How Can I Wipe My Credit Clean For Free?

By Rory Ackerman •  Updated: 07/21/22 •  11 min read
Filed under: Credit Score

Your credit report manifests all the details that vouch for your creditworthiness, and your credit history showcases all of your previous debt repayments. Because of this, it can be very difficult to get any new credit approved if you have a bad credit score.

If that’s the case, you need a fresh start, and wiping your credit clean can be an answer. Since using a credit repair company might be expensive, and there are numerous credit repair scams, you might be wondering – how can I wipe my credit clean for free?

It’s possible to wipe your credit clean without having to pay top dollar restoration agencies, and we’ll give you all the details and know-how below, so keep reading!

Why You Might Want To Wipe Your Credit Clean

Cleaning your credit report isn’t just important for loan applications. It might also be necessary if you want to get a new credit card or to extend a line of credit. Also, it’s going to be helpful for any future credit applications you may need down the road.

Wipe Your Credit Clean

You also might notice some inaccurate information or unauthorized hard checks and negative items that shouldn’t be in your credit report. Wiping your credit clean is a logical thing to do in this case, as these items can leave a long-lasting mark on your credit history.

Negative Items That Can Hurt Your Credit Score

What types of things can damage your credit rating and for how long will they remain in the report?

These are the main possible causes of bad credit ratings from your credit reports:

Late payments of any type are among the longest-lasting negative items on your credit report. They can leave a trace on your report for up to seven years, and this is often the longest period for negative items.

Credit card debts and other delinquent accounts remain on your credit reports for seven years just like any late payments.

On the other hand, hard pulls usually stay listed on your report for about 2 years

Although charge-offs are listed for payments that you’re more than 6 months behind on paying, you should settle that debt as soon as you can. As it’s listed as a charge-off, you might think that you don’t have to pay the debt amount, but not doing so will result in a lasting mark on your credit reports.

Charge offs usually stay on your credit history for about seven years, as well as collections. If you pay off the debt it will at least move to “paid charge off” which will still be seen as derogatory but slightly more favorable to some lenders.

Finally, if you have declared bankruptcy, it will leave a mark on your credit reports for up to 10 years.

It’s the negative information for defaults that could affect your credit history the most, and it’s also the toughest one to dispute and wipe from your credit.

Who Can Access Your Credit Report?

It’s not just credit card issuers and creditors that can access your credit reports. Your rating might also be under review when applying for a new job position, applying for certain insurance policies, or for signing a new home/apartment rental agreement.

Personal Access To Your Credit Report

In all of these cases, your credit report will showcase creditworthiness and your level of responsibility when it comes to handling and paying debts.

That’s why you might need a fresh start to turn your bad credit around and maintain it on an acceptable level. Keeping negative items off of your report is only the first step of the way. 

To wipe your credit clean in any of these cases, you can use credit repair services, or take some steps on your own to remove the negative listings for free.

Ways Of Wiping Your Credit Clean For Free

It’s always the best starting point in wiping your credit clean if you know the exact cause of your bad credit. It can be due to missed utility payments, credit card debt, loans that you failed to repay on time, and other reasons that we mentioned above.

While some people keep track of their transactions and missed due date payments, others may need a bit of help from credit reporting agencies. Pulling your reports can be the first step you can take, and the best thing is that you can do this for free and without hurting your score.

Obtain The Reports From Credit Bureaus

Credit reporting agencies, or credit bureaus, are your best shot at determining the cause of your credit problem. Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian are the three major credit reporting bureaus in the US.

Since all the transactions and credit changes are reported to all three of these bureaus, they have your complete credit information. It’s compiled in a credit report, and there can be slight differences between each of the three reports.

The good news is – you can get a free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau. As long as you only do this once per year, it won’t cost you anything to pull your reports and determine the causes of your poor rating.

Pulling a free credit report on your own won’t leave a hard inquiry on your credit history, so you also won’t have to worry about damaging your score. Don’t hesitate to contact a credit reporting agency for obtaining your copy as it will help you scan the listings that can possibly be disputed.

Filing a dispute is your main hope of wiping your credit clean and starting a new credit cycle in the commercial world.

Scanning Reports For Negative Information

If you want to save some money and do the credit wiping for free, you’ll be on your own when it comes to settling the disputes. Still, it doesn’t have to be that much of a difficult task, since all you need to do is thoroughly go over your reports.

Scanning Credit Reports For Negative Information

Use all three copies, and read the report one line at a time to check for any inconsistencies. Your credit record will include the causes for bad ratings, and you should primarily look for the negative listings that we discussed before.

Sadly, if you encounter only those that you are familiar with, there’s little chance you will be able to change them. However, if you run into an inquiry that you didn’t authorize or aren’t familiar with, there’s your chance of wiping that blemish from your credit file.

Wiping Negative Items From Your Credit Report

To wipe credit clean, you’ll have to do two things – wipe the negative items that shouldn’t be in your report, and start making on-time payments to ensure a good credit score. There’s no point in disputing the listings if you aren’t going to start boosting your score and keep it positive.

