What is a Derogatory Mark?

We generally make money when you get a product (like a credit card or loan) through our platform, but we don’t let that cloud our editorial opinions. Learn more about how we keep this compensation from affecting our editorial views.

What is a Derogatory Mark?

Derogatory marks are negative records on your credit report that can damage your credit and generally stay on your credit report for seven years or more. They may sound scary, but don't bury your head in the sand. If you have a derogatory mark listed on your credit report, learn more about how these marks work below.

What is a derogatory mark?

A derogatory mark is essentially a long-lasting negative record on your credit report. These marks will likely hurt your ability to qualify for credit or obtain desirable rates, and can typically take seven to ten years to clear from your credit history.

Some examples of especially severe derogatory marks include:

  • Bankruptcy: This generally means that you have entered into a special legal proceeding to request certain forms of relief from your debt obligations. Because it's a drastic step and one of the most damaging negative records you can have on your credit report, it is usually a last resort for addressing overwhelming debt.
  • Foreclosure: This generally relates to situations where you have fallen behind on mortgage loan payments and the lender has undergone a legal process to attempt to force a sale of the home used as collateral for the mortgage loan.
  • Collections: These are accounts that have been reported as sent or sold to a third-party debt collector by the original creditor because of missed payments.
  • Tax lien: Tax liens may occur when you neglect or fail to pay a tax debt on time. It's important to know that unpaid tax liens may remain on your credit report indefinitely.
  • Civil judgment: This information usually relates to civil lawsuits which require the payment of damages (for instance, if you lost a civil case or failed to respond to a lawsuit at all).

What does it mean for my credit?

As the number of derogatory marks you have on your credit report is really important in some credit scoring models, it's best to minimize these marks. Just one derogatory mark can drop your score drastically.

What can I do about derogatory marks on my credit report?

If the derogatory marks on your credit report are accurate, there often isn't much you can do and you should be wary of credit repair companies that claim they can remove this information. The best practice is to keep the rest of your credit in good health and wait for those marks to naturally fall off over time.

As with other erroneous information, if you see a derogatory mark on your credit report that is inaccurate, you can dispute it with the credit bureaus.

Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Email us at corrections@creditkarma.com. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.

Advertiser Disclosure: We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

All Comments

Results 1-10 of 122Results per page: 5 | 10 | 25Page 1 of 13   Previous | Next
1 Contribution
507 People Helped

Helpful to 507 out of 554 people



Reply by

1 Contribution
68 People Helped
Helpful to 68 out of 96 people


Reply by

2 Contributions
227 People Helped
Helpful to 227 out of 255 people

Enter Your ReplyThe reason the negatives go on your report like "light speed" is because that is how these 
credit reporting agencies make their money.  They pay the creditor for each negative remark they report to them.

TU, EX and Equifax are making money off of everyone's misfortune....it's appalling!  They are privately owned so

let's see I have to pay a "privately owned" company to get my credit report so they can "control" my life.. They

should be run out of business but the government continues to do nothing!  Try complaining to the FTC and see where it gets you .....NOWHERE!  

Reply by

1 Contribution
47 People Helped
Helpful to 47 out of 61 people

Hey, Was that a derogatory remark?

Reply by

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

There are sum ballances showing still owing on them and that I am showing late payments.

4 Contributions
108 People Helped

Helpful to 103 out of 122 people

The system is RIGGED, yes, I said RIGGED to keep people in debt.

We have banks who STOLE $700+ billion from the american taxpayer, did their credit score drop? 

It wasn't mom or pop that caused the economy to crash in 2007. It was wall street that ruined the economy.

Is chase, wells fargo, or bank of america paying interest at a rate of 15% or more? I doubt it.


Top Contributor
11 Contributions
295 People Helped

Helpful to 266 out of 297 people

What ever you do... Remember; ONLY GO BY WHAT THE 3 Credit Bureau's are reporting. If you've fixed a "derogatory mark", but it's still showing on a "Credit Site", such as this one, it doesn't mean anything. Example... This site works in unison with TransUnion. But, it isn't TransUnion's "priority", or obligation, to tell C.K.I. what to list, on any given consumer. It's on C.K.I. to do their own job, and attempt to give an accurate view of what the consumer's credit report is saying. *I use the term "attempt" very loosly, here.

Also, if you've been the victim of identity-theft, you'll need to be willing to do the neccessary foot-work, if you want to redeem your credit, back; but by filing, completing, submitting, a notarized affidavit of complaint, with the FTC, along with any proof, &/or a police report (or, an incident report, from the police), it is very possible you can recover. 

