- Your credit score can affect everything from the interest rate on your loans to landing an apartment.
- Your credit score 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?*
*Timeline is approximate and may vary depending on local legislation
- Fraud alerts – 90 days: Fraud alerts are free to set up and require businesses to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name.
- Promotional inquiries – 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 – 1–2 years: These are inquiries made for background check purposes, or by you. They do not affect your credit score.
- Credit counseling – 2–3 years: This includes records of debts paid through a debt management program or credit counselor.
- Hard inquiries – 6 years: Made by other lenders or businesses; many inquiries in a short amount of time can lower your score.
- Bad checks – 6 years: Records of non-sufficient funds are kept for 6 years.
- Account closures – 6 years: For accounts closed due to debt or fraud.
- Late payment history – 7 years
- Tax liens – 7 years: This includes judgments (a court order that allows the creditor to use additional collection methods).
- Bankruptcy – 7–10 years: Depends on location and the type of bankruptcy filed for.
- Good credit – 10+ years: Accounts paid on time stick around for 10 years after their date of last activity.
- Bankruptcy (again) – 14 years: If you declare bankruptcy more than once, it stays on record for longer.
Your credit report checklist
- Request your free credit report from each of the main credit bureaus.
- Review your personal information and make sure that it’s up-to-date.
- Read your credit report. If you need help, visit the credit bureau’s website for guidance.
- Report any unauthorized activity to the issuing credit bureau.
Source: Federal Trade Commission, Experian, TransUnion, LearnVest Planning Services