Are There Negative Items That Can Stay on Your Credit Forever? – Credit Countdown With John Ulzheimer

Negative Items That Can Stay on Your Credit Forever - PinterestIn credit reporting, negative information can only stay on your credit report for a maximum of 10 years for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and seven years for everything else—right?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does mandate that the credit bureaus remove negative information from consumers’ credit reports within 7-10 years depending on the type of information. 

While this is true most of the time, there are three exceptions to this rule, meaning that certain negative items could potentially stay on your credit report permanently.

1. If the consumer is applying for a job with a salary of $75,000 or greater.

If a consumer is going to apply for a job that pays $75,000 or more, and the employer uses a credit report as part of the employment screening process, the credit bureaus are allowed to include information on this report about derogatory events that occurred more than 7-10 years ago, such as an old bankruptcy or old collection accounts.

2. If the consumer is applying for a life insurance policy with a value of $150,000 or higher.

If a consumer applies for a life insurance policy with a value of $150,000 or higher, then the credit reporting agencies are technically allowed to include negative information that is more than 7-10 years old on the person’s credit reports.

3. If the consumer is applying for $150,000 or more in credit.

If the consumer applies for credit in the amount of $150,000 or more, this also qualifies as a case where the credit bureaus could include old negative information that normally would not be listed on the consumer’s credit report.

The interesting thing about this exception is that it includes most mortgages, meaning that if you apply for a mortgage today, there is a good chance that you could fall into this category of exceptions to the FCRA regulations regarding negative information.

Applying for $150,000 in credit qualifies as an exception to the 7-10 year rule, which means most mortgages could be included.

Applying for $150,000 in credit qualifies as an exception to the 7-10 year rule, which means most mortgages could be included.

Should You Be Worried About Negative Items Staying on Your Credit Report Forever?

By now, you may be concerned that derogatory credit items that you thought were ancient history could haunt you in the future, in the event that you apply for a high-paying job, purchase life insurance, or apply for a mortgage.

However, there is no need to panic. While the credit bureaus are theoretically allowed to do this under the FCRA, that doesn’t mean that they choose to do so—and fortunately, they don’t.

Rather than maintaining old information to be used in specific situations, they simply default to applying the same 7-10 year policy across the board.

So if you do apply for a job that pays $75,000 or more, a $150,000 life insurance policy, or $150,000 in credit, you don’t have to worry about old negative items being revealed on your credit report.

Check out credit expert John Ulzheimer’s explanation in the video below. Visit our YouTube channel to see more educational videos on tradelines and credit!


Read more:

Read more

Credit Mix: Do You Need to Care About Types of Credit?

Mix of credit comprises 10% of a FICO score.

Mix of credit comprises 10% of a FICO score.

Credit mix, also called mix of credit, is one of the factors that your credit score takes into account. It is one of the least important factors, weighing in at 10% of a FICO score.

However, it’s still important to consider when building credit, especially if you want to get the best possible credit score.

What Is “Credit Mix” or “Mix of Credit”?

Credit mix is the diversity of types of credit accounts in your credit report. Having different types of credit accounts in good standing in your credit file demonstrates that you can use credit responsibly. Lenders ideally want to see that you have successfully managed a diverse mix of multiple types of accounts.

Types of Credit Accounts

Depending on how you define the types, there are 3-4 general categories when it comes to types of credit.

According to Experian, there are 4 types of credit:

Revolving credit is a form of credit with which you can “revolve” or carry a balance each month. You are assigned a credit limit that you can charge up to and you make a payment each month. Interests will typically be charged if you carry a balance from month to month. Credit cards and lines of credit are the most common types of revolving credit accounts.
Charge cards are similar to credit cards, except the balance must be paid in full every month.
Service credit includes accounts with your service providers, such as utilities, cell phone service, etc. These are considered credit accounts because the service is provided before you pay the bill.
Installment credit is a loan of a specific amount of money that you pay back in regular payments of the same amount over a certain period of time. Types of installment loans include car loans, mortgages, student loans, etc.

