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How to Get Something Removed from Your Credit Report
Luckily, it is possible to remove something off your credit report before 7 years. It’s smart to remove something from your credit report if you’re trying to clean up your credit report for a mortgage or car loan. Perhaps the negative entries are just bothering you!
Start With a Credit Dispute Letter
The trick here is to look for any errors whatsoever on each negative entry. Just because the entry itself is accurate doesn’t mean the details about the entry on your credit report don’t contain errors. In fact, you’ll find out that it most likely does.
You should check the following things:
- Account number
- Date opened
- Account status (e.g., Closed)
- Payment status (e.g., Collection)
- High Balance
- Credit Limit
- Anything else that appears to be inaccurate
Every time you find an error, note what is inaccurate along with the accurate value. Next, you want to write a detailed dispute letter that outlines everything you have found. You will send this letter to the credit agencies asking them to correct the inaccuracies or remove the entry. The best part is that many times they can’t verify each detail about the entry so it’s removed.
Write a Goodwill Letter
If disputing the negative entry doesn’t work (that is, either there weren’t any errors or the credit agencies verified them as accurate), your next step should be writing the creditor or collection agency asking them to remove the negative entry out of goodwill. This is most effective when you’re trying to remove late payments, paid collections, or paid charge offs.
A goodwill letter is really easy to write and you can use my goodwill letter template as a starting point. You will basically explain your situation to the creditor or collection agency. While this may seem like a long shot, you’d be surprised how often it works. This is especially true if you’re a current customer because they want to keep your business.
Negotiate “Pay For Delete”
If you have any unpaid collections or charge offs, the best way to get them removed is to negotiate with the creditor or collection agency and offer to pay the unpaid debt if they agree to delete the negative entry from your credit report. This is very effective as long as you get everything in writing. Therefore, never do this over the phone.
Have a professional remove the negative entry
Lastly, if you’re the type of person who would rather have a professional handle it and just be done with the whole thing, I suggest you check out a company called Credit Saint. We have heard that they have helped a lot of our readers, and honestly they usually get stuff removed a lot quicker. Check out their website here.
About The Author
Ryan Greeley is the Editor-In-Chief of BetterCreditBlog.org, where he oversees publishing and content creation. In addition, Ryan has written about credit extensively over the past 10 years for publications such as Lifehacker, BuzzFeed, and The Huffington Post.
I have a 30 day late payment on my credit report from Zales. I bought a ring back in Oct 2012 and had a late payment in Dec 12′, what steps should I take to getting that removed? Also, Zales (Citi Bank) seems tougher than others at removing items that are recorded as being missed payments.
Did you try and dispute it?
Is it possible to dispute a repossession because after I got a divorce, my ex husband let his truck get repossessed and in the divorce he was deemed financially responsible for the vehicle? It shows a zero balance on my credit report but is still having a negative impact.
We are having the same issue with my husband and his divorce from his ex wife. The court made her financially responsible and she done got it repossessed and it has impacted his credit score drastically. The loan place were made aware of these changes of responsibility but still did no good. Did you ever find out how to get it off the report?
Hello, a few years ago my first two credit card were closed due to non payment. I did not have much money and was young (stupid). I now have a capital one card that i have had over a year and never missed a payment. On my credit report under credit cards it shows those two cards as collection/chargedoff. I do not recall if i had many late payments on the cards before i stopped paying on them. Should i contact the credit card company and try to get the accounts reopened or removed from my credit report entirely?
I’d attempt to get them removed.
How did you go about this? And were you successful?
Hi, a few years ago I had missed making payments on some credit cards. I ended up settling the debt with each of them and paid them an agreed fee. I did not know about asking them to strike the record from my credit report…is it possible to go back and ask them to remove it?
Question, I have a report on my credit from a utility company (Internet). That was left unpaid by roommates after I moved out. How do I go about disputing and asking for removal? I cancelled services before date saying owed and I also never got any bill from the company or a collection agency I only recently found out about the balance because I was trying to buy a house and can note get approved as a first time home owner until taken care of. I will type the dispute letter but do undisputed this with the collection agency first or the credit companies directly?
I looked my credit report and there is an error. It stated that i lived in Hopewell, NJ which i never did. Also my cousin’s name is listed on the report which should not be on my report. Please have both items removed from my credit report.
