Removing Inaccurate Information from Your Credit Report Due to Debt Collectors[yoast-breadcrumb]
Removing Inaccurate Information from Your Credit Report Due to Debt Collectors
Having collections on your credit report can really hurt your credit score. Even after you pay off the debt, the collection account can stay on your report for years, dragging down your score. But don’t worry – there are a few ways to get inaccurate collections removed from your credit report. This article will explain how collection accounts impact your credit, how to dispute errors, and how to negotiate for removal of paid collections.
How collection accounts impact your credit score
When an account goes to collections, it means you failed to pay your debt and the creditor hired a collection agency to get the money from you. This will show up as a separate collection account on your credit report. Collection accounts are one of the biggest red flags for lenders and can seriously damage your credit score. Just one collection can drop your score by 100 points or more!
Even after you pay off the collection, it sticks around for 7 years from the date it first showed up late. This is really unfair because it keeps hurting your credit long after you took care of the debt. Collections make it way harder to qualify for new credit or loans at good rates.
How to remove inaccurate collection information
If there’s an error on your credit report – like a collection account that isn’t yours or shows the wrong amount – you can get the credit bureaus to remove it by disputing it. This is your best option for getting rid of inaccurate collections.
First, get copies of your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Check them closely for any collections that are reported incorrectly. Then, file disputes with each bureau that’s reporting bad info. Explain in writing what the error is and include copies of any proof you have, like bank statements or communication with the collector.
The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate. If they agree it’s wrong, they must remove the collection from your credit report. This will help boost your score! If they don’t remove it, you can ask the bureaus to add a statement to your report explaining your side.
How to remove a paid collection account
Even once you pay a collection, it sticks on your report for years dragging down your score. That really sucks! But you may be able to get a paid collection deleted earlier through a goodwill deletion or pay-for-delete agreement.
With a goodwill deletion, you ask the original creditor or collection agency to remove the account as a “goodwill gesture.” They aren’t required to grant this request, but it doesn’t hurt to ask nicely. Explain that you paid the debt and having it continue to impact your credit isn’t fair.
Get the request in writing by sending letters to the creditor and collection agency. Include proof you paid and try to appeal to their good side. This works best if the collection was paid quickly and you have a good history with the creditor.
With pay-for-delete, you negotiate to pay off the collection in exchange for removal from your credit report. The collector isn’t required to accept this deal, but many will if you ask. Get any pay-for-delete agreement in writing before paying the collection.
Be willing to pay the full amount owed right away. Pay-for-delete works best for smaller collections under $500. Once the collection agency confirms it’s been removed, check your credit reports to be sure. Pay-for-delete can get collections off your report years early!
If disputing errors and negotiating for removal don’t work, there are a couple other options:
- Wait for collections to fall off your report after 7 years
- Improve other areas of your credit to offset the collections damage
Keep paying all your bills on time going forward. This will help rebuild your score over time. Don’t close old credit cards since longer positive history also helps. Lastly, keep collection accounts paid and closed even if they won’t be removed.
Dealing with collections is annoying AF. But cleaning up your credit report can help raise your score and qualify you for better rates. Don’t get discouraged – you got this! With some time and effort, you can limit the damage and get back on track.
 How to Remove Collections from your Credit Report [LendingTree]
 How to remove collections from your credit report [USA Today]
 How to Get a Collections Stain Off Your Credit Report [NerdWallet]
 How to Remove Collection Accounts from Your Credit Reports [Credit.com]
 Collections on Your Credit Report [Experian]
 How Can You Remove Collections From Your Credit Report? [US News Money]