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Can you wipe your credit history?

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    No, technically, you can’t wipe your credit history. However, you can change your credit behavior to make improvements that will build better credit going forward. It takes time and better habits to move on from subpar credit.

    Your credit history documents the actions you've taken on your credit accounts, such as paying a bill or missing a credit card payment. This history is then used to calculate your credit score. So, if your credit score is not to your liking, you may be wondering if you can wipe your credit history clean. Although you can’t wipe it clean, you can utilize best practices to help build better credit going forward and maybe even earn a higher credit score over time. Let’s take a closer look at how this may work.

    Is there a way to clean up your credit history?

    If your credit score isn’t meeting your standard, it’s understandable that you’d like to know how to wipe your credit history clean. Unfortunately, you can’t change the past, but the good news is that your credit history refreshes over about seven to 10 years. So, details of credit history do fall away after a while. In the meantime, you can learn from your past credit behavior and forge ahead with an idea of which of your credit habits may need improvement. This can help create better credit history for yourself and possibly improve your credit score. Read on below to learn how.

    Work on improving your credit

    Even though there’s no one-and-done credit cleanup, you can start working on fresh habits. Let’s look at some of the actions you can take to kickoff improving your credit history:

    • Paying bills, on time and with consistency.
    • Keeping account balances low, ideally using less than 30% of the credit available.
    • Holding onto credit card accounts, rather than closing them out, can help maintain long-term good standing.

    Specific steps can make a difference

    Improving your history starts with improving your credit score. Over time, as your score changes and hopefully rises, your credit history will reflect this positive trend. Your credit history can also strengthen as you take actions like catching up on late accounts and paying down big balances.

    But efforts toward consistent improvement can become onerous when you’re on your own. That’s why services like Chase Credit Journey® work hard right along with you to help lighten the load. Below are some features that can help you work toward a better credit score:

    • A free credit score review lets you keep an eye on your credit score and survey the consequences of actions you may take toward improvement, without affecting your credit score.
    • Credit monitoring can track changes to your account limits, utilization and balances to help maintain your credit health.
    • Alerts and updates you manage can help keep you aware of shifts to your credit standing. Identity monitoring can also notify you of unusual account activity.
    • Factors that impact your score are detailed reasons behind changes to your credit score with a snapshot overview. For instance, one factor might relay that your available credit went up and another may point to your credit usage going down.
    • Reviewing your credit score history so you can look at how your score has risen or fallen over time. Chase Credit Journey® plots this out for you in a handy timeline so you can check your progress with a glance.

    How can I fix errors in my credit history?

    There may be part of you that’s still worried that something may be wrong with your credit history. Maybe you believe it’s unwarranted and that your credit report contains errors. If that’s the case, you can request a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus: Experian™, Equifax® and TransUnion®. If, after checking these reports, you find incorrect data, there are ways to dispute errors.

    Each of the major credit bureaus has a process for disputing errors online, or you can mail in a hard copy of your dispute claim and evidence to them. No matter which tactic you choose, the reports can only be remedied by the individual bureaus you contact. So, that means three separate disputes for each error you wish to remedy.

    You can file these disputes with the following items close at hand:

    • Identifying information such as full name, address and phone number
    • The confirmation number from each credit report (if granted by the bureau)
    • Transaction details of each error including the account number in question, date and amount
    • An explanation for why you are disputing this transaction
    • Paperwork that provides evidence to back up your claims about the error
    • Official request for removal or correction of this error
    • Your credit report that includes the disputed item

    If you want a record for when the credit bureaus receive your requests, you can send them certified mail with return receipt attached. This receipt can let you know that your dispute has arrived.

    Wipe your credit history? No. Improve it? Yes.

    While it’s not possible to wipe your credit history clean, that doesn’t mean it lasts forever. Luckily, if your credit history isn’t where you’d like, you can earn better credit with best practices and the help of resources with Chase Credit Journey®. Tools like credit monitoring and alerts can help make it easier for you to work toward better credit.

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