Credit Karma simplifies the categories to 3 types of credit:

Revolving credit
Open credit (includes charge cards)
Installment credit

Examples of Revolving Credit

As we touched on above, the two most common types of revolving credit are credit cards and lines of credit.

Credit cards include those issued by banks such as Capital One, Bank of America, and Chase, as well as store cards, which can typically only be used at a particular retailer. 
Lines of credit are similar to credit cards in that you have access to a set amount of money—your credit limit—that you can draw from. After you borrow money from your line of credit, the balance starts accruing interest, and when you pay it back, that credit is then available again for you to use. This is why it’s considered revolving credit: you can use it again and again as long as you keep paying it back.

Types of Lines of Credit
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is secured by your home.

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is secured by your home.

Lines of credit can be either secured, which means the borrower has provided collateral to back the line of credit in case of default, or unsecured, meaning no collateral is required.

Beyond those general categories, there are three main types of lines of credit.

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a line of credit secured by your equity in your home, which is the difference between the value of your home and the amount you still owe on your mortgage. Since your home equity serves as collateral, if you default on a HELOC, you could risk losing your home to foreclosure.
A personal line of credit is usually unsecured, although sometimes you may be able to provide collateral in the form of savings or investments.
A business line of credit may be secured or unsecured. They are offered by financial institutions as well as many commercial vendors.

Examples of Installment Loans
An auto loan is one type of installment account.

An auto loan is one type of installment account.

Types of installment credit include:

Auto loans
Student loans
Personal loans
Credit-builder loans
Home equity loans (not to be confused with a HELOC, which falls under revolving credit)

The breakdown of account types outlined above is a simplified version of how credit scoring systems actually categorize different types of accounts. In reality, credit scoring models may consider as many as 75+ account types.

In addition, each type of account could have a different effect on your credit.

How Does Credit Mix Affect Your FICO Score?

As we mentioned at the top of this article, credit mix makes up about 10% of your FICO score. With VantageScore, type of credit and credit age are combined into the same category, which makes up approximately 21% of your VantageScore.

With both types of scores, credit mix is a relatively small portion of what determines a credit score, so having the perfect credit mix is not necessarily essential in order to have good credit. However, it’s still a good thing to aim for, especially if you want to get a perfect 850 credit score or somewhere close to it.

What Is a Good Credit Mix?

When it comes to your credit score, the most important thing is to demonstrate that you have managed both revolving and installment accounts. Therefore, it’s best to have at least one type of account of each type.

FICO high score achievers have an average of seven credit cards on their credit reports. Hloom on Flickr

FICO high score achievers have an average of seven credit cards on their credit reports. Photo by Hloom on Flickr.

For example, you might have a credit card (revolving) and an auto loan (installment). Or, you could have a mortgage (installment) and a HELOC (revolving). Any combination of one revolving account and one installment account is a good start for your credit mix.

FICO supports this idea, saying, “Having credit cards and installment loans with a good credit history will raise your FICO Scores.”

FICO also says that people who have managed credit cards responsibly are better off than consumers that don’t have any credit cards, who can be seen as risky because they have not demonstrated experience in using revolving credit.

Statistics show that high FICO score achievers have an average of seven credit cards on their credit reports, which includes both open and closed accounts.

People with credit scores in the 800s also typically have installment loans such as mortgages and auto loans, according to Experian.

The total number of accounts in your file may also play a role. FICO has indicated that those with high credit scores can have 20+ credit accounts in their credit reports.

How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?
Having too many credit card accounts could hurt your credit score.

Having too many credit card accounts could hurt your credit score.

Keep in mind that it is possible to have too many accounts on your credit file. According to the FTC, having too many credit cards could have a negative effect on your credit score, as could having loans from some types of companies.

There is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to how many credit cards is too many because the impact of any given factor on your credit score depends on what is already in your credit profile, says FICO.

