How to Remove Negative Items From a Credit Report
Fewer things are as important as a positive credit history. An excellent credit report makes your world a place of limitless financial possibilities. You can walk into any bank and secure a loan at affordable and friendly rates. The report will also increase your chances of receiving better car insurance rates and qualifying for sweet credit card deals. So, when you request your report and find negative items on it, you have a reason to be very worried. So, to help you eliminate that worry, we are going to show you how to remove negative items from a credit report.The good news is there are measures you can take to clean up your credit report, without waiting for the no less than 7 years it takes credit bureaus to automatically delete a negative entry.
Without further ado, here is how to remove negative items from a credit report.
Dispute the Negative Entry
How closely do you study your credit report?
Admittedly, not many people deeply scrutinize their reports, unless the score isn’t in the neighborhood of what they were expecting.
Even though most credit reporting agencies are good at what they do, mistakes do happen. And when they do, an inaccurate entry can sneak into your report. Such an entry can be the difference between qualifying for that loan you’ve always wanted and getting rejected.
Once you get your report, scrutinize each negative entry to ensure its accuracy. If the entry shows a late payment and you’re certain you’ve paid on time, check whether the payment date is entered correctly.
If you find an incorrect negative entry (thank goodness!), it’s time to write a credit dispute letter and give that agency a salty piece of your mind.
OK, no need to do that. Simply provide details of the inaccurate entry, attach evidence supporting your claim, and gently ask them to correct or delete the error.
Write a Letter of Goodwill
Let’s say your credit dispute letter didn’t yield any positive results. Perhaps you had your facts wrong, or the agency, for whatever reason, decided to play hardball.
If you believe your facts are right, there are additional steps you can take against the agency. In addition, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, report to a consumer protection agency in your state or sue them.
But if fighting isn’t your thing — after all, walking away from the need to stand up for yourself is a true test of character and strength — get down to writing a letter of goodwill.
In this letter, you’re essentially asking the creditor to forgive your financial sins and correct or delete the entry.
Goodwill letters are particularly ideal for minor mistakes such as late bill payments and paid charge offs.
It’s important to note that it’s not advisable to resort to writing a goodwill letter right after a dispute letter! In fact, you don’t take the battle to a credit agency and ask for their leniency right after they rebuff your aggressive efforts.
If you don’t have a long history of financial mistakes, it might be best to opt for a goodwill letter. The bureau will, among other things, consider your clean history of financial prudence before rendering its decision.
Pay Up/Clear Your Negative Entries
Not all negative entries on your credit report will be erroneous.
In fact, most of the time a negative entry will show up on your report because of your financial mistakes.
Not to judge you. Life does happen sometimes. Maybe you lost a job, and you simply couldn’t keep up with bills.
If you have the money to clear off a bill or any other unpaid entry on your report, get in touch with your creditor or collection agency and negotiate a “pay for delete” arrangement.
Offer to pay what you owe
In a nutshell, if you have an entry for unpaid rent in your credit report, contact your landlord. Offer to pay what you owe in unpaid rent. In exchange, they’ll report the debt as “paid in full” to the credit bureaus. The bureau will then clean up the entry.
Make no mistake; this isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Even if you offer to settle the debt in full, it’s common for creditors to say they don’t have the power to delete the entry from your report.
When this is the case, don’t make the payment -yet. Plead if you need to, and when the creditor agrees to cooperate (by reaching out to credit bureaus), ensure the agreement is in writing.
Remove Inaccurate Late Payment Information from Your Credit
Use a Professional to Clean Up Your Credit Report
For the average person, how to remove negative items from a credit report and handling credit report issues is a challenging task. Between trying to understand the statement and scrutinizing the entries, it’s easy to lose concentration.
This is why you should seek professional help.
Granted, this option will set you back a few bucks, be wary of agencies that require an upfront payment. Any such service provider who lives up to his services should take money on
ce the negative entry is corrected or deleted.
As such, do your research diligently on how to remove negative items from a credit report. Go online and dig for reviews before settling for a credit clean up service. Even better, ask your closest friends for recommendations.
Best Way to Have a Clean Report? Improve Your Financial Habits
There is a reason it’s easier to develop a habit than it is to get out of it.
Unfortunately, bad financial habits can mess up your credit report; a mess that can take at least seven years to solve.
The best way to maintain a clean, positive credit report is to avoid bad financial habits. Clear your credit card balances, pay your taxes, and settle bills on time.
If you’re running late on a bill, contact the creditor or collection service and plead for more time and keep your word.
If all fails and the inevitable happens, you now have a fine grasp of the strategies on how to remove negative items from a credit report.
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