In order to correct an error in your credit report, you need to inform the reporting agency in writing what information you believe is an error or is incomplete. Below is a sample credit dispute letter.
Your City, State, Zip Code
Name of Reporting Agency
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. The items I dispute are also encircled on the attached copy of the report I received. (Identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as charge card account, judgment, etc.)
This item is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be deleted (or request another specific change) to correct the information.
Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records, court documents) supporting my position. Please reinvestigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.
Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing)
First get a copy of your credit report from all 3 CRA's(Credit Reporting Agencies). Go over each one line by line, first correcting and disputing any erroneous personal information such as incorrect spelled name, wrong phone numbers, old or incorrect addresses, d.o.b.'s etc. Then look at the TL's(Trade Lines) if you feel as though they are in error or reporting TL's that are not yours, disput this information with the Original Creditor under F.A.C.T.A., or the Collection Agency/Debt Collector under the FDCPA or FCRA directly asking them to validate the information they are currently reporting to your credit reports. Make sure you send all correspondence US Postal Service CMRRR, wait about 15 days, if no response, now dispute it with all 3 CRA's and wait for there response. id the investigations come back verified or updated you now have the Collection Agency for violation of you State and Federal rights as it Relates to the FCRA and FDCPA.
There are multiple animals on 5 cent coins depending on the country and time period such as the Buffalo on the US "buffalo nickel", the Beaver on the Canadian nickel, etc.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act information can be included in your credit reports for seven years. But there are exceptions to this rule:
Here is more input:
I have declared bankruptcy which included a vehicle re-possession and thank God, I now have great credit again! So good in fact, that I have three credit cards! This process will take at least ten years, but if you are in real trouble and have no other way out, it does work.
Your first step is to acquire a secured credit card. Depending on how damaged your credit is will determine how much you have to pay and how much you will receive. I applied for a Capital One Mastercard, paid $75 and had a limit of $300. Because I used the card and paid it every month, I built up a positive credit record and now have a lower interest rate, higher credit limit and pay no annual service fees.
Make sure that you use the card in place of a regular purchase then set the money aside and pay the card BEFORE your due date to avoid paying interest i.e: you have $200 for groceries, put the groceries on your credit card and put the $200 cash aside then a day or two before your minimum payment is due put the $200 you saved on your credit card, no interest, card is paid and you get kudos on your credit score. Do this on a regular, at least monthly basis and you'll see a great improvement.
I then went to a car dealership that specializes in bad credit (I'm from Canada and so went through Mac James Motors) but if you look through your local yellow pages you should be able to locate a dealership that advertises bad credit sales. The interest rate is high and the financing is usually 36 months which makes your monthly payments higher than your average vehicle loan but the improvements it makes to your credit score is well worth the price providing you can afford the payments (I financed a $10,000 car at $439/mth for 36mths at a 29% interest rate for a total of @$16,500).
You can also go to The Brick or Rent-to-Own and finance some furniture, entertainment system, etc and as long as you pay on time, everytime you will see an eventual improvement in your credit (takes a bit longer than high risk credit cards and auto financers since those typically report to credit bureau every month as opposed to rent-to-own type places that typically report every 6 mths)
To track your credit score, apply for it every 6 mths to see where your rating is, what's affecting it and ensure that it is accurate since there have been known cases of credit report errors.
The only two ways to have a negative item removed from your credit report is by disputing the negative item with the credit bureau reporting it or time. If the information is correct regarding the repossession it will be on your credit report for at least 7 years. You can contact the creditor and start a payment plan and have the credit bureau put a note in your public credit file that a payment plan has been started. If you dispute the item and it can not be proved within 30 days or their records are incorrect, they must remove it from your credit report or correct the information.
To repair your credit in general, you must have negative accounts removed and positive accounts added.
Please note that you must keep your focus on your overall credit score, not just removing that repossession. Also placing a note on your credit report does not help with your credit score. There is a process to the credit system and you mus have full knowledge in order to maximize results. Adding trade lines really helps but know your goals. If you are seeking a new car with limited credit history and that repossession it is virtually impossible to get a new car from a credible lender. You may have to go to one of those carry the note car companies. However, if you have a history of good credit and have made successful car payments with that repossession, then getting a car loan may not be as difficult with a good down payment. Just know that there is a home credit score, car credit score and credit card credit score. Obtaining credit for anyone of those categories can be different. You must know the difference.
