The intention of removing negative items from your credit report is to achieve the very simple yet important objective of increasing your overall credit score.
It’s widely known that maintaining a positive payment history month after month on your debts is the best way to increase your credit score. Conversely, missing payments, and becoming delinquent on your bills is the fastest way to assist what will undoubtedly be the rapid decline of your credit score.
Bills that are overall highly important to pay on time would include your mortgage payment first and foremost. The reason that paying your mortgage on time is essential is because typically that will be the largest debt that you carry on your trade-lines. After that, it’s vital that you pay installment contract-type debts such as a car note on time and of course don’t forget about your revolving debt….credit cards.
Going late on any of the aforementioned is a death sentence for your credit score. So, if in fact you have gone through a particularly rough patch in your life and it has caused you to become delinquent on your bills fear not because we will outline several strategies to help you. Our ultimate goal is to inform you how to to go about disputing those negative items so that either the creditor, collection agency representing the creditor, or credit bureau can remove these items thereby increasing your overall credit score.
There’s an old saying that “you can catch more flies with honey than with a swatter.” With that being said, start out playing nice. The first letter you should write is a “Goodwill letter.” This is a nicely written letter appealing to the empathetic side of whomever agency is currently handling your file. The letter would say something along the lines of “I apologize for being late, I went through a tough time financially, but I am working towards making things better.” It may sound somewhat trite but it works. Credit card companies and credit bureaus are made up of people like you and I.
If that doesn’t work right away (though you shouldn’t expect a response for at least 30 days), follow that letter up with a professionally written “Challenge Letter.” It would sound like, “Dear Sir/Madam, I challenge you to formally validate this debt by providing me documentable proof that the debt is mine, the debt amount is accurate, and I owe what you say I owe.” Again, these bureaus are made up of people…who may fumble the ball and not get to your request in the FDCPA mandated time allotted or may not be able to find proof forcing them to begrudgingly remove that item.
From our experience those are the two most effective initial disputes that can yield the best results. We will follow up in another article with more advanced approaches.