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How Long Do Derogatory Marks Stay on Credit?

how long do derogatory marks stay on credit

When loan obligations are not met on time, a notation known as “derogatory marks” appears on the credit report. As a result, borrowers with derogatory marks on their credit reports can expect a decrease in credit scores and high-interest rates and fees on their future loans.

This negative information is stored in the credit report for 7 to 10 years, but its impact on your credit score will decrease over time. Moreover, effective methods exist to solve this problem and improve your credit score.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Derogatory Mark?
  2. Types of Derogatory Marks and How Long Do Derogatory Marks Stay on Credit
  3. How to Remove Derogatory Items from Credit Report?
  4. Bottom Line
  5. FAQ

What is a Derogatory Mark?

Derogatory marks are marks on a credit report that indicate that debt payment obligations have not been met on time. This data informs creditors that you have ever had difficulty paying off debt or managing your credit accounts. These marks negatively affect the credit rating, which makes obtaining a loan on favorable terms extremely difficult. It will take several years to remove the derogatory marks. But it is much better to prevent them from appearing. Therefore, you need to know what causes and how to avoid them.

How Does a Derogatory Mark Get on a Credit Report?

If you fail to meet your debt obligations, creditors transmit this information to the credit bureaus after a certain period. Consequently, derogatory marks appear on credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, thereby reducing the credit score compiled by FICO and VantageScore.

So, the more missed payments, the more damage will be done to your credit history. And it doesn’t matter whether the mortgage or consumer loan is overdue. The damage to your credit history is the same.

When Does Derogatory Credit Fall Off?

Most derogatory marks remain on your credit report for seven years. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing stays there for up to 10 years.

How Much Does a Derogatory Mark Affect Credit?

The extent of the impact of a derogatory mark depends on what type of mark is received. For example:

A hard credit check usually scores around 5-10 points. Bankruptcy results in a score drop of several hundred points (depending on the type of bankruptcy and the person’s credit history before filing). A payment overdue by 90 days can reduce your score by 50-100 points.

Additionally, the impact of a derogatory rating depends on the credit rating initially obtained. Negative marks have a much more substantial effect on a high credit score than a low one.

For example, if your credit score is 700, bankruptcy could result in a decrease of about 120 to 140 points. Conversely, a person with a credit score of 750 could experience a decline of more than 190 points. However, a credit score below 550 may only result in a 60-point reduction.

Types of Derogatory Marks and How Long Do Derogatory Marks Stay on Credit

Below are various financial occurrences and categories of public records that could result in a negative notation on your credit history, along with the respective length of stay on your credit report:

Derogatory Mark Description How long is derogatory information on a credit report?
Late Payments

This is a major derogatory mark. Credit account payments are made after the due date. Lenders report delinquencies to the credit bureaus 30 days after the missed due date. There are several levels of delinquency. For some loans, creditors report debts after 60, 90, and 120 days past due.

Typically, the time frame spans seven years, starting from the date of the overdue payment.


Your charged-off account may be written off as a loss if you last paid your bill several months ago. This means that the lender is confident that you will not repay the debt, which increases the likelihood that your account will be referred to a debt collection agency.

Typically persists for seven years starting from the date of the charge-off occurrence. 

Collection Accounts

Debts are sent to a collection agency for recovery. Although each creditor has its policy, after 180 days of nonpayment, the debt is typically written off as a loss and turned over to a collection agency. The collection agency will provide an update on the outstanding balance, which might be higher on the collection account due to additional interest and fees applied by the agency.

Seven years from the date your account was sent to collectors.

Medical Debt

Unpaid medical bills. Fortunately, there’s positive news regarding how major credit bureaus handle medical debt. Starting in 2022, your credit report will no longer reflect fully paid medical debt. Additionally, you’ll have a one-year grace period to settle overdue bills before they impact your credit report.

Typically, seven years from the date of delinquency.


Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding during which you can seek relief from debt obligations. There are several types of bankruptcy. However, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 damage your credit score the most.

Chapter 7 is called “liquidation bankruptcy”. In this case, you will have to sell assets to repay the debt.

Chapter 13 allows you to keep your assets.

In addition, a repayment plan for three or five years is established. This form of bankruptcy is called an “earnings plan”. It is suitable for people with a regular income.

Bankruptcy under the 7th chapter is kept for 10 years, and under the 13th chapter – 7 years.

Hard Inquiries

When applying for a payday loan, lenders conduct a soft credit check that does not affect your credit score. Jumbo loans or traditional bank loans entail strict credit checks.

Typically, it is two years, but it only affects credit scores for 12 months.


Foreclosure occurs when you are unable to pay your mortgage. In this case, the creditor takes the property. And it leaves a significant imprint on your credit score.

Typically, seven years from the date of the foreclosure sale.


The lender takes back property due to non-payment. Your lender may repossess your vehicle if you can’t repay your car loan. There is no specific period after which the creditor can foreclose on the property. However, in the case of a car loan, the car becomes the lender’s possession after 90 days past due. The lender is not required to warn you about this, so you need to keep a close eye on your loans.

Typically, it’s a seven-year period from the first instance of delinquency.

Debt Settlement

Agreement to pay less than the full amount owed. When a lender allows the loan to be repaid incompletely, this information is reflected in the credit report as negative. However, a partially paid debt is better than a past due and collected bill. Therefore, if you cannot repay the loan in full, you need to repay at least part of it.