However, in figure 1 in the article “How Credit Actions Impact FICO Scores,” the hypothetical consumer “Rachel,” who has 33 credit accounts, has a lower credit score than “Maria,” who has 21 accounts. This would seem to imply that at some number between 21 and 33 accounts, one’s credit score might begin to suffer. However, these two consumers have other differences in their credit profiles, so the difference in their credit scores cannot be solely attributed to the number of accounts in their files.

Can Some Account Types Hurt Your Credit?

Certain types of loans on your credit report could make you seem like a more risky consumer and therefore could end up hurting your score instead of helping.

Why? It’s all based on statistics and who the credit score algorithms have deemed to be risky borrowers. 

For example, taking out a furniture loan could actually drop your credit score. That’s because furniture loans are often reported as “consumer finance loans,” which are typically reserved for borrowers with bad credit who are statistically more likely to default on loans. Therefore, having this type of account on your credit report could be viewed as risky by lenders and credit scoring algorithms.

Alternatively, the financing arrangement may be reported as revolving debt, which will appear nearly maxed out until you make enough payments to get the balance to a lower level.

Payday and title loans, however, are typically not reported to the credit bureaus, so these types of loans won’t count toward your credit mix or credit score—unless, of course, you default on a loan and it gets sold to a collection agency, who will then report it as a collection account.

Conclusions on Credit Mix
Credit Mix - Pinterest graphic

Since credit mix makes up about 10% of your credit score, it is helpful to try to achieve a balanced mix of credit by keeping a few revolving and installment accounts in good standing. The best credit mix should ideally include a few credit cards and at least one or two installment loans, such as mortgages or auto loans.

However, it’s also important to note that credit mix is much less important than other credit score factors, such as payment history, credit utilization, and credit age. It’s probably not worth obsessing over because you won’t automatically get an excellent credit score just by having the perfect mix of accounts.

In addition, most people naturally accumulate different types of accounts over time, so it’s not necessarily the best idea to start opening new accounts left and right just to build up your credit mix. This strategy could result in lots of inquiries and new accounts bringing your score down in the short term, and having access to credit you don’t need could also encourage extra spending.

However, one way to add accounts to the mix without the risks of opening a new primary account is to purchase authorized user tradelines

As with all credit-related decisions, it’s up to you to take your overall financial goals and priorities into account before taking action. You might decide that you don’t need to worry too much about improving your credit mix, and that’s fine. On the other hand, improving your credit mix can only help your credit score, and it is something that you should pay attention to if you want to get a perfect 850 credit score.

Read more:

Read more

Tradelines in 5 Easy Steps

While the credit system is definitely complicated, buying tradelines doesn’t have to be. Just keep a few basic principles in mind and follow these five steps to make buying tradelines easy!

Here are the five easy steps that we’ll break down in this article:

Understand your credit profile
Determine your goals
Choose tradelines that fit your credit profile and align with your goals
Order your tradelines
Wait for your tradelines to post!

Tradelines in 5 Easy Steps Pinterest

1. Understand your credit profile

Understanding your credit file is the foundation of improving your credit. If you don’t know what’s in your file and blindly move ahead with tradelines and/or credit repair, you could easily make a mistake that could hurt your credit more than it helps.

Your credit report shows a list of all of your tradelines, and how you manage these tradelines is reflected in your credit score.

We’ve written about everything you need to know about credit scores previously, but to summarize, these are the main factors that affect your credit score:

Payment history: 35%
Utilization (how much you owe): 30%
Length of credit history: 15%
Credit mix: 10%
New credit: 10%

Before buying any tradelines, you’ll want to take a good look at your credit profile on (or order one of your three free credit reports allowed each year from and make sure everything is accurate and up to date.

Free credit report and credit score from CreditKarma

You can get an overview of your credit profile for free on

If there is inaccurate information in your credit profile, you may want to look into credit repair in addition to tradelines.

Examine each of your credit accounts and try to understand how it may be affecting your credit score, whether positively or negatively.

This foundational step will allow you to form a clear picture of your unique credit situation so you can choose the smartest path to move forward.

2. Determine your goals
The five factors that affect your credit score by Tradeline Supply Company, LLC

Consider these five main factors that affect your credit score when setting your goals.

