Monday, April 16, 2007

Deleting Info From Your Credit Bureau

The fair credit reporting act gives specific measurements for how long a NEGATIVE item can stay on your credit report. Additionally, they leave POSITIVE items on indefinately. So through time is is possible to fix your credit yourself, as long as you don't keep messing up! (I'm working on posts on how to stop messing up.)

It is NOT true that a credit item can be "reactivated". A debt might be able to be "reactivated" with a court action, but the credit bureaus are a reporting agency and must abilde by the law. But that's the catch, the law says how and what they can report, unless you fix mistakes (50% of Americans have them) then items could stay on your credit forever!

Cleaning your credit...
  1. Change your bad habits, start paying on time. Fixing your credit is a waste if you are going to mess it up again. There should be a brightline where you move forward to fix your debt.

  2. Get your credit report. Why guess where you stand, when you can see the major reports completely free? DO NOT GO ANYWHERE ELSE, THERE ARE MANY FRAUDLENT PLACES.

  3. Look for simple mistakes, dispute them. If the charge doesn't belong to you, dispute it, they will have to prove it does. Follow dispute information on the bureau website, they make it pretty easy to do now.

  4. Look for big mistakes. Put all of your negative items in a piece of paper. Calculate when the debt was FIRST deliquent.... use this list to determine what is out of "range". If it shouldn't be on there dispute it. In the credit world, you have the beneift of the doubt, they have to prove you are wrong.

    Delinquencies (30 – 180 days): Can remain seven years from the date of the initial missed payment.
    Collection accounts: Remain seven years from the date of the initial missed payment that led to the collection (the original delinquency date). When a collection account is paid in full, it will be marked "paid collection" on the credit report.
    Charged-off accounts: Remain seven years from the date of the initial missed payment that led to the charge off (the original delinquency date), even if payments are later made on the charged-off account.
    Closed accounts: Closed accounts are accounts that are no longer available for further use. Closed accounts may or may not have a zero balance. Closed accounts with delinquencies remain seven years from the date they are reported closed, whether closed by the creditor or by the consumer. Positive closed accounts remain 10 years.
    Lost credit card: If there are no delinquencies, credit cards that are reported lost will continue to be listed for two years from the date the card is reported lost. Delinquent payments that occurred before the card was lost are reported for seven years.
    Bankruptcy: Chapters 7, 11, and 12 remain for 10 years from the filing date. Chapter 13 remains seven years from the filing date. Accounts included in bankruptcy will remain seven years from the date they were reported as included in the bankruptcy.
    Child support judgments: Remain seven years from the date the judgment is filed.
    Civil and small claim judgments: Remain seven years from the date the judgment is filed.
    City, county, state, and federal tax liens: Unpaid tax liens remain 15 years from the filing date. Paid tax liens remain seven years from the paid date of the lien.
    Inquiries: Most inquiries listed on your credit report will remain for two years. All inquiries must remain for a minimum of one year from the date the inquiry was made. Some inquiries, such as employment or pre-approved offers of credit, will show only to you.

  5. Make a list of the items that should drop off of your credit over the next year. A year later, pull your credit report again (for free) and compare it making sure that the new items came off.

  6. While your past is important, the last 2 years is the most. Keep your credit clean and wipe off the old stuff... before you know it you'll be setting pretty to buy that house. (You don't need credit for anything else.)

As a final note, just because an item is no longer appearing on your credit report, you are responsible to pay it! It is only right to pay it, otherwise it is theft. But as a side note, an item may no longer be legally collectable if you have not had a court judgement within a certain period of time depending on what state you are in. (Statute Of Limitations) I'm not a lawyer, you'll have to investigate this yourself.

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