How Long Does A Collection Stay On Your Credit Report?

Find out the duration of a collection on your credit report.

Loans are really helpful, they can benefit you when you are in a difficult position and will get you out of a tricky situation in no time. But, surely, all good things come with a catch. Similar is the case with loans. Any type of loan you take will come at a particular duration for repayment. This means that you will have to make monthly payments to repay that loan. These loans will often come with high-interest rates and leave you in a mess with your finances.

In such cases, if you see that your finances aren’t strong enough, you might end up having a collection on your credit report. Now, we all know no one likes having that. Down below we shall discuss this phenomenon in more detail. There have been a ton of questions like how long does a paid collection stay on your credit report, how long do closed accounts stay on your credit report, how long do medical collections stay on credit report, how long does a collection stay on your credit report once paid and various others as well. We have made this guide to get you clear answers to all of these and more.

What Is A Collection On Credit Report?

Before we jump headfast into the details, let’s find out what collections actually are. When you take a loan, you will be given some time to pay that back. There are a lot of times when people are either unable to make their payments at all or they tend to get back on schedule and are able to make the payments on time. If you cannot make the payment on the date issued to you,  you will be given a probatory period to pay it. If you still fail to make the payment, it can be added as a debt in your credit report which shall then in turn lower your credit score.

A collection on your credit report is a debt that you owe and is a continuation  of it., There are many types of loans such as medical loans, services loans, utilities loans, auto loans, student loans, credit cards and government loans. The important thing to note here is all of these loans when unpaid can be sent to collection.

How Does An Account Go Into Collection?

Above we give you a tiny look into what collections are and how you might end up, down below we will help you get some detailed insight into how your account might go into collection. Read on through it and try to make sure you learn how to stay out of it.

  1. First off, it can start when you miss out a payment for any of your loans. As mentioned above, these loans can be of any type.
  2. After this, you will be asked by your lender to pay your missing payment. This is done in the form that you will give a grace period to catch up on your payments. This grace period is like a probationary time in which you can make up your dues and your dues will be added as a collection . You will be notified by your creditor or your lender more than once about the status of your payment. Since it takes around 30 days to sell an account to a collection agency, that is the time you will get.
  3. If you still don’t make your payment then your collection account will be given to a collection agency. There onwards, the collection agency will be dealing with your account. This will happen with the months of the date of your delinquency. On your credit reports, your original account will be marked as “charge off.” This means that the creditor tried to recover the debt but was unable to do and is now no longer pursuing it.
  4. Now, one might think that the creditor is not trying to recover it so let’s just leave it right? But you cannot do that. Once your credit is out of the picture you will be contacted by an agent from the collection agency.
  5. Once that happens, you can talk to them. During these sessions you have the right to ask the collection agency for a detailedaccounting report of what they are claiming that you owe them. Keep in mind that hits can be pretty he;pful for you. You won’t have to worry about these sessions as contacting or talking to someone from the collection agency will not affect your credit report in any way.

How Long Does A Collection Stay On Your Credit Report?

Some questions that we keep hearing again and again are how long does a collection stay on your credit report paid and how long do closed accounts stay on your credit report. We understand how borrowers might be impatient to get their negative collections removed from their reports as soon as possible but it is not that easy.

A lot of negative information which has been added to your credit report can stay on there for about 7 years at least. With closed accounts that are paid, it can take about 10 years for them to stay on your credit report. Once that time period is over, you will know that the collection will be erased from your reports.

How long does a collection stay on your credit report once paid is also a widely asked question and the same is the answer. Most of the time the duration depends on the type of negative collection.

For late payments, they can stay on your credit report up to 7 years. For collection or charged off accounts, the entire collection will be moved from your credit report in a duration of 7 years. If you pay the amount and clear your debt, it will still remain on your credit report but the damages it can do will be lessened by tenfold. . So, even though it still might have some impact in your credit score, it won’t be seriously bad.

How Long Do Medical Collections Stay On Credit Report?

Similar to a lot of other major types of debts, medical debts will also stay on your credit report for 7 years. Medical loans are one of the most popular loans taken out by people all over the world. When you make the payment, the loan will be removed from your credit report by the three main credit scoring agencies which are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.

There are also three common ways to get medical collections off from your reports.First, you can try to get it written off from the report by sending a letter of goodwill to the concerned agencies or lenders and ask them for relief in the letter. This is a rare method and not many people will get results out of this one. Next, you can negotiate with your lender. This negotiation is done in the form that you ask them to delete the reporting of the bill that was made in return for the payment you will make, this process is also called the Pay For Delete.

How To Remove Paid Collections From a Credit Report?

It is important to pay off all your debts so that you have no more of the collections on your credit-report but you must keep in mind that the previous collections on your credit report won’t vanish as soon as you pay the debt.

Even though it seems unfair to still have it on your report but that’s the way it goes. You cannot force the agencies or even  your lenders to remove the collections from your credit report even after you have paid it. Collection, whether it is paid or unpaid, will be on your credit report for as long as 7 years. It is supposed to be crucial information for people lenders that might get in business with you.

Creditors like to have this information as it helps them stay aware of any potential borrowers who would not be able to pay back a loan. This scollection is specially kept in mind when a borrower tries to get another loan and the collection is still pretty new. In such cases, several creditors might doubt your ability to pay back a loan and might not favour you.

Even though it might not be removed from your credit report, it is still essential for borrowers to pay off their amount as soon as they can. While paid collections might not do you any good but unpaid one will definitely take your credit score down.

Does Paying Off Collections Improve Credit Score?

As mentioned above, one should always make sure that they pay their collection amount on time. If this is not done, any potential lenders will always be wary of giving you more loans since you were able to pay off the previous ones. Furthermore, unpaid collection amounts will lower your credit score and it can take you years and years to get that score back up to where it was.

Paying off collections will not improve your credit score but it will help in making sure that your credit score doesn’t go any more  down. When you pay the collection, zero balance will be updated on your credit reports. Now the point to stress here is that even though it might not have that much of an effect on your credit score, it is still crucial to get done with it.


We all know how bad it feels when someone has a bad impression of you. Similar is the case with collection amounts. They can lokok kike a bad impression of your credit report, the main thing to note here is that even when you end up paying the collection, it will still take 7 years for it to removed from your credit report. Moreover, you can use this mistake as a learning lesson and try to ensure that you pay all your upcoming dues on time. Work on your credit habits and slowly and gradually build your credit score while avoiding future mishaps as well.

Sandra Johnson

Sandra Johnson

Sandra Johnson was a few years out of school and took a job as a life insurance agent in California, selling coverage door-to-door for Prudential. The experience taught her about the technical components of insurance and its benefits for individuals and society, as well as the misunderstandings people often have about insurance. She has over ten years’ experience in the insurance industry, having worked as both a Broker and Underwriter, assisting clients across a broad range of industries. At Insurance Noon, Sarah diligently gathers all the required information and curates up pieces to provide meaningful insurance solutions. Her personal value proposition is to demonstrate a genuine interest in always adding value for clients.Her determined approach to guiding clients has turned her into a platinum adviser to multiple insurers.

Insurance Noon is the world's leading source of insurance related content on the web, focusing on industry news, buying guides, reviews, and much more.