When I was first made aware, of my situation, I felt it to be a hopeless-case. It's been one year, and all but one fraudulent account has been reversed. That last account wasn't, even, listed with any of the 3 agencies. It was a CHECKING account, that was opened at a bank, in my name. Therefore, the money-owed to the bank, in my name, was turned over to the Chex System, Inc.. Totally different entity, entirely!! lol!!

Point-being, don't go by what this site tells you, if you know what the bureaus say is fixed. And, if you're a victim, check the banking systems, too. They AREN'T connected, with credit bureas, for whatever reason.

1 Contribution
103 People Helped

Helpful to 103 out of 110 people

Derogatory marks are a beast to resolve. I am currently working on correcting my credit report so that it is accurate and the errors are downright shameful. From the variations of my addresses and social security number to the accounts listed that were to be removed because they were too old to be reported, each of the 3 credit reporting agencies were impossible.

I completed the disputes online but after their "investigations" were completed, I ended of having to call them and fax receipts or other information in order to dispute what the information provided by the collections agencies and creditors.

As for paying off collections debts, I agree with an earlier poster, that it can improve your score IF you deal with the original creditor and ask that they work with you. I was able to obtain settlement on several accounts and it was reported timely (within 30 days). Two creditors removed the items from my reports altogether. For an account that had been resold, one I paid the agency it was sold to, the original creditor reflected as paid too.

Unfortunately, only time can help with some of the items on your report but new creditors do consider the paid or settled status when reviewing your history and extending credit. This has been a hard lesson and a frustrating one but going forward I can assure you this journey will ensure that I pay every bill on time or make appropriate arrangements when I cannot. One cannot always control his/her finances and things happen that can ruin any budget but outside of making payments on time each month, communication with your creditors is the best way to obtain and keep a good credit history.

1 Contribution
73 People Helped
Helpful to 73 out of 92 people

Here's my case,

I had discontinued my wireless  contract  with Sprint . I entirely forgot to pay the last months bill since I was no more with sprint . Then couple of times , I got a call from collection agaency where I tried to make the payment over the phone. But the payments were declined though I had no payment issues  with the same credit card at other stores.

I requested the collections guy to call me later that week and it didn't happen .

Now , when I reviewed my credit report , I found a derogatory makr  reported on my .

Now my question is 

Can i get this deroogatory mark repaired by paying of the bill(~$200) I owe sprint ?

Or do i need to negotiate it with the collection agency ? 

My current score is 690(after the derogatory mark).

I am planning to apply for some credit but am afraid this derogatory makr on my report will harm my chances of credit approval.

Any suggestions in this regardd will be greatly appreciated .



2 Contributions
333 People Helped

Helpful to 208 out of 261 people

Notice it's only on the little guys credit report. Look at all of the big companies and rich people that file, try looking for that information to tarnish their credit. Look at all of the crooked politicians who have embezzlements and sex scandals, there is nothing to tarnish their reputations and if so, they have ways of getting around it. I used to work as a skip tracer, I saw a lot of credit information when time for repossessions. One case that I will never forget was the guy who bought a brand new car with no job, no income, and no credit at all or it was bypassed. After he did not make the first two payments, of course they wanted us to pick it up. My question was how did he get it in the first place?

Reply by

6 Contributions
403 People Helped
Helpful to 293 out of 357 people

First of all ,how did these credit companies come into being? Whatever happened to our PRIVACY? Where these Bureau's know your every financial move  A disgrace. The system is RIGGED in favor of the rich 1% who own everything .They try to keep your credit rating low so they can charge more interest and make more money.God bless America.  These bureau's were created and exist thanks to SELLOUT politicians. THis should be ILLEGAL and unconstitutional.

1 Contribution
30 People Helped

Helpful to 30 out of 40 people

Credit Reporting Agencies are no more than a virtual debtor's prison.  Especially in light of the 2008 Depression which of course is followed by a Recession.  In the meantime, back in tatters of middle class America, Credit Reporting Agencies are still King, just like the Banks that own them.  Credit Reporting Agencies work for the Banks and Wall Street and work against the Middle Class and poor, again, they are a virtual debtor's prison.  These folks have so much data, they can blow the Feds out of the water and prove that the Unemployement Rate is 25%, Wages haven't increased since Reagan was the Bush Cartel's frontman and the middle class and poor are losing ground, not gaining ground.  Instead, they do nothing but hold us all hostage to the idea that we are as worthy as our credit rating.  Only in this Plutocracy we call America.

