The derogatory credit information section in your credit report lists all the items that negatively affect your credit rating. It is this section that is given the most attention by creditors and lending agencies.
The most damaging types of credit information are bankruptcies and foreclosures. These items can be reported on your credit report for up to 10 years.
The second most damaging types of credit information are accounts that have gone to collections. Any account sent to collections affects your overall credit score in the worst way.
A collection account can stay on your report for seven years from the date of last activity In actual practice, collection accounts are often sold to another agency at the end of the seven year cycle, which creates another activity, which means the seven year reporting cycle starts all over again.
Other derogatory information in your credit report includes accounts that show a slow payment history and / or past due accounts. Unpaid student loans, judgments, and unpaid medical bills also show up here.
How to Handle Derogatory Credit Information
Derogatory information can be disputed when it is inaccurate. If, for example, you can prove you made a payment on time, when it has been reported otherwise, you should be able to have the error corrected.
Disputing errors is done by mailing the credit bureau a letter explaining why the entry is incorrect. Send copies of any documentation along with the letter, and send it all via certified mail. Once the agency receives the dispute, they must contact the lender for verification of accuracy. If the lender does not respond to the dispute within 30 days, the credit bureau must assume your dispute was accurate and remove the disputed item from your credit report.
A way to handle derogatory credit information in your credit reports when the lender will not remove it is to mail a written explanation of the circumstances regarding the item to the credit bureau reporting the item. You are allowed by law to submit a 100 word explanation of the problem to the reporting credit bureau. Your explanation then becomes a part of your credit report.
The derogatory credit information section in your credit report lists all the items that negatively affect your credit rating. It is this section that is given the most attention by creditors and lending agencies, so be diligent in your efforts to clean up your credit files.