The journey to figuring out the world of personal finance can be a long one, with all kinds of bumps along the way. Some of those bumps are bigger than others, and certain events might linger on your credit report for a while.

Don’t panic. One money mishap won’t ruin your life. However, it’s best to know what to expect with your credit – so you can plan how to strengthen your credit in other ways.

But how long will you see each event on your credit report? And what can you do about it?

As a general rule, most negative information will show on your credit report for around seven years. Late payments, charged-off accounts, repossessions, and foreclosures are all examples of what you might see hanging around.

Bankruptcies are the exception – those can show for as long as ten years!

When it comes to more neutral events, you’ll be looking at them for a much shorter time period. Something like a hard inquiry could appear for up to two years. Remember, you might take a hit when the inquiry first appears, but it will be worth it in the long run as your credit ages.

And soft inquiries? They won’t appear to lenders at all – they’ll only be visible to you.

Positive events, or choices that can strengthen your credit, are typically visible for a good chunk of time. Your active accounts in good standing will show for the duration of the life of the account. Once you pay them off in full and close the account, that positive account history typically lingers as long as ten years.

 

If you’ve got a handful of events that are bringing down your credit, there’s still work you can do to start strengthening your score. First and foremost, ensure that all the events on your credit report are accurate. If you find anything that isn’t correct, make sure you file a dispute with the bureaus so they can resolve it.

Once your credit report is accurate, it’s time to turn your focus to the items you can control. Review your Credit Score Factors in Best Egg Financial Health for details on what else impacts your credit score, and once you know, focus on strengthening those areas. That means on-time payments, avoiding too many inquiries, and different types of credit, to name a few.

Though it might not happen overnight, with a little time and attention, your credit score could come back recovered, and better than ever before, which could open the door to access to better rates, wider credit opportunities, and more financial confidence.