Credit reports are very important. For many of us, this isn’t something that we realize until we are too late. Relatively few young adults are truly aware of their credit score, what affects it, and what the consequences are when it starts to dip. However, given the number of things in our lives that are dependent on credit checks, it, quite literally, pays to find out what your credit score is and how you can improve it.
By default, any marks on your credit report will remain there for a period of seven years. After this time, the mark is automatically removed in most cases, but that leaves you with a potentially tricky seven years. Fortunately, whether it’s a late payment, a foreclosure or a charge off, there are a couple of different options open to you if you want to get something removed from your report earlier.
The first thing you should do is to check your credit report for any errors. You would be amazed at how common mix-ups occur with the credit rating system, leaving blameless individuals paying the price for someone else’s poor financial decisions. Some studies have even suggested that the majority of credit reports contain an error of some time.
Naturally, some errors are more significant than others, but even minor inaccuracies should be disputed as they can cause problems further down the line. In order to do this, you will need to request a copy of your credit report. There are a couple of ways of doing this, so have a look online for more detailed guides.
Creditors will usually correct any genuine errors without creating a fuss. However, if they don’t think a mistake has been made then you will need to move on to the next step.
If your report doesn’t contain any mistakes, or you are unable to convince your creditors that a mistake has been made, your next option is to write a goodwill letter. The goodwill letter explains your current situation to your creditors and asks them whether they would be willing to remove the negative mark as a token of goodwill.
If you are trying to get a late payment or collection removed from your report, this is a long shot but a potentially fruitful one. You have nothing to lose by at least asking if your creditors will consider it, so you might as well give it a go.
If you aren’t having any luck yourself, or you find dealing with it all yourself too much to handle, you can hire a professional service who will help clean up your report. There are several options to choose from today. Research them online to find out what other people’s experiences have been and which one is best for you.
Seven years is a long time to wait for a negative mark to disappear from your credit report. In addition to the above tips, you can always offer to pay the alleged debt in order to have it removed. If you are able to put forward a realistic payment plan, your creditors may well consider it. However, if you think that you have erroneous marks on your record, follow the above tips to have them removed as soon as possible.