Listing financial history around 7-year limit

Two related questions.

  1. If an unsatisfied credit card debt (collections, etc.) is older than 7 years and is not appearing on a credit report, does it still need to be listed? One would technically still be delinquent more than 7 years later even though collection efforts have ended, but it’s no longer visible on the credit report. The form asks for delinquencies within the past 7 years. Does this still qualify?

  2. The form also asks… “In the last seven (7) years, you were over 120 days delinquent on any debt not previously entered?”…

A disputed debt over unpaid college tuition dates back to 2012, and seven years later would be 2019. The college has not reported the delinquency to the credit bureaus, but they put a hold on the account (no transcripts, etc.) until the debt is paid. If this debt were paid today to get rid of the hold, would this debt be “120 days delinquent in the last 7 years” and need to be entered into the form? Or is the 7-year delinquency period calculated from the date of first delinquency in 2012, hence expiring in 2019? Guessing this date would not change even if the debt were paid now, similar to dates of first delinquency for credit card debt on credit reports. Would this need to be reported on the form if it were paid now?

Read this for some advice:

You would need to report the unresolved debts over seven years old because, well, they are still delinquent. The school debt is the same issue - the issue is continuing.

The 7 year marker is not the date of the debt, but the date the debt was resolved. I’ve had too many Subjects try to play the word/date games during their interview. We are concerned about the behavior and irresponsibility more than the actual debt.


How then would one know if one has unresolved debts over 7 years ago if they can’t check on a credit report and if they aren’t being pursued by a credit card or collection agency? It’s less an issue of avoidance than of actually knowing.

Further to that, how would an investigator know? When the form is signed, it apparently says that the investigation abides by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which applies to a credit report from the bureaus, which only go back 7 years.

In addition, if the 7-year marker applies to the date the debt is resolved (which doesn’t seem to be indicated on the form, no less), this is contrary to what the bureaus use, which is the original date of the debt. Therefore, a debt could be resolved less than 7 years ago, but it would not appear on a credit report if it originated more than 7 years ago. But if someone applies fairly uses information from their own credit report to fill out the form, they may inadvertently leave out this debt. It doesn’t seem to align.

You are playing opossum since you know you have debts unpaid. Therefore not acknowledging them throws your honesty into doubt.


No, rather sure that all debts from more than 7 years ago were paid (more like 20 years ago), but just not 100% sure. But the question remains…

How could an applicant check for himself/herself if it’s not listed on a credit report and is not receiving any info from a lapsed credit card or collection agency? And in addition, if an applicant can’t find out, how can an investigator find out?

Could one just say they’re rather sure they listed all debts on the form, given the info they were able to gather from a credit report?

Keep in mind, the credit report you have access to is most likely different than the one involved with your investigation. Don’t assume unpaid, unresolved debt disappears with time. You apply for and receive financial accounts, it’s your responsibility to keep track of them. If in doubt, call the past creditors and ask for an account search.

There are multiple ways to obtain financial info including prior investigations, employment records, court records and bank reports.

It is irresponsible, dishonest, and frankly stupid to not own up to, ignore or otherwise support a false pretense regarding unresolved debt history. To do so is basically embracing theft.

This is situation is not unique, nor is it intentional. Many applicants are surely unaware of other items that they don’t acknowledge on the form simply because they are unaware. And not here asking for judgement, which is what you are seeming to provide.

Surely people are responsible for their accounts, but as many things go, responsibility is something that is acquired over time and people become more responsible as they mature. And someone’s level of responsibility is different from decades ago and now. These are surely mitigating circumstances to some extent.

Was simply asking how one would gather up details from decades ago, especially if such creditors no longer exist. And it’s not ignoring any possible debt, but more questioning whether it may still exist.

A maturity level doesn’t negate responsibility nor is it an excuse for the behavior of a legal adult.

Once a financial agreement is made it does not fluctuate with maturity levels. It’s an immediate situation that requires attention from day one of opening an account.


1 Like

Have you tried the annualcredit report, FICO Score/Report? There are some non-free reports that list more details to include both hard/soft credit pulls. If you don’t know it would be safer to list in the comments that you might have unresolved debt as opposed to letting your investigator uncover it.

By law (Fair Credit Reporting Act), any consumer report (including credit reports) cannot include information older than 7 years, whether positive or negative, other than criminal convictions. Such info is automatically deleted, or at least supposed to be. If investigators are getting info from the bureaus, how can they know about such info? How can an applicant know about such info?

In addition, some banks do not keep records older than 7 or 10 years. For example, if you ask for a bank statement older than 10 years, many banks will tell you they don’t have it anymore, even an electronic copy. Same goes for old accounts that may have been closed. This may have something to do with the Fair Credit Reporting Act as well, in that old information does them no good either way, or that legally they may be obligated to delete it. Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same with creditors… They could delete info older than 7 or 10 years.

One thing I think you are missing is the forms are asking for you to be honest. You come off lacking candor by trying to game the system bringing up FCRA when you admit in your first post that you know of some debt that is unpaid from past 7 years. Why not try to be honest since you are asking the government to trust you with sensitive information?

1 Like

No, the first post simply asks a question with an “if”, but just don’t know if they exist with 100% certainty and don’t know how to find out for sure. Hence the uncertainty.

And also, as noted, the 7-year mark is an issue in terms of how it is calculated, and not everyone agrees, and the form is not clear. Credit reports start the 7-year clock from when a debt is first delinquent, so 7 years and a day later, it would not be delinquent “in the past 7 years” and if one says if he or she is delinquent on a debt over the past 7 years, they wouldn’t be by this definition.

Being honest and answering favorably to the questions given can both happen at the same time. If the gov wants to ask follow up questions that is of course fine, but nothing wrong if an applicant answers the questions on the form honestly depending on the guidance given.

Please don’t let me get your case. Please don’t let me get your case.


Uh yeah, seven years and a day later still makes it delinquent.

Just because seven years passes, does not mean you do not owe the debt. Just like a debt being a charge off, the company may not be actively pursuing you does not mean you do not know owe the debt.

1 Like

Once delinquent, always delinquent; until a payoff occurs.

1 Like

Read the question. Answer honestly what you think it is asking. If your investigator confronts you with something that you didn’t list, tell the truth (not unlikely that you will be confronted with something that wasn’t required to be listed, or that you didn’t list because you misunderstood the confusing directions). That’s all you can do. What’s an example of confusing directions you ask? I can’t count how many times someone has listed family members or platonic roommates as cohabitants simply because the directions don’t give the definition of a cohabitant.

Haha I was just thinking this exact thing!

You noted college debt. That seems like 100% certainty.

Roll the dice, but we already know the result.