One AskMetafilter user wonders how old bad credit marks go away:

I had a few months in 2004 where I could not afford to pay my bills — mostly credit card bills. I have a few accounts that have 120 day delinquencies reported in 2004, but since about the end of that year, I have made on-time payments for 24 months or better. Is there anything I can do to get these accounts out of the “adverse account” section of my credit report and in better standing? Some of these accounts have even been paid off for a year or better. It is SO FRUSTRATING to deal with this crap — it’s like there is NO WAY to remove two bad years of your life from the record. Sorry. Just very bummed while immersed in research.

There isn’t a method to make bad marks disappear other than waiting out the seven year reporting period. The purpose of a credit report is to keep this sort of information readily available, to provide an accurate picture of your creditworthiness. One commenter recommends doing research at the credit talk forum. Another writes:

Seven years is not such a long time. As a former bad credit score holder, I used the time to learn good spending habits and figure out a reliable way to handle my finances. If you are trying to buy a house or a car, I can understand your frustrations. If you just want higher credit limits, consider it a blessing. For smaller purchases, I figure if I can’t pay it in cash, I can’t afford it. Wait out the next five years and all will be well again.

The defense against bad credit marks is never to acquire them. Pay cash when you can. Avoid credit cards. Don’t finance more than you can afford.


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