How to remove a collection account from your credit report

Having a collection account on your credit report can be a daunting issue to face. It can negatively impact your credit score and hinder your chances of obtaining credit in the future. But don’t lose hope! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the necessary steps on how to remove a collection from your credit report and work towards improving your credit health.

Understanding Collections on Your Credit Report

A collection account usually appears on your credit report when an unpaid debt is sold to a collection agency by the original creditor. It signifies a level of financial distress and can substantially lower your credit score.

The first step towards resolving the issue is understanding what a collection is, why it impacts your credit report, and how long it will stay there.

Impact of Collections on Your Credit Score

The appearance of a collection on your credit report is a red flag for potential creditors and lenders. It indicates a history of unpaid debts, making you a risky borrower.

Your credit score, a numerical representation of your creditworthiness, can significantly drop due to a collection. It is a crucial factor in determining whether you will be approved for mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards.

Duration of Collections on Your Credit Report

Paid or unpaid, a collection account will generally remain on your credit report for up to seven years from the date of your first missed payment. The duration can seem quite lengthy, but remember, the impact of a collection on your credit score decreases over time.

Detecting Collections on Your Credit Report

If you suspect that your credit score has declined, or if you’ve recently been denied a loan, it’s time to review your credit report. Identifying any collection accounts is vital in understanding your current financial status.

Obtaining Your Credit Report

The three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, provide free credit reports annually. You can access these reports through It’s crucial to review the reports from all three bureaus as they may contain varying information.

Scrutinizing for Incorrect Collection Information

Once you obtain your credit reports, carefully scrutinize them for any inaccuracies. Check if all collection accounts listed belong to you and if the payment status (paid or unpaid) is correctly reported.

If you notice any discrepancies, it’s time to take action. Disputing inaccurate information can be a game-changer when it comes to improving your credit score.

Disputing Inaccurate Collection Information

If you find any incorrect or incomplete collections on your credit report, it’s essential to initiate a dispute process with the credit bureaus. As per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit bureaus are obligated to investigate and respond to disputes.

Preparing Your Dispute

Begin by identifying the inaccuracies on your credit report. These could be collections that don’t belong to you, wrongly reported payment statuses, or collection accounts reported multiple times.

Once you have identified these errors, it’s time to gather supportive documentation. This could include proof of identity, proof of payment, and communication records with creditors or collection agencies.

Filing Your Dispute

With your supporting documents in hand, you can now proceed to file a dispute with each credit bureau that reported the inaccuracy. You can do this online, by phone, or by mail. Remember to provide a detailed explanation of the inaccuracies and request to rectify the errors.

Dealing with Paid Collections

If you’ve already paid off a collection account, but it still appears on your credit report, you might want to consider sending a goodwill deletion request to your creditor. Although creditors are under no obligation to grant this request, your chances might increase if you have been forthright about your debts and made sincere efforts to repay them.

Verifying Your Debt Payment

Before sending a goodwill deletion request, ensure that you have fully paid the debt. You can do this by checking with your creditor or by reviewing your credit report.

Requesting a Goodwill Deletion

If your debt is paid in full, draft a letter to your creditor requesting a goodwill deletion. In your letter, explain your past financial difficulties, your commitment to financial responsibility, and respectfully request for the removal of the collection from your credit report.

Following Up After Removing Collections

Once a collection is removed from your credit report, it’s important to ensure that your credit report has been updated accordingly. If you’ve disputed an inaccuracy, the credit bureau is required to provide you with a free copy of your updated credit report.

Monitoring Your Credit Report

Regularly checking your credit report will help you keep track of any changes and ensure that collections have been removed as expected.

Maintaining Good Financial Habits

Prevention is better than cure. To prevent collections from appearing on your credit report in the future, it’s crucial to maintain good financial habits. This includes making timely payments, keeping your credit utilization low, and managing your debts effectively.


In conclusion, removing a collection from your credit report can be a challenging process, but it’s certainly not impossible. By understanding your credit report, identifying inaccuracies, and taking appropriate action, you can improve your credit health and secure your financial future.

Remember, services like Credlocity can provide invaluable assistance if you want to dispute and attempt to remove a collection account yourself. They offer a host of DIY forms and informational blogs to help guide you through the process.

So, don’t let a collection account hold you back. Take control of your financial journey today and march towards a better credit future.

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