As for the negative listing removal, here are some of the things you can do to clean your reports:

Settling Disputes Of Unauthorized Pulls

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, creditors can’t make a hard pull of your reports without you authorizing it. The fairness and privacy of the data in your report is legally enforced with this regulation, so you can use it to wipe your credit clean.

You don’t need credit monitoring services to spot such unauthorized pulls – it’s enough to use the reports from three credit bureaus. 

Because of this, any unauthorized hard inquiries can be removed by filing a dispute to the three bureaus. They are obligated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to check into the situation and to remove hard inquiries if they are truly unauthorized.

Removing the inaccurate information will instantly help you in your journey to wipe your credit score clean.

Goodwill Letters Can Sometimes Help

Another form of wiping your credit clean is through goodwill letters. They can be sent to your original creditor in case you only missed a payment once. It’s even more effective to do so in case you were late for no more than 29 days.

A goodwill letter might help you remove the missed payment listing from your report in case you have a good on-time payments background with the creditor. The disputed information will immeditely help with your efforts to repair your credit.

The “Pay For Delete” Strategy

Along with the dispute process for removing negative entries in your report, you can also offer to pay for deleting. Some creditors will approve this method and you have the highest chance of approval with a third partysuch as a collection agency.

Namely, if your debt accumulates for more than 6 months, the creditor will most likely sell it to suitable collection agencies. Once they contact you then you can negotiate a pay for delete strategy, which means you pay off all or some of the debt and in exchange they remove the account from your credit history.

It will then be removed from all three reports, but you will still need to send a formal pay for delete letter to the collection agency offering to pay for the debt or at least a portion of it in exchange for deleting the negative item. If the agency agrees, they will close your collection account and you will get to repair your credit.

You should get it in writing that the agency is willing to close the account based on the pay for delete letter because this is not a legally binding agreement and they could basically accept your payment and tell you to get bent.

While not exactly a free way of wiping your credit clean, at least you will only be paying for your original debt. There are no interest rates involved in the process, and you might even be able to pay just a portion of the debt.

Handle The Newest Deragotry Items First

It’s an unwritten rule that the older your negative entry is, the lower its influence is on your credit report. Your credit file obtained from a credit bureau includes all the information you need to find the recent negative items if you can’t remember them on your own.

You can then focus on paying the recent ones first, especially if the older entries are close to the expiration date of 7 years. Viewing your payment history and dealing with the recent missed payments can significantly help in wiping your credit clean.

Start Paying On-Time To Further Repair Your Credit

Payment On Time Concept

If you are able to find errors in your reports and remove them, you’ll be halfway to wiping your credit clean. The next step is to avoid any potential late payment from this point on, and you should start with utility bills.

Unpaid bills are one of the worst things that reflects on your credit report, and they just might be the easiest item to pay off. 

So, make sure all of your bills are paid on time, as even a single payment missed for more than 29 days can stay on your report for 7 years.

Deal With Duplicate Accounts

Believe it or not, some other errors are also possible on your credit report and duplicate accounts are a possibility. That’s why you need to check your credit history from time to time, as you might end up having more debt in a report than is really the case.

This can negatively impact your rating, and you can file a dispute letter like the one for unauthorized hard pulls. The credit bureau will examine the situation, and it can be a quick and free fix if you end up really having duplicate accounts.

It’s yet another reason why you should check your credit file occasionally and look for disputable items.

Final Thoughts

Wiping your credit history clean and free of any errors and negative items can make positive impact for your future credit qualifications. Also, it will help you land jobs and get approved for rental agreements more easily than compared to having bad credit.

Hopefully, you can use the free tips and dispute techniques we listed to remove any negative listings from your reports. Once you do, remember to pay your bills on time and don’t let your payments lapse to keep your credit scores in an optimal range.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What’s the best method of a free credit clean up?

You can wipe your credit clean for free once you obtain the copies of each credit report and start determining the problem areas. You might be able to remove some items simply by filing free dispute letters or goodwill letters, and regain a lot for your credit rating without having to pay anything.

Can I just pay someone to wipe my credit clean?

You might be able to pay a collection agency, or even sometimes a primary creditor to remove the debt listing from your credit report. It’s a great DIY method of credit repair and wiping your credit clean, assuming that the creditor approves of this move.

How long does it take to wipe your credit clean?

Wiping your credit report clean of any negative listings can take some time. Each credit bureau has the right to investigate the conditions under which you were entitled to remove bad listings for 45 days. Once this period has passed, and hopefully they agree to remove the items, you can be sure that they won’t reflect on your credit report anymore.

What’s the safest option for wiping credit clean?

You have the highest chances of success in wiping your credit report clean with dispute letters to a credit bureau and offering to pay the total cost of existing recent debts to raise your FICO score fast.

Rory AckermanRory Ackerman

Rory Ackerman

Hi, I'm Rory! I've worked in the banking industry for quite some time and wanted to help provide my expertise with all things credit related. In my spare time I like to play video games and collect sports cards.

Keep Reading