Will Collection Accounts Show Up on My Credit Report?

If you’re wondering whether collection accounts from companies or agencies you owe will show up on your credit report, the answer is maybe. It is typically up to the company’s discretion to determine when or if they will report any negative activities to one or all of the three credit bureaus. However, there is usually a better chance than not that your accounts will show up.

Why Are Collect Accounts Reported?

When you owe a lender or company money, in order to alert other lenders about your likelihood of default, your account is often reported to one or more of the credit bureaus. Third-party collection agencies – agencies that companies send collection accounts to in order to collect debts – are also allowed to have items listed on your credit report. In the listing, the company reports your debt, the amount you owe, and whether or not you’ve paid, which is all reported and viewable by future lenders.

How Long Can Collection Accounts Stay on My Credit Report?

As specified in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, collection accounts typically stay on a report for 7 years. Even if you pay off your account before it should be automatically dropped, it does not have to be removed; it can instead simply be marked “paid,” which still shows that you once had a defaulted account.

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Having Collection Accounts Deleted

While many collection accounts remain on your credit report for numerous years, even if they’re paid off, there are ways to have them deleted. Probably the best way to have any account removed is to negotiate with the agency you owe before you ever agree to pay your debt. By making the listing removal a part of the conditions associated with you paying them back, you can ensure that they will actually remove it once you’ve paid it back in full.

While collection accounts very often appear on your credit report, it’s good to know that they can also be removed after you’ve taken responsibility for your debts and paid off your balances.

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About the Author

Stacey Bumpus

Stacey Bumpus holds both her Bachelor and Masters degrees in Communications. After spending years in corporate communications, she discovered freelancing was really her cup of tea and fell in love with finding and writing about the latest financial news. Now, providing news and tips about banking, mortgages, taxes (and even logging her own efforts to save for retirement), she's not only fulfilling her lifelong passion, but also helping others manage their finances responsibly.

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