How To Have Something Removed From Your Credit Report – LaToya Irby is a credit specialist who has handled credit and debt management at The Balance for over ten years. He has been cited in USA Today, The Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press, and his work has been cited in several books.
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How To Have Something Removed From Your Credit Report
Credit reports sometimes contain errors that are serious enough to affect your credit score. One such mistake can be the inclusion of bad debt. Fortunately, there is an easy way to remove old accounts from your credit report after the reporting period ends.
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By law, credit bureaus are only allowed to list negative items for a certain period of time. For most negative data, the time frame for billing is seven years or seven years plus 180 days. However, bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years.
Generally, you don’t need to do anything to remove old debts from your credit report once the deadline has passed. Credit bureaus automatically remove negative items from your credit report when they are determined to be removed. However, if the old accounts are still on your credit report, you can remove them through the dispute process.
Note that credit reporting deadlines apply to negative items. No law requires credit bureaus to remove old accounts that do not contain negative information. Instead, the credit reporting period for these is based on the reporting guidelines of the credit bureaus.
The credit report dispute process is quite simple. Write a letter to the credit bureaus stating that you dispute the information because it is out of date. Send your letter by certified mail and ask for a return receipt so that you have proof of the date the letter was sent and the signature of the person who received it.
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If the credit bureau does not respond within 30 days, it is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. A certified mail receipt will help if you decide to contact the Consumer Protection Bureau (CFPB) or file a claim against the credit bureaus.
As long as your credit report dates that the old account should have been deleted by now, your dispute should go smoothly. However, if your credit report has a late date that is within the credit report’s deadline, you must submit proof that the delinquency date is incorrect. An account may have an incorrect date after being sent to a collection agency, which often gives the loan a new date when reporting it to the credit bureaus. This is illegal and you have every right to delete the account as long as the original date of the offense is more than seven years old.
When you dispute, the credit bureaus must check with the company that reported the account and update your credit report if the company agrees that your dispute is valid. However, if the credit bureaus do not correct the error you disputed, you will need to take additional steps to clear your credit report.
If the credit bureaus have conducted their investigation and verified with the lender that the account was within the credit reporting time frame, you should now dispute the negative information with the lender who reported it. Your dispute letter looks very similar. Report that your credit report shows the wrong account delinquency date. If you have the actual date of the offence, please provide. If you have any of these saved you may be able to get the due date from an old billing statement, late notice, or previous credit report.
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Like the credit bureaus, the company must investigate and respond to your dispute within 30 days and ask the credit bureaus to remove the account from your credit report.
Make sure you don’t confuse credit reporting deadlines with loan statute limits. This is a common mistake as both relate to how long companies can take action on delinquent accounts. The credit reporting time frame is defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act and defines how long accounts can remain on your credit report. The credit reporting deadlines are very similar for all types of debt (except bankruptcy), regardless of your residency status.
On the other hand, the loan expiration date has nothing to do with the credit report deadline. Instead, it defines how long the creditor can file a lawsuit against you for the debt. The statute of limitations varies by state and by type of debt. It does not lead to automatic termination of your loan. Instead, you must prove that the statute of limitations has been passed if you want the claims against you to be dismissed. Debts may still show up on your credit report even after the statute of limitations has passed.
In most cases, some negative credit information may only stay on your credit report for up to seven years. Reported bankruptcies can last up to 10 years, loans and positive information can last longer.
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If you dispute the information on your credit report about the loan, the credit bureaus and specific creditors usually have 30 days to investigate and resolve the issue. This can be extended to 45 days if you need to provide additional information to the credit bureaus. We are a free, ad supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make better financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, enabling research and data comparison for free – so you can make financial decisions with confidence.
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Nicole Dyker has been a full-time freelance writer since 2012—and a personal finance enthusiast since 2004, when she graduated from college and was looking for financial guidance…
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