The only real way to repair your credit is to stop buying things on credit so often. If you can not pay cash for a car, use the bus until you can buy a car.
Credit is based on your history of paying bills. If you get a bankruptcy added, you are looking at a decade of high payments for everything before you start seeing some sunlight. Even then, some companies will never give you credit after a bankruptcy. You are ALWAYS better off trying to pay your debt as opposed to running away from your promises.
Your credit score is based on 1. Your payment history 2. The amount of debt you could get from your cards and 3. The amount of debt you really have.
Not paying a bill and allowing a car to go repo on you is a big no no. Getting credit cards and never using them is a good thing, if you do not have to pay an annual charge.
What you really want is someday having financial security, not a good credit score. This is done by not living beyond your means. Do not buy stuff you do not have the cash for. Do not go on vacation if you have not paid your car off in full.
True independence and true freedom is having money in the bank, not owning the task masters at a bank. If you have allowed a car to go into repossession, pay the rest of the car off and stop over spending for a few years. That is the only honest method of repairing your credit. Remember you really want to have money in the bank, not a good credit rating to become a slave to debt again.
Actually, I wouldn't recommend closing your credit card account, closed accounts impact your score and do nothing to help improve it. If you zero balance the card just put it in your sock draw get gas or pay a bill with it once a month and then P.I.F. it when you get the bill, that way your not paying any interest, the credit card companies hate when you do that! LOL It makes you look good it fakes up your score and your utilization of your credit limit is well below the recommended 35%.
From what I understand, if you are closing an account in good standing, it is important to include in your letter a request, stated clearly and in no uncertain terms, that your credit record show YOU were the one to request that your account be closed and NOT your credit card company.
This way in the future anyone needing to check your credit will see this and know that the account was not closed for other reasons that could reflect poorly on your rating.
It might not hurt, as a follow up, to check your credit record. I know sometimes it's recommended to check your credit record yearly in order to check for errors and mistakes.
However, I've also read that you shouldn't check it TOO often because this can adversely affect your record or score.AnswerFirst, checking your credit score counts as a SOFT inquiry, which has a remotely adverse affect on your credit after like 100 times. And when I say remotely, I mean 1 point. You don't need to write out a letter, just call them and tell them you would like to close the account. Wait 60 days and check your credit report, if it was closed "by credit issuer" according to the credit report, then just call up the company. If you were in good standing, you'll be fine. AnswerA better question is, why do you want to close your account? If you aren't using the card, that doesn't mean you should close the account; in fact, doing so can hurt your credit score (i.e., the score that tells companies whether you are a good candidate to loan money to). These companies, when they look at your credit report, want to see a few things:
1) Do you have a history of credit being extended to you? They want to see a long history, which is why you should NEVER close the account for the credit card you've had the longest, even if you never plan to use it again (unless, perhaps, you're paying a yearly fee, but--even then--call them to see if they'll waive the fee; tell them you're thinking of closing your account otherwise): keeping the account open keeps it on your credit history, showing that you've have credit for a while.
2) Do you have multiple types of credit (credit cards, mortgage, car loan, cell phone, student loan, etc.)? They like to see a mix.
3) How much of your credit do you use? They like to see that you use no more than around 30% of the credit available to you. For example, let's say you have two credit cards--one with a $10000 limit, one with a $20000 limit--and so, you have $30000 of available credit. You owe $5000 on the card with a $10000 limit and $0 on the $20000 card. That means you're using about 17% of your available credit ($5000 of $30000). That's fine. But let's say you close your $20000 card. Now, all of a sudden, you're using $5000 of $10000 in available credit--50%. That looks horrible--like you are living beyond your means, getting by on credit, even though you owe THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY as you did when you had $30000 of available credit. But, by closing the account, you jacked up your debt ratio past 30%, making you look like a poor manager of credit. People will be less likely to offer you credit now, and they'll offer you worse interest rates when they do.
So--if you want to close the account, make sure it's for the right reason, such as it's costing you an annual fee. Otherwise, if you can hang on to the card, do it. If you are worried you'll use it when you shouldn't, put it in a bag of water and put the bag in the freezer. That way you'll have to wait for it to thaw before you can use it, which will cut down your impulse purchases.
An auto repossession remains on a credit report for seven years from the date a person missed the first car payment leading up to the status of repossession.
