Credit repair time? What's on my credit report? People who have bad credit worry about this a lot. Having a bad credit report can be crippling in a financial sense when it comes to credit. Thus, it is important to know how long the negative information will stay and affect your credit report. There are two things you need to understand: one is the duration they show up in the report, and the other is how they affect your score based on how old they are.
Generally speaking, almost all negative information will show up in your report till 7 years. Almost every type of negative information will be removed once the 7 year window is past. A few states do have laws which may have the data show up for a longer time or shorter time. In California unpaid tax will show up on your report for 10 years. In New York paid collections will remain on the record for 5 years instead of 7. Unpaid tax liens can also show up on your record indefinitely. If you're thinking about waiting this out, that's a bad credit repair startegy.
7 years sounds like a long time and seems discouraging. Credit repair startegies take this into consideration. Do not worry about your bad credit; it will not take you 7 years to be able to get out of bad credit, if you take proactive credit repair steps. The older an item is, the less weight it has when it comes to calculating your credit score. What this means is that if you have some negative information in your credit report, it will keep losing its negative value as it gets older. Your credit score is supposed to reflect how you are handling your credit so creditors can evaluate whether further credit can be extended to you. So if you made some bad decisions 6 years ago but have been on the right path since then your credit score will improve. A collections claim that is a few months old will, on the other hand, end up affecting your credit score a lot, because it represents how you are dealing with your credit these days.
Do note that sometimes information older than 7 years will show up in your credit repair. This is an error and is something you should report to the information provider and the credit reporting agency immediately. This is why it is always a good idea to make sure the dates of all the items on your credit report are correct.