How do I get a bogus unpaid auto loan wiped from my credit history?

My credit history shows an unpaid auto loan for a truck. I did buy this truck in 2016, but I only kept it for a week before returning it as a lemon. For some reason, I guess the dealership didn't notify the credit bureau that I'd returned the truck. How do I remove this loan from my credit history?

Answer
Unfortunately, credit report errors are fairly common, affecting about 20% of the U.S. population. But you still have recourse to amend the situation and challenge the error.
The ideal solution is to go straight to the top: the credit bureau. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can challenge errors on your credit report. If the bureau can’t verify the authenticity of the missed payment or payment default during their investigation, they must remove the item. It typically takes 30 to 45 days for the credit bureau to make a final decision.
To aid in this investigation, you’ll need to compile any supporting documentation, such as a note that outlines the “lemon” status of the vehicle or a document that shows the loan has been canceled. You should also include the item in dispute (the truck), a summary of the inaccuracy, and a formal request to remove the item.
Most of the time, this will resolve the situation. In the off-chance that it doesn’t, you can also challenge the lender’s credit reporting. By law, they must investigate the derogatory mark on your credit report and come to a final decision on its validity. Again, you’ll need to gather supporting documentation to substantiate your claims.
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Eric Schad
Answered on Mar 12, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.
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