Can I dispute a collection on my credit report?

Debt accounts generally stick to your credit reports for seven years from the time the account first became overdue. Can I dispute a collection on my credit report?

Do your homework

Get debt information from two places: credit reports and your own documentation.

Until April 2021, you can get a free credit report weekly from each of the three major credit bureaus at In addition, you can check your free credit report at NerdWallet as often as you like, along with a free credit assessment, both with TransUnion.

Collect your own records to get detailed information about your account, including its age and payment history.

Between them, check the following details:

  • Account number
  • Account status (paid, charged, closed)
  • The date when the debt became overdue and was never updated again

After carefully determining the details, you can decide which approach is right for you.

Can I dispute a collection on my credit report?

Dispute if this is not your collection

If it’s not your debt, you don’t have to pay it back, and collectors are not allowed to put it on your credit report. Question the error with the credit bureau. Report a recovery account and ask to remove it from your credit report. Provide a copy of any evidence that the debt is not yours.

Even if the debt belongs to you, this does not mean that the collector is able to legally recover from you. If the bailiff has contacted you for the first time in the last 30 days, you can request debt verification. This process requires the debt collector to provide proof that you owe the debt. If he cannot verify the debt – or does not respond to your request – the debt must be removed from the credit report.

Debt collection accounts will remain

The fact is that the debt collection account will not be removed from the credit report just because the account has been cleared or paid for.

Even after paying the debt collection account, credit bureaus can still legally report collection for up to seven years from the date of default on the original account, thanks to the Act on Reliable Credit Reporting.

In other words, a debt collection account can remain on your credit report for up to seven years from the date your original account became 180 days past due, regardless of whether your account balance is $ 0.

What you need to know about debt collection

Debt collection benefits come in many forms – whether it’s an old, unpaid medical bill, a cell phone bill, or even a library book that has not been returned.

One common feature of all collections is that they will negatively affect your ability to get a loan.



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