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What Negative Credit Report Entries Should I Avoid?

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Question: What Negative Credit Report Entries Should I Avoid?
Answer: Negative credit report entries bring down your credit score, keep you from getting approved for credit cards and loans, and causes you to pay more in interest and security deposits. Here are some negative credit report entries you should avoid.

Late payments are added to your credit report when your payment arrives more than 30-days late or your payment is less than the minimum due. Your account can be noted 30-, 60-, 90-, 120-, and 180-days late. Even bring your account current again, your credit report will continue to report the late payment for up to seven years.

Charge-offs happen when your account reaches 180 days past due and your creditor write-offs the account on its taxes.

Collection accounts are unpaid, extremely delinquent bills that have been sent to a collection agency.

High credit card balances that are close to the credit limits, or a credit card that is maxed out or over the current credit limit is another negative credit report entry you should avoid. If your credit card issuer doesn’t report your credit limit, the credit bureau typically uses the highest balance charged as your credit limit. The credit card balance on your credit report might not reflect your credit card balance today because creditors typically only update your account once a quarter or once a month rather than daily. You can redeem yourself from a high balance by paying it down.

Too many recent applications for credit, except when you’ve been rate shopping for a new mortgage or auto loan, can be considered a negative credit report entry. Applying for too many credit cards could show that you're desperate for credit or that you're taking on too much credit at one time. Credit inquiries stay on your credit report for two years, but only affect your credit for one year.

Bankruptcy, repossession, student loan default, and foreclosure are the worst of all negative credit report entries. Lenders and credit card issuers are more hesitant to approve your applications if you have any of these negative credit report entries. Bankruptcy remains on your credit report for up to 10 years, while the other stay on your credit report for seven.

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