Your credit report is intended to be a current and accurate record of your ability to manage debt. Because of this, the credit bureaus will automatically remove old accounts after a certain period of time. Provided that you are current on your recent accounts, your credit score will increase when old charge-offs, judgments, bankruptcies, or collection accounts are removed from your credit report.

Entries Can Only Appear on Your Credit Report for a Limited Time

Your credit report will reflect the new credit card you got last summer and your automobile loan from earlier in the year, but it should not reflect debts that you incurred twenty years ago and did not pay. The Fair Credit Reporting Act dictates that the credit bureaus must remove entries after a certain period of time. The time frame for removal will vary, depending on the type of debt that you have. Removing old debts is beneficial to consumers because it ensures that their past mistakes won’t haunt them forever. It is also beneficial to lenders because lenders can be sure that when they pull an individual’s credit report, they are reviewing the most recent information available on the individual. This helps lenders make more accurate lending decisions.

Old credit card debt, collection accounts, judgments, Chapter 13 bankruptcies, and medical debts will be removed after seven years. Some debts, however, such as Chapter 7 bankruptcies and unpaid tax debts can appear on your credit report for much longer. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be reported for ten years. Unpaid tax debts do not have a preset reporting period. You may find that these debts are removed from your credit report after 15 years, but the credit bureaus are not legally required to remove an unpaid tax debt from your credit file at all.

Obsolete Entries Can Be Overlooked By the Credit Bureaus

Derogatory debts, even if they are old, can affect your approval rating for new accounts. In addition, many employers run a credit check on applicants. Numerous derogatory debts within your credit report could prevent you from getting the job you want.

The credit bureaus are responsible for monitoring and updating millions of consumer reports. This can cause obsolete items within your credit report to be overlooked and remain within your file for much longer than they should. If you are not aware of the error, these derogatory entries could cost you a low interest rate or a new job. It is imperative that you know when your derogatory debts are scheduled to be removed and check your credit report to ensure that the credit bureaus have done so.

How to Have Obsolete Entries Removed

If you notice that a debt remains on your credit report even though the reporting period for that particular debt has expired, you can contact the credit bureaus to notify them of the error. You may dispute the entry by phone, by mail, or online. It may take up to 30 days for the credit bureaus to remove the entry from your reports. When the entry is removed, you will receive updated credit reports that verify that the old debt has been cleared from your credit file.

Don’t allow obsolete debts to linger around on your credit report for longer than they are legally allowed to. By disputing the accuracy of obsolete accounts, you can bring them to the attention of the credit bureaus. The dates on the accounts will be verified, and the obsolete derogatory entries will be removed. Provided that your old accounts aren’t the oldest accounts on your credit report, you can expect to see an increase in your credit score as soon as the obsolete entries are removed.