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How Long Do Repossessions Stay On Your Credit Report?

You might be reading this article because your car or home has been “repossessed”. This means that you failed to make a certain number of payments and because of this, the item has been taken by the vender.

Removing repossessions are tricky because your credit score is not only suffering from the repossession itself, but also the late payments that led up to it. You might start to wonder “how long do repossessions stay on your credit report?” and “how can you get them removed quickly and legally?”.

It’s hard to know just how much a repossession will impact your credit score, however; figuring out how to remove a repo from your credit report will result in at least a 100-150 point increase on your overall credit score.

How Long Do Repossessions Stay On Your Credit Report?

If you don’t take any action to remove the repossession, it will stay on your credit report for 7 years.

After the 7 years it will be automatically removed by the credit bureau and be completely cleared from your record.

If you can’t wait 7 years, then you might want to try the following action steps to remove repo from credit you are holding.

How To Remove A Repossession From Your Credit Report

The answer to “how long do repossessions stay on your credit report” really all depends on how determined you are to remove it.

Here are the best ways on how to get a repo off your credit:

1. Send a dispute to the lender

How Long Do Repossessions Stay On Your Credit Report
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The first thing you should do if you’ve been wondering how long do repossessions stay on your credit report and how to remove them is to contact the lender directly.

If you had a good relationship with the lender, or if they are a smaller company without strict corporate rules, they might respond well to your request.

Send them a letter explaining your situation. Ask them if they would consider removing the repossession (by contacting the credit bureaus themselves) and allow you to repay your debt in smaller amounts over a longer period.

You might be surprised at what they say. A lot of people won’t even try to negotiate with the lender to remove the repossession, but sometimes, if you can show proof that this was just a one-time mistake, they might consider making an exception.

If they do agree to remove the repossession, then make sure to get proof in writing if there are any disputes you need to make down the road directly to the credit bureaus.

2. Send a dispute to the credit bureaus

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If your lender is not willing to remove the repossession OR if you believe the repossession is a mistake on your credit report, then your best bet is to send a dispute directly to the credit bureaus.

Write a letter to all three bureaus using this template and include any documents that prove the repossession is a mistake.

It’s also a good idea to pay for tracking when mailing your letter so you know it was actually received and the credit bureau is working on your case. Credit bureaus in the US have to legally get back to you within 30 days of receiving disputes so knowing when they receive it could be very valuable.

Click here to read our instructions on how to pull your free credit reports each year through online portals like AnnualCreditReport.com and Credit Karma.

3. Work with a credit repair company

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If your lender isn’t budging and the repossession is not a mistake then hiring a credit repair company could be your best and final option.

Credit repair companies have experience in removing things like late payments, identity theft charge-offs and yes…repossessions.

Credit repair professionals know exactly how to approach the credit bureaus in order to give you the best chance at a clean slate. Each company offers their own “credit repair package” which often includes a certain number of dispute letters, goodwill letters, credit score analysis and help with identity theft.

If you have other items you want to be removed from your credit report in addition to the repossession, a credit repair package might be worth it as the company will work on removing all items on your credit report, not just the repossession.

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Repossessions

How do these two types of repossessions differ in terms of how long do repossessions stay on your credit report?

Voluntary repossessions are exactly what they sound like. YOU are the one who gave up your car, home, furniture etc…in order to stop paying the monthly fees.

Involuntary repossessions are when the lender takes back ownership of the item in question because you have stopped making payments.

So, how long do repossessions stay on your credit report, and does it matter if it’s voluntary vs. involuntary?

The repossession will still stay on your credit report for 7 years regardless of whether it was voluntary or involuntary, however…

Choosing to give up your car or big-ticket item before you stop submitting payments could keep you in the lender’s good books and maybe, if you wanted, even convince them to remove the repossession and allow you to continue to pay off the item when you have the money in the future.

By voluntarily giving up your item, you will save money on repossession fees and any other fees associated with removing the item from your property (tow truck, moving vans etc…) as you will be the one returning the vehicle or item to the lender.

Takeaways: How Long Do Repossessions Stay On Your Credit Report?

How long do repossessions stay on your credit report? It really depends on what you are willing to do to remove the repossession, whether the repossession was voluntary or involuntary and what your relationship is with the lender.

There are a lot of different things you can do to remove the repossession including sending disputes to the creditor/lender or paying a credit repair company to help clear it for you.

Some of these options cost money, others are completely free. The likelihood of guaranteed repo removal really depends on the factors we already listed above.

If you are looking to hire a credit removal company to remove our repossessions, click here to read our guide of the best credit repair companies of 2022.

We hope you enjoyed reading our answer to how long do repossessions stay on your credit report and how to remove them.

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