My score seems to decrease and I believe the two reasons are a closed credit card (3 years ago) and a debt that went to collection (2-3 years ago). I just recently found out that my debt went to collection and this made me check my credit score+report. I would like to remove it from collection and see what I should do about the closed account to improve and boost my credit score. Could you please give me some tips of how can I do this? These two are hard inquiries as stated in my report. Also, do you know why my average credit account history is poor? If you could get back to me I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance!
The first thing you need to focus on is removing that collection. Check out my post about ways to do this here.
I had a boss that told me you could do something with disputing stuff off your credit and if they didn’t reply back in so many days then it would com e off your report is this true and how or where could I do this at
It’s true that they need to reply to a dispute. If they don’t, the entry will SOMETIMES get removed. This isn’t always the case. It takes about 30 days.
I paid my collection off in March and on my credit it shows sill open mind you that was four months ago I have contacted the debit agencies but they say they have sent it to the credit bureaus and its out there hand what should I do i can’t build my credit because collection is so high
Try contacting the original creditor.
I am trying to buy a home and fix credit. I have just paid off one collections agency and started with the next. Will i be able to get these collections removed from my report once they are paid in full?
I have a medical bill from almost 20 years ago that continues to appear on my credit. How is this happening? I never paid the balance, which comes out to about $195. Can a debt this old continue to be passed around by collection agencies that in turn continue to report on my credit?
Hello. I have had about 15 things in collections and reporting under negative items on my credit reports. Recently I had got an excellent job so I have called all the creditors and settled with them. Unfortunately months later when check my credit they still report under “negative items” and under “collections” but they have all been updated to paid. Is there anything I can do to remove these items from “negative” or remove them from my credit report in general? Please help I am have twins and am trying to get a mortgage so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
My son had a creditor tell him they were unable to delete the collection from his credit report only update it if he agreed to to settled the debt. They said there was a federal law that prohibits them from “bartering”. The law states they are not allowed to delete collections to collect debts. Is this true? In above advice responses you had said what I believed could be done they could delete it.
When I was younger I didn’t understand or appreciate credit as a whole. I currently have some closed accounts on my report and wondered what would be the easiest way to get them deleted. I was told I could call and have them removed but I would like a sure fire way to achieve this. What would you recommend? And secondly, how long will it take if these items are removed for my score to be adjusted?
Previously, I had a credit card which was closed because, I was unable to pay the amount for a long time. Recently I purchased a new credit card and when I checked my credit report still have that old credit entry. Should I have to pay for that old credit card? How can I get rid of that?
Hi. First let me say thank you for this blog! In August 2015 I had an 800 credit score. Unfortunately due to health and then being laid off my job of 16 years, and now disabled (unable to work) I came into financial hardship. I had 7 credit cards, I own my house, school loans, and my vehicle is almost completely paid off since I had unemployment and disability coverage in my current loan. I have a creditor that’s taking me to small claims court. I’ve meet with an attorney to try to find representation without help. Today I meet with an attorney to discuss bankruptcy, (although it’s not my first ideal choice). I have concerns since my house is a little over the market value by 17,000 even though I have a homestead. I’ve called this company and they was unwilling to send me any information regarding the account. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
I have a credit card on my account that my boyfriend signed me up for without my knowledge. When I found out, I told him to remove me from the credit card. He claimed that he did but I still see it in my credit report. We are no longer together so I definitely do not want to be connected to him and his accounts. How do I get this removed?
I have two things on my credit that are holding me back. One is from Sears which I paid off and I’m not sure of the other one but they’re both 17 years old . I filed bankruptcy 17 years ago and settled with them both. It was just brought to my attention that they are still on my reports.
I have an false eviction on my credit from back in Nov 2016 which is 2 months after I moved in to the apartment. I did not find out until just recent when I applied for an house. I have contacted the leasing office and they have wrote me a letter stating I was not evicted and I am currently still a resident and I pay my rent on time. How would I go about getting it removed off of my credit and what other information may I need to complete the process?
Despite numerous conversations and documented proof..a collector added a negative account to my credit reports. It was due to a medical claim for my son that had been submitted 7 months past the alloted time frame therefore the insurance denied the claim and they provider could not bill me either due to their error. Despite showing proof and the agency telling me the account was closed…they added them to my credit reports. 3 weeks later they are now claiming yet again that the account has been closed. Will this come off of my credit report or will I be stuck with it for the next 7 years?
