Fix Credit Report

By: Justin Hutto

Correcting credit errors such as charge offs and collections is not usually performed overnight. However, it is a quicker process if you dispute items in the proper order.

If your credit is a mess, chances are you have a variety of bad credit listings such as charge offs and collections. Some items are more damaging than others.

Here is a complete list of the negative credit items along with how much impact they have on your score.

Public Records/Bankruptcy are the most severe. Public records include tax liens and court judgments. These items are allowed to remain on your credit report for 10 years - as opposed to the seven years limitation rule that applies to other items.

When you file bankruptcy, you will have multiple negative credit items. You will have the bankruptcy itself as well as any items that were included in the bankruptcy case.

All these notations are equally severe.

Collection items are very severely damaging. Try to negotiate with the agency for a complete deletion. You do not want to have a paid collection, or settled collection on your credit file.

Foreclosure/Repossession are likewise very severe. These listings are severely damaging to your score and can keep you from getting the next mortgage or car loan.

A charge off is known also as a "profit and loss write off" and is a very severe item to have on your report.

It is shocking how much a single recent late payment can reduce a good credit score. Your best move is to negotiate with your creditor to have this deleted from your report. A recent late payment is very severe.

Moderately severe items include a 30,60,90, or 120 day late payment. These items can either be disputed with the credit bureaus or negotiated with the creditor.

Old late payments are less severe. As late payments "age" the credit bureaus consider them less and less. Late payments that are six or seven years old have almost no impact on your credit score.

Incorrect Personal Information such as a wrong address or employer is not important. The credit scoring formula does not use this information to generate your score so it is less important compared to the items above.

In sum, dispute the most severe credit errors first. These include, among other things, bankruptcy, public records, and judgments. Then, move onto charge offs, collections, and recent late payments.

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