Precise elements of your record cannot be disputed or removed before the statutory deadline (seven years for most negative items). For example, if you didn't pay on your credit card or didn't pay a student loan, your dispute request will be denied. If all else fails, your only option is to wait for those negative items to fall from your credit report. Fortunately, the law only allows most negative information to be reported for seven years.
The exception is bankruptcy, which can be filed for up to 10 years. The other good news is that negative information affects your credit rating less as you age and as you replace it with positive information. The wait may not be as difficult as you think. Consumers can request their own credit report for free every 12 months from the three major reporting agencies. Therefore, to be sure, you should request a report after the expiration period to confirm.
They can usually eliminate inaccurate information much faster than you could do it yourself. Professional credit repair projects tend to take two to three months. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to repair or fix your credit. The time it takes to rebuild your credit history depends on the severity of your credit problems and how your credit history was affected. It could take just a few months, or it could require several years of commitment.
In either case, there are steps you can start taking right away to help get your credit back on track. The length of your credit repair process depends on the status of your credit reports. Inaccuracies that weigh down your credit score can be eliminated much faster than a history of late payments or defaults. With the right approach, many elements can be eliminated, which could give your FICO score a boost. In general terms, most of the negative elements will remain in your report for seven years.
This includes bankruptcies, judgments, liens and late payments. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, unpaid liens can stay on your credit report for up to 15 years. This YouTube video has a detailed overview of the different timelines you can expect. In general, credit repair takes between three and six months to resolve all the disputes that the average consumer needs to make. You need all three reports (one from each credit bureau, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) because creditors can report transactions to only one or two credit bureaus.
Apps like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame will show your VantageScore, which resembles your FICO score, any time you want to see it. It monitors the credit ratings of the three reporting agencies in real time, alerts you if someone applies for credit using your name, and offers personalized advice to improve your score. So, while the repair process can only take 3 to 6 months, the time it takes to rebuild your credit may take longer. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit bureaus and lenders must ensure that the information they report is accurate and truthful. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law that defines the type of information that can be included in your credit report and for how long (usually seven years). However, we should mention that while you can get a free credit report, it won't contain a free credit score.
It can also hinder your loan applications, such as mortgages, credit cards, or sometimes even insurance, because you will most likely have a low credit score. In this case, you'll need a more holistic approach to credit repair, a way to develop better habits with your lenders so that your score can increase organically. A number of nonprofit credit counseling organizations, such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), can help dispute inaccurate information on your record. Because each person's credit history is unique, paying attention to scoring factors will help you better understand what you can do to improve your credit over time. To help you on your path to better credit, here are some strategies to eliminate negative credit report information from your credit report:
- Pay off any outstanding debts.
- Dispute any errors on your reports.
- Request goodwill adjustments from creditors.
- Reduce debt-to-income ratio.