders or businesses; many inquiries in a short amount of time can lower your score.

Bad checks can last 6 years. Records of non-sufficient funds are kept for 6 years.

Account closures can last 6 years. This is for accounts closed due to debt or fraud.

Late payment history can last 7 years.

Tax liens can last 7 years. This is a record of failing to pay off tax debt.

Bankruptcy can last 7-10 years. Depends on location and the type of bankruptcy filed for.

Collection accounts can last 7 years. This includes judgments, which is a court order that allows the creditor to use additional collection methods.

Bankruptcy (again) can last 14 years. If you declare bankruptcy more than once, it stays on record for longer.

Good credit can last 20 years. Accounts paid on time stick around for 10 years after their date of last activity. Good credit behavior contributes to your credit score for a long time. This is something to consider before closing an account in good standing!

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