How to remove accounts from a credit report

Written by Bill MacDonaldSeptember 8th, 20223 minute read

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives consumers the right to challenge any information on his or her credit report for "completeness and accuracy." When a consumer files a dispute, the credit agencies are required by law to contact the creditor and confirm that the information can be verified with the creditor, is accurate, and not outdated.

In some situations, the credit bureau must exceed the ordinary verification of the creditor's record. If the credit bureau has not received confirmation from the creditor within 30 days, then, the credit bureau is required by law to promptly delete the questioned credit listing.

It is your right and responsibility to double-check the accuracy of your credit reports.

You have the right to ask for the incorrect content on your credit reports to be removed if it does not accurately represent your consumer behavior.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act provide you with the legal right to dispute inaccurate information on your credit reports with credit bureaus and individual creditors (FDCPA).

The most frequent method for improving credit is to file a credit bureau dispute.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to dispute and have items on your credit report removed if you think they are inaccurate, late, misleading, prejudiced, incomplete, or unverified.

When you dispute a questionable negative credit item with the credit agencies, you're asking them to examine whether or not the item should be included on your credit reports.

If the credit agency is unable to verify the item's validity, they must either correct the listing or delete it from your credit report altogether.

Another element of credit restoration is working with creditors to remove negative entries from your credit reports.

Your creditors may delete negative information from your credit reports at any time.

A simple request to have a poor credit listing modified or deleted is all it takes when working with more cooperative creditors.

If this non-confrontational method isn't working, you may utilize the tools given by various consumer protection laws to compel creditors and collections agencies to verify the accuracy of the accounts reported.

Thousands of people have used some or all of their legal rights to fair and accurate credit reports to effectively repair their credit and raise their credit scores.

SOURCE: Lexington Law

A recent settlement between the State of New York and the three largest credit bureaus will give consumers a grace period of six months before medical debts appear on a consumer's credit report. The credit agencies will be required to remove a medical debt/collection once it is reported as paid or settled.

The first step in removing bad credit is to obtain a copy of your credit report from Everyone is entitled to a free credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, once every 12 months. You can also obtain a free credit report with your credit score from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Use the online portal. It is really easy:

Equifax: Credit Report Assistance
TransUnion: Get Credit Report
Experian: Free Credit Report & Free Credit Score

After obtaining your credit reports. Carefully compare the credit reports. It is possible that bad credit is reported on one report and not on another. If you believe that the bad credit is in error, dispute it with the credit agency.

How old is the bad credit?

The time period is seven years for unpaid credit and delinquent accounts. Chapter 7 bankruptcies take 10 years to come off a credit report. Unfortunately, the seven or ten-year time period is not always followed because collection companies buy and sell delinquent credit accounts. The start date for the seven-year credit report clock is the date of delinquency with the original creditor.


Many creditors want to continue to do business with you, and may remove derogatory credit listings in order to continue that relationship. The industry term is "goodwill adjustment." It can’t hurt to ask the creditor to delete the late payment.

Be careful with charge-off accounts.

You might be tempted to payoff a charge off to improve your credit score, however, if the debt is paid off, the account will be updated, and consequently, the seven-year clock on the debt may start all over again. The only exception would be if you could get the creditor to agree in writing to remove the delinquency from your credit report.