How to clear your experian credit report

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Eric McClure. Eric McClure is an editing fellow at wikiHow where he has been editing, researching, and creating content since 2019. A former educator and poet, his work has appeared in Carcinogenic Poetry, Shot Glass Journal, Prairie Margins, and The Rusty Nail. His digital chapbook, The Internet, was also published in TL;DR Magazine. He was the winner of the Paul Carroll award for outstanding achievement in creative writing in 2014, and he was a featured reader at the Poetry Foundation’s Open Door Reading Series in 2015. Eric holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MEd in secondary education from DePaul University.

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While contacting a company is usually a straightforward process, reaching Experian can actually be kind of tricky. None of the numbers they list on the main website lead to one-on-one assistance, although they can be quite helpful if you’re simply looking for some general information. To get personal help, you can call Experian’s corporate office and then wait for the automated menu to redirect you. You can also reach out to Experian through email or social media. Keep in mind that you cannot receive your credit scores by contacting Experian directly. All requests for a credit score update must be made through their website or in the mail.

To cancel over the phone, call: 1 (877) 284-7942

Email [email protected] and ask them to cancel your account.

How to clear your experian credit report

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How to clear your experian credit report

When you are trying to clean up your credit, there are a few steps that are most common and useful. For instance, to begin the process, most take the time to order a free copy of their credit report in order to review it and scan it for mistakes. Once a discrepancy is uncovered, there is a simple process to help you follow in order to remove names or old addresses on credit report files. Continue reading to learn how you should go about removing old addresses from credit report files and incorrect or unknown names, so that you can ensure your credit report information is up to date and accurate.

Why Is There A Wrong Address On My Credit Report?

There are several possible reasons for wrong or old addresses on credit reports. One of the most common is that if you’ve moved to a new location and the one on file has yet to be updated. Work addresses, P.O. boxes, and anywhere else you’ve received mail may also show up on your credit report. Likewise, if you’ve ever been a joint account holder or authorized user, the other person’s address could show up on your report as well.

Any Address You’ve Received a Bill

In short, your credit report reflects addresses where you’ve ever received a bill or loan statement, whether you physically lived there or not. If you don’t recognize a listed address, it could be a case of identity theft. If so, check other reports and statements for any further instances and report them to associated credit card companies and credit bureaus.

Do Wrong Addresses On My Credit Report Affect My Credit?

No, incorrect or wrong addresses on your credit report won’t affect your credit score. The only information used to calculate a credit score relates to things like payment histories, the number and type of credit cards, the length of your credit history, and so on.

Do Incorrect or Unknown Names Affect My Credit Score?

No, incorrect or unknown names on your credit report won’t impact your credit score! For example, if lenders have your maiden name on file there’s no reason to worry. However, unknown names on file, like unknown addresses, may indicate identity theft. Removing false names and addresses from your credit report won’t improve your credit score, though it can help guard against and recognize identity theft.

Why Should I Remove Old Addresses From Credit Report Files?

You don’t necessarily have to remove old addresses from credit reports, seeing that they don’t negatively impact your credit and may even be helpful for identity verification purposes. If an address or name on file looks unfamiliar or potentially fraudulent, you can find out which creditor reported the address to make an update or dispute it with them.

That said, removing old addresses from credit reports (especially those from a long time ago) can reduce the risk of identity theft by preventing bills, statements, and other mail with personal information from ending up at someone else’s address.

Applying For a Loan

Removing incorrect and out-of-date addresses from credit reports also speeds up your loan application processes. When applying for a loan, lenders will carefully check your credit reports, bank statements, tax returns, and other personal documents before approval. They will also ask for an explanation for every address appearing on your credit report, even the old ones — removing these speeds up the loan process and minimizes risks of complications, especially if you’re a first-time buyer, no matter the loan type. Below are some tips for how to remove old addresses from credit reports.

Sending or Filing Disputes

Did you know that former employers are able to report a variety of details to credit report agencies which can ultimately end up on your credit report? This means old addresses and phone numbers, temporary addresses, and even P.O. boxes may still appear on your credit report. However, in order to have them removed, the process is simple.

Easy As 1-2-3

  • Send a Letter– One method is to send a letter to the agency or agencies that have this false information. These letters can be sent via snail mail, fax, or email. Just be sure to follow up to make sure it has been received.
  • Provide Proof– Once you prove you are not associated with the address or phone number, they will gladly remove it from the report. There are plenty of ways to prove your present residence and/or phone number. Be sure to ask the agency which methods they are requesting.
  • Fill Out a Dispute Form– On the other hand, many companies have dispute forms on their website. In these cases, simply fill out the form and follow up as requested.
  • Follow Up– No matter what method you choose, be sure to contact the company to make sure they have removed the false information from your credit report.

Credit Repair Can Help

Overall, if you are concerned about your credit report, you are not alone. In the wake of various cyber breaches, many are concerned about the information on their credit report for a variety of reasons. Either way, if you need help fixing your credit score, in particular, consult with a credit repair company for help improving your credit. We review the best credit repair companies here, including Sky Blue Credit Repair reviews and Credit Saint reviews, two of our top-rated services.

How to clear your experian credit report

How to remove disputes from your credit report

How to clear your experian credit reportWhen you get a mortgage you can’t have disputes open. The dispute process lasts approximately 30 days, however, they aren’t always closed automatically after the 30-day window has passed.

When you dispute an account on your credit report the Credit Bureau adds a comment that you disputed the accuracy of that account. That dispute notation can remain on your credit report long after the dispute is completed. Before you close on a mortgage you must have the credit bureau remove the dispute comments from the reports on your account.

Open disputes aren’t always removed automatically

Even after a dispute is resolved, the comments saying the account is being disputed do not always automatically get removed. These dispute comments can stay on your report for years in some cases.

Removing disputes from your report is actually a very simple process that will take you about 20 minutes to complete. All three Credit Bureaus will have the dispute comments removed within 24-72 hours.

Get a copy of your credit report

Once you have your credit report write down the accounts that you need to remove disputes from. You will now need to call each Credit Bureau that lists dispute comments on your report. Tell them you need to remove dispute comments from all of the accounts on your report.

Below are working phone numbers to connect you to a live person with all three Credit Bureaus.


(714) 830-7000 | Press 0 to be connected to a live agent.


(800) 846-5279 | You will be directly connected to a live agent.


(800) 916-8800 | Press 3 during the first message, then dial 2 to be connected to a live agent.

How to clear your experian credit report

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You can request your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus using a single source: . But if you find an error in any of your reports — for example, an incorrect account number or a payment mistakenly marked late — you need to deal with the bureau that issued it.

Each credit bureau assembles your report from information sent to it by lenders, credit card issuers, public agencies and sometimes landlords. Errors in reporting can cost you credit score points, so it’s worth taking the time to clean up your credit reports.

Here’s how to spot errors on your Experian report — and what to do if you find one.

How to clear your experian credit report

What should I check on my Experian credit report?

Rod Griffin, Experian’s director of public education, advises checking all identifying information to start. Errors here won’t affect your credit scores, but they could indicate that someone else’s information has gotten mixed with yours. Worse, they could mean you’ve fallen victim to identity theft . Check your:

Social Security number.

Name, including variations under which you’ve applied for credit.

Current and past addresses.

Next, check for errors that could affect your credit scores:

Accounts listed that aren’t yours, especially if you have a common name or use a generational suffix.

Amounts that don’t match your billing statements.

Payments reported late when they were not.

Public records, such as bankruptcies, that aren’t yours.

Negative information that’s correct but is too old to be listed on reports.

If you see mistakes, gather documentation supporting your case and file a dispute with Experian. The bureau has 30 business days to respond. Griffin said most disputes are resolved within 10 to 14 days, and many even sooner than that.

How to dispute Experian reports online

Griffin says going online is the simplest way to file a dispute, and that’s how most customers do it. Experian’s initial dispute portal looks like this:

How to clear your experian credit report

If you haven’t already registered with Experian, you’ll do that first in order to access the dispute center. Once in, you can select items to dispute and indicate the reason. Griffin said there’s no limit on the number of items you may challenge. You’ll have a chance to review your entries and upload copies of any supporting documents requested, such as a canceled check or a billing statement.

Expect emails when you file the dispute and when Experian has results available. You may also get emails with updates during the process, or you can log into your Experian account to check the status.

How to dispute Experian reports by mail

If you prefer to use mail, you can send a dispute letter to Experian, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013. The Federal Trade Commission recommends using certified mail, return receipt requested.

You can print out Experian’s dispute-by-mail instructions and form , or simply write a letter that includes:

Your full name, including your middle initial and any suffix, such as Jr., III, etc.

Your birthdate and Social Security number.

Addresses where you’ve lived during the past two years.

A copy of an identification card issued by the government, typically a driver’s license, state identification card or passport.

A copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement sent to your address and bearing your name.

In your letter, explain which item(s) you think are incorrect and why. If you’re disputing an account, include the account number. Send copies, not originals, of documents because they will not be returned. The bureau will respond by mail.

Can I dispute by phone?

Because documents are often required, you might not be able to complete a dispute by phone. However, you can start the process by phone by requesting a copy of your report. The number is 866-200-6020.

What happens next?

If Experian agrees with you, it will change or delete the information in question on your credit report. It’s smart to check your credit report again to verify the changes were made. Your response from the bureau will contain a link to the corrected report, or it will mail you a corrected copy.

