How to Remove Derogatory Items From Your Credit Report

(April 2024)

How to Remove Derogatory Items From Your Credit Report

In This Article

It can be disheartening to find derogatory items on your credit report. What if you need to take out a loan or get a new job that requires your credit score to be higher than average?

Well, don’t worry. There is a solution.

To remove derogatory items from your credit report:

  1. Check AnnualCreditReport.com
  2. Sign Up With a Free Credit Score Provider
  3. Order a Copy of Your Credit Report From the Credit Bureaus
  4. Dispute With the Business That Reported You to the Credit Bureau
  5. Submit a Dispute to the Credit Bureau
  6. Send a Pay For Delete Offer to Your Creditor
  7. Make a Goodwill Request For Deletion
  8. Contact a Credit Repair Company
  9. Wait Patiently

Let’s consider these steps!

1. Check AnnualCreditReport.com

To remove derogatory items from your credit report, first check your credit report on AnnualCreditReport.com. Everyone in the U.S. can get a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Order your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, by mail or by calling their toll-free number. If you order online, you get your credit report immediately. Otherwise, you have to wait up to 15 days.

2. Sign Up With a Free Credit Score Provider

To discard adverse items from your credit report, sign up with a free credit score provider. These services give you a broad view of your credit score with each of the major credit bureaus. Some major free credit score providers include Credit Karma, WalletHub, NerdWallet, Credit.com, Credit Sesame or even your credit card issuer.

3. Order a Copy of Your Credit Report From the Credit Bureaus

Order a Copy of Your Credit Report From the Credit Bureaus
To delete negative items from your credit report, order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Look over your credit report to know the origin of the derogatory items. While reviewing your credit report, pay attention to these items:

  • Incorrect credit limit
  • Incorrect credit balance
  • Multiple listed accounts
  • Corrected information not yet updated
  • Wrong payment date
  • Incorrect account status
  • Mistaken or stolen identity

Note down the details of the error. You need this information to later write your credit dispute letter.

4. Dispute With the Business That Reported to the Credit Bureau

To remove a derogatory item from your credit report, reach out directly to the business that reported the error to the credit bureau—that is, the “data furnisher.”

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) requires that data furnishers investigate any disputed information. Dispute the error with your data furnisher, asking the business to investigate it. When the business confirms the error, the business initiates the correction process by notifying all the credit bureaus accordingly.

5. Submit a Dispute to the Credit Bureau

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that credit bureaus indicate only accurate information on your credit report. As a result, you can dispute any inaccurate information. To remove a negative item from your credit report, file a dispute with any of the three credit bureaus that provided your credit report.

To submit a dispute to the credit bureau, either send an email or file a dispute online. Submit a dispute in response to your credit report. To dispute through email, draft a dispute letter, including the details of the error, why you think the record is wrong, and a request to investigate and correct the error.

Attach your credit report, include your contact information and send it to the credit bureau. The credit bureau investigates the dispute within 30 days of filing the report.

6. Send A Pay For Delete Offer To Your Creditor

Negotiate with your creditor to remove derogatory items—unpaid balances, for example—from your credit report through a “pay for delete” offer.

Pay for delete is a negotiation with your creditor, whereby you offer to pay the balance off if your creditor agrees to delete the collection entry from your credit completely. A pay for delete offer may fast-track the process of removing derogatory items from your credit, as many creditors appreciate this offer.

7. Make A Goodwill Request For Deletion

Make a goodwill request to your creditor, asking for a goodwill deletion, which is a letter to your credit admitting your mistake and asking for pardon. To get the creditor’s sympathy, use the following points to write your letter:

  • Explain how the derogatory items in your credit report have become an obstacle to making progress in your finance.
  • Tell your creditor that you’ve learned your lessons and are already making positive changes.

Not all creditors will be willing to help you out, but you stand a chance if your request gets to the right person. Another thing is that a goodwill request works only with low-level items such as late payments.

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8. Contact a Credit Repair Company

Contact a credit repair company if you do not want to go through the stress of removing derogatory items from your credit report yourself. A credit repair company manages the removal of negative items from your credit reports in exchange for payment.

Using a credit repair service costs between $19 to $149 per month. Some major credit repair companies include Ovation Credit Services, Sky Blue Credit, Credit Saint and The Credit Pros. Credit repair is legal in the United States, except for Georgia.

9. Wait Patiently

When all attempts to remove derogatory items fail, wait for the negative items to fall off your credit report normally. Sadly, this takes about seven years—or more in case of bankruptcy.

However, use this waiting period to work on your credit to correct the adverse impact of the derogatory item on your credit report.

Summary

To remove a derogatory item from your credit report, order a copy of your credit report from each of the major credit bureaus, and dispute with the business that reported to the credit bureau. Alternatively, submit a dispute to the credit bureau. Also, send a pay for delete offer to your creditor, make a goodwill request for deletion, contact a credit repair company, and wait patiently.

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