Hello Ryan, I apologize in advice for my thoroughness, but I want to make sure everything has been provided as I desperately need your advice. To be honest, I’m confused, tired, and I just need someone with the expertise to tell me the best course of action for my situation (i.e. what you would do if you were me). I have student loans (therein lies problem #1 in dealing with this, lol) with College Foundation, Inc. and had numerous times due to a chronic medical condition where my deferment and/or forebearance paperwork was 30-90days late. The past due amt was always added to principle and any interest capitalized via retroactive forebearance thus the balance would be retroactively brought to $0 and in good standing. However, when I look at my credit it shows the late pmt report and the balance without note that the balance is $0 and the acct is currently good standing so it looks like I still owe those amts. Nothing else is inaccurate that I can see. So my questions are: since they haven’t updated it I’m assuming I should first do a verification letter asking them to update or remove… will this help my actual credit score if they aren’t removed but updated to show good standing (or however it will appear once $0balance is shown) since Im sure this is what they’ll do? Second, since they we’re supposed to be retroactively brought up-to-date with the hardship forebearances shouldn’t they have to remove them by law… and as such is there any way to get them removed via goodwill adjustment (especially since I was sick)? Some of them are still on there from 2006 (I know I can have these removed easily). Doesn’t this go under some type of unfair reporting practices taken as a whole? Obviously, I’m going to start working on the ones past the 7yr timeframe and then I guess at the very least get the balances and standing brought up-to-date, but ideally I’d like to get them all removed. There are 24 items all pertaining to student loans! I’m still not working due to illness so pay to delete or goodwill relating to pmt is out of the question. However, I can agree to keep any deferments, forebearances or $0 IBR pmts current including enrolling in autobill pay. But this is hardly incentive for them staying in good stand with an amt of $0 due, correct? Although, I can provide documentation supporting my medical condition (unfortunately, I dont qualify for disability forgiveness). So all considered what is your advice on the best method for repairing my credit and preferably getting these items removed in this case? Thank you greatly for your time.
Hi! A few years back my partner & I have left our apartment on the last month of the lease. To my knowledge I swore we paid 1st, last & a deposit to move into the apartments. Until we began searching for a new place to stay & we were getting denied. When I asked why, they told me it’s because we owe on a previous apartment. Hmm? So maybe we didn’t pay for the last month when we moved in. So now it’s on my credit report & I’m wondering what are my options to take it off of my credit report completely? And if when I do, will that put us in the clear for another place?
Hello, I have a pull on my credit from my old house, they agreed to let me pro rate the last month i was there because i told them i wouldn’t need the additional 30 days and then i got a letter in mail from court stating i did not pay rent. I called them and they cancelled it right away, so i never had court etc and i paid them and got security deposit back. But when i applied for my new house recently it pops up on credit, it does state “cancelled” and cleared but it shows up and i got denied houses because of this. any thing i can do to get this removed. i contacted the old company and they said thats all they can do is show it was cancelled. this is really making my house hunting difficult and i never missed rent in the past at all. i need help! thank you!
5 years ago my apartment complex mailed my last water bill to the apt I just moved out of. It was before my mail forwarding was complete. I never was notified. I made the mistake of just paying the amount of $43.00 a few years later as I was buying a house and this was showing. I didn’t ask for them to delete it upon payment. I am now in the process of buying again and need to remove this. The apts have since then changed ownership and I am not sure what to do or how to get this off as it is bringing my score down. Any suggestions on first steps? Thanks!
Hello, I am wanting to know how I am able to dispute something that my ex-husband put on my credit using my info. I have disputed, they rebutted that by not removing the account. I never had those accounts. I also have seen that old credits have been showing up from 10 yrs ago, when I filed for bankruptcy. I am not sure what it means when the credit states closed, when I open it, it reads you have paid all the balance on this acct when I know I haven’t, for ex. a veh I had and 1 1/2 yrs into payment the veh broke down. I was not able to fix it I told them to come and get and they said no they did not want a broken down vehicle, and I never heard from them again. I am unable to do anything with the car I don’t have a title. what should I do?
I checked my report and a 4300 bill for breaking a aprtment lease has been removed. There is no avtive dispute, infact i already admitted ownership. I did not pay the debt. So i am asking how that is possible?
My wife who I was separated at the time. Opened a loan with comenity bank using my information. I signed nothing nor was I present at the time she opened this account. My wife and I are back together so I do not want to press charges against her. But what are my options since I never signed for this loan. I contacted the loan company and said there is nothing I can do. My thought is that I can dispute this some how since they have no signatures from me? Any opinions are appreciated