In my experience it is possible to remove collections from your credit report. A collection entry on your credit report, including medical collections, can severely lower your credit score and in many cases prevent you from obtaining a mortgage or auto loan.
How Long Does a Collection Stay on Credit Report?
Debt collections with remain on your credit report for seven years if you don’t do anything to get it removed from your credit report. I recommend that you attempt to remove all collections before you apply for any loans, including auto and mortgages. Not only will collections affect your ability to get loans, but it will also likely increase your interest rates.
How I Remove Collections From My Credit Report
When I was in college I got a cellphone with Sprint. The phone service didn’t work well so I switched to Verizon but forgot that I owed Sprint a payment. Long story short, it ended up going to Sprint collections and showing up on my credit report. I went ahead and paid the collection because I thought that would also remove it from my credit report. However, it wasn’t removed, it was just changed to “paid collection”. I followed these steps to get it removed.
1. Request a Goodwill Adjustment from the collection agency
To remove a collection, you should start by writing what’s called a goodwill letter to the original creditor. This is basically a letter that explains your situation, such as you want to purchase a house but can’t because of the collection on your credit report, and you’re kindly asking that they remove the collection out of goodwill. I know this sounds like a long shot, but it works surprisingly well. The best way to write an effective goodwill letter is to use my sample goodwill letter template.
2. Dispute the Collection
If the goodwill letter fails to get the debt collection removed from your credit report, the next thing you should do is check to see if there is any inaccurate information on the collection entry. If you find any information that’s incorrect, you can dispute the entry with the credit bureaus.
Once you file a dispute, the credit bureaus will have 30 days to verify that the information they have is correct.
The truth is, many times collection agencies have incorrect records and are therefore unable to provide the credit bureaus with accurate information. This will result in the entry being corrected or removed from your credit report.
3. Demand That the Collection Agency Validate the Debt
If you’re unable to find any inaccuracies on the collection entry on your credit report, next you should write the collection agency and demand that they validate the debt. Under section 809 of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collection agencies are required to validate debts they are attempting to collect if you request that they do so.
The rub here is that you only have 30 days to make the request after their initial contact. If they are unable to validate the debt, you can ask them to remove it from your credit report.
4. Have a Professional Remove Collections
Lastly, if you’re the type of person who would rather have a professional handle it and just be done with the whole thing, I suggest you check out Lexington Law Credit Repair. They’ll take care of you, and honestly they usually get stuff removed a lot quicker. Give them a call at 1-833-333-2439 or Check out their website. (They are open on weekends)