Although most adults have a credit report (and credit score), few people actually check them regularly. Or at all. Even worse, plenty of Americans have no idea what these things say about their spending habits, accumulated debt, or financial future. Some surveys show that only about one-third of Americans have bothered to check their credit report in the past year. This partly explains why credit scores and credit reports remain a mystery to many. One of the most common questions people have is “how long do things stay on your credit report?”
Some people assume (wrongly) that a credit report is some kind of permanent financial record. That means every single late bill payment or lapsed credit card debt will follow you around until the day you die. However, that’s not true at all. Almost everything on your credit report will eventually expire and disappear from it. In most cases, that’s a good thing. However, it can also be a bad thing, as we’ll explain in a minute. So if you’ve ever wondered how long something will stick around on your credit report, let’s get right down to debunking misconceptions and educating the masses.