How long does information stay on your credit report?

How long does information stay on your credit report?

Knowing how long your activity remains on your credit report can help you better manage your credit score.

After all, your credit score can affect everything from the interest rate on your loans to landing an apartment.

After learning how a credit score is calculated, how to boost your credit score and how to read a credit report, you may still be wondering how long things stay on that report.

Soft inquiries, hard inquiries, account closures, bankruptcy – how long do they last? Let’s break it down.

Please note the 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 counselling

2-3 years

This includes records of debts paid through a debt management program or credit counsellor.

Hard inquiries

6 years

Made by other lenders or businesses; many inquiries in a short amount of time can lower your score.

Bad cheques

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

For a history of late payments.

Tax liens

7 years

This is a record of failing to pay off tax debt.

Collection accounts

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.

Bankruptcy (again)

14 years

If you declare bankruptcy more than once, it stays on record for longer.

Good credit

10+ years

Accounts paid on time stick around for 10 years after their date of last activity.

Good credit behaviour contributes to your credit score for a long time – something to consider before closing an account in good standing!

Checklist

  • Request your free credit report from each of the main credit bureaus. You are entitled to one free credit report per year by mail from Equifax and TransUnion.
  • 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. Also check out our post How to read your credit report in 5 easy steps.
  • Report any unauthorized activity to the issuing credit bureau.
  • Learn about some easy ways to boost your credit score.
1) What your credit score means 2) 4 common credit score myths 3) 7 ways to boost your credit score 4) How to read a credit report 5) How long does info stay on your credit report

 

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