However, if Experian confirms that it’s reporting the information given to it correctly, you might need to talk to the creditor or other source that’s sending in the data. Ask that source to correct the information it’s reporting to Experian, then contact Experian to confirm.

You may also need to file a dispute with TransUnion and a separate dispute with Equifax , if the incorrect information also appears on your reports at those bureaus.

Next, get in the habit of checking your credit report frequently to keep up with new data. In between your free annual copies from, you can check your TransUnion credit report at NerdWallet as often as you like. Regularly monitoring your free report can give you an early warning of potentially score-damaging problems.

About the author: Bev O’Shea is a former credit writer at NerdWallet. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, MarketWatch and elsewhere. Read more

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Experian’s online credit-freeze system stands apart from those at Equifax and TransUnion for one reason: It doesn’t require you to create an account.

With Experian, you won’t have to remember yet another account username and password. But the potential drawback is that you have to keep the PIN you create during the freeze process on hand, or be ready to answer security questions that are based on information in your credit report.

This may sound easy to you, but sometimes long codes go missing. And while the security questions are about you, the answers aren’t always clear. I learned this the hard way when I answered Experian’s prompts incorrectly and locked myself out of its system.

The research

How to freeze your Experian credit report

Step 1: Go to Experian’s security-freeze website

The process to freeze your Experian credit report starts at Experian’s security-freeze website.

How to clear your experian credit report

If you already have a credit freeze in place, this is also where you can lift (aka thaw) your freeze.

Click Add a security freeze, at which point the system asks you to clarify that you want to freeze your credit report (versus the report belonging to your child, for example). If you do have a child under the age of 16, you can freeze their Experian credit report too. The Federal Trade Commission offers tips for how to do this.

If your kid doesn’t have a credit report, Experian can create one for them and then freeze it. This helps ensure that con artists can’t use their information to open up fraudulent credit accounts.

Step 2: Request the freeze

On the next page, enter your personal information and create a PIN (or let Experian create one for you). Unlike Equifax and TransUnion, Experian requires a PIN to unfreeze your credit report online—so don’t lose it.

If you moved within the past two years, you also have to provide up to two previous addresses.

How to clear your experian credit report

After you hit Submit, Experian processes your request and freezes your credit report. That’s really all there is to it.

How to thaw your Experian credit report

Once your Experian credit report is frozen, you have three options if you want to give creditors access: permanently unfreeze your report, temporarily thaw it, or request a one-time access code that you can share with a creditor.

The process to unfreeze your credit is similar to the process to freeze it: Enter your personal information and PIN, select either a permanent or temporary thaw, and hit Submit.

How to clear your experian credit report

After you submit your request, Experian sends you a confirmation email containing a copy of your PIN. Keep it safe: If you opted for a temporary thaw, which means your report automatically refreezes on a future date you specified, the same PIN is required the next time you want to unfreeze it. (If you need to, you may be able to choose or request a new PIN.)

How to clear your experian credit report

If you’d rather not thaw your report but need to apply for credit, ask Experian for a one-time code that the creditor can use to view your report. (Confusingly, these codes are also called PINs.) Experian asks for your personal PIN when you request a one-time code, so make sure you have it available.

You should contact the creditor ahead of time, though, to ensure its system can retrieve your Experian credit report this way. Even then, you may have to apply for the loan or credit card in person or over the phone. An online application might not give you the option to enter the single-use code.

How to clear your experian credit report

Requesting a one-time PIN can be a more secure option than unfreezing your credit, as only the creditor with the code can gain access to your report. However, a one-time PIN may not be the best option if you’re rate shopping and comparing loan offers, like you would for a mortgage.

What if you forget your PIN?

Having your PIN handy makes thawing your Experian credit report much easier, but you do have options if you forget it. (1Password, Wirecutter’s pick for the best password manager, has an encrypted notes function you can use to securely store your PIN.)

If you don’t have your Experian PIN, click Retrieve your PIN on your homepage. Enter your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. When you agree to the terms and conditions, you move on to an identity-verification screen, where you need to answer questions based on the information that’s in your credit report.

You can choose to skip this step and continue with your thaw (or one-time code) request, but Experian still requires you to answer security questions before you can move forward.

How to clear your experian credit report

The questions are fairly straightforward but can be tricky sometimes, particularly if you have a long credit history or lots of accounts. I learned this the hard way my first time, when I thought I answered the questions correctly but Experian disagreed—and locked me out.

After I failed the test, the following page appeared whenever I tried to retrieve my PIN, unfreeze my report, or request a one-time creditor access code:

How to clear your experian credit report

I tried again to lift my freeze online, but I wasn’t given another opportunity to prove my identity. And when I called to ask if I could retrieve my PIN or thaw my report over the phone, Experian’s automated system asked me to verify my identity via mail—and then hung up.

It’s been a few weeks since then, but my PIN appears to be working once more. I can thaw (and refreeze) my credit report without issue, and when I tell the system I don’t remember my PIN, it gives me the option to retrieve it online. But I learned my lesson: Keep your PIN safe, and make sure you’re 100% certain before you submit your answers to those pesky security questions.

Although Experian’s online system may be easier, you can choose to freeze or thaw your Experian credit report over the phone at 888-397-3742. By law, the bureau must comply with your request within one hour.

You can also mail your request to:

Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

Once it receives your request, Experian has up to three business days to freeze or unfreeze your report.

Don’t forget to freeze and thaw your credit reports with the other major bureaus too. We have step-by-step instructions for how to freeze and thaw your TransUnion credit report and how to freeze and thaw your Equifax credit report.

How to clear your experian credit report

If you spot errors on your Experian credit report, you should file disputes. Otherwise, your credit scores will continue to suffer. Even worse, you could be denied credit cards, loans, or housing, just to name a few. And if you are offered credit, chances are you’ll have a higher interest rate.

How to clear your experian credit report

Don’t know where to start? This guide will show you how to dispute errors on your Experian credit report.

What’s on Your Experian Credit Report

Understanding the contents of your personal credit report makes it easier to spot errors so you’ll know which items to dispute. Your Experian credit report contains:

  • Personal information, including your name, date of birth, address Social Security number and employer data. This information is updated as you supply new information to lenders and creditors. However, it does not affect your credit scores.
  • Account information, including the credit limit or total amount of the loan and the outstanding balance, and information about the account status. In this section, you will also find the initial date the account was opened.
  • Credit inquiries (or credit screenings by others as a result of credit applications).
  • Public records and collection accounts, along with tax liens, suits, bankruptcies, foreclosure or wage garnishments.

Call for a Free Credit Consultation!

Reviewing Your Experian Credit Report

When reviewing your credit report, look for:

  • Accounts that you have no knowledge of
  • Incorrect account data, including names, numbers, loan or credit limits
  • Incorrect payment history
  • Credit inquiries you have no knowledge of
  • Dated collection and public record entries that are past the reporting timeline

How to Dispute Your Experian Credit Report

To resolve errors on your Experian credit report, you can dispute by mail, online, or phone. If possible, it’s best to file disputes by mail to have a paper trail and take advantage of all the consumer protections available to you.

You should also contact the creditor to notify them of the filing as they may be able to rectify the issue on their end.

Dispute by Mail

You can file a dispute by mail by writing a letter like the one found here. In your letter, be sure to include:

  • Your current address
  • Your date of birth
  • Your social security number
  • The name of the company that furnished the inaccurate information to Experian
  • The account number of the item in question
  • The reason why you’re filing a dispute

Experian also requests that you include any addresses you’ve lived in the past two years, a copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement, and a copy of a government-issued ID in your dispute package.

Experian Dispute Address

You can mail the dispute letter should be to:

Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013

Mail in copies of the credit report and any supporting documentation, but keep the originals for your records. You should send your letter and documents via certified mail with a return receipt requested.

Dispute Online

You can file a dispute online with Experian by creating a profile. After creating your profile, you can begin the online dispute process by logging in to the dashboard and taking the following actions:

  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Dispute Center”.
  • Click the button that says “File New Dispute”. A page containing your personal information, accounts and any public records will appear.
  • Select “Dispute” next to the item in question.
  • Choose the reason for your dispute from the drop down menu, and select next to add a comment.
  • Review your dispute and hit “Submit”.

Dispute by Phone

To dispute by phone, you’ll first need to request a copy of your credit report by completing this form. You can also call 866-200-6020.

When you have the credit report in hand, you can call the number listed on the report to submit your formal dispute. Once the call has ended, promptly submit a copy of your annotated credit report and supporting documentation to Experian for review using the instructions provided by the agent.

What to Expect After Your Dispute Is Filed

Experian has 30 days from the initial receipt of your dispute to reach out to the creditor, investigate the claim, and issue a response.

If the creditor, lender, or furnisher of the information is unable to refute or fails to respond, they must remove the information from your credit report. You should also receive a notice from Experian indicating the outcome and what information was removed.

But if they are able to refute your claim, your credit report will remain unchanged, and Experian will communicate additional information regarding the outcome in writing.

If you filed online, you can check the status of your Experian dispute or view the results at any time by visiting the online dispute center.

