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Clean Your Credit Reports: How To Remove An Obsolete Notation On Your Credit Report

Before you can demand your legal rights, you must know your legal rights, which are contained in The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA is primarily concerned with credit bureaus and credit reports. The intent of the FCRA is to protect you against credit abuses, and to provide you with legal tools to repair and improve your credit.

What can you do if your credit report contains negative information that is more than 7 years old, or bankruptcy or tax lien notation that is over 10 years old?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) grants you important rights as a credit consumer. These basic rights are your key to eliminating those obsolete negative marks in your credit report and to regaining good credit. You have the right to dispute any information in your report that you feel is false, obsolete, incomplete, or incorrectly entered. By disputing an entry, you are challenging the accuracy of what is reported on your credit statement and you neither admit nor deny your liability for the debt.

The law also clearly defines the length of time negative information can remain on your credit report. Older information is considered obsolete and must by law, be removed. For example, the law considers a bankruptcy or an unpaid IRS tax lien to be obsolete information on your credit report after 10 years. Most other information is considered obsolete after 7 years.

To have the obsolete information removed from your credit report, you may write to the credit bureau to request that they remove the out of date information. Write the sample letter by hand, or re-type it on plain paper. A handwritten letter is a better way to initiate the process. You want to avoid the appearance that the letter originated from a credit repair company or an attorney, as the credit bureau will either automatically return it or send it to the bureau’s legal department.

Be sure and sign the letter, date it and include your address, date of birth, and social security number. Make a copy of the letter before sending it. Send the letter certified mail, so that a return receipt is requested. You can then know when the bureau received it. Include a copy of your credit report so the bureau checks the right file.

There are over 1000 credit bureaus in the United States. However, most creditors will request your information from one (or all) of the three largest. If you have been denied credit, have a dispute, or just want to know what’s in your credit file, you would need to request a credit report from all three major credit bureaus. In addition, you would need to send a letter to all three major credit bureaus to feel certain that you have completely removed any obsolete information that may appear in any credit report a potential creditor may request. 

Still confused? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Visit Riegelwood Credit Union to learn about how the right credit union can protect you and your money.

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