If there is an incorrect late payment on your credit reports, you can file a dispute with the appropriate creditor or credit agency to try to get the brand removed. But if the delay in payment is correct, you should know that you probably won't be able to get rid of the derogatory mark ahead of time. Late payments can stay on your credit reports for up to seven years. If you believe that a late payment has been reported in error, you can dispute the information with Experian.
You can also contact the original creditor directly to express your concern and ask them to investigate. If they determine that they reported the late payment in error, they can contact the credit reporting companies to have it withdrawn. When filing a late payment dispute, the creditor will need to investigate the situation within 30 days. If the creditor believes that the late payment information is correct, it will not be deleted or updated.
However, if the creditor agrees that the information reported is incorrect, they will need to inform the credit bureau that the details need to be updated or deleted. In addition, all credit bureaus that received the information must be notified. It's not always possible to remove a late payment from your credit report, but there are other ways to improve your credit score. If a late payment is incorrectly reported on your credit report, you should take steps to dispute the incorrect information with the three credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
If the reporting creditor is unable to verify the accuracy of the disputed item, the credit reporting agency will remove that item from its claim. If you're tempted to hire a credit repair company to dispute late payments on your behalf, keep in mind that your charges can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars. Your credit report and credit score can also come into play when you buy car insurance, rent an apartment, or apply for a job. After that time, payments will “fall off your credit reports, will no longer be shown to others, and will not be part of your credit rating.
If you could send a letter of goodwill that causes late payments to be completely eliminated from your credit reports, you could enjoy a healthier credit score for years to come. Regularly monitoring your credit reports for changes can help you stay on top of new information as it is reported and can also help you detect potential credit fraud or identity theft more quickly. A lower credit score will also affect the interest rates you receive if you get approved for a credit card or car loan. You might also want to consider consolidating several smaller credit card balances into a larger credit card or personal loan.
Once a late payment is reported to one of the credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax), it can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. If the account is already in the process of being collected, deleting it from your credit report probably won't increase your credit rating. Carefully review your credit reports from the three credit reporting agencies to see if there are any errors that could harm your rating. Credit repair experts, such as those at Lexington Law, can eliminate inaccurate negative information on your behalf.
Instead, Bank of America notes that “the best way to address negative credit history is to rebuild your credit by moving forward and establishing a strong history of timely payments.