DEFINITION of 'Derogatory Information'

Information on a person's credit report that can be legally used to turn down a loan application; it includes late payments, charge-offs and bankruptcies. As a general rule, derogatory information remains on a person's credit report for seven years; but there are exceptions, including bankruptcies, which can remain for 10 years.

BREAKING DOWN 'Derogatory Information'

Various federal laws and statutes protect consumers from unfair denial of credit. Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, credit applications cannot ask applicants their sex, race, color, religious affiliation or national origin. Creditors can ask applicants how old they are for certain purposes; however, they cannot use age to deny credit to applicants older than 62. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers have the right to review their credit reports and have wrong information corrected. Disputed information that cannot be verified must be deleted from the person's credit report.

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