Negative information, such as late payments or collections, stay on your credit report for approximately seven years, as do most other types of negative information, including paid tax liens. Bankruptcies and unpaid tax liens can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years.

Debt sent to collections generally stays on your record for six years. The difference is that Equifax counts from the date the debt is first assigned to a collection agency, and TransUnion counts from date of first delinquency (when the account first became delinquent with the original lender).

Settled accounts are potentially negative and remain for seven years. Settling an account for less than the full balance owed is considered potentially negative because you did not repay the entire debt as agreed under the original contract.

Per Consumer Protection:

Your credit report is a summary of your credit history. It starts when you borrow money for the first time. Lenders send information about your accounts to credit reporting agencies to be included on your credit report. Businesses, organizations and individuals can use your credit report to help make decisions about many things including lending money to you, collecting a debt, renting a property, or offering you a job.

Your credit report contains a lot of important personal information so it is important to understand what can be reported and who can have access to this information.

The law covers what can be included in a credit report and who can see it. Individuals and businesses can have a credit report; the law applies to both.

Lenders use codes to send information to the credit bureaus about how and when you make payments. These codes have two parts:
- a letter shows the type of credit you're using
- a number shows when you make payments

You may see different codes on your credit report depending on how you make your payments for each account.

I Installment Credit
You borrow money for a specific period of time. You make regular payments in fixed amounts until you pay off the loan.
Car Loan
O Open status credit
You may borrow money when you need to, up to a certain limit.
Mobile phone account
R Revolving or recurring credit
You borrow money for a specific period of time. You make regular payments in fixed amounts until you pay off the loan.
Credit Card
M Mortgage loan
Mortgage information may be included on your credit report.
0 Too new to rate
Approved, but not yet used
1 Paid within 30 days of billing
Pays as agreed
2 Late payment: 31 to 59 days late
3 Late payment: 60 to 89 days late
4 Late payment: 90 to 119 days late
5 Late payment: more than 120 days late, but not yet rated “9”
6 This code isn’t used
7 Making regular payments using one of the following debt management options:
- a consolidation order
- orderly payment of debts
- consumer proposal
- debt management program with a credit counselling agency
8 Repossession
9 Written off as a “bad debt”
- Sent to collection agency
- Bankrucy

The most important thing you can do is make payments on your debt;
each payment is a positive in your credit history.

 BC Credit Bureau

Useful Information

To improve you debt situation, please consider contacting a licensed insolvency trustee such as BDO Canada.

For information about your credit report, you need to contact Equifax and Transunion, the two companies in Canada that create credit reports.

Government of Canada
Credit report and score basics
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Office of Consumer Affairs: Credit and Credit Repair