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Negative Items On A Credit Report

Negative items on your credit report can affect your ability to obtain further credit, or a lower interest rate. You have the right to dispute these derogatory items. However, some may be easier to remove than others.

Here we will run you through the types of negative items that can appear on your report. Also, we will tell you how they affect your credit score and how long they last.

Types of derogatory items

When looking at your credit report, it pays to know what items can have a negative impact on your credit score. Then you, or a credit repair agency, can dispute the items.

Late payments

Late payments occur when you have paid an account after the due date. Typically late payments fall under 30, 60, or 90-day categories. 30 or 60-day late payments can reduce you credit score by around 40 points.

90-day late payments are more severe and have a higher impact on your credit score.

Creditors can report you to a credit bureau after 30 days of non-payment.

Late payment items on your credit record can last for seven years.

Charge offs

When a creditor has an unpaid debt, they can write it off their books. This usually occurs if you haven’t paid your account for 180 days. The creditor can pass the debt over to a collection agency.

Charge offs heavily impact your credit score and stay on your credit record for seven years.

Civil judgments

This happens when a creditor or debt collection agency seeks payment through the courts. When the lawsuit is resolved in favor of the creditor, repayment of the debt can be done through garnishing your wages.

Any civil judgments can remain on your credit report for seven years.

Debt Collections

These are one of the most common derogatory items to appear in a credit report. It occurs when a creditor has passed on the debt to a collection agency. Debt collections remain on your report for seven years.


This occurs when you have been unable to make repayments on your home loan for at least three months. The mortgage company initiates legal action by filing a Notice of Default.

If you are unable to pay the outstanding payments, you will face foreclosure. You are requested to leave the property. Foreclosures remain on your credit record for seven years from the first date of the filing.


Bankruptcies have the most adverse affect on your credit score. They occur when you have too much debt and not enough money to service it. When you declare bankruptcy it stays on your credit record for seven (Chapter 13 bankruptcy) to ten years (Chapter 7 bankruptcy).


This happens when assets you put up for collateral are seized. The creditor can then sell the repossessed item. However, the amount the creditor gets from the sale is less than the outstanding balance of the debt. To recoup this loss, a debt collection agency can be asked to recover the balance owed.

A repossession can remain on your credit report for seven years.

How to improve your credit score

Negative items have a drastic effect on your credit score. Yet, there are some things you can do to mitigate their impact.

Pay off your debts in full as soon as possible. Negotiate with your creditors to organize a repayment plan. For civil judgments, try to settle the debt before it goes to court. Pay your bills on time.

By making a concerted effort to eliminate your debts, you are stemming the downward spiral of your credit rating.


There are a range of negative items that can appear on your credit record. You have the legal right to dispute these if you think a mistake has been made. If they are the result if overextending your credit and failing to meet repayments, then you need to wait.

Negative items can last seven years on your record. That doesn’t mean you can’t get credit. It just makes it harder.

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