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Cleaning up old credit history - removing from my record?
I would like to have old accounts removed from my report and I need help in getting this done. Could someone show me how to do this and get my report cleaned up. I am also in the process of rebuilding my credit and I am applying for a secured credit card through my federal credit union that I am a member of.

Thanks for your assistance,
Dolores A Lynch
703-362-7472 - mobile

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Please don't provide personal information like phone numbers in your posts. This isn't a secure forum and I'd hate for someone to get your number and try and scam you or something.

Unfortunately old accounts are going to stay on your report for 7 years. That's the federal statute of limitations. The clock starts with the first missed payment before it went to collections. So while it's embarassing to have this stuff on your report, it might benefit you to leave the older collections accounts on there until they fall off. You can't have accounts removed from your report unless the accounts do not belong to you. If it's your debt, then you're stuck with it for the 7 years. If it's not yours then you can contact the bureaus (CRB) and ask to have them removed. But they will ONLY do this if you can prove that the debts aren't yours.

Personally I'm an advocate of cleaning up your current debt before diving into old debt. That means you pay your existing loans off and pay down your CC balances to less than 20% of the credit limit(s). You must pay at least the minimum on all of your monthly bills and pay on time every month. Stop using your credit cards, stop applying for credit, and do not close any credit cards. Improving your credit report isn't just about paying off debts. You have to show a change in behavior that's sustained over a period of time.

When you're ready to tackle the heavy clean up the first step in your journey is to pull your reports from all three bureaus (go to Review them for errors or inconsistencies. If you find errors you can contact the CRB and have them correct the problem. You have to do this in writing.

Then start with the most recent delinquent debt (if it's newer than 5.5 years old). If you know this debt is yours and you're serious about paying it, then contact the creditor and request a debt verification. Again, do this in writing and send it certified mail. Once they've verified the debt then you can call them back and negotiate payment. Don't tell them how much you have to pay, just ask them how much they would need from you to settle up today while you're on the phone. If you can pay the amount they throw out, do it. If you can't, then ask to set up a payment plan. Do not repay without the promise of expunging the record on your report once payment has been made according to your agreement. GET THIS IN WRITING!

Continue doing this until you score improves and you make headway.

It will take time. You can do a lot of damage quickly, but rebuilding is a slow progress.

For more information on how to go about repaying debt and getting your financial house in order, I suggest you read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. It's a very easy read and will give you an immediate plan to apply to your situation. You can likely find this book in your local library.

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