Credit Score and Credit Information

A credit score is a number generated by a mathematical formula that is meant to predict credit worthiness. Credit scores range from 300-850. The higher your score is, the more likely you are to get a loan. The lower your score is, the less likely you are to get a loan. If you have a low credit score and you do manage to get approved for credit then your interest rate will be much higher than someone who had a good credit score and borrowed money. Therefore, having a high credit score can save many thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage, auto loan, or credit card.

How is your Credit Score affected?

How long will certain items remain on my credit file?

  • Delinquencies: (30- 180 days): A delinquency may remain on file for seven years; from the date of the initial missed payment.
  • Collection Accounts: May remain seven years from the date of the initial missed payment that led to the collection (the original delinquency date). When a collection account is paid in full, it will be marked as a “paid collection” on the credit report.
  • Charge-off Accounts: When a delinquent account is sent to a collections company. This will remain for seven years from the date of the initial missed payment that led to the charge-off (the original delinquency date), even if payments are later made on the charge-off account.
  • Closed Accounts: Closed accounts are no longer available for further use and may or may not have a zero balance. Closed accounts with delinquencies remain for seven years from the date they are reported closed, whether closed by the creditor or by the consumer. However, the delinquency notation will be removed seven years after the delinquency occurred when pertaining to late payments. Positive closed accounts continue to be reported for ten years from the closing date.
  • Lost Credit Card: If there are no delinquencies, credit cards reported as lost will continue to be listed for two years from the date the creditor is contacted. Delinquent payments that occurred before the card was lost are reported for seven years.
  • Bankruptcy: Chapters 7, 11, and 12 will remain on one’s credit report for ten years from the filing date. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is reported for seven years from the filing date. Accounts included in a bankruptcy will remain for seven years from the date reported as included in the bankruptcy
  • Judgments: Remain seven years from the date filed.
  • City, County, State, and Federal Tax Liens: Unpaid tax liens remain for fifteen years from the filing date. A paid tax lien will remain on one’s score for 10 years from the date of payment.
  • Inquiries: Most inquiries listed on one’s credit report will remain for two years. All inquiries must remain for a minimum of one year from the date the inquiry was made. Some inquiries, such as employment or pre-approved offers of credit, will show only on a personal credit report pulled by you.

Information that cannot be in a credit report:

  • Medical information (unless you provide consent)
  • Notice of bankruptcy (Chapter 11) more than ten years old
  • Debts (including delinquent child support payments) more than seven years old
  • Age, marital status, or race (if requested from a current or prospective employer)

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