Everybody makes mistakes in their life – especially financial mistakes. Unfortunately, financial mistakes can end up leaving a poor mark on your credit history, which can sometimes make it more difficult for you to obtain financing. However, your financial mistakes won’t permanently stain your credit history.
After a certain amount of time, financial mistakes will be expunged from your credit history. For example, unpaid and delinquent accounts are removed after seven years, while bankruptcies are removed after ten years. The following are a few debt relief solutions to removing old debt that should no longer be on your credit history:
- Determine the age of the debt – If there was a court action involved, such as a bankruptcy or judgment, then it will be easy to determine the date since you can count it as the day it was filed. For delinquencies, its the first date you became delinquent after which you never caught up.
- Obtain copies of your credit reports – You’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the three consumer reporting agencies every year. Go through each credit report and compare the histories.
- Write a letter to the bureau – If you need to remove old debts that shouldn’t be reported, but are, write a letter. Avoid email as there’s a good chance no one will ever see it. Once you dispute an old debt, the bureau you are disputing it with will ask the creditor to verify your debt. If they can’t, it has to come off your report. You’ll want to include any evidence that backs your dispute, such as copies of court filings.
- Write a letter to the creditor – The creditor that you believe is mistakenly reporting your debt should be notified as well. Send the same documentation and certify it with a return receipt request. Make sure your letter is business like and not emotional.
- Contact a federal regulator – If your collector is a bank and the dispute has not been resolved, contact the federal regulator by mailing them the same info you sent the bureau and creditor.
- Contact an attorney – If you are still having issues resolving your dispute, contact an attorney. Sometimes a letter written on legal stationary will get the creditor’s attention.