Doug's Credit Center Blog

How Long Do Judgments Stay on Your Credit Report?

Having bad credit because you haven’t been paying your bills on time, or at all, is certainly a problem, but it pales in comparison to a judgment. These types of marks can be a serious issue. When you want to apply for a car loan, you need to realize how long these could stay on your credit report.


The Basic Rule

Usually, judgments have the ability to stay on your credit report for up to seven years. While that does not necessarily mean you’ll be unable to use any sort of credit for close to a decade, it can really hurt your chances of getting a car loan, home loan or something else. Therefore, if you are able to get this mark removed from your record, it is best to do so. Of course, as with anything, it is going to depend upon the exact circumstances; the length of time it’s on there could be shorter.

A Judgment in Error

Sometimes, marks show up on our credit reports that should not be there in the first place. A lending entity could have made a mistake, or the credit agency could have been in error. When you see a judgment on your report, call the crediting agency that is reporting it. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are the three possibilities. Once you explain that the judgment has been placed on your report in error, the agency will let you know how to handle that situation. Generally, you will need to fill out some sort of paperwork to proof that you are not at fault.

Other Methods of Judgment Removal

Now, you might be able to get the judgment removed in other ways as well. For example, you could:

  • Negotiate with whatever entity reported the judgment in the first place
  • Work to settle your debt

Yes, even when you settle your debt, you might still have some marks on your credit report. Debt settlement does not mean a perfect credit report; however, it can be more beneficial than a judgment. Sometimes, if you are able to make a large payment at once, then you can have the “judgment” distinction removed from your report.

As you can see, no one clear cut answer exists to your initial inquiry. Quite a few different factors come into play. Regardless, hopefully, you will be able to have the mark removed rather soon.

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