Removing Negative Items From Credit File
There are attorneys and credit repair “clinics” that claim to be able to remove negative items from your credit file. The service is costly, with some providers charging up to $3,500. It sounds great, in theory, because what’s a few thousand dollars for repaired credit? The trouble with this service is consumer’s pay out the money and their credit files are not always repaired. About Your Credit File- What You May Not Know Every item listed on your credit report must be proven. If a credit bureau investigates an item and cannot verify that it has been reported correctly, then it must be removed from your file whether it’s true or not. Whenever there is a negative item on your credit report, you can challenge or deny the negative report at any time. If the item can’t be verified within a reasonable amount of time, it must be removed from the credit report. The older an item is the better your chance that it will not be successfully re-verified. Creditors don’t always keep good records beyond a year or two. How to Get a Negative Item Removed From Your Credit Report The procedure to get negative items removed, if they are incorrect, is straight forward. Some of getting an item removed is simply luck, but if you follow the steps you will increase your chances of having the negative items removed. Tip: Send your disputes in during the busiest time of the year for credit bureaus. Send them during November or December, and if the dispute isn’t verified in time, it will have to be removed from your credit file. Step One: Obtain a copy of all three of your credit reports- one from Equifax, one from Esperian and another from Trans-Union. You can get one copy from each credit bureau for free every 12 months. Step Two: Review each report and find any negative items. Step Three: Use the credit bureau’s dispute process (sometimes online, sometimes a printed form) to dispute any and all negative items. Step Four: The disputed items are removed or corrected. Step Five: For any negative items remaining on your credit report, you can try to negotiate with the creditors to be able to make a lower payment to pay the account off The creditor must then report the item to the credit bureau as paid, and change it to a positive rating. Consumer Rights Under The Fair Credit Reporting Act The federal laws are in the consumer’s favor when it comes to credit reports. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, there are 5 basic rights given to every consumer:
1. You may challenge the accuracy of the details in a credit report at any time.
2. Any items you challenge must be investigated (and re-investigated) without a charge to you.
3. All challenged items must be investigated within 30 days time or they must be deleted from the file immediately.
4. If errors are found during the investigation, the credit bureau is required to delete or correct the item within your files immediately.
5. If the credit bureau investigates and finds the negative items to be correct, consumers can place a Consumer Statement as part of your credit report as explanation to any inquiries made to your credit file.
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