How to get rid of negative items on your credit report
Are you not satisfied with your credit score and need to improve it? If yes, then you should first try to remove negative items from your credit report. Read on to know how you can remove negative items from your credit reports and how re-aging credit accounts can affect your credit reports positively.
How to delete negative listings from credit reports
Removing negative items (both accurate and/or inaccurate) from your credit reports can help increase your score by about 50 points. This can be done in the following ways.
1. Removing inaccurate negative item from credit report
You should order for your major credit reports (such as, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) and highlight the inaccurate items in them. Look for out-of-date information, closed accounts mentioned as open, late payments when you've paid on time, etc. on your reports. Then, make send them to the bureaus along with the dispute form. Do not forget to attach necessary documents with the dispute form. Make sure you send the letter along with the documents by a certified mail along with return receipt request. Usually, the credit bureaus investigate the matter within 30 days and delete the item from your reports if they find it to be inaccurate.
2. Removing accurate negative item from credit report
In order to remove accurate negative listings, you need to negotiate with your creditor or collection agency (CA) if the debt has been assigned or sold off by the original creditor (OC). If there's a delinquent or charged-off account, then either pay back the outstanding balance or negotiate with the creditor/CA to settle the debts. You should also negotiate with them to update the status as "Paid", "Paid as agreed" on your credit reports. You can also negotiate a Pay for delete Agreement to get the item removed from your reports.
Why and how to opt for Pay for delete Agreement
If you owe an old debt and the SOL (Statute of Limitations) hasn't expired on your credit accounts, then you should try to pay it off or negotiate with your creditor/collection agency to settle the outstanding balance. However, before doing so, you should negotiate with your creditor/CA to delete the item from your reports once you pay off the debt in full or settle it. To do so, you need to send a Pay for delete Letter or a Goodwill Letter to the CA or the creditor. Make sure you don't pay anything till you get a written confirmation that the item will be deleted from your credit reports once you make the payments as decided by you and your creditor/collection agency.
A Pay for delete Agreement or a Goodwill Letter helps increase credit score as the negative listing gets deleted from your credit reports. Otherwise, the negative remark stays on your credit reports for as much as 7 years from the day the account becomes inactive.
It may happen that your creditor has sold or assigned the debt to a collection agency in order to collect it on the creditor's behalf. In the first case, you need to negotiate with the collection agency to get the negative listing removed from your reports. In the second case, you need to send the Pay for delete Letter to the original creditor to remove the negative item from your reports.
However, in both the cases, you can negotiate with your OC and the CA and get the negative item removed from credit report. It actually depends on how well you can negotiate with your creditor and collection agency.