You should always try to remove charge offs that are on your credit report. You can either negotiate the removal with the original creditor or you can try to dispute it to the credit bureaus. The credit bureaus have 30 days to verify the listing or it must be removed from your credit report. There is no reason not to try and remove your charge offs from your credit report.
You are probably referring to the "Public Records" part of the credit report. In that case you can't. Court cases are a public record, even if its dismissed, unfounded, you win, etc. All the CRAs do is searh for your name in courts across the country. If they find a case, it goes on your credit report along with the type (Judgement Lien, Foreclosure, etc). If you sue someone else, it can show up on your credit report.
Here are more opinions and answers from other FAQ Farmers:
one dime is Rs.4.70p.(10 CENTS)
Use this addresses when sending credit report dispute letters to Experian. Experian Credit Reports
By delivery via US Mail only:
National Consumer Assistance Center
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013 Report Fraud using this Address or Toll Free Numbers:
Experian PO Box 9595 Allen, TX 75013
1-800-583-4080 Here are more contacts found: Experian PO Box 2104 Allen, TX 75013 1-800-493-1058 Experian PO Box 9532 Allen, TX 75013 To order your report: 1-888-397-3742 To report fraud: 1-888-97-3742 www.experian.com Current phone number = (800) 493-1058
Try this! Go to https://www.experian.com/cic Go through this, don't add anything and continue and you will get a free credit report. This will have a number at the top call Your report number is! This is the number you want. Then you can call 1 866 853 0303 put in the number but when you get to the tree say the word AGENT then it will ask you if you want to talk to an agent and then you will finally get through!
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act negative information can be included in your credit reports for seven years.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Bankruptcy is one of those exceptions. Bankruptcy information may be reported for 10 years. Sorry.
Once the ten years are up, there's nothing you should need to do. If for some reason a credit reporting agency keeps reporting the outdated information, click here for more information about fixing errors in your credit report.On the other hand:Actually there is a legal way to get it removed approximately two years after filing! I did this and it works and I will be willing to prove it to any doubters!. All you have to do is file a dispute with the credit bureaus. In my case I simply said it should have been listed as Chap 13 and not Chap 7. This is the trick though, so please read on carefully. YOU MUST WAIT A MINIMUM OF TWO YEARS AND A FEW EXTRA MONTHS BEFORE DISPUTING WITH THE CREDIT BUREAUS. Why is this you ask, well the answer lies within the bankruptcy courts. All cases are active for two years after which time they go onto microfiche. When they get a dispute letter from the credit bureaus and the case is on microfiche then they don't bother to respond. The credit bureaus then must legally delete the info from your reports. The trick is to follow up with the bureaus also and make sure they delete it.
If you filed Chapter 13, it should have fallen off already since those come off your report in 7 years. Many people in that situation have the credit reporting agencies do an "investigation" of their report to remove it.
If you filed Chapter 7, then you have two years to wait since those come off your report in 10 years (see Section 605(1) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act).
Please note that nothing in this posting or in any other posting constitutes legal advice; this is simply my understanding of the facts, which I do not warrant, and I am not suggesting any course of action or inaction to any person.
According to Golden Financial Services, after two years a bankruptcy can be removed off a credit report.
The best way is to look for a reputable organization that is an approved nonprofit organization. You can check with the IRS to ensure that the organization is tax-exempt. Otherwise, any Debt Consolidation Company can try to sell you on a consolidation option that could make your situation even worse.
No harm looking for a company that is BBB registered.
Look for unresolved complaints in the company's name.
Search the internet for the complaints that company has.
You can look up rippoffreport or search for the company name + complaints/ scam/ review/ feedback.
All these things will always help you make a decision.
Ask the companies to provide some referrences of customers who are already enrolled into the program.
Do not forget to ask the Debt Consolidation company about the drawbacks of the programs.
READ THE AGREEMENTS THEY SEND. The entire world knows that Americans dont read agreements. It is high time we stop trusting what is told to us over the phone. Start reading the agreements and make sure that what ever was told on phone, is that true or not.
And never forget to compare multiple options. There is no harm comparing. It is better to spend more time researching initially than regretting later.
You can choose the companies that provide you the consolidation services from some information like consolidation services can help people in debt by either repackaging their debts into one lower-interest loan or by actually reducing the total amount of debt a person owes through negotiating with that person's lenders.
You should search first the reviews of debt consolidation loans company to make sure that they were not scam.
