Derogatory items on a credit report include late payments, collection accounts, bankruptcy, repossession, and foreclosure. If you have derogatory items on your credit report, you can be sure these items are bringing down your credit score, which impacts your ability to borrow at the best interest rates and could even prevent you from borrowing at all. Let’s look at how to remove derogatory items from your credit report.
Errors on Your Credit Report
It’s a good idea to review your credit reports at least annually to make sure all the information on them is accurate. Errors in credit reports affect a surprisingly large number of consumers. Review your credit reports carefully and look for things like errors in your personal information such as name and address, incorrect balances or credit limits, incorrect payment statuses, or loans showing as open that have been closed.
It’s especially important to dispute items that are on your credit report that you don’t recognize. Accounts showing on your credit report that you don’t recognize may be an early sign of identity theft. An outstanding balance on a credit card that you haven’t used recently may be a sign of fraud.
Disputing Inaccurate Items
File a dispute with any of the credit bureaus that are reporting inaccurate information. Each of the major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) has information on their website on how to file a dispute, which can be done online, over the phone, or through the mail. Provide as much documentation as you can showing that the information is incorrect, such as receipts, credit card statements, or canceled checks.
You may in turn want to dispute inaccurate information directly with the creditor who is reporting it. You should also file a dispute for derogatory items that are more than 7 years old, or for chapter 7 bankruptcy that reports longer than 10 years.
Your credit report is intended to be an accurate summary of how you’ve handled borrowed money up until now. If you’ve had credit problems in the past, you can’t dispute items that are reporting accurately to simply make them go away. If you have a derogatory item on your credit report for a single late payment, try writing a letter to the creditor requesting a goodwill deletion. The creditor isn’t obligated to delete the item, but they may be willing to do so if you’ve almost always made your payments on time.
Rebuilding After Financial Missteps
The good news is all negative items fall off your credit report over time, and the more time that passes since your missteps, the less impact they will have. No matter how bad your financial missteps have been, if you work on having better money management habits, you’ll gradually be able to rebuild your credit.
If you need expert assistance working with the credit bureaus to remove inaccurate items, Dovly can help. Dovly is an automated credit repair engine that can analyze and prioritize negative items and work with the credit bureaus for you. Try it risk-free with our free membership tier. Contact Dovly to get started today.