When you have negative remarks on your credit report, you know lenders are seeing it and it has to weigh in on the decisions they make. Negative accounts are a constant reminder of your past financial failures.
Well, not always. In some cases, those mistakes are just that, “mistakes” on your credit report that could be hurting your credit scores.
If you monitor your credit report on a regular basis, you can catch mistakes as they happen. If you’re not checking your credit, it’s possible you have mistakes on your credit report. No matter what, it’s up to you to correct any mistakes.
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What About Delinquent Accounts
While delinquent accounts are tough to remove from your credit report, I’ve know others successfully remove these negative accounts.
If you have delinquent accounts on your credit report, there’s no question that they’re hurting your credit score. These accounts can lower your credit scores 10-40 points per account.
Needless to say, if you can get them removed, you can see a big boost in your scores. Easier said than done, but you do have a few options to help you.
How To Remove Delinquent Accounts
First things first, is the delinquent account yours? If it is a mistake, you need to file a dispute with the credit scoring company it’s filed under.
There’s only 3, it’s either Experian, Equifax or Transunion. You’ll need to create an account online through their websites to file a dispute or you can call them via the phone.
If you have credit monitoring accounts with Credit Karma, you can start to file a dispute from their platform. If the past charge is your responsibility, you’ll need to contact the company to get it took care of.
You need to see which company added the delinquent account to your credit report. You’re going to need to get the company’s name, amount of the bill and their phone number.
Removing negative information will help you achieve a better credit score. A better credit report is also the key to getting approved for credit cards and loans and to getting good interest rates on the accounts that you’re approved for.
To help on your way to better credit, here are some strategies to get negative credit report information removed from your credit report.
How To Submit A Dispute To The Credit Bureau
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is Federal law, it explains the type of information that can be reported on your credit report and how long it can stay on your credit report. By law, 7 years is the maximum amount of time it can stay on your credit.
The FCRA says that you have the right to an accurate credit report and due to that, you have the right to dispute errors with the credit bureau.
Credit report disputes are likely easier when you complete them online. In order to make a dispute online, you must have recently ordered a copy of your credit report.
You can submit a dispute with the credit bureau who provided you with the credit report. You can also go to the credit bureau’s website and follow the directions to file a dispute.
If you want to dispute it via mail, you’ll need to write a letter describing the credit report and submit copies of any proof you have.
The credit bureau investigates your dispute with the information you’ve provided and they’ll ultimately make a decision to remove the item(s) or not.
If you’re a member of Credit Karma or other credit monitoring platforms, you can file a dispute directly from their platform.
Dispute The Company That Reported To The Credit Bureau
Now, you do have the opportunity to completely bypass the credit bureau and dispute directly with the company that reported the bill/mistake to the credit bureau, such as the credit card issuer, bank, lender, or debt collector.
You can make the dispute in writing, and the business is required to do an investigation just like the credit bureau.
If the company determines that the error on your credit report is their fault, they must notify all the credit bureaus of that error so your credit reports can be corrected.
Pay for Delete Offers
Credit bureaus won’t remove accurate, verifiable information on your credit report even if you dispute it (because the investigation will verify the accuracy of this information), so you may have to negotiate with them to have items removed from your credit report.
A pay for delete offer is a technique you can use with delinquent, or past due, accounts. In pay for delete negotiation, you offer to pay the account in full in exchange for having the negative details removed from your credit report.
Some creditors will take you up on the offer.
With pay for delete, you can use money as the bargaining chip for getting negative information removed from your credit report. If you’ve already paid the account, however, you don’t have much-negotiating power.
At this point, you can ask for mercy by requesting a goodwill deletion.
Don’t take anyone’s word for it. If they agree to remove the account, make sure you get that in writing. Creditors don’t have to do anything, some will be willing to help.
After all, if you’re paying the balance, it’s not like you’re asking for too much wanting the account removed.
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Credit Reporting Time Limits
If you have no luck with everything below (and some of you will), the only move you have left is to wait it out.
The good news, the law clearly states that negative information has to be removed in 7 years with the only exception being bankruptcy (which is 10 years).
There’s more good news, the older these accounts get, the less they affect your credit score. As they get older, you’ll see your credit score slowly rise.
In the time being, do what you can to keep your credit reports flawless. Make sure you’re making 100 percent of your payments.
What Will Not Work
A lot of people think filing bankruptcy will remove negative information from your credit report, but that’s not true. When your debts are discharged in bankruptcy, the balances will be reported as $0, but the accounts will remain on your credit report.
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Also, accounts that were included in your bankruptcy will be noted they belong to it.
It doesn’t matter if you closing an account or not, this won’t eliminate the delinquency reporting on your credit. If you close an account with a past due balance, your payment will still be reported as delinquent until that payment is caught up.
The only thing closing an account does is keep you from using it.
Paying a delinquent balance doesn’t erase the negative entry on your credit report. Once you pay the balance, the account status will change to “Current” or “Ok” as long as the account isn’t charged off or in collections.
Charge-offs and collection accounts will continue to be reported that way even after you pay the balance.