Remove Negative Information From My Credit Report

Negative information on a credit report can make it tough to get approved for a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, etc. Most of the time, it is possible to get at least some negative information removed if you go through the process outlined below. You should know that it can take some time to see an improvement, but over the course of a few months, your credit score should start going up.

Late Payments

Often, you can call up a credit card or loan provider and just ask them waive the late fee that you undoubtedly received for the late payments you’ve made. In many cases, when they waive the fee, they also end up removing the late payment from your credit reports.

It is best to act quickly when this happens since some companies will only go back 1-3 payments to waive these fees.

Older late payments, especially on credit card accounts that will save your information in their system for years, may not be able to be removed. Thankfully, after about two years, old late payments have a minimal effect on your credit. If it hasn’t quite been two years, you can dispute asking them to verify the accuracy of the late payments, but more than likely it will come back verified.

If you have proof that you made a payment on time but it is reporting as late, the credit reporting agencies and credit card companies are usually very good at getting things corrected, mainly so they stay on the right side of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

A late payment on an auto loan that has already been paid off may be able to be removed, if the account still shows in the first place, through a verification dispute with the credit reporting bureaus.

Financeography Tip: Checking your actual credit score through Credit Sesame is completely free and only takes about 3 minutes.

Student Loan Accounts

Defaulted student loans can be difficult to remove from your credit report, but usually not impossible. The easiest way to do this is to pay off your student loans, either from your new loan service or a collection agency, obtain a letter of payment, then write to the original loan provider asking them to remove the account from your credit report. It may work, it may not, but it’s your easiest option.

You can dispute the accuracy of defaulted closed loans after you’ve paid them, much like disputing the accuracy of other types of accounts, if they do not respond within 30 days, the account should fall off of your credit report.

Federal student loans, Perkins loans specifically, are a totally different beast. These loans are going to stay on your credit report until they are paid and even then, for another seven years. The good news is that any old delinquent payments will have ceased to have any affect on your score after several years. Disputing these loans or writing letters will not work since the federal government has all of your information and their protocol is the same for all lenders.

Collection Accounts

See the section on Collection Accounts.

Charged-off/Settled Credit Accounts

Accounts that are written off as bad debt, settled, or charged off can be tricky to remove from your credit report. The first step is usually to pay either the original creditor (credit card company, payday loan provider) or if it is already with a collection agency, whoever holds it currently. Once that is done, get a letter from them stating you have paid the debt.

Your next step will be to file a dispute with the credit reporting bureaus stating that the account has been paid off. Doing this by mail is a better option than doing it online, since a computer might just send back some sort of verification automatically and you will get a human to read a copy of your paid letter.

10 days after you mail off the dispute contact the credit reporting bureaus if you haven’t heard from them already. Confirm that they received your dispute and ask them the date that it will be decided by. If the original creditors respond to the verification request (sometimes they will not and that takes care of the trade line by itself) they may either remove it or update it to a paid status.

An update to “Paid” will likely not help your credit score much but your credit report would look better to a human who would need to review it for a loan application or background check.

Auto Repossessions/Foreclosures

Getting your car repossessed or having a home go into foreclosure can devastate your credit.

Depending on your auto lender, especially if it is a smaller/local one, you may be able to open a dispute asking for a verification of accuracy. They will almost certainly still have your records, but may not always respond to the dispute, resulting in a deletion after 30 days. If it comes back as verified, there isn’t much else you can do but wait.

Foreclosures are nearly impossible to get rid of but do decrease in significance over time. After about 3 years, you can possibly qualify for an FHA or USDA guaranteed loan. The impact on your credit score will continue to diminish as time goes on as well.

Every account, aside from Perkins student loans or tax levies, should fall off seven years from the day you first went delinquent. Some states, such as New York, require these negative items to fall off after only five years.

You can find more information regarding improving your credit and overall complete credit repair with this fairly all-inclusive guide to credit cleanup

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