Can you remove old debt from a credit report if you have a mixed history? Can you have them removed by someone else? These questions will be answered in today’s article. We hope it helps.
Your Credit Report & You
The two credit bureaus categorize data into two camps, positive information and negative information. These are what you’ll find on your credit report.
Positive information will be on loan types, payments made, debts paid off, lengths of loans and data recorded as part of successfully managing debt.
Positive information can remain on your credit report indefinitely. This is a good thing as it will all be used to your benefit when you apply for an auto loan.
Negative information includes missed payments, bankruptcies, legal or court actions or debts that were sent to debt collection.
- Negative information can stay on your credit report for up to 6 years.
- If you had a judgment against you, that remains for 7 years in Ontario.
- If you entered a consumer proposal, that will remain for 3 years after all debts are settled or 6 years after you sign, whichever is soonest.
- Bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 7 years after discharge in Ontario.
Clear Old Debt
If you have mentions of old debt older than that on your credit report, you can apply to have it removed. This isn’t the easiest process in the world but it is possible if you are determined enough.
Our two credit bureaus are Equifax and TransUnion.
Write to the credit bureau outlining the issue and include proof. Write on paper, not an email. Yes, we know it’s the 21st century, but the credit bureaus still prefer a paper trail.
Outline your case, tell the bureau the time is up, send them proof and request the entry be removed. The bureau will investigate and will either remove it, or not depending on what they find.
Including proof in your initial letter saves the back and forth that can result in claims like this. You need to prove your side and pre-empting questions from the bureau will save time and effort.
They may still ask you for more though, so don’t be surprised if they write back!
Other Tips to Remove Old Debt From Your Credit Report
Check all credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax. If they both have the entry, write to both bureaus.
Send your letter with a return receipt so you know it arrived and the bureau know you know it arrived.
You can write to the organization who made the entry before contacting the credit bureaus if you prefer. They can then adjust your report if they agree with your claim.
If you don’t hear back within 28 days, follow it up with a phone call to the bureau.
If you still don’t hear back, follow up with another call, email or letter.
If you’re left hanging, consider contacting the regulator to enforce the bureau to respond.
Keeping your credit report clear of old debt can help put the most positive face on your application for an auto loan. It may seem a lot of work for little gain but anything that gives a lender pause is not a good thing!
For those of you who know that you have a challenging credit situation, please visit Dixie Auto Loans where we have a team of credit specialists ready to help you get approved for a car loan today!