Can a Deleted Account Be Put Back on My Credit Report?

woman sitting looking at tablet screen
Dear Experian,

If Experian deletes an account that was disputed as inaccurate and a creditor puts it back on, does Experian automatically remove it?


Dear KHC,

If an account is deleted as the result of a dispute and the lender later verifies the account as accurate, the account can be re-added to the credit report. Experian cannot automatically remove an account that has been verified as accurate by the lender.

What Happens When an Account Is Disputed?

When an item is disputed as inaccurate, Experian contacts the lender and asks them to check their records and verify the account information. The lender has 30 days to respond to the dispute. If they do not reply within that time frame, Experian may update or remove the account, depending on the information provided by the consumer.

One tactic often used by some credit repair companies is to dispute the information in a credit report repeatedly — even if it is accurate — in the hopes that a lender may not reply in time and the account in question will then be updated or removed by Experian.

Keep in mind that by law, a credit repair company cannot collect payment from their customer until the promised services are completed.

However, if the information being disputed was accurate to begin with, the lender will typically verify the debt, even if it is after the 30-day mark. Federal Law states that if the lender verifies that the deleted account is accurate, it can be returned to the credit file. Experian will then send a notice to the consumer to inform them that the account has been re-added to their credit report.

You Can Fix Your Own Credit

While credit repair companies may make their services sound tempting, the truth is that there is nothing a credit repair company can do for you that you can't do for yourself — for free. If there is an item on your credit report that you believe is inaccurate, you can contact Experian to dispute the information.

You can also contact your lender directly to notify them of the inaccuracy. If they agree that there is an error in the information they reported, they can contact Experian to have it corrected. They can also then make changes to their records so that the account is reported correctly going forward.

How to Repair Your Credit

The single most important factor in credit scores is your payment history — whether you make all your payments on time. If you've had credit issues in the past, the best thing you can do to help improve your credit scores is to bring any past due accounts current and make all your payments on time going forward. As time passes, the late payments will begin to impact you less, and your more recent history of on-time payments will help your scores start to recover.

The second most important factor in credit scores is your utilization rate, which is calculated by taking the total of all your credit card balances and dividing that number by the total of all your credit card limits. The lower your utilization rate, or balance-to-limit ratio, the better for your scores.

The rule of thumb is that you should never go above a 30% utilization rate, but credit score experts say that below 10% is best. If you are carrying high balances on your credit cards, reducing those balances is a good way to improve your credit scores quickly.

Finally, pay attention to the credit score factors that are included when you receive your credit score from Experian. These risk factors are provided to you to help you understand what elements in your credit report are impacting you personally. Improving on these factors will help you improve your credit scores.

Thanks for asking,
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist

This question came from a recent Periscope session we hosted.

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