Negative information related to your use of credit can remain on your credit report for seven years; bankruptcy information, 10 years; Information on unpaid tax liens, 15 years, and information on a lawsuit or judgment against you that has not been canceled may remain on the report for seven years or until the statute of limitations expires (whichever is longer) . The names of the companies that have requested your credit report will be kept for two years.
How to solve credit problems
If someone denies you credit, housing, insurance, or employment as a result of a negative credit report, they must give you the name, address, and telephone number of the agency that provided you with the report. If a company denies you credit based on the information in your credit report, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to request a free report within 60 days.
If your credit report shows inaccurate or incomplete information:
· Contact both the credit reporting agency and the company that provided the information to the agency.
· Notify the credit reporting agency in writing of the information that you believe is inaccurate.
Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, the provider of such information must investigate and report the results to the credit reporting agency. If it is concluded that the information is incorrect, the provider must notify all credit reporting agencies operating nationwide so that their file can be corrected. If the investigation does not resolve your problem, request that your statement about the dispute be included in your file. Each time the agency reports negative information, it must include a notice of your dispute.
If the negative information is correct, only time, hard work, and a personalized debt repayment plan can improve your credit report. There are credit repair companies that advertise that they can eliminate your bad credit for a hefty sum. Don’t believe what they tell you.
Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies cannot require you to pay until they have completed the agreed upon services. Likewise, they should give you:
- A copy of the “Consumer Credit Rights Under State and Federal Law” manual, before you sign a contract
- A written contract detailing your rights and obligations
- Three days to cancel the contract without having to pay any type of fees
Some credit repair companies promise to help you establish a totally new credit identity. Be aware that you may be charged with fraud if you use the mail or telephone to apply for credit by providing false information. It is also a federal crime to lie on a loan or credit application, supply a false Social Security number, or fraudulently obtain an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service.