Repairing Your Credit – Some Items on Your Credit Report Might Surprise You

Repairing Your Credit – Some Items on Your Credit Report Might Surprise You

We all expect to find detailed credit history and other personal information when looking at your credit report. But some of the other information that frequently ends up there might take you by surprise. Unfortunately, some of these items can have a long lasting adverse effect on your ability to obtain credit and your lifestyle.

Private companies constantly mine public record data to find potentially damaging information for credit reporting agencies. The information they collect can end up in your credit file and stay there for a long time. Here are some things to watch out for.

Over Due Accounts – Accounts in arrears can be listed in your credit file for up to seven years after they go delinquent.

Accounts in Collection – These accounts can also remain on your report for up to seven years. The clock starts ticking 180 days after the last missed payment that initiated the collection or charge-off.

Bankruptcy – Information on a personal bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to ten years after either your case has been dismissed or you received a discharge.

Information on Criminal Activity – Most criminal records, such as indictments and arrests, can be reported for up to seven years. However, criminal convictions can be reported indefinitely.

Liens for Unpaid Taxes – Tax liens can be listed on your credit report for up to seven years after the last payment.

Judgments and Lawsuits – Such actions can be reported either until the statute of limitations runs out, or seven years after a judgment is entered against you, whichever is longer.

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Child Support Payments in Arrears – Missed child support can be reported for up to seven years.

Education Loans – Overdue or defaulted government guaranteed or insured student loans can be listed in your credit report for more than seven years.

Most credit reporting agencies routinely remove most negative items on your credit report within seven to ten years. The exceptions include when you apply for more than $150,000. of credit or life insurance, or apply for a job offering a salary of greater than $75,000.

To protect yourself from possible errors, review your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies at least once a year. They are notorious for including inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of-date information which you have a right to have corrected in a timely manner. Promptly report any mistakes you find to the credit agency and ask that they be removed or repaired. It is up to you to hold the credit agencies accountable for fixing your report and erasing any adverse mistakes from your file.