How Do I Repair Bad Credit Fast?
- January 5, 2019
- 7 min read
- 55 reads
How to Remove Negative Remarks from Your Credit Report
The Federal Trade Commission conducted a study between the year 2002 and 2014 that determined approximately 40 MILLION people across the United States of America had a minimum of one error on one of their credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.
These negative remarks aren’t limited to credit cards, they can come from student loans, personal loans, home loans, mortgage loans, credit unions, auto loans, etc, almost anything reported past due can cause negative items to hurt your score and force you to either accept the bad credit or to take steps to repair your score and fix credit history yourself.
Are you one of the 40 million that is letting negative information from credit reporting agencies lock you in with bad credit scores preventing you from getting approved for the things you need like real estate or car loans?
Improving your credit isn’t always making sure you pay the bill on time, reduce your credit card debt, lowering your utilization ratio, working to increase your credit, and having an otherwise flawless payment history; sometimes it takes “repressive fire” because of identity theft, misinformation from a credit reporting agency, or just incorrect information, in general, that is preventing you from rebuilding credit and getting your bad credit scores handled once and for all.
Look, when it comes down to fighting and removing negative remarks on your credit card, the consumer is given much more power than most people are lead to believe. The truth of the matter is, not only is the law in your favor when it comes to removing negative remarks from your report, so is the notoriously clumsy management of reports from creditors.
That’s right, credit bureaus, creditors, and collection agencies are renowned for reporting:
information on your credit report. So before you scramble for a credit repair business or a digital product online or some kind of internet course on how to repair your credit, our humble suggestion is to follow some of the tips on our site in order to alleviate your problem and get you the fair resolution you deserve right away.
Attaining your Score
First things first you’re going to need to attain your credit score from the three major credit bureaus. Luckily this service is absolutely free when you use the right websites such as Experian.com for your Experian score and CreditKarma.com for your Equifax and Transunion Scores.
There are other reputable sites you can go to in order to attain your credit report but these sites are generally well known and have sections in them where you can see negative remarks on your credit card.
A common fear most people have is- will checking my credit score with these services ding my credit report—count as a hard inquiry? The answer to that is no, these websites do soft pulls of your credit report and allow you to stay financially fit.
Once you’ve identified the negative remarks on your credit report it’s time to plan your attack. Each case will be different, some may be missed payments, some may be collections account, just understand that the law is on your side when it comes to protecting you as a consumer.
What to Dispute
Before we tell you how to get in contact with your creditors to open disputes, it’s for the best that we teach you what to dispute so you understand what it’ll take to convince your original creditor or debt collector that you’re a force to be reckoned with.
There are tons of technicalities you can use as ammo against creditors to win your case.
Looping back to what was said earlier, the law is on your side when it comes to combatting and fighting for a clean credit score. If it sounds “too good to be true”, it isn’t, creditors are notorious for violating FRCA laws (Fair Credit Report Act) because their employees generally aren’t trained to follow the rules, and the bigger the business is, the more difficult it becomes to manage the office in general to follow these guidelines.
The most common violations creditors make are:
1) Calling you before 8am or after 9pm
2) Lying about the amount you owe or having misinformation about the amount you owe, even a balance misrepresented by a single penny is cause enough to remove remarks.
3) Threaten to garnish or sell your property
4) Give false credit information to a credit reporting company
5) Contacting a third party for getting information other than contact information
6) Leaving fields blank, missing letters, false numbers or letters are added to your documents (the privacy XXXX you see on your mailed statements actually count) because it renders your document unverifiable.
7) No signed contact on file that a debt collector has the right to collect from you
Each section will be abbreviated for your experience, but if any of these reasons seem familiar you can fight back in the following ways.
Letter of Goodwill
A letter of goodwill is the most diplomatic approach you can take against your creditors and generally the right thing to do off the bat if you’re only disputing one or two marks on an otherwise perfect history of credit.
An organized letter of goodwill will contain a snapshot from your credit report of the mark in question, your account number, your credit card number, and a well put together story for why you apologize for missing a payment and that you hope your otherwise spotless history and a well-managed account will earn you their favor.
