Financial Guidance

How to Remove Negative Items from Credit Report Yourself?

how to remove negative items from credit report yourself
Written by Gabriel Wallace
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Read Time:15 Minute, 32 Second

A credit report is a detailed and accurate record or summary of a borrower’s credit activity, which includes your repayment timeline, credit limits, and an account of different types of credit cards. Your credit report is usually passed on to the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies, for evaluation and tracking. These three major credit bureaus are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. If you are wondering how to remove a derogatory item from a credit report and remove credit report items that are debilitating to your financial health, you will need to lodge complaints with all three credit bureaus as having to remove negative items on a credit report is a big deal.

There can be differences in cases depending on your lender because all lenders do not report to all three major credit bureaus. A lot of lenders only report to one or two or don’t report to any at all, causing major problems with how to remove disputes from credit report.

A well-managed credit report can be proof of your creditworthiness and prove you as a credible consumer which can further help you with qualifying for loans like mortgages, auto loans, and other financial gains.

What Goes into Your Credit Report?

What Goes into Your Report?

A few decades ago, all three of the major credit reporting bureaus adopted the new FICO score system since the consumer base has struggled a bit in regard to the changed credit scoring system. With time people became more accustomed and attentive to this new credit-scoring system and how it worked. 

This made the consumers realize the potential of maintaining a good credit score and how it impacted and aided their other financial endeavors, including qualifying for loans, comparing interest rates, and receiving personalized offers. Apart from these, it also helped people avoid unsecured credit cards for bad credit. Although not everyone has a full understanding of the entire process still, the progress has been massively positive.

How to Remove Negative Items on a Credit Report?

If you’re wondering how to remove a dispute from a credit report just follow the below-mentioned steps for a smooth process for removing items from credit report and to increase your chances of a resolution:

  • Take the issue to the credit bureau.
  • Dispute with the creditor.
  • Hire an efficient and professional credit repair company if needed.
  • Offer Pay to Delete.
  • Make a goodwill gesture.
  • Wait it out.

This is the simple and often-successful solution to the problem of “how to remove negative items from credit report before 7 years”.

How to Dispute Accurate Information in Your Credit Report?

remove credit report items

Consumers usually use credit cards to build credit, but it can have an effect on your credit score, if not managed properly. Typically it is impossible to remove credit report items but accurate information from your credit report. However, you can dispute negative but accurate information if it appears multiple times throughout your credit history. Beware of anyone claiming otherwise because they are likely to be credit repair scams.

Although it’s within your legal rights to dispute any inaccurate information while it is the credit bureau’s and the credit lender’s liability to remove this information from your credit history. Make sure to consult with both these parties to come to a smoother and better resolution.

What are Some Credit Report Repair Strategies That don’t help?

There are some credit repair strategies that don’t answer the question of how to remove a derogatory item from a credit report that well. These won’t bear fruit and might just do you more harm than good. Some of the strategies listed below are hard to manage and can ruin your credit report instead of fixing it:

File Segregation

The act of file segregation is typically illegitimate and offered only by credit repair scam companies. The whole process includes multiple steps like creating a new taxpayer ID, commonly an Employer Identification Number (EIN) then applying for credit under the EIN. This can potentially trick the creditors into granting credit without realizing it by overlooking the borrower’s own credit history. Essentially this translates to changing the name on a credit card to rebuild credit from scratch.


Piggybacking is similar to being an authorized user on someone else’s card. This practice acts as two sides of the same coin. The authorized user is added as a secondary user of the credit and given a separate credit card to be used under the same account. This has obvious advantages and disadvantages, as it mainly comes down to the primary account holder. If the primary user uses the account responsibly and does not accrue any negative remarks, then the secondary account holder gets to piggyback on the primary user’s good credit management skills, and build credit. 

However, if the primary account holder happens to end up doing the exact opposite, gets into financial difficulty, and ends up needing to remove credit report items, it will directly impact the secondary user’s credit report. Moreover, a lot of credit lending companies do not report to major credit bureaus, in which case, piggybacking is an invalid choice for you when you’re looking at how to remove negative items from credit report before 7 years. 

Although risky, this can prove beneficial in some cases. Despite that, the huge negative impact it would have on the secondary account holder’s credit report, in case something goes wrong, is not worth the trade.

What Happens When an Item is Removed from Your Credit Report?

When an item is removed or deleted from your credit report, in the majority of cases they stay that way and can not reappear on your credit report. Although, no matter how slim, there are still chances that even after you remove credit report items, they might reappear. For example, when you dispute an item with the credit bureau, they contact your credit card lender and give them a response period of 30 days.

If your credit card lender does not respond within those 30 days, the credit bureau takes the liberty to make changes to your credit report in context to your raised dispute. However, these changes are not necessarily permanent and can be rectified as long as your credit lender reverts to the credit bureau within 7 years.

