Can You Delete Your Credit Report?

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated February 2, 2021

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Credit Scores
May 13, 2016

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Question: My credit report is horrible and I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to use it to get a loan, can I just delete it?

Answer: No, you cannot delete your credit reports. The most you can do is freeze your credit report so that lenders can’t pull it, although that also means that you won’t have access to it either. The benefit of freezing your credit report is that you can also unfreeze it any time you want.

It’s not yours to delete. Credit reports are data that is gathered by credit report companies such as TransUnion that helps them determine your credit worthiness. Lenders can then use that information to decide if they want to loan to you. Those credit report companies have control of your credit reports. It’s similar to how the Better Business Bureau rates businesses.

Even if your credit is horrible and you think you will never dig your way up to a better credit score, there are ways to clean up your credit score. Remember, all negative information on your credit report is removed after seven years (10 for bankruptcies), so if you pay off your debt, you can wait out the seven years and get an instant boost in your credit score. There also may be errors on your credit report that you can easily fix.

Here’s where to start:

Know Your Reports: Get a copy of all three of your credit reports. You can get your one-time credit reports from once per year. If you want to actually monitor your credit and see it improve, you can sign up for a credit monitoring service. You can use a totally free service like Credit Sesame or use a service with identity theft bells and whistles like IdentityForce. Here is a good list of the top credit report monitoring services.

Fix Errors: If there are errors on your credit report, you need to get them fixed as soon as possible since they can affect your credit score. Each of the credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — has instructions on their site to help you file the paperwork you need to get the errors removed from your credit reports. If that seems like too much work …

Get Help: If you don’t know how to fix your report yourself or just want someone else to deal with it, you can sign up for a credit repair service. These services will fix your credit report errors and deal with your lenders to help you try to raise your credit report. Keep in mind that these services don’t guarantee a rise in your credit score, but they do guarantee that they will do the work. Here is a good list of the best credit repair companies that we review, as well as a list of cheap credit repair options.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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