About 68 million people around the country have late payments, collection accounts or charge-offs on their credit reports. These negative items lower credit scores and make borrowing more difficult, and interest rates are usually higher when Texas residents with poor credit are able to secure a loan or credit card. If you have negative items on your credit report that should have been removed or were placed in error, there are steps that you can take to get them removed.
Obtaining credit reports
The first thing you should do if you want to remove errors from your credit report is obtain the information from the three credit reporting agencies. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion will all send you a copy of your report for free, or you could visit annualcreditreport.com and order all three at once. This is the only website authorized by the federal government to provide all three credit reports, so you should not go anywhere else. Once you have obtained your credit reports, you should check them thoroughly for any mistakes.
Disputing errors on credit reports
Each credit bureau has a dispute page on its website that allows consumers to challenge errors. You can also contact them by phone or by mail. You should bear in mind that only mistakes will be removed, and the credit bureaus will only remove them when they are presented with documents that show a mistake was made. Avoid dealing with companies that offer to remove negative items from credit reports even if they are accurate because this is a notorious scam. If your credit reports contain negative items and no mistakes were made, filing for bankruptcy could give you the chance to put your financial past behind you and make a fresh start.
Bankruptcy and credit
A personal bankruptcy will remain on a credit report for several years, but it may actually increase the borrower’s score. This is because a bankruptcy closes delinquent accounts, which can improve a borrower’s income-to-debt ratio. Bankruptcy also provides a starting point from which credit can be rebuilt when repair is not an option.