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Your Credit Report - Seven Years Later

Nov 3, 2007
Sometimes we get caught up in the illusion that it is okay to let our credit payments go late sometimes. Sure, the interest rates go up, and you will probably have a harder time paying next month's bill because of it, but hey, right now, you have no worries, right? Wrong. Something that you many not consider to be very critical but that can affect you in more ways than you think is the fact that when you slip up even once with your credit card payments, it shows on your credit report for an entire seven years.

So let's say you have a few things on your credit report that you are not proud of, but you've learned your lesson and you've moved on. So now that you have better spending and payment habits, you want to get rid of those black marks on your credit report. Well, the seven years since have passed and nothing has happened. What's going on?

There are a couple of different things that could be going wrong. Of course, there are some instances when the creditors have extended the period in which the negative items must show up on your report, like bankruptcy, which could last for up to ten years, or things that you have done individually that have provoked a perfectly legal extension. However, sometimes the clean slate you deserve is not being given to you in the time that it was promised. Here are a few possible reasons why:

Credit bureaus have thousands upon thousands of credit reports to review, assess, and update every day. As you can imagine, it would probably be easy to let someone's seven year period last longer than is needful because of this enormous workload. When you have waited the seven years and then some, and your credit report still shows those black marks on your credit reputation that can prohibit you from getting the appropriate lines of credit that you want, you should call the credit bureaus and get the problem straightened out directly, rather than waiting for them to finally figure it out themselves.

Sometimes creditors will try to change the original date on which your seven year period began. This can sometimes be done legally for certain reasons that you probably provoked. However, there is an instance in which they may try to do this when it is NOT legal!

When you look at your credit report after several years and decide that you want to make up for the mishaps you made way back when, calling up the credit card company and/or making a partial payment to make up for lost time, this allows some creditors the chance to change the date of last activity. This is the date on which your seven year period started. This action is illegal, but there are many creditors who will do this because their clients do not know that it is illegal and feel that they can't do anything about it.

Knowing why your credit report may still have mistakes on it after the expiration period is important. It would be wise to check up on it if there is any question. The best part is, only the good things stay on your report, and the negative items will eventually go away.
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