Disputing a Charge with Your Creditor

Sometimes you may also have better luck filing a dispute directly with your creditor, even if your Experian dispute was unsuccessful. The creditor is the one who actually reports your account information to the three major credit bureaus, so they can also remove negative information from your credit report. You can mail them a letter requesting deletion just as you would with Experian.

When does a credit dispute hurt your credit score?

A dispute doesn’t stay on your credit report as a lasting mark unless you request a dispute note after an unsuccessful attempt. However, even that doesn’t hurt your credit. The way you see a change in your credit score is after the dispute process, and in many cases, it will be a positive one.

For example, if you correct a large outstanding credit card balance listed on your credit report, you’ll see a jump in your credit scores because your credit utilization will be lower. The same holds true with inquiries and late payments. The increase may not be enormous depending on the type and number of entries you get removed, but each will contribute to better overall credit history.

Also, be aware of the “XB” effect. XB is a credit report code used by credit bureaus to indicate that a particular account is currently being disputed. During this time, Experian doesn’t include that account as part of your credit score if it happens to be pulled.

So you may end up seeing a significant jump in your credit score because that balance and any associated late payments aren’t contributing to your score at all. Once the dispute is over, the credit bureau will lift the code. The account is once again included and will also reflect any changes made as a result of the dispute.

Bottom Line

You should make a conscious effort to review your credit data regularly. That way, you can spot inaccuracies and deal with them right away before the problem gets out of hand. Most importantly, you’ll preserve the credit you’ve worked so hard to earn.

How to clear your experian credit report

Mortgage lenders are not likely to offer you a loan with a poor credit history. When you’re buying a house, unless you’re buying it all with cash, you need a mortgage loan.

And your credit score plays a major role, not only to get you qualified for a loan but also to get the best interest rate on a loan. Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure that you credit report is as clean as possible and free of errors.

Note that even if you don’t need your credit score right away, it’s important to clean up your credit report in advance, because some things take time to be sorted out. Follow these tips if you need help with credit repair.

Here’s how to clear up a credit report:

Related articles on how to clean up your credit report:

1. Get a copy of your credit report.

Before you start fixing your credit, you need to order a credit report.

By law, you are entitled a free credit report from the 3 credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Transunion). You can get these reports at However, you can only request these reports once a year.

But with Credit Repair, you get unlimited credit reports.

2. Review your credit report thoroughly.

Once you get a copy of your free credit report, review it thoroughly for any errors. First, review your identification information to make sure there are no clerical errors.

That includes your name, address, social security number, etc. If there is wrong address or a wrong social security number in your report, you should immediately fix it.

So make sure, everything listed in your report is accurate.

3. Make a list of negative information.

Make a list of the things you find inaccurate. This will give you an idea of what you need in order to fix your credit. Also, some credit reports will tell you some of the things that are negatively affecting your credit score. For the credit reports that don’t say, here are some of things to look for:

a) Past due accounts.

One of the first thing to look for in your credit report is to make sure you don’t have any past due accounts. This is extremely important. Payment history accounts for 35 percent of your FICO score, which is the largest impact on your credit score.

Late payments will negatively impact your credit score more than anything else. Therefore, if there are any past due accounts, negotiate with creditors or debt collectors to pay them off quickly. So making your accounts current is the fastest way to clean your credit.

b) Collections.

Just as past due accounts hurt your credit score, items in collections also negatively impact your score. Past due accounts are usually 30 to 60 days late. But accounts that are 90 days late are considered to be delinquent and in collections. So work with debt collectors to remove collection accounts from your credit report.

c) Student loan default.

If you went to undergraduate school or graduate school, chances are you have student loans. And just as any other loans, you can default on your student loan if you don’t make on time payments. Student loan default is not permanent.

You can always negotiate with your provider to make your student loan current. This will require you to make several months of timely payments before your student loan can be considered current.

d) High credit utilization rate.

Besides payment history, high credit card utilization rate has the second highest largest impact on your credit score.

Your credit utilization rate is the amount of credit you’re currently using divided by the total amount of credit available.

For example, if you have $5,000 in credit available, and you have a balance of $2500, then your credit utilization rate is 50%. That means you are using half of the total credit you have available.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your credit utilization rate below 30%. For example, if your total credit limit is $5,000, your total balance should’t exceed $1500.

So in order to fix your credit report fast, try to bring your utilization rate below 30 percent.

4. File a dispute online.

File a dispute online to have all the negative information on your credit report removed.

Here is the contact information for the 3 credit bureaus:

  • Equifax: 800-685-1111;
  • Experian: 888-397-3742;
  • Transunion: 800-916-8800;

Related articles on how to clean up your credit report:

Working With The Right Financial Advisor.

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How to clear your experian credit report

Despite reported upswings in the housing market, foreclosures continue to be a big problem for residents of the US.

How to clear your experian credit report

No matter the circumstances that put you there, dealing with a foreclosure is one of the most stressful situations anyone can imagine. The stress of losing a home is only compounded by the damage foreclosures do to your ability to get back on your feet after a financial setback.

After the foreclosure is over, the consequences continue in the form of poor credit and higher costs for everything from loans to insurance – and that’s assuming you can still qualify.

How long does a foreclosure stay on your credit report?

Once you fall behind on your monthly mortgage payments by at least 120 days, your lender will begin foreclosure proceedings on your home. After the proceedings begin, the mortgage lender will usually report the foreclosure to the three major credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

The foreclosure will usually show up on your credit reports within 30-60 days. A foreclosure stays on your credit report for seven years. It will negatively affect your credit for up to seven years, but less and less as time goes on.

Can a foreclosure be removed from your credit report?

Yes, it is possible to have a foreclosure removed from your credit reports. The mistakes made by lenders have been well documented in foreclosure cases, with some banks even having to pay restitution to people whose foreclosures were mismanaged.

Many errors have occurred in foreclosure cases, including the “rubber-stamping” of foreclosure documents and lack of proper procedure. For reasons such as those, it may be possible to have your foreclosure permanently removed. But, even if you deem a listing on your credit report as “questionable,” you can dispute it. The burden of proof is on whoever reported the item on your credit history.

Another common reason to have them removed is a lack of available records. This most often occurs when the bank that owned the mortgage loan is no longer in business.

In many instances, mortgages and foreclosures were sold from one bank to the next, leaving a snarl of paperwork that made it impossible for people to pay their mortgages on time.

These sales also made it difficult for some banks to keep accurate records, and if the bank listed on your credit report is no longer in business, they will not be able to verify the foreclosure. Any information on your credit report that the credit bureau cannot verify must be removed.

How can I remove a foreclosure on my credit report?

If you would like to attempt the removal process of your foreclosure on your own before you contact a professional, there are two methods to use.

Step 1: Find Errors on the Credit Report Listing

Once you have copies of your three credit reports in hand from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, look at each detail of the foreclosure entries. If any of that information is incorrect, you can dispute it. Check the foreclosure balance, any dates associated with the account, your account number, and the name of your lender.

Another big mistake to avoid?

Don’t assume that all three entries are the same. There are three separate credit reporting agencies that compile information in different ways. Check each one for inaccurate information.

If you find an error concerning the foreclosure, you can file a dispute with all three credit bureaus. First, send a dispute letter, and you should receive a response within 30 days. Within that time frame, the credit bureaus need to verify the information within the entry and correct it, or ideally, remove it altogether.

Step 2: Write to the Lender

Another tactic you can take if the credit bureaus won’t remove the foreclosure is to write directly to the lender. Request that they remove the entry from your credit report due to inaccuracies and give them a 30-day deadline.

If they can’t verify or just don’t want to spend the time doing so, they might remove it altogether.

Step 3: Get Profesional Credit Repair Help

Removing a foreclosure from your credit report requires filing separate disputes with all three credit bureaus.

Because of how credit reporting agencies work, you have to word your disputes carefully to avoid having them deemed “frivolous.” While the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) offers protections for consumers, credit bureaus have the right to ignore anyone that they feel is abusing the law.

The credit bureaus decide whether a dispute is frivolous solely based on your communication and any proof you can provide. This is one of the reasons that many people hire a credit repair company when it comes to repairing their credit and removing foreclosures from their credit reports.

If you have a foreclosure on your credit report, we highly recommend working with a credit repair company like Lexington Law. We believe that their professionals will give you the best chance of getting it removed.

They can also help you potentially remove late payments, charge-offs, collections, judgments, tax liens, repossessions, and even bankruptcies. If you’re tired of dealing with bad credit and are ready to improve your credit scores, give them a call!

How to clear your experian credit report

How to clear your experian credit report

How to clear your experian credit report

Because inquiries on your credit report can cause your credit score to drop a bit, you might be inclined to remove them. However, hard inquiries—those that are made because you applied for more credit—can not be removed unless they are inaccurate or fraudulent.

Since hard inquiries have only a small effect on your credit score and they go away after two years, you shouldn’t waste your time trying to get them taken off your report. The wiser action is to limit the number of credit applications you make over a short period of time.  

Credit Inquiries or Credit Pulls

Businesses that extend credit—including credit card issuers and mortgage lenders—check your credit when you make an application for services with them. Reviewing your credit enables these businesses to determine whether you qualify for the type of account or service you’re applying for.

The major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—keep a record of all the businesses that have requested your credit report or your credit score. This record is listed in a separate section of your credit report for inquiries. All the credit inquiries—which are also referred to as credit pulls—made to your credit report within the last 24 months are listed on your credit report.  

