It’s no secret that items found on your credit report can have a long lasting and significant impact on your ability to obtain credit. You expect your report to routinely contain your personal information and detailed credit history. However, a number of unexpected items can end up there that might surprise you and have a negative effect on your credit score.
Public information records are constantly being mined by private companies seeking potentially damaging information for credit reporting agencies. This adverse information can end up staying on your credit report for many years. Here are some examples of what you might be surprised to find on your credit report.
Over Due Accounts – Accounts in arrears can be listed on your credit report for up to seven years after they go delinquent.
Accounts Sent to a Collection Agency – A charged-off account can be listed on your credit report for up to seven years. The last missed payment that initiated the collection or charge-off starts the clock.
Filing Bankruptcy – A personal bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to ten years after it is either discharged or your case is dismissed.
Criminal Activity – Indictments, arrests, and most other criminal records can be reported for up to seven years. However, criminal convictions can be reported indefinitely.
Tax Liens – Even if you’ve satisfied the lien, it can be reported for up to seven years after the final payment.
Lawsuits and Judgments – These items can be reported for up to seven years from when a judgment is made against you or until the statute of limitations expires, whichever is greater.
Child Support Payments in Arrears – Missed child support can be reported for up to seven years.
Unpaid Loans to Students – Negative information related to overdue or defaulted student loans either guaranteed or insured by the government can be reported for over seven years.
The standard reporting time limits do not apply when you apply for credit or life insurance in excess of $150,000. or apply for a job paying more than $75,000. Most credit reporting agencies however, remove these and all other negative items within seven to ten years.
The fact remains, credit reports notoriously contain inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of date-information. To protect yourself from potential errors and their side effects, review your file from each of the three national credit-reporting agencies at least once a year. If you identify mistakes, you have the right to have them corrected by the credit bureau in a timely manner. However, it is your responsibility to report any mistakes and hold the credit reporting agencies accountable for erasing or correcting any errors or omissions from your file.
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