Determine What Needs To Be Done Credit report accuracy is extremely important when keeping your credit score in good shape. To start the process of checking what is reported on your credit score, you will want to request reports from all three credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Go through each of the reports and check that the information is accurate and highlight any errors that have negative effects on your score. When you find these errors, check the dates as to when they were issued. Use this list to help you determine how long the negative reports will linger on your credit. Bankruptcy will show a "BK" next to each status. Chapter 7 will remain on your credit report for 10 years and Chapter 13 for 7. When a creditor claims your debt as a loss, your debt will become a "charge-off". It will remain for 7 years. If your debt is sold to a third party collection agency, the debt will remain for 7 years after the 180 day late payment record. Closed accounts with no negative reports will have an undetermined length if time, and can be longer than the 7 years. Closed accounts with negative reports on them will remain for Foreclosure reports will remain for 7 years. If you checked your credit yourself, there will be no mark. If a creditor checks, it could remain for 1-2 years. Court judgments will remain for 7 years. Late payments under 30 days will not stay long unless they occur often. Late payments for more than 30 days will remain for 7 years. Repossessed property and vehicles will remain for 7 years. Tax liens that are left unpaid, will remain indefinitely, and for 7 years once they are paid. Tax liens by the IRS can be removed from your credit if you pay them and then make a request for it to be removed. Once you have determined the life span of the debt on your credit history, check to make sure they are accurate and all three agencies are reporting the same. Also pay attention to make sure you check for fraudulent records. If you are not responsible for the debt, you will need to get that cleared. Once you have a lost of inaccuracies, you will want to write a letter to the three credit agencies for each error you have found. You can dispute online with the agencies as well, but back it up with a letter. If you are going to file a dispute with the credit agency, mail is the best way to handle the dispute. Experian will handle disputes on line and anything done by phone or online, you will want to have the identification number located at the bottom of your credit report available. Keep track of your results. The bureaus will have 30 days to investigate your dispute. Upon completion, they will mail you your results. If there was no correction, you can try again by submitting new information supporting your claim. There is also the option of calling the creditors yourself to have the matter corrected.
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