Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Statute of Limitations

Should I Ignore My Old Debt and Let it Fall Off My Credit Report? – Adriana

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

I have three old collections…1st one is 3yrs old, 2nd is 4yrs old and 3rd is 5yrs old…Should I try and pay them off??? I am trying to clean my credit but not sure if to the them if they are under 3yrs or 4yrs and the older ones wait to fall off?

Which old collections should I just let them fall off? 3yrs and up, 4yrs and up or 5yrs and up and just worry about the most recent ones?

Thank you,

Adriana from California”

money narrow

Dear Adriana,

Just because a debt is no longer reported on your consumer credit report does not mean it is not collectible. Typically an old collection account will fall off your credit report after seven years from the time it was first reported.

In California the statute of limitations on contracts is four years from the date the contract was broken. But a number of factors can make calculating the exact date a bit more complex.

Sometimes the statute of limitations is suspended (“tolled”) for a period of time, and then begins to run again. For example, tolling may happen when the defendant is a minor, is out of the state or in prison, or is insane. When the reason for the tolling ends (like if the minor turns 18, or the defendant returns to California or gets out of prison, or the defendant is no longer insane), the statute of limitations begins to run again.

Figuring out when the statute of limitations runs out on a claim is not easy. If you have any doubts about how to calculate the time you have, talk to a lawyer. – Source

To improve your credit you need two things to occur. You need time to pass to push those old negative items out into the past and you need to make sure you have current credit that is reporting on-time performance.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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