Here’s how long negative marks can remain on your credit report:
- Late Payments: 7 years from the late payment date
- Foreclosures: 7 years
- Collection Accounts: 7 years and 180 days from the date of delinquency on the original debt
- Short Sales: 7 years
- Bankruptcies: 10 years from the filing date; 7 years for Chapter 13 cases
- Repossessions: 7 years
- Judgments: If the judgment has been paid, 7 years. If unpaid, potentially longer
- Tax Liens: 7 years after they are paid
- Charge-Offs: 7 years from the date the account was charged off
However, if you have inaccurate, negative information on your credit reports, you can see some big changes relatively quickly to your credit scores. Credit reporting agencies have to respond to disputes of inaccurate information within 30 days (some disputes can take 45 days), which is much shorter than the years you cab wait with accurate negative information. If the credit reporting agency sides with you, they must remove the mistake immediately by law.
In a 2012 Federal Trade Commission study on credit report accuracy, 79% of people who disputed an error on their credit reports had that error removed.