How Long Do Collections Stay On Credit Report (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7 Years

A credit report is a summary statement showing a detailed breakdown of a person’s past credit payments history as well as the current status of credit accounts. It reflects how efficiently the person in consideration has handled his credit bills, loans, and debts.

Collections on a credit report mean the continuation of the money that the credit report holder owes to his lender. A debt collection account is an amount about one’s debt that is submitted to a debt collection agency by the creditor or lender who was supposed to be repaid his money by the borrower.

How Long Do Collections Stay On Credit Report

How Long Do Collections Stay On Credit Report?

Duration for collections to stay on credit reports7 years
Duration for accounts with adverse information to stay on credit reports7 years

Debt collection, commonly shown in credit reports as collections is a process of making payments to collection agencies that operate as agents of the creditor of the credit report holder. Such collection agencies, also known as debt collectors, charge a fee for their services and in turn, make it easier for the creditor to collect their debt.

When a person has delayed their payment or has made default, the concerned creditor or lender might submit the details of such an account to a collection agency for collecting the debts. Once this is done by the creditor/lender, that particular account gets shown separately as ‘collections’ on the credit report of the borrower.

It must be noted that too many collections do not depict a positive picture of one’s credit report. Collection accounts on the credit report can impact it negatively and lower the concerned person’s credit scores which is a credible measure for accessing the person’s ability to repay the borrowed amount.

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Thus, just like most negative information is shown on the credit report for 7 years, even collections stay on one’s credit report for up to seven complete years. After this duration, the information related to the collection account will automatically get dropped off the credit report.

Why Do Collections Stay For So Long On Credit Report?

A credit report of a person is considered to be the report that shows whole and sole information about a person’s credit record, whether it relates to the past or present. The past information can help the potential lender to determine whether to provide credit to a particular person or not by looking at his credit report.

Lenders evaluate the credit reports critically to ensure that they do not face any risk in the future by extending their money as a credit to any person. Thus, such an important document like a credit report must contain all the necessary information for a specific duration to depict the true and fair picture of the person’s credit history.

For providing an unbiased view of one’s credit history, the credit reports must evince both positive as well as negative information related to the credit report holder. This helps in reflecting the behavior of the person that whether the concerned person is regular in paying his dues on time or is prone to making defaults.

As collections are an account that is submitted to a credit collection agency for collecting the debt that has the potential to significantly impact one’s credit, it is mentioned on the credit report of the particular person. However, collection accounts do not showcase a positive picture and thus, do not stay on the credit reports forever.

Collections are also said to kill one’s credit as they can significantly reduce one’s credit scores. Even if accounts in collections are fully paid off, they will still be visible on the credit report for 7 years as the credit report must show the correct image of one’s credit history.

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However, it must be noted that if any erroneous collections are visible on the credit report and are unnecessarily negatively impacting one’s credit scores, one can take several actions to remove them as soon as possible from the credit report by contacting the respective credit report agency and informing them about the error that has happened on one’s credit report on collections.


Accurate and correct information about one’s collection accounts stays on the credit report for up to seven years. It is because a credit report is a document that should provide complete information about the past and future of one’s credit transaction. Thus, even if collections are no more relevant they still stay for 7 years on the reports before they stop being visible.

When the collections in question are legitimate, they won’t disappear before the completion of 7 years. This means once a collection appears on the credit report it would continue to impact one’s credit scores. However, it should be noted that its impact on the credit scores will gradually lessen as time passes.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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