How To Remove Negative Items From Your Credit Report

First and foremost, it is necessary to be aware of your rights regarding credit history and how to remove negative items from your credit report.

A credit report is a detailed yet precise abstract of your finances. Nevertheless, mistakes are inevitable and are bound to occur more commonly than you anticipate. Factors such as derogatory marks and wrong information on your credit report can needlessly pull down your credit score. 

Read more to know better about removing incorrect statistics from your credit report. 

It is deemed necessary that all lending institutions and credit bureaus must abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and report truthful and accurate information. You are legally permitted to dispute any erroneous entry in your credit report, which bureaus are compelled to remove from your history. However, note that correct negative entries cannot be eliminated from your credit history unless timely payments are made and the gross amount of your debt decreases which will mend your credit over time.  

A few examples of repeated credit report mistakes are incorrectly classified payments muddled up personal information such as someone else’s social security number and identification details. 

Guidelines To Repair Your Credit History

You can follow these guidelines to repair your credit history:

1. Acquire a Copy of Your Credit Report

It is advised to examine your credit report often to identify mistakes timely. The federal law gives citizens the independence to annually acquire a free copy of their credit report from big credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian & TransUnion). Currently, because of the pandemic, these major credit bureaus are giving out free of charge weekly reports until April this year. 

You can ask for a free copy of your credit report through a federal government-approved website – 

Via phone : (877) 322-8228

Or mail: Download and fill the request form and mail the hardcopy to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service

P.O. box: 105281

Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

 An annual credit report can be requested for the following reasons:

  • Identification fraud.
  • You’re out of a job and are looking for employment in the 60 days time bracket, after the date of your request.
  • If you receive state benefits.
  • An abrupt shift in your credit limit or insurance .
  • If you are denied credit, insurance, or a career opportunity on the grounds of your credit history in the past month.

Alternate Approaches To Obtain Your Credit Report

The free credit reports obtained from do not incorporate your credit score. The credit report will need to be acquired directly from credit bureaus to keep track of your FICO or Vantage score.

Apart from offering services to monitor your credit, bureaus provide you with a credit report, credit score, and other advantages.

1. Experian

Subscribing to Experian’s monitoring plan will cost you $24.99/month after your 30-day free trial period ends. Their plan is inclusive of regular updates, a 60-day report, FICO scores, and security against identity theft.

2. Equifax

Equifax has packages ranging from $4.95 – $19.95, offering methodical reports, keeping a check on your credit, and protection against fraud.

3. TransUnion

TransUnion’s monitoring plan is priced at $24.95/month. Your credit scores from all three bureaus are monitored in real-time, and you are notified if someone applies for credit using your identity. Their plan also details customized tips to increase your score.

2. File a Dispute With a Credit Bureau

A dispute should be filed with your lending institution or credit bureau if an old ill-timed payment or an incorrect one is recorded in your credit report. Filing a dispute will remove the disadvantageous listing in case of erroneous entries in your credit report. 

Late payment, if recorded correctly, should be removed from your financial record after seven years. The appearance of a late payment made seven years ago should be disputed and amended at the earliest.

The mistake can also be disputed with the creditor who sent out your analysis to the bureau, for instance, the lender, credit card issuer, or debt collection agencies. 

All credit bureaus which have dated information regarding your credit report should be informed and disputed to investigate your claim and make the necessary updates. It typically takes a month for bureaus to look into the declaration.

How To File a Dispute Letter?

The “goodwill letter.”

You may have to write a ‘goodwill letter’ addressing the creditor and elucidating why timely payments could not be made. 

It is recommended by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that you provide a copy of your report with the error highlighted. It is also necessary to provide important documentation while filing a dispute to support your claim.

Your lender may be able to resolve a late payment issue before it is recorded in your credit report.

Letters for dispute should be mailed to the following addresses:

Equifax Information Services, LLC

P.O. Box 740256

Atlanta, GA 30374


P.O. Box 4500

Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion Consumer Solutions

Consumer Dispute Center

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016


Another way to remove negative items from your credit reports is known as ‘pay-for-delete.’ Debt collectors usually offer the ‘pay-for-delete’ services to remove late payment pulls from your credit report at a certain price, paying off the account.

Opting for this course is not advised as your money can be saved and instead be used to file a dispute regarding incorrect information yourself.

The pay-for-delete option will at best eliminate the paid collections account from your record, but not the delayed payments or original account.

3. Review The Claim Results

The notice given by reporting agencies after 30 days of investigation into your claim will inform you whether the item you filed a dispute for was incorrect or not.

If your claim is valid, the bureau will update or remove the inaccurate item from your report. However, an additional claim can be filed if the lending agency does not approve your dispute.

4. Get in Touch With a Credit Services Organization

Well reputed credit repair service companies can be hired for the lengthy process of disputing errors. Credit Saint, Lexington Law & Sky Blue are feasible creditor negotiators who may be employed for credit repair services. 

These credit repair organizations have consumer protection laws controlling their operations and what they are permitted to do.

Various NPOs like National Foundation for Credit Counseling can assist you with disputing incorrect data lodged in your credit history record.

Despite any counseling agencies’ credibility, one should always be cautious of the claims which seem “too good to be true” so as not to get scammed. 

Frequent Credit Report Errors To Pay Close Attention To

As per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, recurring errors found in credit reports are:

  • Inaccurate Identification.
  • Invalid account records and statements.
  • Data mismanagement .
  • Wrongly stated account balance and credit limit.

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