To remove a Capital One Collections from your credit report, you first need to know who currently owns the debt.
In other words, has Capital One sold your unpaid credit card debt to another collection agency, or is the debt still with Capital One?
You can find out who owns your Capital One debt by getting a current copy of your credit report and taking a look to see who is listed as the creditor on the entry.
Visit annualcreditreport.com to download copies of your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, you can get a free credit report each week through April of 2021.
Steps To Remove Capital One Collections From Your Credit Report
If your Capital One debt is listed as a “Charge Off,” Capital One has most likely sold your debt to a collection agency and has written off your debt as a loss.
This doesn’t mean you no longer owe this credit card debt; it means you no longer owe the credit card issuer the money. Instead, you now owe the money to the third-party debt collector.
In this case, you want to follow steps to remove a charge off from your credit report.
If the entry is listed as a “collection” or it’s simply listed as “delinquent,” you’re more than likely going to have to deal with Capital One as the debt collector.
Either way, here are the steps you can follow to get the debt collection removed from your credit report:
1. Request a Goodwill Adjustment
Your best bet for getting the collection removed from your credit report is to contact Capital One and ask it to remove the collection out of goodwill.
You should write a letter stating why you were late on the account (a job loss, for example) and ask if the debt collector would kindly remove the negative entry from your credit reports with all three credit bureaus.
This will work only if you’ve already paid the debt and there is no outstanding balance owed.
2. Pay to Delete the Capital One Collections
If you can’t request a goodwill adjustment because the account isn’t current and you still owe a balance, consider a pay-for-delete agreement instead.
With this kind of agreement, you pay a portion of the balance due in exchange for Capital One (or the collection agency) removing the negative entry from your credit report.
This method works best if the collection account has been sold to a third party collection agency other than Capital One.
That said, there is no harm in trying this method even if Capital One still owns your old credit card debt. It’s definitely worked in the past.
Why would this kind of debt settlement work? Because it allows the credit card company (or third-party debt collector) to collect at least a part of your balance. Given a choice between receiving half the balance and receiving nothing, most debt collectors will accept half.
They may even be willing to remove their negative entry from your credit reports in exchange for the money, and that’s your ultimate goal here: to remove Capital One from your credit history.
You’ll have to get your pay-for-delete agreement in writing from the debt collector before sending payment or starting a payment plan.
Otherwise, you may have no proof the debt collector agreed to remove its negative items from your credit report in exchange for partial payment.
Make sure the written agreement states all negative items related to your Cap One account — the late fees, late payments, missed payments, etc. — get removed, too.
If these steps are seeming like too much for you to handle on your own,
we recommend seeking professional help from Lexington Law.
3. Dispute the Collection
In steps 1 and 2 I assumed you legitimately owed the credit card debt that’s pulling down your credit score.
If you don’t owe the debt to Capital One Collections because it’s reported inaccurately, you need to dispute this collection.
Disputing works only if the entry has incorrect information listed on your credit report. You’ll need a copy of your credit reports from all three bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — to complete this step.
Take a look at the Capital One Collections entry on your credit report and verify that all information is accurate. Check the account number, the balance due, the payment history — everything.
If there is anything inaccurate on the entry, you can dispute it with all three credit bureaus.
The credit bureaus will investigate the dispute. If they are unable to verify the correct information, it will more than likely be removed.
This method works because the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the credit bureaus and lenders to report only accurate information about your credit accounts.
This law, enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is designed to help protect your credit file from credit reporting errors.
4. Have a Professional Remove It
Professional credit repair companies exist to do the legwork I’ve described in the steps above.
I recommend checking out Lexington Law Credit Repair which has attorneys and paralegals on staff.
Lex Law won’t do anything you couldn’t do yourself; there’s no magic formula for repairing your credit.
But having a professional on the case full-time can make the overwhelming tasks of credit repair seem simple.
Knowing Your Debt Collection Rights
Dealing with collection agencies frustrates a lot of Americans. The frequent phone calls, in particular, interrupt you at work or during a relaxing evening at home.
You don’t have to endure this kind of hassle just because you’ve run up some consumer debt or have gotten behind on your credit card payments.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act limits a debt collector’s behavior as it seeks to collect debt from you.
For example, a debt collector can’t:
- Threaten you with criminal action such as arrest.
- Call you early in the morning or late at night.
- Call your friends or family members or co-workers about your debt.
- Use contact information you’ve asked the debt collector to stop using.
- Threaten to increase the interest rates on your other loans or major credit cards.
Let the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau know if a debt collector has violated your consumer rights. You can also complain to the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org.
Can Capital One Collections Sue Me?
A debt collector can’t have you arrested, but Capital One Collections, or any other debt collector, can sue you in civil court.
If you lost or settled the lawsuit, a judge would likely order you to repay the debt. At that point, Capital One could seek a wage garnishment which means the company could claim part of your paycheck before you get paid.
Most of the time consumer debt does not reach this point because the company’s legal fees could exceed your debt amount.
And, you do have a protection from legal action: your state’s statute of limitations on consumer debt. Once the statute expires, you can no longer be held legally responsible for repayment.
In this case, you still owe the money, and it can remain in your credit history, but you can’t be successfully sued for the debt collection.
Statutes of limitations vary by state throughout the United States:
- New York State: the statute for consumer debt expires after six years
- California: the statute is four years
- Rhode Island: the statute is 10 years
- Virginia: it’s three years
You can inadvertently restart your statute to Day 1 by talking about your debt on the phone or in writing.
So if a debt collector calls you, you shouldn’t accept responsibility for the debt unless you’re certain you’re paying it off.
Why Should I Remove Capital One Credit Card Debt?
Out-of-control or defaulted credit card debt pulls down your credit score in several ways:
- Credit Utilization: A credit card balance approaching or exceeding your credit limit will inflate your credit utilization ratio which comprises 30% of your FICO score.
- Payment History: Normally, you don’t have a credit card land in collections without missing some payments along the way. These missed or late payments erode your credit score because payment history comprises 35% of your FICO score.
Getting all negative information associated with Capital One scrubbed from your credit history could help you unlock a stronger credit score.
With better credit, borrowers access the best loans with low-interest rates and low fees. Highly qualified borrowers pay less to borrow money.
Getting your Capital One Collections and Capital One credit card debt removed from your credit report could restore your good standing as a borrower.