How To Remove All Negative Items on Your Credit Report

clean up your credit report

Note: If you need help writing your method of verification/611 letter, please follow this link.

WARNING: Disputing Legitimate Items (items that do, indeed, belong to you) is Fraud. Please do not attempt to remove items that you are sure belong to you. We are not suggesting that you remove all items from your credit profile, unless they definitely do not belong to you.

If you’ve read our article on removing errors from your credit report but you’re interested in removing everything, then this article may be for you.

How to Remove Negative Items From Your Credit Report

Please Note: This article, like all articles on this website, is not legal advice. If you need legal advice please seek the advice of an Attorney. This article is not a guarantee of any sort.

As stated above, this article will explain how to remove all negative items from your credit report that do not belong to you. This is not something that happens over night; it will take time and patience. You will have to send quite a few letters over many months, to say the least. Be prepared to spend time and effort on this project. It is, after all, a project, and this project will change your financial life for the better.

Many of the negative items listed on credit reports of American consumers are inaccurate. This gives you the right to not only dispute these negative items, but question how they arrived to their conclusion if they fail to remove them. Let’s discuss how you can remove all of these negative items that do not belong to you.

Rule #1: Do NOT use one of those templates that you can easily find on the internet. The credit bureaus can and will cease any investigation you request, as they will deem the investigation frivolous. Be sure to write your own and print it our or, better yet, hand write the letter in pen to send it out. Hand written letters may be taken more serious. The bottom line is: you want the investigation to start out on the right foot, so be sure to take your time on this and make it as legit as possible. Templates are a no-no.

Rule #2: Have patience. Again, this isn’t going to happen quickly, in most cases. You may be lucky, but don’t expect that to happen unless you have just a few items on your report. Expect to send out a lot of letters to all 3 bureaus (if negative items exist on each one), and then expect to send out many follow-up items. Patience is key. Seriously, be calm and be prepared to write quite a bit.

Rule #3: Do not do online disputes. You will give up many rights by using the credit bureaus online dispute system. Not good. Stick to hand-written letters so that you’ll have a much higher chance of getting the items deleted!

Get Your Credit Report

Getting your credit report is easy, especially if you haven’t used yet. You can use this service to pull your credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) quickly and easily, and for free. The law states that all consumers are entitled to 1 free credit report from each of the major bureaus each year.

If you’ve used up your annual credit report and you feel that you need to pull a fresh report, then you can use any of the bureaus websites to pull your report. Most offer reports from all 3 bureaus, too. Other services, such as, offer 3 reports as well. It doesn’t matter where you get them, just be sure to have a pretty recent report, just in case there’s anything new that pops up.

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There are a few ways you can go about this.

1. File Complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

2. Write dispute letters to the CRA’s.

Filing a Complaint with the CFPB

Filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is easy. Go here and file the complaint.

Yep, that’s about it. This could be the best way to go for some people, but others may need to take a more ‘dramatic’ approach.

Writing Your Dispute Letter

Now that you have your freshly pulled credit report in front of you — look for the negative items listed on the report(s). You’re going to need to write letters to each bureau that lists negative items. So, if all 3 bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) show negative items, then you need to write to each one, individually.

The best advice that I can give you is to hand write these letters so that it looks personal, and not like every other downloaded template that these bureaus see each and every day. They receive thousands of these each day, so if you think that the template will slip by without a thought, you’re probably wrong.

eOSCAR: The credit bureaus use an automated dispute processing system called eOSCAR. This system scans each letter — utilizing OCR (Optical Character Recognition) scanning technology.

From their website:

e-OSCAR is a web-based, Metro 2 compliant, automated system that enables Data Furnishers (DFs), and Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to create and respond to consumer credit history disputes. CRAs include Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion, their affiliates or Independent Credit Bureaus and Mortgage Reporting Companies. e-OSCAR also provides for DFs to send “out-of-cycle” credit history updates to CRAs.

