Credit Advice

“Potentially negative” items listed on credit report


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Credit Advice

“Potentially negative” items listed on credit report

Dear Experian,

How can I get my credit score up? It seems to keep going down, and I have paid almost everything off. Also, if an account is paid in full, why is it considered potentially negative on my report? Can I remove it?


Dear EIG,

Experian provides a list of “potentially negative” information with your personal credit report. The key word is “potentially.” Experian doesn’t make judgments about the information in your credit report. The list is provided as a service to direct your attention to what Experian thinks lenders are likely to consider negative when reviewing your credit history. For example, if you have missed payments in the past, they would likely be viewed negatively.

Credit scoring systems look at the history of the accounts. Although the account is now paid in full, it was delinquent in the past. That past delinquency could still be considered negative by lenders, so it is shown in the “potentially negative” listing. When the late payment information is deleted, the account will no longer appear in that listing.

Paying off your debts is important, but it is just the first step in improving your credit scores. You also need to show that you are continuing to manage credit very soundly.

Scores typically will start improving when you have re-established a current history of on-time payments and low balances with one or more active credit cards. That might take several months or more if you’ve had serious credit problems in the recent past.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

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