Seven years from the date of the settlement.

Tax Liens

Claim against property for unpaid taxes. If you don’t pay your taxes, the federal government can collect the debt by seizing your assets.

Seven years if it’s paid, or ten if unpaid.

Civil Judgment

A civil judgment occurs when you are unsuccessful in a civil lawsuit that mandates debt payment or compensation for damages.

Typically seven years, but it can vary based on state laws and payment.

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How to Remove Derogatory Items from Credit Report?

Most derogatory marks remain on a credit report for seven years and disappear only after that period. These marks include:

late payments; debt collection; chapter 13 bankruptcy.

In general, it is not possible to remove derogatory marks from your credit report; you must wait until they expire. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your current credit score. If your credit rating is low, don’t wait for it to recover on its own. You can start credit repair today to improve your credit rating.

Ways to Improve Your Credit

If you want to improve your credit score, you have to put in a lot of effort and time, but it will get done. Here are some effective methods to try:

Dispute Inaccuracies

Once a year, you can request a free annual credit report from a credit bureau (the main ones are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the right to accurate and fair credit history reporting. Therefore, dispute any credit report mistakes you may discover.

Look for misspelled names, incorrect account statuses, or fraudulent activity. You can dispute an inaccuracy either through the credit bureau’s website or by sending a letter by mail. To avoid sounding unfounded, provide documentation that will confirm the error. These could be receipts, correspondence, or agreements with creditors.

Federal law requires disputes with a credit bureau to be resolved within a month. Therefore, make sure that inaccuracies are eliminated on time. Regular credit monitoring is essential for maintaining good financial health.

Create a Repayment Plan

Develop a structured plan to repay outstanding debt. It is better to prioritize paying off high-interest debts while maintaining minimum payments on other bills. Feel free to communicate with creditors. Discuss payment terms. Creditors may extend the repayment terms or will agree to an amount less than the total sum owed.

Once a loan repayment plan is created, make every effort to pay back the money on time. A positive payment history is critical to rebuilding your credit rating.

Be a Responsible Borrower

This method of credit restoration requires patience. Keep track of when negative items were first reported, which will determine when they are scheduled to be removed. While doing so, focus on healthy financial management. Improve your credit rating by:

timely payments; maintaining a minimum credit card balance; avoiding new credit requests.

Keeping your credit utilization ratio (the amount of credit you use compared to your total available credit) below 30% is essential. This will show you as a responsible borrower.

Utilize Credit-Building Tools

If your negative credit history prevents you from getting the loan you want, start rebuilding your credit. Сonsider applying for a credit-builder loan or secured credit card. Credit-builder loans are small installment loans that require upfront payments that will become available to you after the repayment period ends. Secured credit cards require a deposit, making them easier to obtain.

Remember that it will only help you improve your score if you use your money wisely and repay the loan on time. 

Take Advantage of Experian Boost

This tool, offered by Experian, one of the three main credit bureaus, is called Experian Boost. It helps people improve their credit score by adding a positive utility bill payment history to their credit report. Users who link their bank account to Experian Boost can improve their Experian score by demonstrating a habit of paying their bills correctly.

Seek Professional Assistance If Needed

If you are unsure how to rise your credit score, seek help from a reputable credit counseling agency or financial advisor. Experts will provide you with personalized advice based on your specific financial situation. They will help you create a budget, tell you how to deal with creditors, and develop a debt management plan.

Bottom Line

Derogatory marks hurt your credit rating. And some, such as late payments, are more damaging than others, such as a hard credit inquiry.

This is why it is crucial to monitor your finances, develop financial literacy, and ensure no errors appear on your credit report.

Of course, to keep your credit rating from decreasing, you need to make your bill payments on time. The higher the credit rating, the greater the likelihood of getting a loan for a large amount on favorable terms.


What is the Maximum Amount of Time a Negative Item Can Stay on Your Credit Report?

Most disparaging marks stay on a credit report for seven years, and Chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts up to ten years.

What is a Derogatory Account?

A derogatory account is a credit account with a negative credit report entry indicating that the debt obligations have not been met.

Do Derogatory Marks Go Away Once Paid?

Derogatory marks do not disappear from the credit report after the debt is paid. However, over time, their impact on your credit rating decreases.

How Can Negative Marks Affect Financial Prospects Down the Road?

Derogatory marks can impact loan qualification. If the lender approves the loan, this usually leads to unfavorable conditions. With a low credit rating, you can only get subprime loans. High-interest rates and additional commissions accompany them. Also, with a low credit score, it is challenging to borrow a substantial amount.

Can Debt Consolidation Improve Your Credit Score?

Debt consolidation can have both positive and negative consequences. Opening a new credit account for consolidation may initially lower your score due to a hard inquiry and a new account appearing on your credit report. At the same time, if payments on the consolidated debt are made on time and in full, the credit rating increases. If you use the loan to pay off high-interest credit card debts while keeping the accounts open, it will reduce credit utilization and positively impact your credit rating.

See also:

  1. What happens to debt when you die?
  2. What do you need for a payday loan?
  3. Do payday loans affect your credit score?
  4. How long does a payday loan stay in the system?


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