When you are trying to build credit, it takes time for negative items to fall off your credit report. While you can get incorrect information that could affect your credit removed without waiting any specific amount of time, correct reports of late payments, multiple hard credit inquiries, and other activity could take between two and seven years to disappear.


Type of information

Maximum time on credit report

Soft credit pull or credit inquiry

2 years, but there's no impact on your credit status

Hard credit pull or credit inquiry

2 years

Late payment (more than 30 days late)

7 years

Account in default

7 years


7 years


7-10 years


Bankruptcies may remain on your credit report for up to ten years, depending on the circumstances. Closed accounts that have a zero balance also take about ten years to be removed from your credit report.

If you have discharged debts through bankruptcy and the process is over, check your credit report carefully to make sure that each of the accounts included with your bankruptcy is reported as discharged.

What affects your Credit Score

There are several factors which go into you credit score. These include payment history, length of credit history, amounts owed, credit mix, and recent credit inquiries. While time is the only thing which will “fix” some items on your credit, there are actions that will help your credit scores. Keep in mind more recent activity tends to weigh higher with the credit bureaus.

How to get your Free Credit Report

If you haven't looked closely at each of your three credit reports, order your free copies from This is the only site authorized by federal law to provide you with one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus.

Look through your reports carefully for mistakes. If you find inaccuracies, you can contact the appropriate credit bureau and ask them to investigate. Be wary of for-profit credit repair companies. They often offer advice which may include disputing accounts which are reporting accurately. They are profiting by having you do something which is frivolous and unnecessary. Reputable credit counseling services often charge little or no fee for their services.


Fortunately, your current financial habits make a big difference when you are trying to build good credit. Making on-time payments to creditors that report your account activity to the credit bureaus is the most important thing you can do to grow and protect your credit. If you need to establish a good payment history, you may be able to do so by taking out a small personal loan. Loans of this type are designed to fit into you existing budget with a set periodic payments for a fixed term. Again, the key is to pay in full and on time for the life of the loan. Use your free credit reports to monitor your credit regularly. It’s not necessary to get all 3 credit bureau reports at the same time, so you could request a different one every four months or so to monitor your progress.

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