Q: How Long Does An Item Stay on Your Credit Report? Which Date Do You Use for a Credit Card Opened in December 1984 that was Defaulted on (90 Days Late) In November 1986. It Went to Collection in January 1987. Which One of These Dates Applies When It Comes to the Statute of Limitations? When Will the Debt Come Off a Credit Report?
A: This debt should have long since fallen off your credit report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, negative information such as the 90-day late payment you mentioned can only legally remain on your credit file for 7 years from the time of your delinquency. In your case, that would be seven years from the time you missed a payment or defaulted (i.e. November 1986). Because your debt is nearly 25 years old, it should definitely no longer appear on your Equifax, TransUnion or Experian credit files. If it does, simply initiate an online dispute with the credit bureuas and request that the credit account be removed on the grounds that this is outdated information. There is also a separate “Statute of Limitations” that doesn’t apply to your credit, but to the length of time after which a debt is no longer legally enforceable. After a debt, such as a credit card bill has run its statute, or expired, a creditor can no longer legally sue you in court, get a judgment against you, or do anything to pay you pay an old debt. In most states in America, the statute of limitations on old debts runs between 3 and 10 years. So again, from this standpoint too, that old debt should not cost you any money — or any worries.
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