How Do I Get Equifax to Remove Old Accounts Off My Credit Report? – Angela

“Dear Steve,

How do you get Equifax and other agencies to take accounts over 7 years old off of your account?

When does the 7 years start from what date?


Dear Angela,

Thanks for writing in and asking. It is a common question people have and get confused about.

Negative items on your credit report should automatically be removed that are older than seven years and 180 days old from the date first reported delinquent for the last time.

If you had been delinquent on the account and then caught up but fell delinquent again the clock would start ticking on the beginning of the last delinquency.

The reality is the credit bureaus have routines in place that will drop the accounts after seven years. So they do it earlier than required.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

If you have accounts that were not delinquent but now older than seven years, I’m not aware of anything that would require those to be automatically removed.

However, the reporting period for some debts like U.S. Government insured or guaranteed student loans is longer.

In general though:

  • Civil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest that from date of entry, can appear for seven years or until the governing statute of limitations has expired, whichever is the longer period.
  • Paid tax liens which, from date of payment, can appear for seven years.
  • Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss can be reported for seven years.
  • Any other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of crimes which is more than seven years, must be removed.

If you have an old account that fits the criteria above and is still listed, just follow the dispute process with that credit bureau and let them know it should be removed.

If an item is being reported by one credit bureau it might be on others as well. Be sure to check your consolidated credit report.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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