53% of Americans have been turned down for a credit card, car, or another loan because of bad credit. Your credit report and credit score have a massive impact on the financial products and services that are available to you.
It is extremely important that you think about credit repair if you have anything negatively impacting it. Let’s take a look at strategies you can use to remove negative entries from your credit report.
Check Your Credit Report
You can request your credit report from each of the three bureaus for free every 12 months. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that dictates what information can be included in your credit report and how long it stays.
It also states that you have the right to an accurate credit report and can dispute errors. You can also work to remove negative entries.
The method for removing negative entries on your credit report will depend on if the entry is accurate or inaccurate.
Dispute With the Credit Bureau
You can file a dispute with the credit bureau by mail or online. Both are effective in removing errors from your credit report. If there are errors on multiple reports, you will need to file a dispute with each bureau separately.
The credit bureau will investigate with the reporting business. If the entry is an error, it will be removed from your credit report.
Dispute Directly With the Reporting Business
You can also choose to file a dispute directly with the reporting business, for example, a credit card issuer, bank, or debt collector.
Make the dispute in writing. The business is required to investigate. If it’s an error, they must notify the credit bureaus. The bureaus will then correct the appropriate entries on your report.
Pay for Delete Offer
A pay for delete offer can be helpful if the entry is accurate but negative and you still owe a balance. It doesn’t always work. But many creditors will entertain the offer.
You offer to pay for the account in full, provided the creditor will remove the negative entry from your credit report. Be sure to get the agreement in writing before you pay the balance, even if you negotiate over the phone. Agreements can get lost or forgotten on the creditor’s end.
If you’ve already paid the account in full, you don’t have the bargaining power to use a pay for delete offer. But, you can ask for a goodwill deletion. These don’t always work but may be an option if you usually pay your debts on time.
Work With a Credit Repair Professional
If this all sounds a little intimidating, a credit repair services company may be a good option. They can send dispute letters, goodwill letters, and pay for delete agreements so you don’t have to deal with it.
The best credit repair companies thoroughly understand these credit repair laws too, making it fast and better for your peace of mind.
Take Steps to Improve Your Credit
If negative entries on your credit report are affecting your financial goals, it’s time to start taking action. Dispute any errors, work to remove negative entries from your report, and contact a credit repair professional if needed.
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