The system primarily supports Automated Credit Dispute Verification (ACDV) and Automated UniversalDataform (AUD) processing as well as a number of related processes that handle registration, subscriber code management and reporting.

ACDVs initiated by a CRA on behalf of a consumer are routed to the appropriate Data Furnisher based on the CRA and subscriber code affiliations indicated by the DF. The ACDV is returned to the initiating CRA with updated information (if any) relating to the consumer’s credit history. If an account is modified or deleted, carbon copies are sent to each CRA with whom the DF has a reporting relationship.

AUDs are initiated by the DF to process out-of-cycle credit history updates. The system is used to create the AUD and route it to the appropriate CRA(s) based on subscriber codes specified by the DF in the AUD record. The e-OSCAR AUD process is intended to provide the CRA with a correction to a consumer’s file that must be handled outside of the regular activity reporting cycle process. e-OSCAR may not be used to add or create a record on a consumer’s file or as substitute for “in-cycle” reporting to the CRAs.

So, what does this all mean? It basically means that you can’t simply send in the same letter everyone else is sending and expect different results (ie, small chance of getting items removed).

Let’s construct a sample letter that you can use to dispute the items on your report.

Full Name
Mailing Address
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Credit Bureau You’re Writing To
Credit Bureau Address
City, State, Zip Code of Credit Bureau

Today’s Date

Dear Sir or Madam/To Whom it may concern,

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You have listed inaccurate items on my credit file and I need to have them removed as soon as possible. These inaccurate items (listed below) are affecting my credit score and livelihood. Please delete these immediately.

Here are the erroneous accounts you have listed. Please delete the following:
Full Name
Social Security Number

1. Cell Phone, Account # 123456
2. Cable Bill, Account #654321
3. Credit Card, Chargeoff, Account # 00120034

Be advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information is hereby requested as well, to be provided within 15 days of the completion of your reinvestigation. Under federal law, you have 30 days to complete your reinvestigation.

I appreciate your time and attention to this matter.
Full Name
Social Security Number

Now, continue reading this before sending them out!

How To Send Them

You shouldn’t just throw these into an envelope and then toss them into the mail. You need a way to verify if and when they received the letters so that you can be sure that the investigation was completed in a timely manner (30 days). So be sure to take these to the post office and make these Certified Letters – return receipt requested.

Once they receive the items you will be notified that they have received the certified letters. This helps you keep track of things.

What Happens Next

It will take about 30 days before you receive a response from the credit bureaus, although it could be less or more. Be patient, but don’t lose track.

Your response will be that they deleted all the item(s), some of the items or none of the items. If they deleted all of them, you’re done. You need not do anything more from here. You’ve completed the task and will only re-open the investigation if you do contact them regarding items already deleted. We don’t want that, obviously.

If they deleted some of them or none of them, then it’s time to get back to work. Now we can send a new letter regarding the items that were not deleted (verified by the bureau to be accurate and not erroneous, or even items that were not even acknowledged).

Note: You can move directly to the MoV letter (below) or send out a similar letter to the original. The MoV will have more of a positive effect for you, but if you’re patient enough — sending out a second letter may be easier.

The next letter will be a Method of Verification letter. This letter basically questions the bureau on how the method they used to verify the negative items. This is a consumer right under the FCRA section 611 (a) (7).

This right states that:

A consumer reporting agency shall provide to a consumer a description referred to in paragraph 6Biii [the section requiring reinvestigation] by not later than 15 days after receiving a request from the consumer for that description.

The reason we have this right is because the credit bureaus aren’t necessarily following the laws as much as they should. Their verification process(es) aren’t exactly ‘good’, much less perfect. Remember that e-OSCAR system we discussed earlier? Well, this system comes into play here.

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e-OSCAR basically scans the dispute and then attempts to categorize the letter with a 2-letter code. As of 2006 there were 26 codes that e-OSCAR used, some of which were “Not his/hers” and “Claims account closed.”

