Despite many advertised claims that negative items, like liens and bankruptcies, can be erased from your credit, the only way to “repair” your credit is to eliminate false or fraudulent items on your credit. If you have accurate negative information on your credit report, only time and good payment practices will erase it.
When you review your credit report, which can be obtained once without cost from each of the credit bureaus annually, check for any inaccuracies. If you find something amiss, you can dispute it for free. Each company has a procedure for writing a letter and mailing it in to dispute a credit item.
If you contact a credit bureau with an inaccuracy, they have 30 days to evaluate your claim. Providing them with relevant information, documents, and any other proof you have of your claim can assist in this process. Writing a letter that gives your name, address, and birthdate, and that clearly describes the item in question and why it is inaccurate will help facilitate the process.
The credit bureau will contact the information provider, or the institution that has reported the inaccurate information. If the information provider confirms that the information is accurate, then the item will remain on the report. But if, however, the information provider does not confirm it, or denies the accuracy of the item, it will be erased from the individual’s credit report.
To rebuild credit that is based on accurate information, the best thing an individual can do is to pay all loan payments, taxes, and other debts on time and as agreed. The longer an individual does this, the more the credit score will rise over time. After seven years, most negative information is erased. After ten years, bankruptcies will also be dropped from the report. Consistency and planning will, over time, allow an individual to bring up a low credit score.