Now that you are aware of what is in your credit profile, ask yourself what variables could be improved and which strategies would be a good investment of your time, effort, and money.

For example, if you have a blemished payment history that is bringing down your score, you could balance that out by adding as much positive payment history as possible with a seasoned tradeline.

If your credit age is not old enough, you may want to increase the age of your oldest account and your average age of accounts by adding a tradeline with a lot of age.

Perhaps you have a thin file or your credit mix is unbalanced, and you just want to add more tradelines to your credit file.

These are just a few examples of common goals that people often have when they are looking to add tradelines to their credit report. Make sure your goals are personalized to your unique credit situation.

3. Choose tradelines that fit your credit profile and align with your goals

Choosing the correct tradeline tends to be the trickiest part of this process. However, there are really only two main variables that you need to consider when selecting tradelines: the age of the card and the credit limit.

The tricky part is that people often incorrectly assume that they should just get the highest credit limit. In reality, this approach could actually backfire and hurt your credit, because the age of the tradeline is much more important in the vast majority of cases.

However, the credit limit does still come into play if utilization is a factor you are concerned about.

To account for both credit age and utilization, you’ll want to calculate your own average age of accounts and overall utilization ratio using our custom Tradeline Calculator. Simply input the numbers from your credit profile and the calculator will do the work for you.

Use our Tradeline Calculator to calculate your average age of accounts and utilization ratio.

Use our Tradeline Calculator to calculate your average age of accounts and utilization ratio.

Then, try plugging in information from some of the tradelines you are interested in purchasing and see how the numbers change. To get the maximum benefit from tradelines, you want to see the average age of accounts jump up at least to the next age level.

Based on our research, we estimate that the age levels to shoot for are 2 years, 5 years, 8 years, 10 years, and 20 years. So if your average age of accounts is 3 years, for example, it is probably a good idea to buy a tradeline that will boost that average to at least 5 years.

It’s important to fully think through your decision instead of just buying a tradeline that “seems” like a good choice.

For more guidance on choosing the best tradelines for your goals, we strongly encourage you to read “How to Choose a Tradeline” and “Common Mistakes Made When Buying Tradelines.”

4. Order your tradelines
Add tradelines to your cart and checkout on our secure site.

Add tradelines to your cart and checkout on our secure site.

Once you have identified the best tradelines for you, simply add them to your cart and check out on our secure website!

To ensure that all goes smoothly with your purchase and that your tradelines post as guaranteed, you need to make sure you do not have any credit freezes or fraud alerts with any of the credit bureaus.

These actions block access to your credit report, so no new tradelines can be added. If you do have a credit freeze or fraud alert, contact each credit bureau to remove it before purchasing tradelines.

For detailed instructions on how to place a tradeline order, see “How to Purchase Tradelines and What to Expect.”

5. Wait for your tradelines to post!

The last step is the easiest of all: sit back and wait for your tradelines to post! Once you receive your confirmation email, simply wait until the last day of each tradeline’s reporting period and then check to verify that the tradelines have posted.

Then, celebrate your new tradelines on social media! Don’t forget to tag us @tradelinesupply and use #tradelinesupply so we can find your post!

My Tradelines Just Posted! Share this image on social media and tag us when your tradelines post!

Share this image on social media and tag us when your tradelines post!

The banks and credit bureaus sometimes have errors in their reporting, so, unfortunately, there is a small chance that a non-posting could occur. However, if a tradeline does not post to at least any two out of the three credit bureaus, we will provide a refund or exchange for that tradeline. Simply follow the instructions detailed in “Report a Non-Posting” to submit your refund request.

6. Extra credit: Become a tradeline expert using the resources in our Knowledge Center!

The more you learn about tradelines, the more informed you will be when it’s time to buy. Those who are educated on the credit system and how tradelines work are in the best position to maximize their results from tradelines.

Check out our extensive library of tradeline resources in our Knowledge Center to become a tradeline expert and a highly informed buyer.

Read more:

Read more