How Long Does Credit Information Stay on Your Credit Report?

How Long Does Credit Information Stay on Your Credit Report?

Your credit report is essentially your credit history. It compiles all the information concerning your credit habits and creates a tool that can be used by lenders and creditors to assess your creditworthiness. While your credit report does represent a good portion of your credit history, the information is not saved for the total duration of your credit using life. Your credit information is eventually removed from your credit report to make room for newer information (want to learn how to read your credit report? Click here).

Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is, how long does this credit information stay on my credit report for? This is what we’re going to take a closer look at so you can know exactly how long specific credit information will affect your credit report for.

What type of credit information shows up on my credit report?

Your credit report contains all important information, the good and the bad, regarding your credit accounts. A credit account is a general term used to describe credit cards, lines of credit and loans. If you have one or all of these credit products, they will appear on your credit report with the following information:

  • Payment history, both on time and late payments.
  • Non-sufficient funds (NSFs)
  • Closed accounts because of fraud
  • Bankruptcy
  • Debt management programs
  • Consumer proposals
  • Legal judgments
  • Liens
  • Accounts in collections
  • Inquires
  • Remarks

Most lenders and creditors report directly to one of the two main credit reporting bureaus in Canada, TransUnion, and Equifax. The credit reporting bureaus then create credit reports that are used by creditors and lenders to assess a potential borrower’s creditworthiness.

Take a look at this infographic for a breakdown of your credit score.

How long do paid off credit accounts in good standing stay on my report for?

A credit account that was paid off on time and is in good standing will remain on your credit account for 20 years after the last day it was active. Often, people mistakenly believe that old credit accounts are bad information and do not want then on their reports. In fact, this is the exact type of information that you want to appear on your credit report (Is no credit history better than a bad credit history? Find out here). Old accounts, which were paid off on time, show potential future lenders that you can responsibly handle credit. A long and positive credit history is created by using credit and taking on loans.

How long do delinquent credit accounts stay on my report for?

When it comes to delinquent credit accounts or other negative credit information, it’s best for your overall credit health if that information is removed from your report as soon as possible. It’s this type of information that will lower your credit score and hinder your ability to get approved for the credit and loan products you need.

Learn how to protect your credit report, here.

Unfortunately, negative credit information does stay on your credit report as it’s used by creditors and lenders to assess your risk level. The good news is that negative credit information doesn’t stay on your credit report for as long as positive credit information.

Because there are so many different types of negative credit information that can appear on your credit report, here is a detailed list of how long each will stay on your report for.

Credit cards, lines of credit and loans = 6 years

A secured loan backed by an asset = 6 years

Non-sufficient funds (NSF) = 6 years

Closed chequing or savings accounts due to fraud = 6 years

Inquires = Equifax for 3 years, TransUnion for 6 years

Legal judgments = generally for 6 years

  • TransUnion keeps legal judgment information for 7 years in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador and 10 years in P.E.I.

Accounts in Collection = 6 years

Liens = Equifax for 6 years, TransUnion for 5 years

Bankruptcy = generally for 6 years

  • TransUnion keeps bankruptcy information for 7 years in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and P.E.I.

Multiple bankruptcies = 14 years

Consumer proposal = 3 years

Orderly payment of debts (OPD), only available in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia

  • Equifax for 3 years from date paid
  • TransUnion does not report the OPD itself but keeps each of the accounts associated with the OPD on record for 2 years following the date paid, or if sooner, 6 years from when the account first became delinquent.

Debt management program (DMP)

  • Equifax for 3 years from the date paid. If a debt is not repaid, the DMP remains on credit report for 6 years following date filed.
  • TransUnion does not report the DMP itself but keeps each of the accounts associated with the DMP on record for 2 years following the date paid, or if sooner, 6 years from when the account first became delinquent.

Remarks = 6 years

Keep in mind that the two credit reporting bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion, keep credit information for different amounts of time. Furthermore, some creditors report to only one bureau, therefore some information may not appear on your credit report if you only request a copy from one of the two bureaus.

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