How to Clear Up Your Credit Report

Your credit rating is derived from a combination of things, including outstanding debts and liens against you and whether you paid your bills on time. The items that make up your credit rating are contained on your credit report. Creditors use this report to decide whether they feel comfortable with lending you money. If you are worried about your credit report, there ways to clean it up.

Things You'll Need

  • Copy of your credit report

Step 1

Obtain copies of your credit report from the three major credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Each company provides different information. You can obtain copies of these reports by visiting the company websites and requesting a copy. You may have to pay a fee for the reports.

Step 2

Obtain a free copy of your credit report. As an alternative to Step 1, you may be eligible to receive a free copy of your credit reports by visiting or by calling (877) 322-8228. You will not be able to receive a free copy if you have already ordered a free report within the last year.

Step 3

Review your report for out-of-date information. Negative information, such as bad debts or collections accounts, may remain on your report for seven years; bankruptcies and tax liens may stay on your report for 10 years. If you notice negative information that is older than the above time periods, you can request that the information be removed.

Step 4

Check your report for inaccurate information. Look for accounts that have been closed but are listed as open as well as any missing or wrong information. If your find any, you can request that the information be removed.

Step 5

Fill out a removal request for inaccurate or old information. The credit bureau that provided you the report will provide you with forms to fill out if you find old or wrong information. Fill out the form and send it to the credit bureau.

Step 6

Boost your credit by paying your bills on time, paying off your credit card balance every month, or at the minimum paying the minimum balance on your credit cards every month. Once you have cleaned your credit report, you can work toward building a higher credit score.

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