This means that the bureaus were counting on this computerized system to sort through the letters quickly, put them into categories, and then attempt to quickly verify the accounts using information that is easily accessible. This causes more issues for everyone.

This is why we will write our Method of Verification letter.

MoV Letter example:

Full Name
Home Address
City, State, Zip Code


Dear Sir or Madam/To Whom It May Concern,

On [Enter Date] I requested an investigation regarding inaccurate/erroneous items on my credit file that were being reported illegally. On [Enter Date] your agency sent a letter stating that you had completed your investigation and the items were not deleted, as requested.

This is a request under FCRA 611 (a) (7) for a description of the procedure used by your agency in providing all information to the creditor associated with my earlier dispute under FCRA 611 (a) filed with on (date/identification of the dispute).

To be more specific, based on FCRA 611 (a) (2) (B), you were required to forward all of the relevant information I provided by you to the creditor for their investigation of my dispute.

Please provide me with all of the information you used for your investigation, as required by FCRA 611 (a) (7).

Please reply within 15 days or delete the negative items, as originally requested.

1. Cell Phone, Account # 123456
2. Cable Bill, Account #654321
3. Credit Card, Chargeoff, Account # 00120034

Thank you,

Full Name
Date of Birth
Social Security
Home Address

Again, be sure to send this via Certified Mail (return receipt requested) so that you can track this letter and the date it was received. By law they have 15 days to reply with the information.

What If They Don’t Comply?

If the CRA (Credit Reporting Agency aka Credit Bureau) does not comply, then your next move is to send an intent to file a complaint with the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

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If the first 2 letters do not get the items removed, then it’s in your best interest to let the CRA know that you intend to do next.

Here’s an example letter:

Full Name
City, State, Zip Code

Credit Bureau Name
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Sir or Madam/To Whom It May Concern,

Please be advised that if negative items are not deleted I will be filing a complaint with the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

On [Enter Date] I requested that inaccurate/erroneous items that were illegally being reported to my credit file with your agency be deleted. You refused to do so and claimed to have verified these items. On [Enter Date of 2nd letter] I requested, as required by FCRA 611 (a) (7), that you provide me with a complete copy of the information that you used to investigate the matter. You failed to provide me with that information and again failed to delete the negative items.

Federal Law requires you to respond within 15 days. It has been over [Enter number of days since 2nd letter]. Failure to comply with Federal Regulations by Credit Reporting Agencies will be investigated by the FTC (see 15 USC 41, et seq.) and/or the CFPB.

These negative items have caused financial and emotional stress. Your blatant disregard of the law forces me to fully exercise my rights and file a formal complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Please be advised that I will file this complaint if these inaccurate items are not removed immediately.

1. Cell Phone, Account # 123456
2. Cable Bill, Account #654321
3. Credit Card, Chargeoff, Account # 00120034

I have fully documented all attempts to remove these inaccurate items and have also documented your failure to comply with Federal Laws.


Full Name
Home Address
City, State, Zip Code
Social Security Number

Once again, be sure to send this letter by certified mail so that you can track it and keep documented proof! Save all receipts just in case you need to take legal action or provide proof to the CFPB. Keeping documentation could be crucial down the road if the CRA continues to disregard the Federal Laws we spoke about above.

Remember To Stay Patient

As stated above you need to be patient. This could turn into a long process, but it will be well worth it for the majority of Americans. Having great credit is not always easy, especially if you started out with a rough history and made mistakes along the way. But it can be even tougher if you have erroneous or inaccurate information listed under your credit file.

Getting rid of this information will allow you to boost your credit score and erase a lot of negative history on your accounts. You’ll suddenly see yourself getting approved for just about anything you want once you finally get the CRA’s to remove these negative items.

Stay positive and stay patient.

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Ready to mail? Here are addresses:

P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013

Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374

TransUnion LLC
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022

 If you decide to file a complaint with the CFPB, please see this website: