How do you remove items from your credit report?

Sally recently contacted us via our comment form to ask a question about removing records from her credit report:

I have something on my credit report that I would like to clear. How do I remove records from my credit history?

Keeping your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion accurate and up-to-date can be time consuming. If you have found something on your credit reports that you would like to remove follow these quick steps:

First, verify that the item you wish to remove from your credit report is actually inaccurate, fraudulent or expired. You can’t remove accurate data from your credit report. Most records remain on your credit report for 7-10 years and can’t be removed earlier. You should also consider the impact of this inaccuracy. Some small errors (such as an incorrect birth date or employer) are harmless and some (such as a missing late payment or credit limit) may even be helping to boost your score.

The next step is to try to contact the company that reported the inaccuracy. With open, active accounts it is usually easier to resolve the issue directly with the creditor. For example, calling Citi or American Express directly is best if you see an inaccurate late payment listed on your credit report. If you are unable to contact the creditor or unable to resolve the issue this way, you should file a dispute with the credit bureaus.

The formal credit bureau dispute process takes about three weeks to be completed. Do you have questions about removing inaccuracies from your credit reports?

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