negative items on credit report

What is the fastest way to remove negative items from my credit report?

A Quora user asks: What is the fastest way to remove negative items from my credit report?

Victor Fong, Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Toronto, Canada replies:

If the negative items on your credit report were due to an error and untrue, calling the credit reporting agency will fix it fairly quickly. You may be required to submit to them a form describing the error along with copies of photo ID.

On the other hand, if the negative items on your report are factually correct (e.g., you did actually miss those monthly payments), then there is nothing you can do. Here is how long you would have to wait for items to be removed from your credit report in Canada:

  • Credit transactions – negative information about accounts such as credit cards, lines of credit and loans (also called “trades” or “trade lines” by credit reporting agencies) stays for 6 years. Equifax counts from date of last activity (for example, a payment you made). TransUnion counts from date of first delinquency—the date you first defaulted on the account (for example, by making a late payment) without returning to good standing
  • Secured loans – Loans backed by an asset, such as a mortgage, a car lease or loan stay for 6 years.
  • Banking items – negative information, including: chequing and savings accounts closed “for cause” due to money owing or fraud committed by the account holder bad cheques (also called non-sufficient funds or NSF) stays for 6 years.

Tip: don’t fall for those scam businesses that claim that they can remove negative items on your credit report for a fee. Here is how they work: in return for you paying them a lot of money, they’ll lodge a dispute with the credit reporting agency. The agency will remove the negative item in your report while they conduct an investigation. However, once their investigation concludes that the negative item was factually correct, they will put it back into your credit history.