How Long Does Information Stay on My Equifax Credit Report?

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Highlights:

  • Most types of negative information generally remain on your Equifax credit report for 6 years

  • Closed accounts that were paid as agreed remain on your Equifax credit report for up to 10 years after they were reported as “closed” by the lender

  • Hard inquiries may remain on your Equifax credit report for 3 years

When it comes to credit reports, one of the most frequently asked questions is: How long does information stay on my Equifax credit report? The answer is that it depends on the type of information and whether it’s considered “positive” or “negative.”

Generally speaking, negative information such as late or missed payments, accounts that have been sent to collection agencies, or a bankruptcy stays on credit reports for approximately six years. Here is a breakdown of some the different types of “negative” information and how long you can expect the information to be on your Equifax credit report:

  • Late payments remain on a credit report for up to 6 years from the date reported. This is also known as “previous high rate” based on the system used in Canada to rate payments. The late payment remains on your Equifax credit report even if you pay the past-due balance. For instance, if you had a late payment in April 2011, the late payment would come off your Equifax credit report in April 2017, 6 years after the date of the missed payment. 
  • Collection or charged-off accounts: If you have a late payment and don’t pay the past-due balance, the account could eventually be charged off by the original lender and assigned to a collection agency.  If that happens, the entire collection account would be removed 6 years from the date of your last payment. If you pay the collection account before the 6-year period is up, it remains on your Equifax credit report, but the account may have less of an impact on your Equifax credit score.  
  • Bankruptcy stays on your Equifax credit report for 6 years after the discharge date, or 7 years after the date filed without a discharge date. If a second bankruptcy is filed, then the first re-appears on your Equifax credit report, and both bankruptcies remain for 14 years after the discharge dates. 
  • Judgments are debts you owe because of a court action. This information stays on your Equifax credit report for 6 years. 
  • A registered consumer proposal is a legal agreement set up between you and your creditors, in which they agree to allow you to pay off a percentage of your debt. A consumer proposal will be removed from your Equifax credit report 3 years after you’ve paid off all the debts according to the proposal, or 6 years from the date it was filed, whichever comes first. 
  • Secured loans remain on your Equifax credit report for 6 years from the date filed.
  • Banking items, such as cheques returned for insufficient funds, remain on your Equifax credit report for 6 years from the date reported.

Here are some examples of "positive" information and how long it stays on your Equifax credit report:

  • Active accounts paid as agreed. Active credit accounts that are paid as agreed remain on your Equifax credit report as long as the account is open and the lender is reporting it.  
  • Closed accounts paid as agreed. If the last status of the account is reported by the lender as paid as agreed, the account would stay on your Equifax credit report for up to 10 years from the date it was reported by the lender as closed to Equifax.

Lastly, hard inquiries result when a potential lender, creditor or service provider requests a copy of your Equifax credit report in response to a request for credit or certain services. These can remain on your Equifax credit report for 3 years.

Regularly checking your Equifax credit report is an important step to ensure your information is accurate and complete, and confirm that any negative information falls off after the appropriate time period. 

You can order a free copy of your credit reports by contacting Equifax  or TransUnion
 

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