Hard vs. Soft Credit Inquiries

Hard inquiries are the only type of credit pull that can affect your credit score, and they’re the only ones that businesses will see on your credit report. Credit inquiries that don’t affect your score and don’t appear on your report are called soft pulls. Examples of soft inquiries include you checking your own report and a potential employer accessing it during a background check. And credit card issuers may do soft inquiries when they are preparing promotional card offers.    

Credit inquiries carried out by insurance companies when you’re seeking quotes for various kinds of policies are considered soft inquiries and do not show up on your credit report.

Effect on Scores

A hard credit inquiry typically deducts less than five points from your FICO credit score, according to FICO, which is one of the two main companies that calculate credit scores. (The other is VantageScore.) FICO’s range of possible credit scores goes from 300 to 850.

While they are taken into consideration, hard inquiries aren’t all that important in generating a FICO Score. FICO says the number of hard inquiries in a person’s report accounts for only 10% of the score.

Although a hard inquiry remains on your credit report for two years, FICO considers only hard inquiries from the past 12 months when determining your credit score.

FICO also recognizes periods when you might be shopping around for the best rate on a particular type of loan and so combines all inquiries for that same type of loan into one inquiry—as long as they occur within fairly close proximity. The number of days in the shopping period actually depends on the request made by the potential lender; it could be 14 or 45. FICO also disregards shopping periods that occur 30 or fewer days prior to the generation of a score.  

If you’re rate shopping, do it within as tight of a time frame as possible to enable the multiple inquiries to be combined.

Why Lenders Use Hard Inquiries

Since inquiries can reveal whether you’ve been shopping for credit recently, potential creditors can attempt to predict whether you’ve recently taken on other debt that will make it harder for you to pay off the credit card or loan you’re applying for.

According to FICO, consumers with six or more inquiries on their credit report can be up to eight times more likely to declare bankruptcy than people with no inquiries. That is why the company considers hard inquiries made within the past year in its credit scoring calculation—and why lenders consider them in making decisions about extending credit.  

Verifying Unfamiliar Inquiries

It’s important to check your credit reports periodically to ensure they are free of errors. If there are unfamiliar credit inquiries on a report, you should first try to verify them. Contact the business in question and ask them to explain the nature of their inquiry.

Experian offers four scenarios in which a legitimate hard inquiry can appear to be fraudulent   :

  • Someone who did a home repair for you may have checked your credit report to see whether you could be trusted to pay the bill.
  • If you looked for the best mortgage rate online or otherwise worked with a mortgage service provider, your request could have been sent to more potential lenders than you realized.
  • Similarly, a car dealership may have sent your auto loan application to multiple banks to find you the most favorable interest rate.
  • If you applied for a credit card for use at a particular store, the inquiry may not clearly identify the store but may instead name the bank that runs the store’s credit card program.

Removing Inaccurate Inquiries

If there are inaccuracies, you can have them removed by filing a dispute with the credit bureau. You can do that online, by phone, or in writing, according to the instructions on the credit bureau’s website.

You should also ask the credit bureau about the possibility any inaccurate inquiries were the result of identity theft. Consider placing a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report to prevent further unauthorized inquiries and potentially the opening of fraudulent accounts.

The credit bureau is required to do an investigation with the company whose inquiry you’re disputing. If the investigation shows the inquiry was indeed included on your report in error, the inquiry will be removed.

Removing Legitimate Inquiries

Trying to remove an inquiry that resulted from an application you actually made is next to impossible. Credit bureaus have a right to report accurate information within the proper credit reporting time limit. You can’t remove inquiries from your credit report simply because you decided against a new line of credit or you don’t like having the inquiry there.

Fortunately, hard inquiries are not a big cause for concern. They can affect your credit score only slightly—and only for one year. And you have the power to limit the number of hard inquiries on your report by minimizing the number of credit applications you make over a 12-month time frame.

Check your credit history for accuracy

How to clear your experian credit report

How to clear your experian credit report

How to clear your experian credit report

Anthony Battle is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. He earned the Chartered Financial Consultant® designation for advanced financial planning, the Chartered Life Underwriter® designation for advanced insurance specialization, the Accredited Financial Counselor® for Financial Counseling and both the Retirement Income Certified Professional®, and Certified Retirement Counselor designations for advance retirement planning.

Your credit report contains a wealth of information about your financial history and actions. If you have credit or loan accounts, those accounts and how you pay them, are included in your credit report.   It’s important to review your credit report at least once a year so you know what your creditors are saying about you.

Understanding your credit report can be confusing, especially if you’re reading your credit report for the first time. Here is a breakdown of the types of information contained in your report.

Personal Information on Your Credit Report

The personal information included in your report is used to identify you. It contains basic information like your name, address, and place of employment. Previous addresses and employment might also be included.  

It’s not uncommon to have variations or misspellings of your name. Most credit reporting agencies leave these variations to maintain the link between your identity and credit information.  

Having different variations of your name and old addresses won’t hurt your credit score as long as it’s actually your information. Check this section to make sure personal information is identifying you and not someone else.

Your Credit Summary

The credit summary section of your credit report summarizes information about the different types of accounts you have. This section lists the total number of accounts you have along with the balance. It also lists the number of current and delinquent accounts.  

It will include the following account types:

  • Real Estate Accounts – Any mortgages that you have.
  • Revolving Accounts – Any credit cards and lines of credit.
  • Installment Accounts –Any loans not related to real estate purchases, such as car or education loans.
  • Other Accounts – Any miscellaneous accounts that don’t fall into the other categories.
  • Collection Accounts – Any accounts that have been sent to collections.

Your credit summary will also summarize the number of accounts you have open, closed, and the number of inquiries made against your credit within the past two years.

Your Account History

The account history section of your credit report contains the bulk of the information. This section includes each of your credit accounts and details about how you’ve paid.  

Your account history will be very detailed, but it’s important that you read through it to make sure the information is being reported correctly.

Each account will contain several pieces of information:

  • Creditor name of the institution reporting the information.
  • Account number associated with the account. The account number may be scrambled or shortened for privacy purposes.
  • Account type, i.e. a revolving account, education loan, auto loan.
  • Responsibility. This indicates whether you have an individual, joint, or authorized user responsible for the account.
  • Monthly payment is the minimum amount you are required to pay on the account each month.
  • Date opened. The month and year the account was established.
  • Date reported is the last date the creditor updated the account information with the credit bureau.
  • Balance. The amount owed on the account at the time data was reported.
  • Credit limit or loan amount.
  • High balance or high credit is the highest amount ever charged on the credit card. For installment loans, high credit is the original loan amount.
  • Past due. Amount past due at the time the data was reported.
  • Remarks are comments made by the creditor about your account.
  • Payment status. Indicates the status of the account, i.e. current, past due, charge-off. Even if your account is current, it might contain information about previous delinquencies.
  • Payment history. Indicates your monthly payment status since the time your account was established.

Collection accounts may appear as part of the account history or in a separate section. Where it appears depends on the company providing your credit report.

Public Records

Bankruptcy is the only type of public record that can appear on your credit report. Depending on the type of bankruptcy, the record may stay on your credit report for 7-10 years.  

Credit Inquiries

Credit inquiries list all parties who have accessed your credit report within the past two years. While your version of the credit report lists several credit inquiries, not all of these appear on the lenders’ and creditors’ versions.  

Remove derogatory items before waiting 7 years

You can remove derogatory items from your credit report before seven (7) years. You can use Goodwill letters, negotiate deletions for payment, or send disputes. Each method will work some of the time. If you stay focused and consistent, you can remove your negatives before seven years.

Below are the best methods to remove negative items before 7 years:

  • Dispute negatives with TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian (the “Bureaus”)
  • Dispute negatives directly with the original creditors (the “OCs”)
  • Send a short Goodill letter to each creditor
  • Negotiate a “Pay For Delete” to remove the negative item

How Credit Professionals Remove Negative Items From Your Credit Report, Fast

Credit professionals dispute negative items on your report to remove them. You can do this yourself, but usually, professionals are more efficient.

How Long Do Closed Accounts Stay On Your Credit Report?

Closed accounts in good standing will show on your credit report for 10 years. On the other hand, deragotory accounts are on your report for 7 years.

How Long Does Bad Credit (Negative Items + Derogatory Remarks & Information) Stay On Your Credit Report?

Negative items can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years. These items include collections, derogatory remarks, and negative items.

How To Delete+Remove Negative Items Off Your Credit Report (& Dispute Derogatory Remarks), Today

In general, you can remove negative items on your credit report in a couple of ways. First you can ask for a “pay-for-delete” although this is a legal gray area. The other way is to dispute negative items on your credit report.

How To Send A “Pay For Delete” Negotiation Letter To Creditors To Remove Negative Reports

A pay-for-delete letter to creditors should include the amount owed, payment conditions, how quickly they should delete the item, and when your offer expires. Then, make sure you get a written letter of acceptance for your offer.

What Does A Derogatory Item Mean On Your Credit Report?

A derogatory item is anything on your credit report that causes your score to drop. Examples include collections, remarks, and late-payments.

Why You Shouldn’t Attempt To Erase Credit History Illegally

Credit reporting agencies are required by law to report the most accurate information they have available. If you convince a creditor to let you “pay-for-delete” then it’s an ethical gray area.

