Having good credit is necessary if you ever want to be eligible for home loans, car loans, business loans, and the like. Your credit is also extremely fragile, so once something goes wrong, it can be complicated to correct that wrong. One small mistake can cost you years of progress on your credit, so here are some tips and tricks on how to get one of those mistakes removed from your credit report.
First thing’s first, you should attempt to learn as much as you can about the credit industry before you begin your journey towards getting your mistake removed. Visit the official Equifax website to read more about the nature of credit reports, how to improve your credit score, how Covid-19 has affected credit, and more.
Since this process will likely warrant that you get a credit report for your viewing, here are some ways to avoid being scammed into paying for something that you should be getting for free.
- Be wary of freecreditreport.com. This site (and many others) will trick you into thinking you’re getting a report for free, but they will make you leave your credit or debit card with them as a part of their subscription service, for which you’ll get a free trial. You can get around this by getting your report and then canceling the subscription, but many people forget to cancel it.Try to avoid using this site altogether and use an actual free bureau like Equifax.
- Don’t give out your credit card number. Since you are entitled to check your credit for free once a year, you should not be required to give out your card number for any reason when completing this process.
- When entering your website addresses, be careful not to misspell anything. Scamming sites will often capitalize on real websites by making their URL almost entirely similar (they will often change one letter). Be entirely sure that you are at the correct website address.
After you’ve familiarized yourself with the world of credit and how to avoid scams, it’s time to look for ways that you can get an undesirable entry removed from your credit report.
Find Mistakes in Your Report
One in five people will undoubtedly find a mistake on at least one of their credit reports. The odds are favorable that you can take advantage of this situation.
Since most people forego ever opening their credit report, companies that provide them are often able to leave mistakes on them without facing repercussions. One of the easiest ways to get something removed from your report is to find an inaccuracy and create a credit dispute letter based on the things you find. More often than not, they will not be able to prove that their records are correct, and you may be successful in having that credit entry removed as a whole.
Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian are the three bureaus from which you can request your free credit report once every year. The Fair Credit Reporting Act asserts that you are entitled to free reports every year, so avoid scams that tell you that you must pay a company to receive your report. If you submit a dispute letter to the bureau, which you believe made a mistake, and they do not fix it (they may argue that it was not a mistake), then you can argue that decision back. You can attempt to find further incriminating evidence and try again.
Follow this link to learn about common credit report errors and how you can submit requests for changes on your report:
Pay for Delete
There is a method of removal which you can offer money to the bureau to remove one negative item from your credit report. Pay for delete can work if you don’t have many accounts that have already made their way to collectors. If you have a generally good credit score and history, and you have made a straightforward error, the creditor is much more likely to accept payment for delete. If you have an adverse history with collectors, however, it’s much more likely that it will not be granted, as they will think you are attempting to delay a bad (and possibly inevitable) run-in with the IRS.
Some professionals recommend merely paying off the debt, rather than trying pay for delete, as a late payment could reflect better on you than attempting to get it removed altogether. Sometimes an honest late payment can be forgiven as well, as we’ll discuss in the portion about goodwill letters.
Learn more about how pay for delete can be a good thing in certain situations, and a poor decision in others here.
Write a Goodwill Letter
These types of letters may often work if you have a good reason for missing a payment. Say, you were out of town for a family emergency or funeral, and you didn’t have access to online payment or a nearby post-office. You can send these letters through snail mail, or you can call the collection agency and request an exception.
This strategy is the most straightforward way to get an unfortunate mistake removed from your credit report. If the creditor believes, judging from your letter, that you still deserve a good credit score despite your mistake, they may remove it of their own “goodwill,” hence the namesake of the letter.
Contact a Professional
Professionals can help you remove something from your credit report. PREMIER CREDIT PLUS is dedicated to helping you improve your credit score and helping you not to suffer financially from one small mistake. When hiring a professional, you will be removing the burden of dealing with this alone. Professionals at PREMIER CREDIT PLUS can help you write your goodwill letter, or help you find mistakes in your credit report, and they will have answers as to what the best method of action will be for your personalized situation. Contact us 844-829-2292