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What's the best way remove negative items on credit report?

New York, NY |

I have a few negative items on my credit report, less than $ 500 each, whats the best way to remove them ? should i dispute them or call the creditors and pay the charges ? will they remove them if i do so? They have been on there for 3-4 years, and i can afford to pay them off now.

Attorney Answers 3


If you pay the creditors, the information can remain on your credit report for an additional period of time because your payment renews & resets the clock. Paying the creditors will not undo history either. I would suggest disputing any small item that is more than one year old because it is unlikely that the creditor will respond to the credit bureaus' request to confirm the debt. With larger debts you may want to wait a bit longer to dispute.

However, repairing your credit isn't all about removing the negative information. Far more important is creating and maintaining good information. I published a 10 part series on this topic to help people that have gone through bankruptcy, but some of this info may help you too. You will have to scroll past a lot of other stuff to find these reports but looking doesn't cost you anything. Hope this perspective helps!

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Thank you, whats the small item? is it under $200? $500?

Dorothy G Bunce

Dorothy G Bunce


Under $1,000 IMHO. good luck!

Kris K. Skaar

Kris K. Skaar


If a creditor or collector "re-ages" the account when you pay, that would be a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The time that accounts stay on your credit report is measured from the original default. Credit scoring is complex, and I have heard from some experts that sometimes paying an old account may result in a temporary drop in your score, but long term it is helpful.


I would hire a lawyer specializing in credit repair to validate the debts and deal with any remaining issues through negotiaiton or court action.

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You may not have a legal right to have truthful negative information removed from your credit report. The first step is always to get copies of your three major credit reports to see exactly what is (and isn't) being reported and who is doing the reporting (i.e., the original creditor, a collector, or both).

Just because your may not have a legal right to the removal of truthful reports, that does not mean you can not negotiate (or hire an experienced attorney to negotiate for you) for the removal of the trade-lines as part of a deal. Many original creditors will not budge, but many collectors will work with you.

Even if you just pay the debts, the debts then need to be properly reported as having a zero balance. Plus you are just a few years away from having these debts come off your report due to their age.

Skaar & Feagle, LLP maintains offices in Marietta (770 427 5600) and Decatur (404 373 1970), Georgia. The information ("the answer") provided above is for general information and educational purposes only. The answer should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Posting the question and reviewing the answer does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. My firm will ask you to sign a written contract prior to the commencement of representation in any attorney-client relationship. Please contact 770 427 5600 or 404 373 1970, if you wish to discuss your situation further. Skaar & Feagle, LLP accepts select consumer rights cases. These cases include, but are not limited to, cases of abusive and unlawful collection activity, debt defense, credit reporting of false or obsolete (old) information, high interest lenders (title pawns, payday loans), debt management plans, and fraud or unfair practices in the sale and financing of automobiles.

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