You should look for a debt consolidation company which is registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has a good rating. The best rating is A+. Check the BBB to see if there any complaints registered against the company and if there are, whether these issues have been resolved amicably. You should also view the history of a debt consolidation company. If the company is more than 3 years with good standing, it should be a safe bet. You should check with as many companies as you can and see which one can help you settle your debt the quickest, as that would be to your best advantage.
Aside from checking its legality, services and capacity You could always check its company background, costumers testimonials, records and current progress. You can also crossed check it compare prices and accuracy, with other companies. If still your not satisfied you can always ask for a free demo from them and see it fits in your needs.
Yes its a very good thing to do!
Fix Bad Credit
1. DELETE COLLECTION ACCOUNTS
Did you know that paying a collection account can actually reduce your score? Here's why: credit scoring software reviews credit reports for each account's date of last activity to determine the impact it will have on the overall credit score. When payment is made on a collection account, collection agencies update credit bureaus to reflect the account status as "Paid Collection". When this happens, the date of last activity becomes more recent. Since the guideline for credit scoring software is the date of last activity, recent payment on a collection account damages the credit score more severely. This method of credit scoring may seem unfair, but it is something that must be worked around when trying to maximize your score.
How is it possible to pay a collection and maximize your score? The best way to handle this credit scoring dilemma is to contact the collection agency and explain that you are willing to pay off the collection account under the condition that the all reporting is withdrawn from credit bureaus. Request a letter from the collector that explicitly states their agreement to delete the account upon receipt/clearance of your payment. Although not all collection agencies will delete reporting, removing all references to a collection account completely will increase your score and is certainly worth the involved effort.
2. DELETE PAST DUE ACCOUNTS
Within the delinquent accounts on your credit report, there is a column called "Past Due." Credit score software penalizes you for keeping accounts past due, so Past Dues destroy a credit score. If you see an amount in this column, pay the creditor the past due amount reported.
3. DELETE CHARGE OFFS AND LIENS
Charge offs and liens do not affect your credit score when older than 24 months. Therefore, paying an older charge off or a lien will neither help nor damage your credit score. Charge offs and liens within the past 24 months severely damage your credit score. Paying the past due balance, in this case, is very important. In fact, if you have both charged off accounts and collection accounts, but limited funds available, pay the past due balances first, then pay collection agencies that agree to remove all references to credit bureaus second.
4. DELETE LATE PAYMENTS
Contact all creditors that report late payments on your credit and request a good faith adjustment that removes the late payments reported on your account. Be persistent if they refuse to remove the late payments at first, and remind them that you have been a good customer that would deeply appreciate their help. Since most creditors receive calls within a call center, if the representative refuses to make a courtesy adjustment on your account, call back and try again with someone else. Persistence and politeness pays off in this scenario. If you are frustrated, rude, and unclear with your request, you are making it very difficult for them to help you.
5. CHECK YOUR CREDIT LIMIT(S) AND EVENLY DISTRIBUTE BALANCES
Make sure creditors report your credit limits to bureaus. When no limit is reported, credit scoring software scores the account as though your current balance is maxxed out. For example, if you know that you have a $10,000 limit on your credit card, make sure that the limit appears on the credit report. Otherwise, your score will be damaged as severely as if you were carrying a balance of the entire available credit.
Credit scoring software likes to see you carry credit card balances as close to zero as possible. If it is difficult for you to pay down your balances, read the following guidelines to maximize your score as much as possible under the circumstances:
6. DO NOT CLOSE YOUR CREDIT CARDS
Closing a credit card can hurt your credit score, since doing so affects your debt to available credit ratio. For example, if you owe a total credit card debt of $10,000 and your total credit available is $20,000, you are using 50% of your total credit. If you close a credit card with a $5,000 credit limit, you will reduce your credit available to $15,000 and change your ratio to using 66% of your credit. There are caveats to this rule: if the account was opened within the past two years or if you have over six credit cards.
The magic number of credit card accounts to have in order to maximize your score is between 3 and 5 (although having more will not significantly damage your score). For example, if a card was opened within the past two years and you have over six credit cards, you may close that account. If you have more than six department store cards, close the newest accounts. Otherwise, do not close any at all.
