How long do negative items stay on a report?

Negative credit report items are automatically removed from your report. When? It depends.

When it comes to your credit health, thinking positively can go a long way. But to truly understand how your credit report affects your credit health, it’s also important to focus on the negatives. That’s because the fewer negative items on your credit report, the healthier it may appear to those evaluating it.

The first thing you should know is the national credit bureau (TransUnion, Experian or Equifax) producing a given report must remove negative items after they’ve been on your report for a certain amount of time. The questions are these: what kinds of negative items and when? The answers are not as straightforward as you may think.

Late Payments

If your report shows a late payment, that payment must be removed 7 years from the day you missed the payment.

Collections / Charged-Off Accounts

If you have an account that has been sent to collections or charged off, it will drop off of your credit report 7 years from the day you missed your first payment, not 7 years from the day the account was sent to collections or charged off.

Bankruptcies

For bankruptcies, the mention of the bankruptcy will generally remain in your credit report for up to 10 years from the date you filed. A completed or dismissed Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on your file for up to 7 years from the date filed.

Regardless of which type of bankruptcy you file, the actual accounts included in a bankruptcy remain on your file for up to 7 years from the date of closing / last activity.

Inquiries

Though inquiries generally don’t have too much of a negative impact on your credit health, they can be seen as a drag on your creditworthiness if your report lists too many of them in too short of a time frame. Inquiries usually fall off your credit report 2 years after the date they were made.

Public Records, Generally

Civil judgments, foreclosures, forcible detainers, garnishments and attachments generally remain on your report 7 years from the date those actions are filed in a legal proceeding.

Public Records: Tax Liens

Tax liens are a little trickier. Paid tax liens will stay on your report for up to 7 years from the date it’s paid off. Unpaid tax liens, on the other hand, remain on file for as long as they remain unpaid.

To sum up, most negative items remain on your report for up to 7 years. Bankruptcies can remain on your report for up to 10 years and inquiries drop off your report after 2 years. Though the best course of action is to avoid having negative items on your report by paying your bills on time and avoiding too many credit applications, it’s a good idea to know what the rules are. That way, if you have some negative credit report items, you’ll know what to expect and what you can do to work toward healthier credit.

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This article was originally published on truecredit.com.

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Construction Site Safety: Encouraging An Adherence To Safety In Staff

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Construction is an industry that is well-known for the hazards it can pose, due to the nature of the work it involves. Big machines, heavy lifting, dangerous environments; it all combines to make construction one of the most challenging industries in the world. 

As a construction company owner, you undoubtedly know all of the above, and will have done all you can to keep your workforce as safe as possible. You’ll have read the safety guidelines, done the research, and gone out of your way to make sure every construction site is as safe as possible; from supplying ear defenders to every member of staff to ensuring you use commercial air scrubbers to making sure workers are breathing clean air to using signage effectively around your sites – you’ve done the work, and your sites will be safer as a result. 

However, even if you are personally dedicated to safety, there is still an additional need to make sure that your staff share this commitment. Below, we’ve provided a few tips on how you can instill a safety-conscious attitude in those who work for you. 

Provide safety training and ongoing refreshers 

Ensuring that all members of staff understand the underlying principles of construction site safety is vital, and this is usually best achieved by providing thorough training to all new hires. However, training should always be continual, with refreshers and updates provided to staff on a regular basis. 

Be rigorous about following the rules yourself 

While you will no doubt do this anyway, it’s still worth mentioning due to how important it is for your workers to see you following safety guidelines. Whenever you are at a site, wear the right equipment and – if necessary – perform all the expected checks that are required. 

Encourage workers to come forward if they see safety practices being broken

Employees should know that if they witness unsafe practices on a construction site you own, they can report this to you. Make it clear to all staff that you just want to know if there is a problem, and that they should always come forward if they are concerned – after all, doing so is important for everyone working on the site. If at all possible, provide a mechanism whereby workers can report concerns anonymously, as this may help to encourage workers to come forward. 

Ask workers to raise issues with discomfort or unhappiness

Similar to the point above, workers should feel empowered to raise any issues they experience while working. If they are uncomfortable, in pain, or are otherwise finding the work troublesome to their well-being, they need to feel empowered to discuss this with upper management so that measures can be taken to try and resolve the problem. 

Involve workers in safety management 

Safety is not an issue that benefits from a “top down” approach – i.e. instructions being issued to workers and then enacted by front line staff who have not had the opportunity to contribute to the discussion. Ideally, safety should be much more inclusive, with members of staff actively involved in the decision-making process. You can ask staff to be involved in safety planning on every site you work on, and encourage regular meetings where workers can discuss existing safety practices and make amendments if necessary.

Be lenient if a staff member break the safety rules for the first time

It is not uncommon for construction company workers to penalize any member of staff who is observed to be working in a way that contravenes safety practices, but this approach can be unnecessarily harsh. While there is a need to take action if a worker continues to infringe upon safety rules, be very lenient in the first instance, focusing on correcting the behavior with additional training.

Reward positive behavior

One of the best ways to encourage an attitude of safety is to provide reward systems for good safety practices. This works particularly well for behaviors relating to safety equipment; if, for example, an employee wears all of their personal protective equipment every day for a week, then they become eligible for a reward of your choosing. 

In conclusion

Safety is something that everyone who works on a construction site needs to see as a paramount importance, and the tips above will help to encourage your employees to share your focus in this area. As a result, you should be able to mitigate many of the hazards associated with owning a construction company, and ensure that you and your workers are able to enjoy an all-around safer, healthier working environment.

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