What Happens To Unpaid Credit Card Debt After 7 Years?


Sometimes, unexpected things happen in life, and despite your best efforts, you just can’t pay a credit card debt as a result. Although the unpaid debt will go on your credit report and cause a negative impact to your score, the good news is that it won’t last forever. 

Debt after 7 years, unpaid credit card debt falls off of credit reports. The debt doesn’t vanish completely, but it’ll no longer impact your credit score.

Does credit card debt go away after 7 years?

Most negative items on your credit report, including unpaid debts, charge-offs or late payments, will fall off your credit report after 7 years since the date of the first missed payment have passed. However, it’s important to remember that you’ll still owe the creditor. 

In most states, the debt itself doesn’t go away until you pay it. Each state has a statute of limitations for credit card debt that determines how long a creditor has until they can take legal action. If a credit sues you after the statute of limitations is up, you’ll have a valid legal defense and the case may be dismissed. 

7 year credit rule and your credit score

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, debts can only appear on your credit report for 7 years. After that period is up, the debt can no longer be reported. 

Also, if you’ve had a delinquent account on your credit report, creditors can hold the debt against you. Keep in mind that some actions can restart the 7-year clock, such as making a partial payment or accepting a settlement offer. 

What happens after 7 years of not paying debt?

Although the debt won’t be factored into your credit score after 7 years, there are still consequences. When you stop paying your debt, the creditor will start charging late fees and interest will continue to accumulate, increasing the balance you owe. 

The creditor will report the debt as unpaid and continue to report the debt to the credit bureaus. Eventually, the creditor may sell the debt to a third-party debt collector for enforcement. 

They might even file a lawsuit against you instead. If the creditor wins the lawsuit and obtains a judgment, the creditor can potentially seize certain assets of yours or garnish your wages until the debt is fully paid. 

Can I start my credit report over after 7 years?

Your credit report doesn’t technically start over after 7 years. Negative items will automatically fall off after 7 years, which can give you the opportunity to establish and rebuild your credit. The 7-year starting point will vary for each negative item, and it is based on the date of your first missed payment. 

Can I remove negative items from my credit report before 7 years?

You can’t remove negative items from your credit report before 7 years have passed. Your credit report is a record of your entire payment history, so if you pay your debt in full, it will show as being paid, which might help your score. However, it won’t remove the late payment history. 

If there’s a discrepancy or an error on your account, you have the legal right to file a dispute. If you notice something reported incorrectly on your credit report, contact each of the major credit bureaus, which include Equifax, TransUnion and Experian

From there, you can begin the process of disputing information on your report. They’ll launch an investigation to determine if there are any errors in regard to the balance, your payment history, specific dates, ownership or other factors. If the investigation reveals errors, they will be corrected and updated on your report.

Credit card debt won’t affect you forever 

Credit card debt doesn’t go away, but the consequences of credit card debt can only last for 7 years. After this time has passed, credit bureaus will give you a fresh start and delete the debt from your report. Payment history is the largest factor of a credit score, so removing old credit card debt can have a major impact, boosting your score significantly. 


What happens to debt after 7 years?

After 7 years, you’ll still owe debt, but it’ll no longer appear on your credit report.

Can a credit card company sue you after 7 years?

In most states, a credit card company can’t sue you for debt that still has not been paid after 7 years. However, the statute of limitations varies from one state to the next. Certain actions can restart the clock and add additional time during which the creditor can sue as well. 

Do debts go away after 7 years?

Debts are removed from your credit report after 7 years, but the creditor can still contact you regarding the debt.

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