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How Long Does a Repo Stay On Your Credit? | Prevent it for a Better Score

How long does a repo stay on your credit? A repossession or repo takes seven years to come off your credit report. Falling behind on loan payments has alarming consequences on your other accounts, available credit, and even positive information about you.Your loan will go into default, and the lender will take immediate action and repossess your property. 

Key Takeaways

  • A repo is a negative mark on your credit score, and it's essential to know how to remove it. 
  • Know the steps to take and avoid repossession even if you are in a difficult financial situation.
  • As a borrower, you can dispute any property repo on your credit report if you believe it is incorrect. 
  • Figure out how to rebuild credit after a property repossession and build a bright financial future.

The countdown starts from the date you stopped paying a loan. Repo occurs when a lender seizes property after a loan goes unpaid and can lead to a poor credit score. Repossession affects your credit score. Dive into the article to learn more. 

How Long Does a Repo Stay On Your Credit? Key Things to Know

If you fall behind on paying a loan, the consequences are alarming on your payment history and credit reports. 

When a repossession occurs, the lender takes back the car, affecting your credit report for seven years. The lenders usually sell the property to recover the losses from the late payments, which will affect your credit history. 

The negative mark will appear on your credit report 30-60 days after the collection agency reports the repossession to credit bureaus. You'll need the assistance of a creditor to remove the repo on your credit report and enable a better payment history.  

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) prevents credit bureaus from holding negative information on your collection accounts for longer than seven years. It will also fine credit bureaus for giving inaccurate information on your credit account. 

A borrower is entitled to a free credit score report from the three major credit bureaus each year. You can get a free credit report from Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.

A CREDIT REPORT key on the keyboard

What Happens to a Repo After 7 Years?

Delinquencies that have reached seven-year will be removed from the credit report. Other information on your credit report will include the following:

  • Loan payment delinquency history 
  • Dates on which the account was closed or updated by the bank
  • Any collection agency activities

What is a Car Repossession?

When you sign a car loan, you take the responsibility to make on-time payments. The lender will retain a security interest, meaning they hold the title to the car until you pay off the remaining balance. 

Car repossession will occur if your car payments are past-due for at least 30 days. Some states will require that lenders issue borrowers some notice of their missed payment and the possible consequences. 

The lender can sell the car to recover the late payments. If the vehicle doesn't sell for enough money to recoup missed payments, you will incur a deficiency balance. 

A voluntary repossession can avert courtroom drama, embarrassment, and stress. Voluntary car repossession or voluntary surrender means you can return the car to the lender because you can't make loan payments. 

a red car over the stack of coins

On the other hand, involuntary repossession occurs if you don't take the car yourself to the leasing company. The repo man will show up at your doorstep at any time and place to seize the car. 

Steps to Take After Repossession

Here are steps to take after a car repo:

  1. Call the lender as soon as you notice your auto repossession to sort out things and discuss possible resolutions.
  2. Get your items back because you still have rights as a car owner. 
  3. Reevaluate your finances, determine whether you can still afford to own the car, and clear the loan balance.

How Repossession Affects Your Credit Score

A repo affects your credit report and shows that you couldn't hold up your end of the loan payment terms. Your credit score will decrease significantly after repossession by at least 100 points. 

When your credit score decreases, you'll have a tough time seeking approval for a new loan. Further, any personal loans you get will have dire consequences like higher interest rates. 

Your credit score will suffer more damage if the bank sues you in case of a deficiency fee. Your FICO score will drop below 600, and the chances of getting a loan will be minimal, even under favorable terms. 

A credit report with a score of 540

How to Rebuild Credit After a Repo

Here are tips to help rebuild your credit

  1. Pay off your credit card balances.
  2. Make payments on time and improve your credit history.
  3. Check your credit regularly and ensure the credit report provides accurate information. 
  4. Don't apply for new credit, as any hard inquiry by lenders will decrease your FICO score by a few points. 
  5. Enlist the help of a credit repair specialist and have repossession removed by getting rid of the wrong information from the report. 

Ways to Avoid a Repossession

Here are things to do and avoid repossession:

  • Stay in contact with your lending agency.
  • Request a car loan modification, which may help you not pay higher interest rates.
  • Sell your car if the auto loan is too much to pay monthly.
  • Refinance the loan and lower the interest rate.
  • Voluntarily surrender the car.
The car keys on the graphs with a pen and glasses in the background


Can a Repo Be Removed From a Credit Report?

Yes, you can have a repossession removed from a credit report. Negotiate with the lender and explain your situation to reach a compromise.

In addition, file a dispute with the credit reporting bureaus or hire a third party to act on your behalf and repair your credit scoring.  

Should I Pay Off a Repossession?

Yes, you should pay off a repossession. It is wise to pay the entire loan or repossession fees to get the car back and establish good credit. If you've other outstanding debts in your credit history, paying them off will improve your credit scores and account information. 

How Many Points Does A Repo Take Off Your Credit?

A repo will take approximately 100 points or more if you don't make timely car payments. A FICO credit score of 669 or below will define you as a high-risk borrower. Feel free to learn how to rebuild credit after repossession to increase your points.

Does a Repossession Stay On Your Credit Forever?

No, a repo will not stay on your credit report forever. A repossession stays on your report for seven years. It starts with the first missed debt payment that led to the repo. 

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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