Apart from the mentioned removed, entries or items can also reappear in some other cases. Like if a deleted entry happened to be accurate and verified previously then a furnishing party can rereport the specific entry and have the credit bureau reinsert it. However, this reinsertion isn’t permanent and can usually be resolved as the credit reporting agency is obliged to send you a note of this update so you can take steps for further resolution.

What are the Worst Negative Credit Report Entries That Impact Your Score the Most?

Negative credit report entries, regardless of their scale, can impact your credit score and ruin it. Although some specific ones do so much more quickly, others impact your credit score slowly but put it in an equally stressful condition, for up to 7 or 10 years. Therefore, it is natural to be anxious about how to remove disputes from credit report. Some of these large-scale negative entries are:

Charge offs

A charge-off is when your credit card lender marks off your debt as uncollectible; this can happen if you miss your payments for up to 4-6 months. Even after your account is closed, your credit card lender is allowed to pursue you for the debt you owe. If your account is charged off, this entry can stick to your credit history for up to 7 or 10 years and impact your credit score severely. 

Even after you pay off your debt, a clean credit report is a faraway dream as it will be marked as a paid charge-off and appear on your credit report as so, which is still bad but not as impactful on your credit score compared to an unpaid debt.


You can remove your liability for some or all of your debt if you file for bankruptcy, even though it depends heavily on the type of bankruptcy you file for. Your credit report will include all the accounts involved in your bankruptcy, which will remain on your credit history for 7 or 10 years as the issue of how to remove negative items from credit report before 7 years is difficult. Sometimes, it can well be impossible to remove credit report items. Even so, you can start building your credit again from scratch after you have paid off your loans and removed credit report items.


Defaulting on your mortgage is one of the most negatively impactful entries on your credit card. If you default on your mortgage, your credit issuer company has the legal liberty to take possession of your property or house whichever you have your collateral on. This whole process is known as Foreclosure. When your house is in possession of the bank as a result of your defaulting it is referred to as having your house foreclosed. 

Having your house foreclosed can heavily damage your credit score and limit you from getting a new credit card in the future. This will stay on your credit report for seven years, trying to remove credit report items won’t work in such a scenario. Moreover, it can also impact your chances to buy new property even if it stops impacting your credit score.


Repossession is similar to Foreclosure but unlike the latter, you lose possession of your car or vehicle in place of your house or property. If you are an auto loan defaulter, the issuer has the liberty to take possession of your car or whichever vehicle you have collateral on. The issuer also has the liberty to start the repossession process even if you are just a few days late. Such an entry will stay on your credit report for seven years.

What are Some Common Credit Report Errors to Look Out for?

What are Some Common Credit Report Errors to Look Out for?

Errors are pretty common with credit reports but can impact your credit score negatively and bring your credit score relatively down. Moreover, they can impact your financial future including qualifying for loans. Some of the most common credit report errors consumers make are:

Inaccurate Personal Information 

Credit reporting agencies often make mistakes. When noting and documenting consumers’ personal information. Which might include name, address, proof of identity, etc. However, documenting mistakes like these may seem to be harmless. Even an error of this small scale can ruin the financial aspect of your life.

To give an example, imagine if you were mistakenly convicted for someone with a violent felony charge. This could do irreversible damage and dramatically change your life. If you were to apply for a job or pass a credit check. This can be of major disadvantage to you as such information is part of difficult-to-remove credit report items. Some of these common mistakes found on credit reports are:

  • Incorrect address error
  • Incorrect name error
  • Incorrect spelling of your name error
  • Incorrect phone number error
  • Mistakenly reporting you as deceased

You can ensure your personal information is correct and legitimate by reporting basic personal facts to the credit reporting bureaus. This can include various information like your full name, current address, phone number, and other documentation that can prove whatever it is you want.

Incorrect Accounts 

Incorrect accounts make up one of the top errors on credit reports. It is very important to take a moment and look at the number of accounts the report has under your name during the reviewing process. If there are more accounts registered under your name than you originally made, or if any loans have been taken out under your name, then there is a probable good chance that you are a victim of identity theft.

Sometimes, in a similar scenario, it could alternatively mean that the credit bureaus have accidentally confused your account information or the account itself with someone else’s. This could result from having a similar name, birth date, social security number, etc. to another person. Or, it could perhaps be the result of an error made during data entry. Whatever the cause it is very crucial to fix errors on your Credit Report.

Account Reporting Mistakes 

Another type of very common credit report mistake is an account reporting error. Some of the most common types of account reporting errors that credit reporting agencies make:

  • Inaccurate balances on the account
  • Incorrect dates of late payments
  • Incorrect credit limits
  • Inaccurate missed payment dates

Excluding the ones mentioned, there are numerous other account reporting mistakes these credit accounting agencies make. These errors can completely ruin your credit report and result in financial disasters. It is very important you review your credit report carefully band thoroughly to avoid any future financial tragedies.

How Many Points Will My Credit Score Go Up When a Negative Entry is Removed?