How To Remove Negative Items From Your Credit Report After 7 Years

Negative items on your credit report should fall off automatically after 7-years. What if they don’t? A credit repair expert — like Credit Glory — can help you dispute and remove them for good!

How to clear your experian credit report

No matter how careful you are with your credit, negative items on a credit report can happen to the best of us. Maybe you forgot to make an on-time payment one month, or maybe there was a period where you struggled financially after losing a job or experiencing a change in life circumstances.

Bad luck or bad timing may result in a negative item on your credit report that can dramatically lower your credit score. It can take a lot of time and effort before your credit recovers, so it’s only natural to wonder whether you might be able to remove a negative item.

The good news is that you can always dispute negative errors on your credit report. Even if there’s an accurate but harmful mark on your credit, like a late payment, there are a variety of ways you may be able to remove a negative item, such as contacting your creditor, sending a goodwill letter, or paying to have the mark removed.

Table of Contents

Disputing Errors

Disputing errors is one of the easiest ways to remove negative items from your credit history and quickly boost your score. Errors in your credit report can happen if you have a similar name to someone else, because of a clerical error, or because of a misunderstanding. Clearing up these errors is free, and you don’t need the services of a credit repair company to do it.

To dispute errors, you should first access a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You should carefully review these reports in order to see whether there are any errors. In particular, you should look for items that appear on a report from one credit bureau but not the others. If you find an error, you should contact the credit bureau to dispute the negative item, including as much information about your claim as possible.

Contacting Creditors About Removal

If there are no errors on your credit report, you won’t be able to petition a credit bureau to change your score. Credit bureaus verify accurate information with creditors, and won’t remove negative items if there hasn’t been an error. However, there are still other options when it comes to getting negative items removed.

One effective option is to send a dispute letter to your creditors directly in order to request the removal of a negative item. These negative items can include things like late payments and other one-time errors. If you’re normally a good customer who pays your bills on time and borrows responsibly, creditors may be willing to make an exception if you screw up one month and forget to pay on time.

While this doesn’t work if you have a history of chronic late payments or other bad behavior that may negatively affect your credit, it’s a great strategy if you just have one or two late payments that are dragging down your score.

Pay to Delete Offers

Another option when it comes to removing negative items from your credit score is to offer to pay to delete an item. While paying to improve your credit score isn’t the right move for everyone, it can be a good option if you have the funds to pay what you owe.

This is a good strategy if you have a bill that is long overdue or delinquent. In this scenario, you may be able to offer to pay the balance due to your creditor at once, but only if they agree to remove the negative item on your score.

While not all creditors may take you up on this offer, it’s worth a shot and can make a big difference when it comes to your credit score. If you decide to pursue this strategy, you should make sure to get an agreement in writing before you hand over the payment — this will help ensure that the creditor follows up on their end of the bargain.

Sending a Goodwill Letter

Sending a goodwill letter is a similar strategy to a pay-to-delete offer. However, instead of offering payment in exchange for a creditor removing a negative item from your credit report, with a goodwill letter you’re making an honest appeal to a creditor to remove an item.

Goodwill letters are an effective option if you’ve already paid your past-due bill and don’t have any other leverage with your creditor. It’s a good idea to include an explanation in the letter as to why the negative item occurred. For example, if you were late paying a bill one month because of an unexpected expense or emergency, you might want to mention any extenuating circumstances that were involved.

You should also be sure to include any positive aspects of your status as a borrower, such as a history of on-time payments. While not all creditors will agree to remove the item, it can be a good strategy for boosting your credit score, especially if you only have one or two negative items on your report.

Ineffective Strategies

While there are some simple ways to attempt to prevent negative items from affecting your credit score, there are also a lot of ineffective — or even illegal — strategies. Filing for bankruptcy, for example, won’t remove negative items from your credit report, and accounts that are settled during the bankruptcy process will still appear on your report. Similarly, closing an account with a past-due balance won’t remove that account from your credit report, and you’ll still owe that money to your creditor.

Some credit repair scams may claim that they can remove negative items from your credit report by disputing accurate negative information. While it’s true that you can dispute errors on your credit report, you can’t remove accurate information just because it’s negatively affecting your credit score. Any credit repair company that claims to be able to eliminate negative items in this way is most likely a scam.

Ultimately, one of the best things you can do to eliminate negative items and improve your credit score is be patient. Over time, negative items will fall off your report and will no longer affect your score, with most items falling off your report in about seven years.

Even before negative items fall off your report, they’ll be given less weight over time as you build additional credit history. You can also work to build up good credit over time through on-time payments and responsible financial decisions. If you don’t have the time or energy to personally work on repairing your credit, you can also hire the services of a reputable credit repair company.

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6 Tips to Save Using the Most Popular Food Delivery Apps

It’s possible to wipe your credit rating clean rapidly without breaking the law or hiring a specialist. You can pay your creditors to delete charged-off credit cards, delinquent accounts, unpaid bills and any other negative entry from your credit rating. If you have spare cash, you can repair your credit instantly without going through the laborious process of waiting for negative entries to drop off of your credit report and using secured credit cards to build your credit score back up slowly.

In order to wipe your credit clean, your best possible strategy is to contact your creditors directly and see if there are any opportunities to pay for deletion. If so, you can have items wiped from your report quickly.

Who Has the Debt?

Read your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Find the negative entries that you would like removed. Make note of the creditors and their contact information. The only negative item that you can’t remove from your credit report is a bankruptcy, but anything else is open to negotiation.

First Steps

Contact the creditor by mail or over the phone and request a “pay for delete” on the entry. If the amount owed is under $500, you can increase your chances of success by offering the full amount in return for a deletion. If the amount is larger, start by offering 10 percent; move up from there if you’re denied. Make sure that you request that the deletion occur within 10 to 30 days of the company receiving your payment.

The Waiting Game

Now you must wait for a reply from the creditor. The amount of time you can expect to wait varies, but typically 30 days is enough time to receive a reply. Don’t send any payment until you receive the agreement in writing stating that this negative item will be removed from your credit report once you pay. After you receive this agreement, in writing, send payment promptly as agreed. You can use a check or even a money order if you don’t want your creditors finding out where you keep your bank accounts.

Following Up

Monitor your credit report to ensure that the creditor follows through with your agreement. In most cases, it will follow through promptly, but it usually takes 30 days or more for your credit report to update. You now can further improve your credit score by paying bills and making loan payments on time. A credit report clean of negative entries will improve your chances of being approved for affordable loans and credit cards, but a good credit history is necessary for building your score over the long term.

  • CreditInfoCenter: 5 Methods of Dealing With Collections on Your Credit Report
  • Fair Isaac Corporation. “What’s In My Credit Scores?” Accessed Oct. 31, 2020.
  • TransUnion. “What’s Considered a Good Credit Score?” Accessed Oct. 31, 2020.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “Is it Possible to Remove Accurate, Negative Information From My Credit Report?” Accessed Oct. 31, 2020.
  • Federal Trade Commission. “Fair Credit Reporting Act § 605. Requirements Relating to Information Contained in Consumer Reports.” Page 22. Accessed Oct. 31, 2020.
  • TransUnion. “How Long Do Closed Accounts Stay on My Credit Report?” Accessed Oct. 31, 2020.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “How Can I Tell a Credit Repair Scam From a Reputable Credit Counselor?” Accessed Oct. 31, 2020.

John Hewitt began freelancing in 2008, writing about subjects ranging from music to stock trading, the energy industry and business. His ghostwritten work has appeared all over the Web. He attended New York University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history.

How to clear your experian credit report

Identity thieves may open new credit card accounts in your name if they have access to your personal information like your Social Security number, name and address. We all know it can be extremely frightening and frustrating when criminals commit this kind of identity theft, especially when they open up numerous credit card accounts and max them out thus, committing identity theft and credit card fraud. These imposters typically open new bank and credit accounts, utility and telephone accounts, obtain personal, student, business, and auto loans, as well as make other big credit purchases using stolen information.

How to clear your experian credit report

When the identity thief don’t pay these bills, lenders or creditors will come after you and make you clean up the mess the thief has done. Unfortunately, the credit bureaus rely on you, the consumer to do most of the work to PROVE that you didn’t open these accounts. If not done correctly and immediately, your credit score will suffer. Removing fraudulently opened accounts can be a long and drawn out process. Use the steps below to help get your credit back in shape as quickly as possible.

Steps to Removing Fraudulent Accounts from Your Credit Report

First thing you should do is get a copy of all 3 of your credit reports. Make a list of accounts you don’t recognize. Next you should call the creditor immediately and let them know that the account is fraud. You should also keep a record of your conversations’ details as well as copies of all correspondence.

Close the Account Immediately

While you have them on the phone, request that they close the account immediately. If you decide to correspond via mail, you should make sure you have the address to the fraud department and not the PO box for where they take payments. Use the number from the website of the credit card issuer – not one you received via phone call or unsolicited email. Let the issuer of the credit card know that the account doesn’t belong to you. Be prepared since the issuer of the credit card may ask for more proof such as identity theft affidavit or a police report.

You’re Not Liable for Fraudulent Card Charges

Bear in mind that you are not responsible for any of these unauthorized charges. If someone used your name to open a credit card amount without your knowledge, you are not responsible for any charge made on that credit card.

