How long will a repossession stay on my credit report?

by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach on February 8, 2010

in Credit Scores, Debt, Loans, Saving Money


Q: I Have a Car That Was Repossessed About 5 Years Ago. My Credit Report States That It Will Report for Another Year. Is That True That It Will Fall Off or Will It Be Reported By Another Company. If So, Should I Try to Settle the Debt?

A: Negative information (such as late payments) generally stays on your credit report for seven years. So yes, your credit reports are likely accurate in indicating that in about a year or so, that car repossession – which is already about 5-plus years old – will be deleted from your credit files. If you make a lump sum payment to settle the account, or even make partial or monthly payments, then you would “reactivate” this account, so to speak, and extend the length of time for which is will be reported on your credit files. I suspect that you may have seen this information on your Experian credit report because Experian credit reports contain a unique feature that many users find extremely enlightening.

Experian Credit Report Highlights

For all of the accounts listed in your credit file, Experian shows you “Status Details” indicating when an account is scheduled to fall off your credit report. For example, an auto loan that you paid off and closed in July 2008 will show the following Status Details: “This account is scheduled to continue on record until July 2018.” Or let’s say you had an account go to collections and ultimate get written off by a creditor. In your case, the negative information is your car repossession. For you and anyone else with these and other negative marks in your credit file, you won’t have to wonder how long a certain blemish will haunt you. That critical “Status Details” section of your Experian report will give you that precise information.


No Need to Settle Very Old Debt


Regarding settling your debt, unless you’re in desperate need of getting that car repossession off your credit report before a year’s time (this might be true, perhaps, if you need to qualify for a mortgage), and unless you’ve got thousands of dollars sitting around to pay off that old car debt, I wouldn’t bother trying to settle the account. It’s already been on your credit report for nearly six years. I would simply tough it out for the next year or so until it falls off your credit.


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Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach

Personal Finance Expert and Co-Founder at Ask The Money Coach.com
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach is a personal finance expert, speaker, and author of numerous books on personal finance. She appears frequently as an expert commentator on television, radio and in print.

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