Your goal in writing a letter of goodwill is to ask for a resolution where the negative remark in question is removed from your credit report because it has impacted your score. Keep these letters short, nice, neat, and concise. Restrain from getting combative because the creditors themselves will be reading this; additionally, it is strongly recommended that you combine this step with the next step so you can have the best chance of getting your desired outcome
CFPB- or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a government service dedicated to ensuring that you have leverage and power over your finances. The service is totally free for consumers, which provides quicker mediation between you and your creditor/debt collector.
How CFPB works is you submit your complaint with CFPB on their online forum, or through mail, and they then will forward your complaint to your creditor/bureau/debt collector and by law the receiver of the applicable complaint only has a short time to respond to you otherwise they face not only a forced decision to remove negative remarks from your credit report, but also face a lawsuit thanks to CFPB.
So ultimately CFPB is a mediator that fights for you, that being said it is still crucial when writing your complaint/letter of good will, that you never sound nasty or unprofessional. The reason why you must be a professional with your complaint to CFPB is only because they will directly send your complaint word for word to the financial institution you’re having the issue with; in short whoever you’re trying to get the attention of or assistance from should be treated professionally because at the end of the day, you’re going to be the one dealing with them.
Incomplete Missing Info Letter
Incomplete missing information letters apply to a variety of situations, mostly with confirmation that you owe the amount stated. Fortunately, the FRCA makes it mandatory that all information is accurately represented otherwise you have the means to have negative and derogatory marks to be removed from your credit report.
Additionally any time you contact a financial entity regarding a mark they’ve left on your credit report, they are also required to contact the credit bureaus and make sure they a sentence to your credit report with 30 Calendar days stating that the negative remark in question is in dispute, because the FDCPA have 30 day window for resolution.
Creditors consistently fail to do this, almost 90% of the time or more within the 30 day tune window. On the 31st day, you are entitled to prove that they didn’t follow the law and they may be liable for damages of up to $1,000 or more for every occurrence. In that case they are more than happy to oblige you on removing your negative remark.
Examples of incomplete or missing information are inaccurate, incomplete, unfair, unverifiable/not yours marks.
This means, incorrect balance information, missing information, incorrect credit limit information, high balance is lower than owed balance, status inaccuracies, late pays after account was closed, account number inaccurate (possibly including X’s or asterisks instead of numbers on your account statements), account types, invalid furnisher, date of last activity, date of last update incorrect, date reported inaccurate, collections account listed with limits, charge off listed as open or collection, or wrong addresses are all premise to send a dispute letter.
Dispute letters are your most common way to attack derogatory marks on your credit report. The typical format of the letter is placing the date, your name, your address, name of creditor/collection agency, the address of creditor/collection agency (from your credit report), and your re: acct #. Followed by a message of what you’re disputing and how this current situation is a violation of the Fair Credit Report Act, finished off with your name, your address, and your SSN.
To top off your letter you may want to Cc: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Attorney General’s Office, and Better Business Bureau to show you’re firm on your decision to have a swift and fair resolution to your credit report.
State Attorney General Complaints
Getting down to more aggressive options is to file a complaint with your State’s Attorney General. The role of the State Attorney General is to enforce state government and provide legal advisory to citizens. That said not all complaints are considered by the Attorney General and they are not considered the primary way to solve these issues.
The Better Business Bureau Complaint
One of the last tools you can use in your pursuit of removing negative remarks short of small claims court is to report companies to the BBB. The Better Business Bureau is a reliable organization dedicated to protecting consumers against business unethical practices. The Better Business Bureau can typically respond within 30 calendar days, but leverage comes because failure to respond to your complaint with cause the business’s BBB rating to be impacted.
The BBB is not a legal entity but they will assist you in forwarding your complaints to the creditors or collection agency.
The truth of the matter is there are plenty of ways for consumers to protect themselves and remove negative remarks, and a vast amount of templates online you can find to help you fight back against derogatory marks. This article is just the tip of the iceberg of methods that you can take right now and within the next 24 hours be on your way to gaining control of your credit report again.
Remember some of the tips in this article, don’t be nasty and don’t give up. Even if you fail on one angle try again and again, write multiple letters of goodwill, and do whatever it takes to reclaim your credit score.