How Long Does Bad Credit Stay on Your Credit Report in Canada 2022?

Your credit is an important part of improving your quality of living. When you have good credit, you can make large purchases like investing in a home or buying a new, reliable car. If you have bad credit, you may be wondering how long it stays with you. Your credit report has financial information about your credit history and determines the score you have. Lenders report bill payments to the credit bureaus in Canada and then it’s updated to your credit report. Whenever your credit report is updated, your credit score may change as well.

What to Know About Your Credit Report


Even if you have bad credit, every payment you make on time will reflect your credit score. This can take time, but every little bit helps. It’s important too because whenever you ask for a loan, your bad credit can prevent you from having money loaned to you. You are considered a risk by the bank and most lenders. Even if they do give you a loan, it will probably involve high interest rates.

There are time frames when it comes to bankruptcy and collections. This is put in place by Equifax, which is the credit bureau that creates the credit reports for each Canadian. Most of the negative information is deleted from your file after six years from the date of last activity.

Removing False Information on a Report


You may get a credit report and there’s something on it that doesn’t look familiar. If it’s a specific item, you should consider contacting the credit or collections agency that it’s associated with. If it has something to do with your personal information like your name, date, or address, contact Equifax and they’ll change it right away.

How Long Information Stays on Your Credit Report


The items on your credit report all differ and come with their own length of time that they affect your credit. Many of the items can cause your credit score to decline, especially if they remain on the report for a long period of time. We’ve put together the following items and how long they’ll affect your credit.

Inquiries


Whenever you request to have your credit checked because you’ve applied for a loan, this can affect your credit score for three years. It won’t affect you if you’ve had five inquiries or less. If you keep loan applications to a minimum, it won’t affect your credit. Also, note that when you go through a soft credit check, this doesn’t affect your credit score at all.

Trade Items


A trade item is known as open or closed accounts that will show up on your credit report. This includes loans you have, line of credit, and credit cards. Different types of trades and account include revolving, instalment, open, and mortgage.
These will stay on your credit report for 6 years from the last activity date.

Late Payments


Late payments stay on your credit report for up to six years from the date reported. Even when you pay, it stays on your Equifax credit report.

Collections


If you go a long time without making a payment and don’t pay the past-due balance, that account can be changed over by the lender to a debt collection agency. Your credit reports show accounts that were sent to these collection agencies even if you’ve paid the balance.

This stays on your report for six years from the date of your last payment whether it was paid out in full or still outstanding. Unpaid collections are removed from your credit report after six years. However, these unpaid debts can have a big impact on your credit score so it’s best to pay them off.

Judgments


If you leave an account unpaid for long enough, the debit collector could take you to court for defaulting on the payments. A judgement is the formal decision made by the court in a lawsuit. You could potentially be sued, and these judgments stay on your credit report for six years from the date it was filed.

Consumer Debt Counseling


You may need to speak to a counseling service that provides guidance and support if you’re deep in debt. The reason for credit counseling is to avoid going bankrupt. The debt counseling is put on the report and stays on there for three years from the date it was satisfied. If it was left unsettled, it stays on your credit report for six years from the date filed.

There are various debt solutions available, and one or more might be suitable for you, depending on your situation. Get debt relief now!

Consumer Proposals


Consumer proposals are a formal, legally binding process that will be conducted by Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). They work with you to develop a proposal, identifying a percentage you’ll be able to pay your debts back. This stays on your credit report for three years if it’s settled and if unsettled, it stays on your credit report for six years from the date it was filed.

Bankruptcy


If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, this is reflected on your credit report for a long period of time. Bankruptcy pardons the debt you can’t pay off while offering creditors a chance to get some repayment based on your available assets.
There are a few different kinds of bankruptcy including:

  • Assigned
  • Discharged
  • Bankruptcy Receiving Order
  • Voluntary
  • Involuntary

These stay on your credit report for six years from the date of discharge. If you weren’t discharged, it stays on your credit report for seven years from the date it was filed.

There’s such thing as double bankruptcy as well, which stays on your report for up to 14 years from the date it was settled. If there’s no date settled, it stays on your report for 14 years from the date it was filed.

Garnishment


Garnishment is a legal process where a third party will deduct payments from your wage or bank account. When wages are garnished, it’s usually for unpaid taxes, fine, child support, or student loans. It can stay on your credit report for six years from the date filed.

Foreclosure


If you’ve defaulted on your mortgage for long enough, a mortgagor or your bank will take possession of the property. It stays on your credit report for six years from the date filed.

While it’s scary to think that you could fall into such financial trouble that your credit would be tarnished for years, there are things you can do to improve your credit score. You can improve your credit health by reducing credit card debt and paying your bills on time consistently. There are helpful tools online that will help you monitor and understand your credit. They have financial education resources to help you build your credit back up. They also offer credit services based on your credit score. In general, if you start improving your spending and paying off credit, you can improve your credit in three months and dramatically improve it in six months.

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Loraine Couturier

Loraine is from Canada but travels around the world working as a freelance writer.

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