1 Contribution
14 People Helped

Helpful to 14 out of 15 people

well all I have is Doctor bills and hospital bills  I think they should contact you befor they send collections , they don,t take time to work with anyone ,they just do what they want to

Reply by

1 Contribution
8 People Helped
Helpful to 8 out of 9 people

I also have a truckload of hospital, doctor, lab and miscellaneous medical bills for 3 different surgeries and 1 hospital stay for anaphylaxis. I have had no problems with my accounts with the doctors, labs and miscellaneous (xray, phys. therapy, etc.) but the hospitals are another story entirely. I was inpatient in three different hospitals and outpatient in one. One of the inpatient hospitals, which is a "Mercy" owned hospital, sent my account to a collection agency even though I had been making regular payments on the account. They said it was because I hadn't "...made prior arrangements..". Now that's a confused mess trying to convince the collection agency that I made those payments, even though I have submitted receipts proving it. Same story with the hospital where I was outpatient, also a "Mercy" owned hospital. Made payments, was sent to collection agency, now trying to get that one settled. It is a mess!!

However, in all fairness I have to say that the other two hospitals, neither of them owned by the "Mercy" hospital group, have been accepting my payments and have had no problems whatsoever. Go figure. When I mentioned these problems with "Mercy", my doctor's receptionist/secretary stated that most other hospitals and most doctor's offices refer to them as "Sisters of NO MERCY". I have to agree with that assessment! The "Mercy" management (the nurses and doctors are wonderful) doesn't give a **** about the patients or what they're going through. All they care about is the Almighty Dollar!

Reply by

2 Contributions
0 People Helped


1 Contribution
61 People Helped

Helpful to 61 out of 81 people

if i pay off the collection the money i owe would it show up as payed and bring my score up?

Reply by

2 Contributions
142 People Helped
Helpful to 137 out of 149 people

Before you pay anything ask to be put in writing!!! Do not give them access to your bank account no matter what they say, they will clean you out and there's nothing you can do!

Get the letter from them saying that the account will be satisfied and paid in full with the amount you agree to, then sent money order or certified check and keep the receipts forever. Hope this helps .

Reply by

1 Contribution
15 People Helped
Helpful to 15 out of 33 people


Reply by

1 Contribution
57 People Helped
Helpful to 57 out of 71 people

Yes, it absolutely will.  I'm working through mine now.  I've been diligent about it for only a few months but my score has went up 20 points!!  Don't believe everything you see on the internet, do your own research and not everything is big brother or a conspiracy.  You have to pay for your bad decisions in credit PERIOD!  Why wouldn't you have to pay it back?  Wouldn't that be stealing?  Reading some of these comments saying such is crazy!

Reply by

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

That is my issue right now. I am trying to get my score higher and it is just not happening. I have disputed, I have paid off all of my collections. I am tired of having a low score after all the hard work I am putting in.

1 Contribution
54 People Helped

Helpful to 54 out of 72 people

My feelings are that the "trickle down" effect is what we are victims of, which we are forced somewhat into debt. Reality is its a game to big banks and government and every other large finacial institution that dangles money in front of working class and then judges us by numbers our worth, **** shame.

Reply by

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

i dont know how your bank works  but if my bank acount develops a "trickle" by banker plugs it by adding a nother 0 in my passbook TRICKLE DOWN IS A MYTH! 

1 Contribution
35 People Helped

Helpful to 35 out of 49 people

I have 1 derogatory mark according to them.  How do I find out who put it there and for what?

Reply by

2 Contributions
17 People Helped
Helpful to 15 out of 17 people

You need to get your Credit report. It will tell you who why and when. If not true you can contest it. It should take several weeks to get it resolved. You can get free report from each agency once a year. By law they have a certain amount of time to answer your claim.  Also remember to check often as even derogatory mark's can show up again. I had a bankruptcy  about 8 years ago and cleared. Discover which was cleared in it put another claim again. I only found out because we were trying to refi. our home and we had to have it removed again. 

Results 1-10 of 122Results per page: 5 | 10 | 25Page 1 of 13   Previous | Next

Your Credit Scores Should Be Free. And Now They Are.

View your scores and reports anytime.


Comment on this Article

Write your comment:
Enter Your Comments