With luck, having your car repossessed will represent just one minor bump on an otherwise smooth financial journey.
But despite all of your hard work, car repossessions tend to stick around. In this blog post, we’ll look at how long it takes for a car repossession on credit reports to vanish.
The short answer: seven years.
That’s how long negative account information such as late payments stick to your credit report. But we’d like to take a closer look at how you can determine when an account will be removed from your credit history and what you can do if you discover errors on your report.
Positive vs. negative accounts
If you fall behind on car payments but later bring the account current, your late payments will come off your credit report after seven years.
However, the account itself will stick around. According to the credit bureau Experian, it is only the delinquencies that will be removed after seven years. With no other delinquencies on the record, the account becomes positive.
If your car is repossessed, the repossession on your credit report will be removed seven years after the account became delinquent, meaning the date of the first missed payment that led to the repossession.
Experian says there are other dates that you might see on your credit report – when the account was opened, when it was closed, when the last payment was made – but these have no bearing on when a negative account will be removed.
Spotting errors on your credit report
We’re close to the New Year, which means it’s a good time to check your credit score. Consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax).
When you get the report, check your identifying information (your name, Social Security number, date of birth and address information). You may need to look for variations on your name (for example, people named “Jim” would also check for “James”).
Errors on this part of the report won’t hurt your credit score, but they could signal a mix-up in the records, or worse, indicate you’ve been a victim of identity theft.
From there, check each tradeline on your credit report for accuracy, keeping an eye out for errors like:
- Accounts that have been mis-merged or ones that aren’t yours. This is important if you have a common name, or if you and a relative share the same name (one of your is “Junior” and the other “Senior”).
- Payments listed as late that you paid on time.
- Public records like liens, bankruptcies, judgements and repossession on credit reports that aren’t yours.
- Negative information that should have expired after the seven year mark.
- If you spot duplicate listings for the same account, one of those listings should be removed. (For example, tradelines for an account’s original creditor and for a collector on that account.)
Any of these errors need to be corrected as soon as possible, as inaccurate information can lower your credit score and make it more difficult to get new credit.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects consumers against false or inaccurate credit report information. If these errors persist even after you’ve disputed them, your consumer rights may be violated.
The attorneys at Flitter Milz have worked with consumers in these situations to get justice in cases of inaccurate credit reporting. If you have errors on your credit report that you can’t get rid of, contact us today for a no-cost consultation.