7. BECOME AN AUTHORIZED USER
(Note: Although this tactic is no longer effective for Experian, both Trans Union and Equifax consider authorized user accounts when calculating your credit score.) If you have a short and limited credit history you can ask someone who is a primary account holder to add you to their account as a joint account holder or an authorized user. When added, the primary account holder's credit card will appear on your credit report. Credit scoring software will treat the added account as though it is your account and you will benefit from the low balance and the long payment history for that account. It is important to remember that being an authorized user is helpful for your credit score only if (1) the person is carrying debt below 10% of the credit limit and (2) has had good payment history on the card for seven years or longer. The longer the history, the better. Being an authorized user is potentially detrimental to your credit score if, for example, the primary card holder carries a high balance on the card and has had it less than five years.
8. KEEP YOUR OLD CREDIT CARDS ACTIVE
15% of your credit score is determined by the age of the credit file. Fair Isaac's credit scoring software assumes people who have had credit for a longer time are at less risk of defaulting on payments. Therefore, even if your old credit cards have horrible interest rates, closing those cards will decrease the average length of time you've had credit. Use the old card at least once every six months to avoid the account rating to change to "Inactive." Keeping the card active is as simple as pumping gas or purchasing groceries every few months, then paying the balance down. An inactive account is ignored by Fair Isaac's credit scoring software, so you won't get the benefit of the positive payment history and low balance that card may have. The one thing all credit reports with scores over 800 have in common is a credit card that is twenty years old or older. Hold onto those old cards!
No 575 is a horrible score
yes, the private or federally guaranteed student loans will show up on your credit report. If you are delinquent or in default on your loans, you can get help with consolidating the loans at www.defaultms.com
The loans will show up on your credit report, even if they are still designated as deferred. You will not owe anything until roughly 6 months after you graduate, and the loan status will change to active once repayment begins.
It’s important to first understand the differences between a credit report and a credit score. A credit score is a number ranging from 300-850 that depicts a consumer's creditworthiness. Basically, depending on various factors such as previous debt and other financial activity, a credit score is a way to determine whether or not you’re eligible to take out other lines of credit.
A credit report is a full collection of your financial and personal information. It includes your score, yes, but also a full report of how they calculated your score and the various different accounts and factors they looked at to calculate the score. You can only receive a credit report from a credit reporting bureau, and there are only three: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
A credit reporting agency (CRA) is a company that gathers and sells financial history information
Yes, you can removed settled debts -- if they are outdated as defined by law.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act negative information can be included in your credit reports for seven years. But there are exceptions to this rule:
If an item is outdated, you can dispute it on your credit report for free. Ask the reporting agency for a dispute form or submit your dispute in writing, along with any supporting documentation. Do not send them original documents.
Clearly identify each item in your report that you dispute, explain why you dispute the information, and request a reinvestigation. If the new investigation reveals an error, you may ask that a corrected version of the report be sent to anyone who received your report within the past six months. Job applicants can have corrected reports sent to anyone who received a report for employment purposes during the past two years.
When the reinvestigation is complete, the reporting agency must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. If an item is changed or removed, the credit bureau cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies its accuracy and completeness, and the credit bureau gives you a written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the provider.
You also should tell the creditor or other information provider in writing that you dispute an item. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider then reports the item to any bureau or reporting agency, it must include a notice of your dispute. In addition, if you are correct � that is, if the information is indeed outdated � the information provider may not use it again.
If the reinvestigation does not resolve your dispute, have the credit bureau include your version of the dispute in your file and in future reports. Remember, there is no charge for a reinvestigation.
Here is more advice and input:
Recent amendments to the Act expand your rights and place additional requirements on credit reporting agencies (CRAs). Businesses that supply information about you to CRAs and those that use consumer reports also have new responsibilities under the law.
Here are some questions consumers commonly ask about consumer reports and CRAs, and their answers: Fair Credit Reporting. (Note that you may have additional rights under state laws. Contact your state Attorney General or local consumer protection agency for more information.)
Although the FTC can't act as your lawyer in private disputes, information about your experiences and concerns is vital to the enforcement of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Send your questions or complaints to: Consumer Response Center � FCRA, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Here is more advice and input from FAQ Farmers:
secondary production is the conversion of raw materials to finished products. this is the second stage of production.
Only the collection agency or the credit bureaus can remove collections off your credit report. You can either negotiate with the collectiona agency or dispute it to the credit bureaus.
