Talk about bad luck, negative comments can stay on your credit report for upwards of 7 years. The problem with this isn’t only how long negative comments remain there, it is that many people are unaware of just what constitutes negative comments or ratings on their credit report.
Most people know that filing for bankruptcy, missing credit card payments, and defaulting on loans are clearly things that will end up negatively affecting their credit report and credit rating. But most people also overlook smaller yet still negative comments on their report caused by seemingly innocent occurrences.
Take for example the tempting offers of free t-shirts, gift cards, cash, contests, and more that are all over the internet, college campuses (even for free food!), and bulletin boards the world over. Now with technology abound, applying for a credit card to get free stuff is no longer a test to see how many variations of Bob Weenieman you can get away with on paper applications for free t-shirts; its an instant check into your credit history via computer and networks. These inquiries into your credit report are recorded; each and every one of them. Whether they were completed in person on your college campus, online after seeing a late night ad on MySpace, or even via mail; the fact that you applied for a credit card will show up.
If you get approved, thats great. Except that too many of these inquiries into your credit (whether or not you get approved or declined) can be viewed by credit companies as someone who is shopping around for more credit cards and is seeking higher limits and thus higher spending. Even if you just wanted a free t-shirt or truly need a higher limit credit card; each application you fill out is recorded on your credit report and looked upon as a sign of financial needs not being met.
7 years bad luck has a whole new meaning with credit reports; so pay your bills always and only apply for a credit card if you actually require it.