In this part of the 21st century it often seems as if we live and die by our credit reports. The scores and information contained in those reports can influence everything from what jobs we get, to how much we pay for insurance on our homes and cars, and where we can live. Many of us spend a lot of time and effort getting into and staying in a good credit range, but sometimes life takes a turn. Usually something happens and you are in a bankruptcy court, working out a way to move forward from debts that are overwhelming.
All negative credit information sticks on your credit report, but the good news is that the stickiness diminishes over time. In other words, the older the ding, the less relevant it is to your current credit status. For most negative information, seven is the magic number. Certain debts such as unpaid tax liens and other public debts can stick around indefinitely, but for collections, foreclosures, and late payments, the term is seven years.