Business Management, Financial News

How Long Does Bad Credit Stay On Your Record?

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We have all made some credit related mistakes in our past; some are minor while others are reprehensible. The good news is that these mistakes are fixable.

If you have taken all the positives steps needed to get your credit rating and financial standing back on track by resolving all your outstanding debts and contacting all individual creditors to clear your name, it is only a matter of time before you see your credit score rise again. But you must be wondering how long your credit card mistakes stay on record.

It depends on where you live, the kind of negative information furnished, and which credit bureau created your report. In Canada, there are two credit bureaus, TransUnion Canada and Equifax Canada.

Credit Information that affects your Record

Secured loans

Secured loans are collateralized by an asset, like a mortgage, personal loan or a car lease. Note that negative information on secured loans can stay on your credit record for up to six years; however, in case of P.E.I., Equifax will keep the information for seven to ten years.

Remember that Equifax takes into account your date of filing, while TransUnion considers the date of your first delinquency when counting the days.

Credit transactions

The reporting of this information is based on your credit card accounts and various lines of credit among other things. Equifax typically retains negative information for six years on the record. This is counted from the date of final payment (for instance, a payment that you made).

In contrast, TransUnion will remove accounts from your record that have an adverse credit history after 6 years from your first delinquency (for instance, a debt transferred to a collection agency or a late payment).

Legal Judgments

Legal judgments are debts that arise because of a lawsuit in court (that is if you lose the case against someone). If a court passed a legal judgment against you, typically this information will stay on your record for about 6 years from the filing date.

However, this time period can vary depending on your province. If you live in Ontario, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec or Labrador, TransUnion will keep the information on record for about seven years. However, if you live in Prince Edward Island, then Equifax will keep the information for seven to ten years and TransUnion will keep it for ten years.

Debt collection

Debt transferred to collection agencies usually stay on your credit record for about six years. The main difference is that Equifax will count from the date your debt is initially transferred to a collection agent while TransUnion will count the days from date of your initial delinquency (when your account becomes delinquent with your original lender). This difference could span a few months or, in some cases, even years.

Bank Accounts

At times,  savings or chequing accounts are closed if you owe money or you are pegged for committing fraudulent activities such as writing a bad check. On bank accounts, negative information could stay on your record for about six years.

TransUnion will count from the date of closure or date of write-off (whichever is the latest) while Equifax will do the same the date of the write-off.

Consumer proposals

Consumer proposals are contracts that you make with your creditors, stating you just need to pay off a certain portion of the debt, and your creditor would forgive the remaining balance. Equifax would remove your consumer proposal from the record after three years of the date of payment.

On the other hand, TransUnion would remove it either after three years from the date of payment or six years after signing of the proposal (whichever is earlier).


Bankruptcy means you are legally declared unable to pay off your debts. Usually, a bankruptcy will remain on your record for six years after the date of discharge. TransUnion will keep bankruptcy on your record for about 7 years after the date of discharge in New Brunswick, Labrador, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Quebec.

If you are not discharged, then Equifax could keep bankruptcies on the file for up to seven years from the date of filing, whereas TransUnion can keep it on record for as long as it pleases. If you are involved in multiple bankruptcies, the information would be held for fourteen years.

Author Bio:

Vik Palan is the Founder and CEO of – Canada’s most comprehensive rate & price comparison website that allows to search and compare nearly 1000s of products & services online – including Mortgage Rates, Credit Cards, Utilities such as Cell Phone, Home Phone & Internet Plans, Shopping Deals & Coupons & Travel.

Vik Palan is also a Founder and CEO of iToolPro Systems Inc. & – Canada’s First and only Mortgage Auction Website (Now a Part of