There is no definite answer to such a question; it could range anywhere between barely noticeable to 150 points in increase. The increase in your credit score heavily depends on the weight of the negative entry removed. The more damaging it was to your credit report pre-removal the more credit points you are likely to get in addition.

How Do I Remove Negative Items from My Credit Report for Free?

Clearing a credit report or removing items from a credit report can be quite a lengthy process, as you need to comb through all information regarding the whole ordeal all by yourself. If you still want to know how to remove disputes from credit report, these steps will be useful for you:

  • Your first step towards a DIY credit repair should be reviewing all information about yourself which includes name, address, phone number, social security number, etc, and making sure all your details are accurate in case of a potential personal information error on behalf of the credit reporting agency.
  • Your second step should be verifying your tradelines. This contains a record of all your credit activity, like loans, payments, etc.
  • For the third step, go through all the public records of court information and look for any errors in regard to your dispute.
  • Make inquiries either by yourself or by asking your credit card provider.

Do Credit Bureaus Really Investigate Disputes?

Credit bureaus affirmatively review all the reports, disputes, and documents sent to them from you within 30 days of receiving them and then investigate them. The credit bureau is obliged to notify the party that provided the documents. They name them as the furnisher of the dispute within 5 business days of receiving it. Also, ask them to provide any validity of your dispute in their possession. 

Credit bureaus are liable to perform a fair and reasonable investigation. However, that is not always the case. To earn an annual profit credit bureaus must work efficiently and effortlessly. To do so, they often employ automated help. All three major credit bureaus use a third-party automated system to review disputes, but the system isn’t foolproof. So, consumers face numerous complications.

How to Remove Negative Entries Related to Identity Theft?

If you are thinking about how to remove disputes from credit report related to identity theft, keep reading. Identity theft entries on your Credit Report can highly damage your credit score, but once it has happened, you can’t do much other than do damage control; these following steps are easy to follow and can grant you a quick solution:

  • The first step towards removing an identity theft-related entry from your credit report is to lodge an affidavit at the Federal Trade Commission’s website. Be careful with the details, and make sure to fill up only accurate details.
  • Step two is filling up a police report for identity theft with the local police department. Make sure to include all necessary details.
  • Prepare and send the Identity Theft dispute letter to the credit bureau.
  • Direditly dispute with the credit issuer.
  • Once all the above steps are done your final step is to wait for a response and prepare yourself to protect your identity from any potential future theft.


Q1. How to remove negative items from the Credit Report yourself?

You can repair your credit card by rebuilding it. And, if a negative entry has been deleted from your credit report recently. You can raise a dispute with the credit issuer company and the credit bureau to have the issue of removing credit report items resolved. You need to provide legitimate documents and a letter of goodwill. After which an investigation is conducted, and if your case is strong your credit report will be fixed.

Q2. How do I apply for a pay-for-delete?

Pay-for-delete is a highly controversial topic as credit companies heavily discourage it. Yet it may be the last option for some consumers. Pay-for-delete is a process in which you contact the debt collector. And propose a deal to pay for the removal of all negative entries from your credit report to which the debt collector agrees and acts accordingly. You can call or send a letter to the debt collector and request a pay-for-delete. But you will find most experts advising against it.

Q3. How long does it take for a  negative account report to be removed from your credit history?

It can take from seven to ten years for a negative account to be removed from your credit history. Though it sounds like a long time, it is guaranteed to be removed at the end of the allowed time frame. Suppose you have followed effective strategies on how to remove a derogatory item from a credit report. However, if you have raised a dispute with valid proof, it is likely that the negative items to be removed sooner. Which possibly by the end of the investigation.


Removing negative items from your credit history can be quite challenging. Especially, when the impact on your credit score could differ with the different types of negative entries. Once a negative item is registered on your credit history. It is likely to stay visible on it for seven to ten years. 

The best advice, in this case, is to try to avoid getting a negative item on your credit history by paying back your bills and debts on time and being conscious of your debts and interest rates. However, if you want to remove credit report items. It is best to follow the steps mentioned carefully and with patience for a chance to be successful.

About Post Author

Gabriel Wallace

Gabriel Wallace is a financial analyst and senior consultant at City Hall News. He has more than 10 years of experience in the field and provides critical insights on the latest loan, credit card, and other financial services offerings. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Stanford University and has worked as an advisor for several banks. His expertise in market analysis and financial strategy has made him a go-to resource when it comes to determining the best deals for customers who are looking for products that fit their needs. His ability to analyze financial information quickly and provide clear guidance makes him invaluable to City Hall News’ readership.
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About the author

Gabriel Wallace

Gabriel Wallace is a financial analyst and senior consultant at City Hall News. He has more than 10 years of experience in the field and provides critical insights on the latest loan, credit card, and other financial services offerings. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Stanford University and has worked as an advisor for several banks. His expertise in market analysis and financial strategy has made him a go-to resource when it comes to determining the best deals for customers who are looking for products that fit their needs. His ability to analyze financial information quickly and provide clear guidance makes him invaluable to City Hall News’ readership.

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