What You Need to Know About Credit in 2022

Credit has become something of an obsession in the United States, and the national credit score has become almost as important as the national GPA. It’s not just about loans anymore; many landlords use credit scores to determine whether you’re eligible to rent an apartment, for example, and employers often run credit checks on potential employees. In short, your credit score can have an enormous impact on your life, so it’s important to understand how you can improve it over time, beginning with these three things you need to know about credit in 2022.

Does my credit score matter?

In 2022, lenders will be required by law to remove all negative information from your credit report after 7 years. But it’s not enough just to start paying your bills on time:
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Your payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score, so keeping a solid record of timely payments is still very important. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can ensure that you have a good payment history. It doesn’t take much effort—and if you don’t already pay your bills on time, it doesn’t take any effort at all! Keeping track of your payments using a spreadsheet or an app can help you remember when a bill needs to get paid, and most businesses with whom you regularly do business should allow you to set up autopay. Also, make sure that you never pay late; even one late payment (or delinquency, as they call them) hurts more than others because they stay on your credit report for seven years instead of

How do I protect my credit score?

At least once a year, review your credit report and remove any inaccurate information or anything that’s not yours. It’s important to always have correct credit information if you want your score to be accurate. Always pay bills on time and don’t borrow money unless you plan on paying it back quickly. And finally, never let an account go into collections: If you’re having trouble keeping up with payments, contact creditors as soon as possible to discuss a payment plan.

Why do I need to remove negative items from my credit report?

This is an important question because you are entitled to have negative information removed from your credit report if it is inaccurate. A few states have passed legislation that requires lenders, credit card companies, and landlords to check a person’s credit report for accuracy before doing business with them. Each state’s law is different, so there is no definitive way of knowing what your rights are. If you live in one of these states however and believe an item on your credit report is wrong or outdated, follow these steps:

(1) Send a letter by certified mail stating that you dispute some of the items on your credit report,

(2) Keep a copy of your letter and certified mail receipt as proof you sent it and did not receive a response after 30 days; contact every company listed on your credit report separately and ask them to investigate.

(3) Each company will reinvestigate individually after receiving your dispute and remove any items they find to be fraudulent.

Again, make sure to write down all correspondence between yourself and creditors in case there is any further legal action needed. It’s always best to maintain good credit when possible; always make sure you pay your bills on time!

When will negative items be removed from my credit report?

In 2022, some negative items (e.g., late payments, collections accounts, foreclosures) will be removed from credit reports after seven years. These are referred to as time-barred or time-delinquent items. Time-barred/time-delinquent refers to both age and status—the derogatory item was reported at least seven years ago and is no longer considered current under Section 605 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
That said, even if a creditor reports a delinquent account on your credit report, it can still collect on that debt until it’s paid off or charged off by your lender. If you’re receiving collection calls about an old debt (before 2022), find out what options you have for resolving these accounts. If you have any questions about whether an item qualifies as time-barred/time-delinquent, contact our legal team through Ask an Attorney. This is general information only, not legal advice.
If you need additional information about removing specific items from your credit report with one of our attorneys for specific advice about your situation.

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