A clean credit report can make life much easier than would otherwise be possible with a credit report littered with negative items. A good credit history can often significantly impact your chances of getting a loan, finding employment, renting an apartment or buying a car.
Sometimes, the negative items on your credit report are a direct result of financial decisions you have made in the past. However, there are times when your credit record contains negative items that should not be listed. Can you have those items removed from your credit record? This article will provide some insight into identifying these types of errors and offer a few helpful tips that will help you get them removed.
Identifying Negative Items
The credit reporting agencies and credit bureaus that track and report your credit history are not infallible. They make mistakes. That is why most experts suggest that you request a copy of your credit reports from the main agencies. That is the only way you can identify errors and begin the process of removing negative items that should not be listed. Maintaining a clean credit report required this type of annual review of your credit reports.
Once you have your reports, go through each of them carefully. You need to analyze them line by line to make certain mistakes are not missed. You may have a couple of negative items on the report that are accurate. Though they may alarm you, do not let these distract you from identifying the negative items that have been listed incorrectly. Make notes of any items that you know are incorrect.
1. You need to write a letter to the credit bureau that issued the credit report where you found an error. Send this letter by certified mail to ensure timely delivery.
2. Include copies of any documentation that you have to prove your case. Include a copy of your report with the errors circled. This will make it easier for the agency to identify the items in dispute.
3. In your letter, ask them to remove the error(s) from your credit report. The credit bureaus are required to investigate legitimate disputes within 30 days.
4. If the credit bureau removes the errors, ask them to send notices to anyone who has received your credit report during the past 6 months. They are required to do this, but you must ask them.
Removing Negative Items
If you find negative items on your credit report that are reported accurately, the only way to truly remove them from your credit report is to either wait until such items are dropped by a time limitation or work with a creditor to have items removed.
Some items such as personal bankruptcies can be reported for up to 10 years. After 10 years, bankruptcies are typically dropped from your credit report. When a merchant or other creditor reports a negative item to a credit bureau, you can often work with that merchant to make amends and have them withdraw the report.
Your credit history can either make life easier or more difficult. It can impact your ability to get a home loan, buy a car, get a job, or even rent an apartment. But, through vigilantly checking your credit reports annually, you can keep track of any errors that need to be removed.
Maintaining a clean credit report, free from errors, can result in qualifying for loans with favorable interest rates. Over time, a clean credit history can save you thousands of dollars and offer peace of mind.