However, you need to report the credit card fraud right away the moment you found out this unfortunate happening and provide any proof available as per credit card issuer’s requests.
Keep in mind its not as easy as just saying this account is fraud and they remove it from your credit report. The credit issuer will want you to PROVE it. Sometimes these ID thieves rack up THOUSANDS of dollars of debt in your name. The credit issuer doesn’t want to just write off this debt without first making sure it really wasn’t you.

Secure an ID Theft Affidavit and File a Police Report

While the form is voluntary, it can help you remove fraudulent accounts from your credit report much faster. The ID Theft affidavit can help your local police with their police report. You should also place a fraud alert on your credit report. It’s much easier to do this. All 3 credit reporting agencies have fraud alert numbers – please keep in mind the credit reporting agencies frequently change these numbers, but at the time of this publication the numbers are:


A fraud alert will stay on your credit report for 90 days and can be renewed. Placing a fraud alert on your credit report will help stop the ID thieves from obtaining more credit under your name.

If you know the person behind the fraudulent accounts, you can have him or her prosecuted. But, even if you can’t tell who opened up the account, you should still file a police report. It will be very important in getting the fraudulent accounts closed and eliminated from your credit report.

How to clear your experian credit reportWhat is Experian?

Experian is the largest credit reference agency in the UK, with 11 million users, as of June 2021. It offers people the opportunity to check their credit score, as well as accessing a more detailed credit report, which shows personal information, existing financial arrangements and financial history. In addition to this, it has an “Identity Plus” service, which offers users protection against identity theft and fraud.

While it’s possible to get a free Experian account, which enables you to check your Experian credit score, the CreditExpert service, which allows you to see your full report, comes at a cost after an initial 30-day trial. The Identity Plus features also attract a monthly fee. There is, however, the potential to increase your credit score for free with Experian Boost, which we discuss in more depth later in the article.

As is the case with all of the credit reference agencies, the credit score is calculated based on Experian’s own scoring system and is expressed as a number, which can’t be compared with credit scores generated by Equifax or TransUnion. What is more, each agency tends to access different sources of information and may not include the same credit agreements or events in your financial history, which means there can be significant discrepancies between them. This means it is worth checking your credit scores with all three credit reference agencies, rather than simply assuming each report will be the same.

Experian’s key features

  • It is the only credit reference agency that offers a way to instantly increase your credit score for free. Experian Boost uses open banking to review your spending habits, with a potential uplift applied to your score if you demonstrate you have, for example, made payments to subscription services, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, paid council tax or regularly put money into savings or investment accounts.
  • When you sign up to a free Experian account, your credit score and summary of total borrowing can always be viewed without charge.
  • CreditExpert gives you daily updates and a more detailed breakdown of your borrowing, at a cost of £14.99 per month.
  • Identity Plus monitors whether your identity is being used elsewhere on the web, gives you a daily fraud report and gives support if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud. This service costs £6.99 per month.
  • Experian also acts as a credit broker and gives users a guide to how likely they are to be accepted for financial products with a number of lenders. They also have pre-approval and guaranteed-rate features.

How does Experian work?

Experian collates information from a number of different sources, including:

  • Personal information, such as your date of birth, address and whether you are on the electoral roll.
  • Existing credit agreements, including how much of your credit limit you are using (known as “credit utilisation”), your track record of making payments on time and any late or missed payments.
  • Examples of problems with debt, including defaults, CCJs, IVAs and bankruptcy. These only appear on your credit report for 6 years before being removed.

Experian doesn’t include information about your employment, salary or income, or health expenses. It does, however, look at how often you apply for credit, as well as whether you have been turned down for credit in the past.

It uses all of this information to come up with a score between 0-999, with 999 being the perfect score. This number gives lenders a guide to your potential credit worthiness, although different lenders will view your score differently rather than there being a one-size-fits-all approach. In short, viewing your Experian credit score, alongside your score with other credit reference agencies, will give you an indication of whether you are likely to be approved for credit, but it doesn’t act as a guarantee.

What do Experian’s credit ratings mean?

Is Experian accurate?

As with other credit reference agencies, Experian uses information collected from official sources, as well as from lenders. There is the potential for errors to occur or for out-of-date entries to drag your score down. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion also collect data from different sources, so your report will often vary significantly across all three, including the overall credit score you are given. It is, therefore, worth checking your report with all three providers, correcting any errors and making a note of the overall credit score for each. This is all the more important as you can’t be sure which of the providers’ reports lenders will use when you apply for products in the future. You could, for example, have checked your Experian score, but the lender refers to the Equifax report, which could have a different overall credit rating that makes you less likely to be accepted.

How much does Experian cost?

Experian is one of the more expensive options if you opt for full access to your credit report and score on a monthly basis, following the free 30-day trial, at £14.99 per month. Meanwhile, the Identity Plus option is £6.99 per month. It is, however, possible to just access your overall credit score for free. It also allows you to use Experian Boost, which can serve to immediately increase your Experian credit score.

Another way to access your Experian credit report is through the MoneySavingExpert Credit Club , which is free.

Is Experian safe?

In 2014, Experian, alongside Equifax and TransUnion, became regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means it has to comply with certain standards, offering consumers protection. That said, it received an enforcement notice from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about the way it has “used personal data within their data broking businesses for direct marketing purposes”. The ICO has ordered it to make changes to “invisible” processing, where individuals are not aware “the organisation is collecting and using their personal data”. Experian is appealing against the ICO ruling.

Experian customer reviews

According to independent customer review site Trustpilot, Experian has a satisfaction rating of 1.2 out of 5.0, from more than 1,000 reviews. 94% of respondents designated it as “bad”, with many citing errors on reports and customer service issues as the reason for giving the company a low score. However, both Equifax and TransUnion also score less than 2 out of 5, with reviewers complaining about similar issues for each one, suggesting Experian is no worse than its competitors in how it is perceived by its users.

How to clear your experian credit report

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When you’re starting out, getting a credit score can be maddeningly elusive. Many lenders are reluctant to extend credit unless you already have experience with credit. Credit bureau Experian wants to ease that Catch-22 for credit novices with a free product called Experian Boost.

Using Boost lets your streaming, phone and utility payments “count” toward your Experian credit score.

Boost scans your bank transactions for the payments, and reports only positive payment info.

You must give enough personal data for Experian to access your accounts.

Only Experian credit scores will be affected.

Boost is one of several ways you can build your credit.

The idea is to help thin-file customers — especially those who have less experience with credit — by incorporating signs of responsible financial behavior that traditionally aren’t seen by credit reporting bureaus. Boost also may help people who are rebuilding credit after financial setbacks.

How to clear your experian credit report

For consumers who don’t have a credit report at all, there’s a new product called Go that Experian rolled out in early 2022. Experian offers it to consumers who download its app and don’t have a credit footprint. Go establishes a credit report with identifying information, but no credit information. From there, a consumer could use Boost to put credit information in their new credit file.

How does Experian Boost work?

Consumers who want to use Boost must allow the product to scan their bank account transactions to identify streaming, utility and cell phone payments. Information about payments will appear in their Experian credit report and be used when certain credit scores are calculated from that data.

Boost counts only positive payment history, Experian says, so missed streaming, utility or cell phone payments will not hurt your score. That’s different from how credit scores usually work, where missed or late payments are recorded in your credit report and can reduce your score.

To use Boost, consumers sign up for a free membership on Experian’s website and grant permission to connect their online bank accounts. Boost then identifies streaming, utility and cell phone payments. Once a consumer verifies the data and confirms they want it added to their Experian credit file, an updated FICO score is delivered in real time.

Does Experian Boost work?

When a lender checks your credit, it may pull your credit score or view your credit report from any or all of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

There are different versions of your credit scores, such as FICO 8 (the most commonly used score) and VantageScore 3.0.

Lenders would see the effects of Boost only if they view your Experian credit report or pull your FICO 8, FICO 9 , VantageScore 3.0 or VantageScore 4.0 credit scores using Experian data.

One potential con of using Boost: Since all lenders may not be familiar with it, they may see streaming, utility and cell phone payments on your credit report and consider it part of your debt load, which could affect your odds of qualifying for a loan or credit card. Experian says it is “working with lenders to ensure they understand these positive payments.”

Boost vs. UltraFICO and other ways to build credit

Experian is testing another product in conjunction with FICO, also aimed at helping thin-file consumers. The UltraFICO score , which launched as a pilot in 2019 and will roll out in the spring of 2020, also requires access to your bank account data to gauge financial behavior. Instead of utility payments, the score factors in how much you have in savings and whether you incur overdrafts in your checking account.

Boost competitor eCredable Lift can pull information from utility accounts. It reports utility tradelines to TransUnion, and it goes back up to 24 months. It requires credentials to connect to utility accounts, and can be useful even if the customer is unbanked or underbanked. It’s not free, though. It costs $24.95 a year and affects only TransUnion credit reports.

Right now, both Boost and UltraFICO influence only your Experian credit report and scores built using that data. You can do other things to strengthen your credit, and the effect of these steps can extend to all three credit bureaus:

Become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. When someone with an established credit line adds you as an authorized user, you benefit from their good credit habits. Make sure the card reports authorized-user status to the credit bureaus.