Here are answers and opinions from FAQ Farmers: * To ward off fraud, yes, you should. Most companies don't penalize you for closing and you should be able to reopen the account at a later time if you decide. I would just call the credit card company and ask their policies, but working for a credit company in the past, you wouldn't believe how easy it is for people to commit fraud, and people don't know because they never see a statement. If you leave it open, just call to check on the account every so often, just in case. * Yes, close the accounts. * No, every time you close an account you are lowering your FICO SCORE by raising a flag that shows the percentange of credit debt you have seems to have increased. You should keep all lines open and not have more than seven of them. * It is my understanding that you should close all credit cards you are not using. With open accounts "out there" your potential debt is high. That makes other creditors (house, car loans) nervous. You SHOULD close those accounts, BUT you should do so in writing. You also should make the CC company add to account notes "closed by customer request". This comment will be reflected on your credit report...which is a good thing. * Depends on what is important to you. Some people demand their accounts closed because they had the last straw with a creditor. They find out later that their FICO score slumps from 15-25 points for an average score of 680 to a 40 point slump for people with a very high score of 800 or more. In some cases closing an account will allow you to avoid monthly maintenance fees some cards charge or the annual fee, although this is getting rare. Your credit report is a mirror of your ability to pay through good times OR BAD. Keeping accounts open is a good thing. You need OLD and seasoned accounts. * If you aren't using the card, that doesn't mean you should close the account; in fact, doing so can hurt your credit score (i.e., the score that tells companies whether you are a good candidate to loan money to). These companies, when they look at your credit report, want to see a few things: 1) Do you have a history of credit being extended to you? They want to see a long history, which is why you should NEVER close the account for the credit card you've had the longest, even if you never plan to use it again, unless it charges an annual fee (and, even then, you should first call the credit card company, tell them you've been a long-time customer, and see if they'll waive the fee; it costs more to acquire new customers than to keep existing customers, so it's in their interest to help you keep the account open). Also, leaving the account open keeps it on your credit history, showing that you've have credit for a while. That helps potential lenders trust you--they can see that other people have been trusting you with credit for a long time. 2) Do you have multiple types of credit (credit cards, mortgage, car loan, cell phone, student loan, etc.)? They like to see a mix. 3) How much of your credit do you use? They like to see that you use no more than around 30% of the credit available to you. For example, let's say you have two credit cards--one with a $10000 limit, one with a $20000 limit--and so, you have $30000 of available credit. You owe $5000 on the card with a $10000 limit and $0 on the $20000 card. That means you're using about 17% of your available credit ($5000 of $30000). That's fine. But let's say you close your $20000 card. Now, all of a sudden, you're using $5000 of $10000 in available credit--50%. That looks horrible--like you are living beyond your means, getting by on credit, even though you owe THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY as you did when you had $30000 of credit. But, by closing the account, you jacked up your debt ratio past 30%, making you look like a poor manager of credit. People will be less likely to offer you credit now, and they'll offer you worse interest rates when they do.
You can't get it removed. It is a public record.
If you file a bankruptcy and get it voluntarily dismissed the next day, it will still be on your credit report.
Also, by the way, not paying into a Chapter 13 plan is not a voluntary dismissal. The Trustee moved to have the bankruptcy dismissed. - The easier approach would have been to actually voluntarily have it dismissed.
Regarding Nate's posting, I agree that non-payment of a Chapter 13 normally results in the trustee moving to dismiss your case, which is an involuntary dismissal. I have no idea if whether a Chapter 13 is voluntarily or involuntarily dismissed affects your credit rating differently (probably not, credit reporting agencies barely seem to recognize the difference between Chapter 7's and Chapter 13's, much less the way in which any particular case is dismissed), but there can be a big difference to the debtor whether a case is involuntarily or voluntarily dismissed if a creditor has moved to get property back. Once a creditor asks the court for permission to get back some property (such as a car or home), which they do by filing a Motion for Relief from Stay, then if you voluntarily dismiss your case you are barred from re-filing a new Chapter 13 for 180 days. This 180 days may be enough time for the creditor to foreclose/repo and sell the property. Once a creditor moves to repo/foreclose in a Chapter 13, many people prefer to be involuntarily dismissed so they can re-file a new Chapter 13 immediately and get protection again before the creditor sells the collateral. Please keep in mind this is not legal advice but simply a statement of what many people do in that situation from my perspective. So, while Nate (in the posting above) said it is easier to voluntarily dismiss, that does not mean it is always better to voluntarily dismiss, depending on the circumstances.
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