how long do tradelines impact credit scores

18 Jan 2014

How long do tradelines stay on credit reports?

One quick correction: once you purchase, it will take between 15 and 45 days to report to your credit report and boost your scores. So, I wanted to correct the question slightly to: Once the tradelines report, how long do they [remain on my credit report]?

Tradelines can report for as long as 7 years or as short as 45 days. There are many factors that go into this:

  • the degree of legal challenge activity at the credit bureaus
  • how far away you live from the cardholder
  • the type of authorized user tradeline you were added to

We see an average of a few months of solid reporting. Some more prominent cards stay on an average of 24 months. But, as we’ve written on other posts and pages, it almost doesn’t matter how long the tradelines stays on your report.

Examples of tradelines reporting duration:

Let’s say the tradelines stays on your report for 5 years. Well, the score increase, or positive impact, you received from the tradelines would not remain for 5 years. It would slowly go away over the course of a year or so. I always explain this back because it makes it easier to understand.

how long do tradelines last

Let’s say you have a collection pop up on your report tomorrow. The recent reporting of that negative item is going to severely damage your credit and your credit score. Let’s call it a 150 point decrease from day one. Let’s further assume you just ignore it and do nothing. They’re (the collection agency) going to report again next month, the same information.

Your score decrease remains at 150.

Let’s say a few months go by and they stop “actively” reporting it (reporting every month). So, the collection is now 3 months old.

Your score decreases probably about 120 points.

Let’s say 24 months go by and they haven’t actively reported it.

You’re probably sitting on a 50 to 75 point decrease.

Let’s say it’s 5 years old.

That might represent a 25 point decrease.

Please note, these are all made up numbers just to explain how stuff works, conceptually.

Another look at the examples:

Now, let’s take that idea and reverse it. When we add a tradeline, you will see an instant increase in your credit score on day one. Since we are not “actively” reporting it (in other words, we’re not going to report the same data every month), it will be inactive.

It will remain on your report, it will just be inactive and time will go by since the last time it was active.

So, let’s say you got a 100 point increase on month 1, well, you might only have a 95 point increase on month 2. Then maybe a 65 point increase on month 3, a 50 point increase on month 4, a 10 point increase on month 12, etc.

So, while the question is important, the time it takes you to utilize the impact from your tradeline is much more important. For example, you wouldn’t want to boost your score 100 points on month 1, wait six months to find a home, another 2 months from offer to closing, etc., and then expect your score to be 100 points higher than it was.

Instead, you’d want to take advantage of the boost as soon as possible. This means, have your house picked out, have your finances in order, all preparations for the mortgage application… then add the tradelines and pull the trigger. This way, you receive maximum benefit from the tradeline.

Now, I wanted you to understand all that before I gave you an answer, which we think, is not useful to you. But, to answer the questions specifically, the answer is:

45 days to 7 years.

3 thoughts on “How long do tradelines stay on credit reports?”

  1. Once we purchase authorized user trade lines how long will it stay on my credit report. I need better scores and tradlines to buy a house.

  2. Lani,

    This is an excellent question that Robert has done an exceptional job answering. To summarize what he has said, you can expect to see any added tradeline appear on your file for as long as 7 years, or as short as 45 days. The greater point to concern yourself with is that the addition of tradelines to your file provides short term credit score enhancement. When considering this point you would want to make sure that if you are planning to add tradelines to your file you would do so as the last step in your process of acquiring lending. Get “all of your ducks in a row” before adding the lines so that you can capitalize on the initial (most significant) enhancement to your scores.


  3. Hi,
    I actually have a follow up question to Lani’s. If you are added as an authorized user on an account, why would the history not be reported on your credit report every month along with the primary? Is it because you are soon thereafter removed as an authorized user so that the tradeline may be sold to someone else? I had another company tell me that they could, for a monthly fee, have the tradeline continue to update monthly on my credit report. In your opinion, is that a legitimate claim on their part or is that not possible and I’m being misled?

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