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Removing Late Payments

Q: My application wasn't approved recently as a result of late payments. When I checked my copy of the credit report, I found out that there were some accounts which had been late in the past, but have been paid in full ever since. I have heard that once the bills are paid out, the accounts have to be removed. How can they be taken off the report?

A: It is a general misconception that once a debt has been repaid, it shouldn't be listed on the credit report any more. However that isn't true. If the late payments are reported to the credit agencies, then they would be on the credit report for as long as 7 years. The fact that the debts are paid off is good news though and you have to ensure that the zero debt reflects correctly on the credit report as well. Late payments that are very old lose their significance in front of lenders.
So, you have to keep paying bills on time and then when the credit rating goes up, apply elsewhere in a few months' time. Although negative information is removed from the credit report after the stipulated time, positive information on the report can stay indefinitely.
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