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Information on Credit Items Reporting

Shouldn't paid and closed accounts be DELETED off of my credit reports?

Hi Bill, I am aggravated when I look at my credit reports and see loads of student loans all over the place that have been transferred to another lender and is consolidated to Sallie Mae for a better interest rate. I don't have ANY credit cards (if I don't have the cash to buy it, I don't bother) and I am paying on an auto loan (almost paid off) and I have student loans that are not in re-payment. I'm concerned because I see student loans that have been paid and closed. This suggest that the account was transferred to another lender. Should these paid and closed accounts be DELETED off of my credit reports? It seems like they are double reporting and using my available credit up and showing I owe more debt. Thank you Bill!

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Bill's Answer
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Credit reports are notorious for inaccurate listings, so it does not surprise me that you are seeing these potentially inaccurate credit listings appearing on your credit profile. Thankfully, federal law provides a procedure to consumers to challenge items on their credit reports which they believe do not accurately reflect their credit history. The Federal Trade Commission offers a detailed guide to disputing items on your credit report, available at Once you submit a dispute, the credit bureaus will notify the creditor that provided the information that you are disputing the account. In many cases, the creditor will not respond to the dispute and the account will be automatically removed from your report. Even if the creditor does respond claiming that the listing is accurate, if you can establish that the listing is inaccurate, the credit bureaus should remove the item.

Probably the easiest way for you to fight inaccurate credit items would be to establish that multiple listings on your credit file are reporting information about the same accounts for overlapping time periods. For example, if you can demonstrate that two listing reflect the same account number or the same balance, and are reporting for the same months, it will increase the likelihood of successfully removing these listings from your credit reports. While filing disputes with the credit bureaus is probably the most efficient way to have items removed from your credit reports, you may also wish to contact the creditors directly about these improper items, as the creditors may be willing to remove these listings voluntarily if you can show that they are inaccurate. For more information about credit, credit reports, and credit scoring, I encourage you to visit the Credit page.

I wish you the best of luck in resolving these inaccurate credit listings, and I hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.



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