Skip to main content

Will EVERY debt show up on your credit report? And when a debt is paid off should it not show on your credit report?

Rigby, ID |

I have two "collection agencies" claiming I owe them money and threatening me, but I have been told all debt and collection places show on your credit report...I have no open cases on my credit report. I have used the free credit it different when pay for it? Or do get same results?

I have things from years ago on my report that were issues but have been paid off but still appear on my credit report. Should they still be there?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


Some creditors do not report to the credit bureaus.

Regarding old credit issues, they typically drop off the report within 1-3 years. You can also contact the creditor and request that they remove it.

No attorney-client relationship is intended to be created by this answer. Any advice given in this answer is intended to be general advice and not an opinion on any individual case, or the merits thereof. As a matter of policy, this attorney and his firm do not accept a new client without first investigating for possible conflicts of interests and obtaining a signed engagement letter.


No, not all debts show up on a credit report. It is like a subscription service and some creditors report their bad accounts and others do not bother. There is a procedure under the Fair Credit Reporting Act in which you can object to the incorrect reporting and the reporting agency must reverify the information. The FCRA procedure is relatively straightforward but if the information is in fact wrong they must either remove the incorrect reporting and/or include a statement by you regarding the report.


I agree with my colleagues that not all creditors furnish your payment history to the bureaus. And those that do, do not necessarily provide it to all of the major bureaus. Many consumers do not realize there are dozens of credit reporting agencies, beyond Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. But these nationwide bureaus (often coined the "big three") are a good starting point.

And the information you can see on a paid report should mirror what is shown on your free credit report from I encourage my clients and friends of the firm to access their credit reports from this free mechanism. This is not solely because it's without cost or obligation, but also because most (if not all) of the paid reports are sold by the very credit bureaus that report the information about you (typically the "big three"). And most (if not all) of those paid reports require that you check that infamous little box that says agree to our terms. One of those terms buried in all of that fine print is your agreement to give up to your constitutional right to trial by jury. I encourage everyone to REFUSE TO AGREE TO ARBITRATION. (See;jsessionid=27CA73FE8707646252CBE02A0FC4A451)

As to your question about how long the information will appear. The general rule is 7 years, but there are some variations. Here is a link to some general guidelines.

If you believe there are errors on your credit report, you should contact an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law. Most consumer advocates will provide you with a consultation about your legal rights without cost or obligations.

All the best to you!

NOTE: This Answer does not constitute legal advice. Every case is fact specific. To render a legal opinion, an attorney must engage in a consultation with a prospective client and review any pertinent documents. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Amy L. Wells or WELLS LAW OFFICE, INC.


Debts only show up on your credit report if a creditor pays to subscribe to the credit reporting service. There are 3 main reporting services, and while many creditors do report to at least one, smaller creditors, particularly medical providers, payday loan companies, and buy here pay her auto lots do not report. Casinos usually don't report debts owed to them either.

Hope this perspective helps!