Apply for a secured credit card. This starter card is backed by a deposit that also serves as your credit limit. It’s best to put a small, recurring charge on it and set up autopay. The small charge means you’re not using too much of your credit line, which can hurt your score. The automatic payment guards against a late or forgotten payment, which also can damage your score.

Use a credit-builder loan. Credit unions typically offer this type of loan, which builds your credit and savings at the same time. It requires a monthly payment that’s held in a separate savings account until you pay off the loan.

Use a rent-reporting service. Some companies offer to have your rent payments reported to the credit bureaus, allowing you to build your credit file.

Building credit takes time and patience, and it pays to track your progress. NerdWallet offers a free VantageScore credit score as well as a free credit report from TransUnion.

About the author: Amrita Jayakumar is a former writer for NerdWallet. She previously worked at The Washington Post and the Miami Herald. Read more

With a little patience and discipline, you can manage your credit history and build a credit score that may save you money.

How to clear your experian credit report

by NEA Member Benefits


  • A high credit score will get you better terms and interest rates on loans and credit cards.
  • Review your credit reports and dispute any incorrect data to improve your credit score.
  • Avoid credit-repair scams and instead, fix your credit report yourself following tips from the FTC.

When Jennifer decided to lease a new car, she did a lot of research online. She found her dream vehicle and used several consumer websites to pinpoint the fair market value so she could negotiate the best price. She even ran the numbers to estimate her lease payments.

At the dealer, the leasing process was going beautifully. But when the credit manager told Jennifer what her payments would be, she was shocked. They were much higher than her online estimates had suggested. She asked why and was told her FICO ® score was 650, a score that put her in a higher interest rate category. Jennifer had estimated her payments assuming her credit score was good enough to get a preferred rate. Now she was wondering if there was a problem in her credit report, plus she was worried she might not be able to afford the car.

Jennifer’s story shows how important it is to know your credit score and what’s in your credit report before you apply for a loan or make a big purchase that requires installment payments. The terms and interest rate you’ll be charged are directly related to your FICO score, among other considerations. Generally, the higher the score, the lower your interest rates and payments.

Here are five action steps (plus some resources) that will help you improve your credit score and keep your credit reports accurate.

1. Request copies of your credit reports

You can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three big credit reporting bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—once a year at The three bureaus do not share information with one another so your reports at each bureau may be a little different. To keep an eye on your credit history throughout the year, request a free report from a different agency every four months. This will help you spot any problems early.

You may also call 1-877-322-8228 to order your free reports. When you get your reports, review them carefully to make sure the information is correct.

2. Correct inaccuracies in your reports

Under a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), both the credit reporting agency and the company that provided the credit information about you to the credit bureau are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your credit reports. If you find errors in your report, follow the instructions on how to file a dispute with the credit agency, which you can find on the agency’s website.

More information on the dispute process is available from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

3. Know your FICO score

Your FICO score is a 3-digit number summarizing your credit risk, or how likely you are to pay back credit obligations under the terms of the agreement. Your scores are based on the information on your credit reports. Lenders use FICO scores to determine who they will lend to and at what terms and interest rates.

Many banks and credit card companies now display your FICO score for free on your statement or online account. You can also get your Experian and FICO score at no charge from

4. Improve your FICO score

Your FICO score reflects your payment history, the amount of debt you have, your credit history and other factors.

Here are few ways you can improve your FICO score, courtesy of myFICO:

  • Pay bills on time
  • Get current with any missed payments
  • Keep balances low on credit cards and revolving credit accounts
  • Don’t close unused credit cards
  • Don’t open lots of new accounts within a short period of time.

5. Beware of credit-repair scams

If your credit report is a disaster zone, resist the temptation to call the toll-free number of a firm that promises to clean up your credit report. The FTC warns that there are many likely scams that target consumers who have poor credit histories in this manner. These companies cannot deliver an improved credit report using the tactics they promote.

It takes time and effort, but the best way to repair your credit is to do it yourself.

For more on every type of consumer scams making the rounds, check the Federal Trade Commission’s Scam Alert. You can even sign up to get the latest scam alerts by email.

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How to Clear Your Name at the Credit Bureaus

  • People who incur unnecessary debt find themselves in a position where they are no longer able to service those debts. Failure to pay debts has long-term consequences. Your name will be registered with the credit bureaus. The next time you apply for debt, your name will be flagged. This means you’ve been blacklisted and won’t qualify for a loan.
  • Failing to pay off furniture you bought on credit could mean that when you’re ready to settle down, you won’t qualify for a bond. Being blacklisted by the credit bureaus can derail your future plans.
  • The good news is that it is possible to clear your name with the credit bureaus. It might not be an easy road ahead. However, it’s worth it for your financial future if you can get yourself on the right side of the credit bureaus.

What do credit bureaus do?

These are registered businesses that obtain, record, collate and maintain credit information. This is done corresponding with your ID number.

The information they obtain gives a picture of how you conduct yourself when you take on a debt. The bureaus make their services available to other businesses. For a fee, they provide a retailer a report about your credit habits and status.

If you’ve been blacklisted, here are some ways to clear your name:

1. Pay the debt

The easiest step is to approach the business to whom you owe money and settle the account. Often, you can negotiate a settlement with them. Afterward, you can ask your creditor to write a letter to the credit bureaus exonerating you of the debt because you’ve paid it. The credit bureau will then delete the blacklisting.

The creditor is, by law, not obliged to write such a letter. Make the letter part of your negotiations by means of a written contract or agreement. When you agree to pay the debt, make it conditional upon the creditor issuing the notice to the credit bureaus. If you feel you need help, consult an attorney.

2. Go into debt counselling

Debt counselling and consolidation is a route to settling outstanding debts if you cannot pay them immediately. But be warned, use a reliable and established company. A lot of fly-by-night debt counselling businesses will take your money and not pay your debts. Check out the track record of a company before you approach them.

Once you’ve consolidated your debts, keep track of them to make sure they’re being paid. It will take you longer, but your debts will eventually be paid. Then you can have your creditors write a letter to the credit bureaus absolving you of all debt obligation.

3. Check out your report

If you’ve been blacklisted and you feel it’s unfair, you can approach the Credit Bureau Association (CBA).

Their postal address is:
PO Box 2146

Their email address is:
[email protected]

Their phone number is:
(011) 463 8218

Their physical location is:
The Campus
Twickenham Building
Ground Floor
Corner Main and Sloan Streets

4. Get legal help

Few South Africans are aware of their consumer rights. Even fewer have access to attorneys to represent them. However, there are websites that can help you to understand your rights and responsibilities as a consumer. You can get legal cover for as little as R49 pm from Right Cover Online . This is probably one of the most affordable options and the value you can get from this far outweighs the price.

The best way to keep your name away from credit bureaus is to service your debts. You can’t get a loan without a debt record. That means you need to incur debts to show you can be responsible and pay them off. If you can’t pay the debt, don’t bury your head in the sand, get help before you’re blacklisted.

  • Failure to pay debts leads to blacklisting which affects your ability to apply for credit.
  • If you’re blacklisted, settle the outstanding debt and get your creditor to write to the credit bureau.
  • There is a case for debt consolidation as long as the firm you choose is reputable.
  • Approach the Credit Bureau Association if you’ve been treated unfairly.
  • There’s online help if you cannot afford an attorney.
  • Know the law and your rights as a consumer. Discharge your debt responsibilities to avoid being blacklisted. If you can’t manage your debt, get help before it’s too late.

A collection account will lower your credit score and can generally stay on your credit report for up to seven years. Often, a collection entry will even keep you from getting a mortgage or securing an auto loan, which is why it’s important to do all you can to remove collections from your credit report quickly.

To be clear, you can pay a collection and still have it shown on your credit report. The credit reporting bureaus can just change the account to a “paid collection.”

Fortunately, it is possible to remove collections from your credit report.

Here are 4 ways to remove collections from your credit report, improve your score, and restore your borrowing power:

  1. Request a Goodwill Deletion
  2. Dispute the Collection
  3. Request Debt Validation
  4. Negotiate a Pay-for-Delete

1. Request a Goodwill Deletion – If You Have Paid The Debt

The first step, if you have paid the full collection account, settlement, or have been making regular on-time payments, is to mail the collection agency a “goodwill letter” that explains your situation.

Don’t go into too many details, but let the debt collector know if you’re trying to buy a house but can’t because of the negative information on your credit report.

Then kindly ask the debt collector to remove collections from your credit report out of goodwill.

With some newer scoring models of FICO and VantageScore, they ignore a collection marked as “paid”, though many lenders still utilize older formulas that will still weigh a paid collection account against you.

If this sounds overwhelming, you might want to reach out to a credit expert.
It costs some money but is less expensive than you might think
considering you are getting your own lawyer to fight on your behalf.

2. Dispute the Collection – If You Found An Error

If the goodwill letter falls flat and the debt collection remains on your credit report, it’s time for a more advanced method.

For this, you will need a current copy of your most recent credit report. TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax provide you with a free credit report once a year. You can also apply for a free weekly credit report on

Once you have your credit reports, find any negative items you’d like removed and make note of them.

Confirm all the details and if you see anything inaccurate, report the inaccurate information to the major credit reporting agencies.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires credit reporting agencies to show only accurate information about your credit history.

If you can find inaccurate information, the credit bureau will have to fix the information. Though, if it can’t fix the errors, the bureau should remove the collections from your credit report.

