How long information stays on your credit report
Credit bureaus may keep positive or negative information on your credit report. This includes information on payments that you did or didn’t make on time. Credit bureaus keep this information on your credit report for a certain period of time.
The exact time varies based on:
- the type of financial information
- your province or territory
- the credit bureau that created the report
Positive information includes credit accounts that you’ve paid as agreed and have no negative history. Credit bureaus keep positive information on your credit report for different periods of time.
The information may include the:
- type of loan
- length of the loan
- initial amount of the loan
- repayment score
Active credit accounts that you’ve paid remain on your Equifax credit report as long as the account is open. Closed accounts stay on your Equifax credit report for up to 10 years.
TransUnion will keep a record of positive credit information for a period of 20 years. They’ll keep the information no matter if the account is active or closed.
The positive information kept on your credit report may improve your credit score.
Negative information may include late or missed payments, accounts that have been sent to collection agencies, bankruptcies, and more. According to provincial laws, credit bureaus may keep negative information on your credit report for only a certain period of time. For example:
- negative information about accounts such as credit cards and loans may stay up to 6 years
- credit checks by lenders; Equifax keeps this information for 3 years, while TransUnion keeps it for 6 years
- bankruptcy stays on your report for 6 or 7 years, depending on the province
Negative information on your credit report may hurt your credit score.
A judgment is a debt you owe through the courts due to a lawsuit. For example, if somebody sues you, and you lose, then the debt may show up on your credit report.
Usually, this information stays on your credit report for 6 years.
However, TransUnion keeps this information on file for 7 years in the following provinces:
- Newfoundland and Labrador
TransUnion keeps this information on file for 10 years in Prince Edward Island.
Debt management plans
A debt management plan is an informal proposal your credit counsellor makes to your creditors on your behalf. It allows you to consolidate your debts into one affordable monthly payment.
Credit bureaus remove all records from a debt management plan from your credit report 2 years after you pay off your debts.
A consumer proposal is a legal agreement set up by a licensed insolvency trustee. The trustee creates a proposal for your creditors where they agree to let you pay off a percentage of your debt.
Equifax and TransUnion remove a consumer proposal from your credit report either:
- 3 years after you pay off all the debts included in the proposal, or
- 6 years after you sign the proposal (whichever is sooner)
Typically, both Equifax and TransUnion remove a bankruptcy from your credit report 6 years after the date you're discharged.
TransUnion removes a bankruptcy from your credit report 7 years after you're discharged in the following provinces:
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Prince Edward Island
If you declare bankruptcy more than once, the bankruptcies will appear on your credit report for 14 years.
Contact one of Canada’s 2 main credit bureaus to learn more about how long information stays on your credit report.
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