In credit reporting, most negative information can only stay on your credit report for seven years—right?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does mandate that the credit bureaus remove negative information from consumers’ credit reports within 7-10 years depending on the type of information. (The maximum of 10 years only applies to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.)
While this holds true in the vast majority of cases, there are three exceptions to this rule. This means certain negative items could potentially stay on your credit report permanently. Keep reading this article to find out what they are.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of John Ulzheimer and do not necessarily reflect the official stance or position of Tradeline Supply Company, LLC. Tradeline Supply Company, LLC does not sell tradelines to increase credit scores and does not guarantee any score improvements. Tradelines can in some cases cause credit scores to go down.
1. If the consumer is applying for a job with a salary of $75,000 or greater.
If a consumer is going to apply for a job that pays $75,000 or more, and the employer uses a credit report as part of the employment screening process, the credit bureaus are allowed to include information on this report about derogatory events that occurred more than 7-10 years ago. For example, the report could contain records of an old bankruptcy or old collection accounts.
2. If the consumer is applying for a life insurance policy with a value of $150,000 or higher.
If a consumer applies for a life insurance policy with a value of $150,000 or higher, then the credit reporting agencies are technically allowed to include negative information that is more than 7-10 years old on the person’s credit reports.
3. If the consumer is applying for $150,000 or more in credit.
If the consumer applies for credit in the amount of $150,000 or more, this also qualifies as a case where the credit bureaus could include old negative information that normally would not be listed on the consumer’s credit report.
The interesting thing about this exception is that it includes most mortgages. Therefore, if you apply for a mortgage today, there is a good chance that you could fall into this category of exceptions to the FCRA regulations regarding negative information.
Should You Be Worried About Negative Items Staying on Your Credit Report Forever?
By now, you may be concerned that derogatory credit items that you thought were ancient history could haunt you in the future, in the event that you apply for a high-paying job, purchase life insurance, or apply for a mortgage.
However, there is no need to panic. While the credit bureaus are theoretically allowed to do this under the FCRA, that doesn’t mean that they choose to do so—and fortunately, they don’t.
Rather than maintaining old information to be used in specific situations, they simply default to applying the same 7-10 year policy across the board.
So if you do apply for a job that pays $75,000 or more, a $150,000 life insurance policy, or $150,000 in credit, you don’t have to worry about old negative items being revealed on your credit report.