This method can work because, rather than simply disputing the entire entry, you are going to write an advanced dispute letter that lists especially what is inaccurate.

Using this letter, you will insist that each piece of information is corrected or that the collection be removed.

This makes it more difficult for the credit agencies to verify the collection and hopefully results in them simply removing the collection altogether.


  • Balance
  • Account number
  • Date opened
  • Date closed
  • Account status (e.g., Closed)
  • Payment status (e.g., Collection)
  • Payment history
  • Delinquency date
  • Credit limit
  • High balance
  • Addresses
  • Anything else that appears to be inaccurate

3. Ask the Collection Agency to Validate the Debt

If you can’t find inaccuracies on your credit reports, write to the collection agency and ask it to validate your debt.

Under section 809 of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collection agencies are required to validate debts they are attempting to collect, if you request that they do so.

The main issue here is that you have only 30 days to make the request after the collection agency first contacts you.

If they are unable to validate the debt, you can ask them to remove it from your credit report.

4. Negotiate a Pay-for-Delete Agreement

When your original creditor can’t collect your past-due balance, it’ll sell your debt to a debt collection agency which means you now owe the money to the agency.

But when the agency buys your debt, it doesn’t pay the full amount. It may pay only a fraction of what you owed on your original debt.

If the collection agency can get you to pay off the debt, it makes a profit. As a result, you could leverage a payment in your negotiations.

How to Negotiate a Pay-for-Delete Agreement

You offer to pay part of your balance due in exchange for getting all negative information related to the debt off your credit report.

For this to work, you have to get this agreement in writing. An agreement over the phone won’t hold up. You could do your part and pay the agreed-upon amount only to learn the agent you spoke with didn’t make a record of the deal.

Now, if you owe $30,000 on an old credit card charge-off, you’d have a hard time coming up with a lump sum so large. Even 30 percent would still be $9,000. But this pay-for-delete strategy can help when you can afford to make a payment.

Late payments can be reported separately even though it’s associated with the same debt. Though, if you negotiate with your creditors to get a collection account removed, be sure all the negative data goes away.

Have a Professional Remove Collections From Your Credit Report

If this all seems like too much for you to handle, and you are worried about trying to take on a collection agency on your own, there’s an entire industry devoted to credit repair that is ready to help you.

A professional credit repair company like Lexington Law could help restore your credit — usually within three or four months. They won’t take any action you couldn’t take yourself. Since credit repair is all they do, it’ll work faster and more efficiently.

You would need to budget some money for the monthly payments, which average about $100 depending on the plan you choose. There’s also a one-time set-up fee for most credit repair companies.

But if you want to get your personal finances back on track without spending your free time on the phone or writing letters, you should consider this kind of service provider.

How to clear your experian credit report

Tim Maxwell

  • December 2, 2020

How to clear your experian credit report

Your phone number and other personal information are updated when you apply for a line of credit or when you update your phone number with your creditors. When your creditors send their information to the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), they will include your new phone number and the credit agencies will update your credit reports.

Although it doesn’t hurt your credit to have an outdated phone number on your credit report, you may want to keep your number current. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways to update your phone number on your credit report, and why you might consider doing so.

Two Ways to Update Your Phone Number on Your Credit Report

You can change your phone number on your credit report in one of two ways:

  1. Update Your Number With Your Creditors.

When you change your number with your creditors, they will give the credit bureaus your new phone number when they submit their monthly updates. Be patient, it could take 30 to 45 days for your creditors and the major credit bureaus to update your information.

  1. Change Your Phone Number With the Credit Bureaus Directly.

    You can also bypass your creditors and change your information directly with the reporting bureaus. Here’s how to update your phone number with each of the three major credit bureaus:
  • Equifax – Log into their Member Center and click on “My Account.” Then click “My Profile” and change your contact information yourself.
  • Experian – According to Experian, you can change your phone number and other contact information by calling or writing them using the contact information on their credit reports. They will allow you to delete an old phone number online, but they must help you to add or change your number.
  • TransUnion – Update your phone number by calling TransUnion directly at 800-916-8800.

Does an Old Phone Number Impact Your Credit?

While it’s a good idea to keep information current on your credit report, having an old number does not directly impact your credit health Your credit report is connected with your Social Security number and it will continue to operate as usual even if your name, address or phone number is outdated.

Once you update your telephone number on your reports, your old number is likely to stay on your credit reports as supplementary identifying information.

Updating your phone number helps potential new creditors to match you with your credit report. Even so, credit reports are not intended to display an exhaustive history of your personal contact information. Thankfully, most companies understand that and don’t expect a complete up-to-date history of your contact information.

The Bottom Line

Having a current phone number isn’t one of the factors that make up your credit score so don’t worry if the current number doesn’t appear on your credit reports right away. Nevertheless, it’s good practice to keep the information on your credit report current so update your phone number with your creditors promptly. The sooner they update your information, the sooner they can report the change to the credit bureaus.

When you have negative remarks on your credit report, you know lenders are seeing it and it has to weigh in on the decisions they make. Negative accounts are a constant reminder of your past financial failures.
Well, not always. In some cases, those mistakes are just that, “mistakes” on your credit report that could be hurting your credit scores.
If you monitor your credit report on a regular basis, you can catch mistakes as they happen. If you’re not checking your credit, it’s possible you have mistakes on your credit report. No matter what, it’s up to you to correct any mistakes.

What About Delinquent Accounts

While delinquent accounts are tough to remove from your credit report, I’ve know others successfully remove these negative accounts.
If you have delinquent accounts on your credit report, there’s no question that they’re hurting your credit score. These accounts can lower your credit scores 10-40 points per account.
Needless to say, if you can get them removed, you can see a big boost in your scores. Easier said than done, but you do have a few options to help you.

How To Remove Delinquent Accounts

First things first, is the delinquent account yours? If it is a mistake, you need to file a dispute with the credit scoring company it’s filed under.
There’s only 3, it’s either Experian, Equifax or Transunion. You’ll need to create an account online through their websites to file a dispute or you can call them via the phone.
If you have credit monitoring accounts with Credit Karma, you can start to file a dispute from their platform. If the past charge is your responsibility, you’ll need to contact the company to get it took care of.
You need to see which company added the delinquent account to your credit report. You’re going to need to get the company’s name, amount of the bill and their phone number.
Removing negative information will help you achieve a better credit score. A better credit report is also the key to getting approved for credit cards and loans and to getting good interest rates on the accounts that you’re approved for.
To help on your way to better credit, here are some strategies to get negative credit report information removed from your credit report.

How To Submit A Dispute To The Credit Bureau

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is Federal law, it explains the type of information that can be reported on your credit report and how long it can stay on your credit report. By law, 7 years is the maximum amount of time it can stay on your credit.
The FCRA says that you have the right to an accurate credit report and due to that, you have the right to dispute errors with the credit bureau.
Credit report disputes are likely easier when you complete them online. In order to make a dispute online, you must have recently ordered a copy of your credit report.
You can submit a dispute with the credit bureau who provided you with the credit report. You can also go to the credit bureau’s website and follow the directions to file a dispute.
If you want to dispute it via mail, you’ll need to write a letter describing the credit report and submit copies of any proof you have.
The credit bureau investigates your dispute with the information you’ve provided and they’ll ultimately make a decision to remove the item(s) or not.
If you’re a member of Credit Karma or other credit monitoring platforms, you can file a dispute directly from their platform.

Dispute The Company That Reported To The Credit Bureau

Now, you do have the opportunity to completely bypass the credit bureau and dispute directly with the company that reported the bill/mistake to the credit bureau, such as the credit card issuer, bank, lender, or debt collector.
You can make the dispute in writing, and the business is required to do an investigation just like the credit bureau.
If the company determines that the error on your credit report is their fault, they must notify all the credit bureaus of that error so your credit reports can be corrected.

Pay for Delete Offers

Credit bureaus won’t remove accurate, verifiable information on your credit report even if you dispute it (because the investigation will verify the accuracy of this information), so you may have to negotiate with them to have items removed from your credit report.
A pay for delete offer is a technique you can use with delinquent, or past due, accounts. In pay for delete negotiation, you offer to pay the account in full in exchange for having the negative details removed from your credit report.
Some creditors will take you up on the offer.

Goodwill Request

With pay for delete, you can use money as the bargaining chip for getting negative information removed from your credit report. If you’ve already paid the account, however, you don’t have much-negotiating power.
At this point, you can ask for mercy by requesting a goodwill deletion.
Don’t take anyone’s word for it. If they agree to remove the account, make sure you get that in writing. Creditors don’t have to do anything, some will be willing to help.
After all, if you’re paying the balance, it’s not like you’re asking for too much wanting the account removed.

Credit Reporting Time Limits

If you have no luck with everything below (and some of you will), the only move you have left is to wait it out.
The good news, the law clearly states that negative information has to be removed in 7 years with the only exception being bankruptcy (which is 10 years).
There’s more good news, the older these accounts get, the less they affect your credit score. As they get older, you’ll see your credit score slowly rise.
In the time being, do what you can to keep your credit reports flawless. Make sure you’re making 100 percent of your payments.

What Will Not Work

A lot of people think filing bankruptcy will remove negative information from your credit report, but that’s not true. When your debts are discharged in bankruptcy, the balances will be reported as $0, but the accounts will remain on your credit report.