Removing negative marks on credit report

Removing negative marks on credit report
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I have two separate questions. One for me and one for my son.
First, If you have a credit card that you couldn’t pay for months because of a work layoff but then paid the balance off when you became employed, paid off completely and cancelled card, is there anyway to remove the negative information from your score? Any way at all? Second, if someone uses your social online to apply for dental insurance and use you as a co-signor without your permission and they don’t pay the bill how do you dispute that?


Welcome to the NerdWallet community, olivejuice 1935!

I’ll try to help. First, canceling a card doesn’t remove it from your credit report. It NEVER hurts to ask a card issuer to stop reporting something. The worst they can do is say no. (I had a late payment a few years ago. The issuer, by policy, would not remove it even though it was an isolated incident. But asking didn’t make things any worse.) The missed payments should fall off your credit report after seven years. Andthe impact fades with time. If you can offset that negative information with a positive payment history, that will help too.

The second problem is identity theft (using someone’s identifying information without their knowledge or consent). But if you were used as a co-signer, is this a friend/acquaintance or relative? That can make the decision about how to handle it more complicated. You can go to to report the identity theft. If you dispute the account, etc., you can report it there, and use that report when you dispute the item on your credit reports. (But a warning: Right now the government shutdown means you can’t use to report it.) For future reference, a credit freeze can keep anyone from being able to open an account in your name. They are now free, and NerdWallet recommends them.


Removing the negative info from your credit card often depends on your circumstances and the bank the card was issued from. But one thing that never hurts is to sit down and write a Goodwill letter stating your circumstances leading up to the late or missed payments (under hardship) and asking them to consider removing the negative information as an act of ‘goodwill’. A lot of people have success this way although sometimes you have to stick with it and send in more than one letter to have it stick. If you can get the address for the Executive Office and mail it there instead of where the CSR’s get it first, you usually have an even better chance. Good luck!