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When do the “7 Years” start?

Most people know that derogatory credit information must be removed from their credit reports after 7 years. However, one of the questions we often get is “when do the 7 years begin to run”?

The short answer is that the 7 year clock begins to run from the “Date of First Delinquency.” As that phrase suggests, the Date of First Delinquency is the date that your account first goes into a delinquent status.

So, for example, let’s say you have a credit card account that was current or “Pays as Agreed” in December 2022. You receive a bill in December 2022 that is due on January 1, 2023, and you fail to make a payment. Your Date of First Delinquency will be January 1, 2023 and your credit card issuer will report you as “30-59 days past the due date” sometime after January 30, 2023. If you never bring the account current again, the account will have to be deleted from your credit reports on or before January 1, 2030, no matter how much bad/unpaid debt you subsequently incur on the account.

But, let’s change the facts a bit. Assume that you bring the account current in April 2023, paying the balance to $0. Since you are no longer delinquent on the account, there will be no Date of First Delinquency reported. If you subsequently fail to pay the account, say you miss a payment due July 1, 2023, a new Date of First Delinquency will be established, i.e. July 1, 2023, and the 7 years will begin to run from that date.

Yes, it’s complicated. If you have questions, give us a call at 678.999.1102 or 678.999.1105.

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