5 Negative Items That Can Easily Be Removed from Your Credit Report
Your credit report is like your window to your financial life. A bad credit score can hurt you in more ways than you think. Suddenly getting a loan is difficult, insurance companies might frown upon you, and even getting into a school or getting a job could bring more hurdles than you ever imagined. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to easily remove negative items from your credit report, making it possible to boost your score and give yourself a better financial picture.
1. Withdraw your Authorized User Status
Did you co-sign for someone on a credit card and now they are not paying their bill? That is the negative side of helping someone out as this now affects your credit report as well. Luckily, most credit card companies will remove you as an authorized user, which subsequently allows the credit bureau to remove the account from your credit report. This will not happen on its own, however, you need to formally request the removal from your credit report in the form of a letter to the credit bureau.
2. Negative Items That Cannot be Verified
Verifying items on your credit report in a timely manner is a requirement for proper reporting on a credit report. This is not to say that every negative item is verified, unless you request it. After looking at your credit report, if you see items that you do not know what they are or even question their validity, ask the credit bureau to verify them. The companies reporting the negative information have 30 days to respond; if they do not respond or cannot provide proof, the negative account gets erased from your credit report.
3. File for Tax Lien Withdrawal
Tax liens can remain on your credit report for 7 years AFTER the lien is released (aka paid in full). The IRS does also offer the option to have a withdrawal processed if you enter into a payment agreement. Your account does not have to be paid in full at the time of the withdrawal, but you must make timely payments, including 3 consecutive payments prior to your request. Once the lien is withdrawn, it no longer reports on your credit report. But, if you neglect to make your payments in the future, the lien comes back without the ability to withdraw it again.
4. Accounts That Were Stolen
If your ID was stolen, chances are accounts were opened in your name that you never even knew about. The credit bureaus are required by law to block the information that you say was not a result of your actions. This information will then not able to be seen by anyone. There will be a few further steps that will need to be taken in order to ensure that the accounts are permanently deleted, including writing to the business in question and explaining the identity theft, along with providing the proof, such as the police report.
5. Vacated Judgments
If you were served with a judgment and won in court, it does not mean that the account will be removed from your credit report automatically. You will have to follow the procedures to file a complaint on your credit report, claiming that the judgment is null and void and should not appear on your credit report. You will need to provide the court documents supporting your statements, but once it is proven, the account will be removed from your credit report.
You should pull your own credit report from all three credit bureaus once per year in order to determine what is being reported about you. Since so many different entities want to look at your financial picture, it is essential that you keep it in good standing and ensure that all information is accurate. The only way to know what is being reported is to pull your report and take the necessary actions to rectify any negative accounts.