When Do Items Show on My Credit Report?

Normal information, such as a paid or unpaid notation, usually hits a credit report within 30 days of the close of the billing cycle for that account. According to Experian, one of the "big three" credit bureaus, creditors and lenders usually report to a bureau once a month. If payment is recorded close to the time the creditor reports, then that payment shows up quickly. If payment is recorded directly after the creditor reports, that payment shows up nearly a month later.

When you apply for a loan or line of credit, that generates a "hard inquiry," which can remain on your report for up to two years. If you go on an application spree, the 12th lender will see the previous 11 inquiries. (Note, however, that if a series of credit checks are all related to the same loan all within a few days, e.g. a car loan, only one instance will be factored into a credit score change).

There are no laws mandating that creditors report credit information, so good or neutral data might never be reported. Creditors such as cellular service providers and landlords rarely report positive payment histories, choosing only to report when an account falls behind. However, there are a few rules regarding the reporting of negative information. A late payment cannot be reported on your credit history until you are 30 days behind. After that, a creditor can report you for late payment.

Creditors will typically not charge off debt and turn an account over to a collection agency until 180 continuous days of non-payment have passed. Therefore, it might take at least six months before a collection or charge-off shows up on your credit report. However, each month an account is in arrears is an opportunity for a creditor to report a debt as late—30, 60, 90, 120, 150 or 180-days past due—further hurting your credit score.

Key Takeaways

  • When you encounter a financial event that affects your credit, it normally takes 30 days or less from the close of the current billing cycle.
  • Such an event may include a loan application, missed payment, or bankruptcy, for example.
  • Once on a credit report, events are maintained for 7-10 years.

How Long Does Info Stay on the Record?

How long adverse information remains on your credit report depends on what is being reported. Positive information can stay on your report indefinitely. Negative information must be removed in accordance with limits set by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

According to Experian, adverse information for business credit reports can remain on your report for as little as 36 months, or as long as nine years and nine months. Trade, bank, government and leasing data can remain for up to 36 months. Uniform Commercial Code filings stay for five years. Judgments, tax liens and collections remain for six years and nine months. Bankruptcies remain on your business credit report the longest—up to nine years and nine months.

Adverse information generally remains on individual consumer credit reports for seven to 10 years. Bankruptcies remain the longest: up to 10 years from the order date or date of adjudication. If you defaulted on a government-backed student loan, the reporting period can be longer.

Civil suits, civil judgments and records of arrest can remain on your credit report for up to seven years or until the statute of limitations has expired, which ever is longer. Tax liens remain until they are paid, and then remain for seven years thereafter.

Delinquent and charged-off accounts will remain on your credit report for seven years following the expiration of the initial 180-day collection period. Overdue child support payments stay on your credit report for seven years.

For those struggling to break free from numerous negative marks on their credit report, one of the best credit repair companies may be able to help raise your credit score by negotiating with creditors and working with the three credit agencies on your behalf.