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Getting Rid of Collections

April 19, 2009 by PlasticEconomy.com

When lenders analyze your credit report, collections listed can affect you in a negative way. The older a collection is, the less it will hurt your credit score, however collections do stay on your credit report for a whole seven years. During this time anyone who pulls your credit report will see the collection account.

The recommended course of action for this common credit problem is to remove the collections from your credit report. There are several ways to do this depending on your individual financial situation and why the collections are listed in the first place.

You may notice debts that are not yours listed on your account. This happens more often than you might think and it’s possible to have these erroneous listings removed. You can file a dispute with the credit bureau and request they remove the incorrect listing from your report. Another thing you can do is ask the creditor to validate the debt, which requires them to prove the debt is owed by you. Within a certain period of time if the creditor does not respond or cannot validate your collection it must be erased.

After seven years, collections are supposed to be removed from your report. The FCRA states collection accounts can only stay on your report for this long. However, some creditors will try to keep the debt on your report longer by making it look as if the collection went on your account later than it really did. This is called re-aging an account and can keep the collection on your credit unless you dispute it with the creditor and credit bureau.

Any documentation you have proving the true age of the debt will be helpful.

Another way to have collection debt removed from your credit report is by disputing after your original collector has sold your account. Because collections are sold and transferred to other agencies, the agency on your report may not be the one trying to collect the debt. It is possible to have items that have been switched from one collector to another removed by disputing the account.

Finally, you can pay the collection accounts then write to request the paid accounts be marked paid in full or deleted from your report.

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