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 a payment is recorded close to the time the creditor reports, then that payment shows up quickly. If a payment is recorded directly after the creditor reports, that payment shows up nearly a month later. Inquiries for a credit report are reported right away, so if you go on an application spree, the 12th lender sees all previous 11 inquiries.

There are no laws mandating creditors to report credit information, so some good or neutral data never reported. Some creditors, such as cellular service providers and landlords, rarely report positive results at all, choosing only to report negative information. However, there are a few rules regarding the reporting of negative information. For example, a late payment cannot be reported on a credit report unless it is at least 31 days late. After that time, it usually shows up on the credit report within the usual 30 days.

Creditors usually do not charge off a debt and turn it over to a collection agency until 180 continuous days of non-payment have passed, so you may have at least six months before a collection or charge off shows up on your credit report. However, each month the creditor can mark the debt as late, from 30 days to 60 days to 90 days to 180 days, further hurting your credit score.

How Long Does Info Stay on the Record?

Different types of reported information stay on your credit report for different lengths of time; positive information can stay on your report indefinitely while negative information must be removed in accordance with the limits set by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

According to Experian, business and individual credit reports differ somewhat in how long information remains on a record. For a business credit report, trade reports, bank, government and leasing data remain the shortest amount of time (36 months) while bankruptcies last the longest (nine years and nine months). Judgments, tax liens, and collections stay on six years and nine months. Uniform Commercial Code filings last five years.

Individual consumer credit reports report information for seven to 10 years after the event. As with business credit reports, bankruptcies usually stay on an individual's credit report for the longest period of time: 10 years from the date of filing or dismissal, except for student loan defaults, which may stay much longer. Criminal arrests and indictments expire after seven years or at the expiration of the statute of limitations, so they may extend longer than bankruptcies if the statute of limitations is longer than 10 years. Collections and charged-off accounts stay on the credit report for seven years plus 180 days. Tax liens remain until they are paid and then for seven years from the paid lien date. Accounts that are or have ever been delinquent continue to appear on the credit report for seven years after the last scheduled or last delinquent payment, respectively. Overdue child support and other adverse actions also stay on the report for seven years. Lawsuits remain for seven years from the date of the lawsuit filing, while judgments remain for seven years from the date the judgment was entered.

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  1. Trade Line

    Credit account records that are provided to credit reporting ...
  2. Consumer Credit File

    A collection of data about an individual’s borrowing and repayment ...
  3. Credit History

    A record of a consumer's ability to repay debts and demonstrated ...
  4. Bad Credit

    A qualification of an individual's credit history that indicates ...
  5. Adverse Credit History

    A track record of poor repayment history on one or more loans ...
  6. Credit Reporting Agency

    This term refers to businesses that maintain historical information ...
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