Removing Bad Items from My Credit Report

Under law, you are allowed to dispute any inaccurate information with the credit bureau and get it removed from your credit report. If you dispute the error, both the credit bureau and the information provider are responsible for correcting any inaccurate information, and must investigate any disputes within 30 days and notify you of a resolution.

What Happens If There is Inaccurate Information on Your Credit Report

But what happens when there is negative information on your report that is accurate? Some people will assure you that it is worthwhile to dispute an accurate negative item as well if while the dispute is going on, the item will be temporarily removed and your score will go up. Perhaps someone will make a mistake and you’ll win the dispute by default.

How Credit Fixing Works

Unfortunately, this is not actually the way it works. “Credit fixing” tactics such as this were fairly commonplace twenty years ago, but in the age of computers, accurate information is generally confirmed very quickly. If you dispute accurate items, you run the risk of your dispute being flagged as “frivolous.”

Even in the unlikely event that your credit is fixed and the item is dropped, if the negative item is accurate, your creditor can simply report it to the credit bureau again–wasting your time and everyone else’s.

How Long Will It Really Take?

Unfortunately, when negative information on your credit is accurate, the only remedy is patience and the passage of time. The standard time you need to wait before the item is dropped from your report is usually seven years, with the following exceptions:

  • A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your report for 10 years.
  • Credit information in response to an application for a job with a salary of over $75,000 has no time limit.
  • Criminal convictions also have no time limit.
  • If you apply for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance, that information also has no time limit.
  • Defaulting on US government student loans can be reported for seven years after certain guarantor actions.
  • Any lawsuits or unpaid judgments against you can be reported until the statute of limitations runs out, if the statute of limitations is longer than seven years.

If you feel like you need to make changes to your credit report, make sure to contact your creditor as soon as possible.

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