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And that goes for long past due accounts as well. In some cases, even when an account has been charged off, you can negotiate what is known as "payment for deletion". This is a critical component of cleaning charged-off accounts from your credit reports because simply paying a charge-off does not improve your credit. The negative listing needs to be completely cleaned from your credit reports to prevent it from being factored into the credit scoring algorithms.

Is there anything else I can do to clean my credit reports?

There is still much more to maximizing your credit score then keeping new negative credit listings from tarnishing your already clean credit history. If there are already negative listings in your credit reports, you will need to focus on them as well.

The credit reporting system is far from perfect and millions of Americans have negative listings on their credit reports that simply should not be there. Your credit score is supposed to be an accurate indicator of your credit worthiness. It tells lenders, landlords, employers, and others how likely you are to repay your debts, have a solid work ethic, and be a contributing member of society. People with the lower credit scores get punished in the form of higher interest rates, higher insurance premiums, and if their score is low enough, reduced opportunities for employment and fewer places they can live.

If you are looking to clean your credit, then you are probably already feeling the effects of a lower credit score. Fortunately for you, if your credit score is worse than it should be because of questionable negative listings in your credit reports, there is something you can do to clean your credit.

You have the right to dispute any negative listings in your credit reports that you feel may be inaccurate, untimely, misleading, biased, incomplete or unverifiable. These are the negative items in your credit reports that, for one reason or another, are giving lenders an unfair impression of your true credit risk. Cleaning these questionable items from your credit reports may be the step you need to take to make sure your credit score is true to who you are as a consumer.

To help people get a better understanding of the types of negative items that can be disputed, the book "Credit Revolution: Path of the Smart Consumer" contains multiple examples of questionable negative listings and how credit reporting errors are not as black and white and many people believe.

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