Maintaining a good credit score is one of the most important things you can do for your own and your family’s future. Without the right score, you might be unable to buy a house, loan money for a business, or even have a credit card that doesn’t come with too many strings attached. Sadly, credit scores can still be negatively impacted – by no fault of your own – when credit providers and financial institutions grow careless. Many debt collections can remain on your credit report even if you’ve paid them in full. In cases like this, many people can’t wait for the collections to go away independently. Even in cases when they shouldn’t be there, collections can be difficult to remove from credit reports.
If you’re suffering from a problem like this, here are some ways you can try to get them removed from your credit report.
1. Request a Goodwill Deletion
If you’ve already paid the debt, you can call the debt collector and request that they delete records of it from your credit report. This has more chances of working if you haven’t made any recent blunders or maintain good rapport.
2. Ask for Debt Validation
Debt validation is legal jargon for the entity asking you to pay for it to prove that you actually owe the money. This happens more often than you’d realize, and if you see any changes in your credit report that you don’t recognize, you should ask for validation right away.
It’s crucial to keep a close look at all the debts you’re paying for since it’s a genuine possibility that some scammers have gained access to your financial details and are spending money in your own name.
If someone else is spending your money without your knowledge or consent, you need to alert the authorities immediately to protect yourself from as much damage as possible.
3. Dispute the Collection
If you’ve already paid the money or if there’s an error in the entry, you can dispute it. You’ll need a current credit report and some other documents to do this. Still, you can get a credit report for free every year from the major credit providers in America like TransUnion and Equifax.
Instead of simply disputing the collection, you can list in your letter exactly what the inaccuracies are and demand that they either be fixed or the debt be removed from your reports altogether.
Here are some of the things you can check for inaccuracies in your debt records:
- Account Number
- Credit Limit
- High Balance
- Payment History
- Payment Status
- Account Status
4. Get Professional Help
If you feel like this is all too complicated for you to do, you can hire a credit repair company to take care of your credit report for you. These organizations possess the right knowledge and expertise to do whatever they can to help you fix your credit score. Many people go to them before they think about buying a house or taking any major loans.
However, you need to be careful when approaching credit repair companies and verify the legitimacy of your final choice. The reason is that while many companies do pull off what they claim to be capable of, others can be scams who take your money without getting you any results, and that’s the best-case scenario.
5. Wait it Out
If it’s been too long since the collection is on your credit report, or if you’ve exhausted all your options looking for ways to get it removed, you’re only left with one option. That is to wait until the collection goes away on its own.
Many debt collections only stay on your credit report for 7 years, so its effect on your credit report will eventually fade.