5 ways to get things off your credit report

  • File a dispute with the credit reporting agency

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    Under federal law, you are allowed to dispute any information on your report that is inaccurate or incomplete. Does your charged-off credit card or collection account list an incorrect balance? Are wrong dates listed? You can challenge it. If the information is not confirmed by the original source reporting it (such as the collector or credit card company) in a timely manner -- usually 30 days -- it must be removed.

    In fact, this is the main tactic credit repair companies use. The truth about credit repair is that these companies often send form letters to the credit reporting agencies asking them to investigate negative items on consumers' credit reports hoping some will not be confirmed and will no longer be reported.

    While the fastest way to dispute mistakes is to request an investigation online, in the case of serious mistakes you may want to send a letter to to fully protect your rights. Here's a guide to fixing credit report mistakes.

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