Remove Collections From Credit Report By Following These Steps
In order to remove collections from credit you must know a few basic concepts first. Of course, you want to remove any prior collection off of your credit report because it hurts your credit score. As a collection ages the less it effects your credit rating, but it will remain on your credit report for seven years from the first delinquency.
Your top choice for dealing with a collection is to remove it from your report. Even though a collection may hurt your score less as it gets older, as long as it is on your report it is there for potential lenders to see. It may be the deciding factor on whether you get that crucial loan or not.
If It Is Not Your Collection Account, Then Dispute It!
If the collection on your credit report is not your debt then you are not obligated to pay it, and the collectors hounding you for it are not legally permitted to list it on your credit report. You can use a credit report dispute in order for the major credit bureaus to delete it from your report.
Legally, even if the debt is yours that does not necessarily mean they are able to collect from you. If you have been contacted by the debt collector within the last 30 days you can request the debt be validated. What this does is to force the collector to actually prove the debt is yours and that you owe it. If the collector does not validate the debt or you do not receive a response from them, the debt must be deleted from your credit report, and it will no longer affect your credit rating.
The Seven Year Dispute
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that past due accounts that are older than 7 years be removed from a credit report. This is seven years from the first delinquency date. Sometimes collectors will try to manipulate the system and re-age a debt so that it remains on your credit report for longer than it should.
If you have a collection on your credit report that is older than 7 years you can dispute the debt and have it removed from your report. Any supporting evidence of the first delinquency you may have will help you achieve these results.
If a Collector Sells Your Account, Dispute
Collectors will often sell your debt to another collector. It is estimated that this happens as often as every 6 months. Since your debt exchanges hands so frequently the agency reported collecting your debt on your credit report is probably not even the owner of your debt anymore. If this is the case, you can normally have the collection deleted from your report by disputing it with the major credit bureaus.
Pay to Get Your Collection Removed
If you are unable to remove a debt off of your credit report by disputing it, ask your collector to remove the account from your credit report in return for payment. This is called a “pay for delete”. Send your offer in writing by certified mail. Ask for a return letter signed to the agreement in order to finalize everything.
Even if you negotiate over the phone, make sure you have a letter from the collector agreeing to your proposal. Don’t make payment until you’ve received a signed letter of agreement from the collector. Once you have actually paid the debt make sure it has been removed from your credit report. If it hasn’t, you can dispute it with the credit bureaus and provide the proper evidence and they should take it off of your report.
Your Last Resort
If you’re not able to remove a collection from your credit by dispute you may just have to pay it. When a lender checks your credit report and sees you’ve taken care of your debt this will work in your favor.