Brittney Mayer is a credit strategist and contributing editor for BadCredit.org, where she uses her extensive research background to write comprehensive consumer guides aimed at helping readers make educated financial decisions on the path to building better credit. Leveraging her vast knowledge of the financial industry, Brittney’s work can be found on a variety of websites, including the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, US News & World Report, NBC News,TheSimpleDollar.com, CreditRepair.com, Lexington Law, CardRates.com, and CreditCards.com, among others.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit bureaus have 30 to 45 days to investigate a disputed claim. If they can’t verify it within that time, they must remove the entry. For example, if you file a dispute with a credit bureau over a late payment and your creditor can’t verify the information, the bureau must remove that late payment from your credit report. For payments less than 90 days late, you can request a goodwill adjustment from your creditor and set up payments to prevent further damage to your credit history.
And with ecommerce transactions becoming more and more common right along with significant data breaches, identity theft rates are only increasing. The number of documented data breaches increased from 614 in 2013 to 1,579 in 2017. Whatever the source, mistakes in a credit report can have devastating effects on a consumer’s ability to access credit.
When the bureaus and data furnishers receive the dispute and supporting information, they then work with the credit repair company to determine if the item should be removed from your credit report. The major law governing your rights when it comes to credit reporting is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but it isn’t the only law on your side when it comes to credit repair.
Of course, if keeping accounts open and having credit available could trigger additional spending and debt, it might be more beneficial to close the accounts. Only you know all the ins and outs of your financial situation, and like thumbprints, they're different for each person. Make sure you carefully evaluate your situation; only you know what can work best for your financial outlook.