How Long Do Installment Loans Stay On Credit Report

Credit Reports and Installment Loans

Any type of loan can have a negative or positive impact on your credit score. An installment loan can help you improve your credit rating if you make all your payments on time. Late or missed payments can show up on credit reports for years, making it difficult for you to get other types of financing.

You might check your credit reports first if you are applying for an installment loan. Sometimes, lenders make mistakes that are easily rectified.

What is an installment loan?

It is a type of financing that allows you to borrow money in a lump sum and then pay it back over time. Usually, this is between six and sixty months. An installment loan is a loan that charges interest and fees instead of fixed costs for payday loans. This loan can be used to finance large purchases such as buying a vehicle.

What length of time does an installment loan stay on my credit report

The size of an installment loan on your credit report will depend on whether or not you have one and have made regular payments.

  • Suppose an installment loan was taken out and has been fully paid. You can keep the account on file for as long as ten years after the date of the last activity (DLA).
  • Suppose you have an existing installment loan and have not paid your payments on time. Late payments history will typically remain on your file for up to 7 years.
  • You have an outstanding installment loan. Accounts that are “not paid” can be kept on file for up to 7 years.
  • Suppose an installment loan was given to you by a collection agency. Collection agencies can list accounts that are past due for up to seven years on your file.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau no longer requires lenders to assess your ability to repay a loan. This could put you at risk of getting caught in a cycle of debt. You should carefully review your finances and determine if the loan amount is within your budget.

You should always do your research before you apply for a short-term loan.

High-interest rates and high fees can lead to a vicious cycle of debt, including auto title loans, installment loans, and payday loans. Borrowers might end up taking out another loan to pay off the first one.

Consider alternatives before opting for a short-term loan:

  • Local resources. Many local charities, non-profits, and government agencies offer financial assistance and help with rent, food, and utilities for those in greatest need.
  • Payment extensions You can. If you are behind in payments, talk to your bill providers about extending your due date or a more extended payment plan.

What can I do to improve my credit score with an installment loan?

An installment loan can improve your credit score and help you build a credit history. You only need to make your payments on time.

Positive credit history is a sign that you have paid off your debts on time. This makes you more trustworthy to future lenders. This can help you improve your credit score in several ways.

  • This can be used to prove on-time repayments. Timely repayments are 35% of your FICO credit score. This is an essential aspect of a credit score.
  • It can improve your credit score. Our FICO score is 15% based on how long you have been paying down debt. Lenders may also require information about your credit history. They can check your credit report to determine this.
  • It can diversify your credit types. Your credit score can be boosted by how many kinds of debt you have repaid. It counts for 10%. A few additional points might be gained by having an installment loan on a credit report.

What can I do to my credit if I take out an installment loan?

An installment loan can cause credit damage in a few ways:

  • This can be proof of missed payments. You can’t miss a payment after the grace period of your lender. This not only adds fees but also shows future lenders you are not reliable.
  • It appears as a credit inquiry. Each time you apply for credit, whether for a loan or credit card, it appears on your credit report as a credit inquiry and contributes 10% of your credit score. Even if you don’t get approved, this will affect your credit score, but you can make up for it by making timely repayments.

Here are four ways to pay back an installment loan

  1. Be realistic about your budget. You can increase your credit score by setting aside money each month to pay your monthly repayments.
  2. Register for Autopay. This will help you avoid missing a payment because you forgot. You may also be eligible for a discount from some lenders.
  3. Repay early if you can. If your lender does not charge a prepayment penalty, you can save interest on your loan.
  4. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Are you concerned that you may have missed a payment? Talk to your lender immediately. You might be able to adjust your loan term to help you avoid a negative credit score.

My credit report has an error What should I do?

You should verify that any errors you find on your credit reports show up on all credit reports. Not all credit bureaus have contact with one another. Before contacting your lenders, gather the information that shows the error in the credit report.

Lenders will usually ask for documentation to show that there was an error. If the lender accepts your claim, they will contact the credit bureau to correct the mistake.

What length of time do installment loans remain on my credit report

Most on-time payments stay on your credit score for up to 10 years. Late payments, defaults, and other damaging marks can often remain on your credit reports for as long as seven years.

Credit inquiries may remain on your credit report for up to seven years, depending on where you live.

Bottom line

Your credit score will always be affected by your application for an installment loan. How you repay the loan will determine how it affects your credit score. It can help you improve your credit score by paying it back on time.

Even if you miss a payment by a few days, it can be followed around for seven years. You can learn more about how it all works by checking out our guide to short-term loans.


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Author: Holly Wayne Jackson

Holly started working in the area of funerals. This could lead you to wonder the reason she's in finance to use for personal purposes. But, the industry of funerals provided her with everything she needed to know about the significance of money and time. Holly has left the industry of mortuary in the year 2000 to pursue her passion for personal finances and travel the world. Since then, she along with her husband have established an income-driven lifestyle which has set them on the path to retirement extremely rich as they enter their mid-forties.