You’ve been staring at those negative Midland Management, Asset Acceptance, LVNV Funding, and other collection accounts for years on your credit reports, but how do you remove them?
The first tip is to be sure that you’re pulling the correct credit reports that show your most up to date information without hiding anything. Second rate credit reports will only show you the first 6 – 12 months of information and will not show you everything — this means that when you have negative information deleted, you find more negative information popping up that you didn’t know anything about!
An excellent place to pull your credit reports and credit scores from is directly from the source – myfico.com themselves. There, you will see all 3 of your FICO scores, as well as all three credit reports.
Why is this important? Because FICO is a third party company that compiles the most accurate credit score and credit report information directly from the three major credit bureaus themselves: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union.
Once you’ve seen your actual credit reports and credit scores, it is time to dispute your negative information from the source. Follow these easy tips when you make your dispute:
1. Dispute your negative information by writing dispute letters to the credit bureaus – not to the collection agencies themselves. This might be surprising to you, but the credit bureaus actually have a better chance of verifying information with credit bureaus than you will, because the credit bureaus do not owe those collection agencies money! So make your dispute with the credit bureau based on whether the rules in the Fair Credit Reporting Act were followed, and you will find your negative items falling away.
2. Dispute all of your negative information as if it doesn’t belong to you. If the credit bureaus find that the collection agencies haven’t followed all of the rules or if your information has errors in it, your negative accounts will be deleted automatically.
3. Make payment arrangements or settlements for accounts that come back verified as yours. If you can afford to pay accounts with small balances, it is better to do that than to go through the trouble of spending months working on information that isn’t that important. Most collection agencies will settle accounts at 50 – 75% of what you owe, which is great news! And they will even provide you with a letter that proves that the account was paid by the consumer (you) and the credit bureaus will remove it.
Be sure to only dispute information that actually shows on that credit report. If Trans Union isn’t showing Midland Management on your credit report with them, don’t dispute it with them. It may end up popping up anyway, and you don’t want to cause yourself that additional stress.