How to Remove a Repossession From Your Credit Report


Many people find themselves in a situation where they are unable to make timely payments on their auto loan. In some cases, the lender will take possession of the vehicle and sell it at auction.

couple reading documents

This is called repossession, which means that you have lost your car because you’ve missed payments. Even if you pay what’s owed and remove the sale from public record, it may still affect your credit score for years to come. Here’s how to keep this serious setback off of your credit report once and for all!

How long does a repossession stay on your credit report?

A car repossession stays on your credit report for up to seven years. So while the impact lessens over time, it can negatively impact you the whole time it’s on your credit report.

How does a repossession affect my credit score?

Having a repossession on your credit report can be very damaging to your credit score. A repossession may prevent you from getting a loan for things like cars, credit cards, home loans, or anything else that requires a credit check. It hurts your credit score for as long as the repossession stays on your credit report.

Why do repos happen?

A car repossession typically occurs when you’ve fallen behind on your auto loan payments.

When you get an auto loan, the bank you have the loan through technically owns the car until the loan is paid off in full. If you stop making monthly payments, the bank can essentially take their car back from you.

Your lender can seize your vehicle at any time once your loan is in default. In most states, they don’t even need to notify you that they will do this. Lenders will typically then sell the vehicle to attempt to recoup the money they loaned for its purchase.

What if it was a voluntary repossession?

When it comes to your credit, there’s little difference between a voluntary and involuntary repossession. The effects of a voluntary repossession are just as damaging to your credit score.

Can I be sued for the remainder of the balance?

In addition to seizing your vehicle, the lender can sue you for the additional amount they lack to pay off their original investment.

For example, let’s say you still owed $15,000 for a car, and that car got repossessed by the bank. The bank then sold that car for $10,000. The lender could still sue you for the remaining $5,000. The bank will almost certainly sue you for the remainder. Then, you will also have a judgment on your credit report.

Can a repo be removed from your credit report?

Yes. It is possible to have a repo removed from your credit report before seven years. You can do one of two things:

  1. Occasionally, a bank allows you to renegotiate your payment terms so that you can afford to pay them more easily. If you can convince them to do this, they will sometimes remove the repossession for you. Make sure you get it in writing that they will delete the repo from your credit report once you have paid it in full.
  2. You can dispute the repossession with the credit bureaus.

How to Dispute a Repossession

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that negative items on your credit report be accurate and true. So, if you can find errors in the reporting of the repossession on your credit report, you can have it completely removed. And the burden of proof is on the credit bureau.

To remove a repossession, you will need to file a dispute with each credit bureau reporting it. The credit bureau must remove the repossession from your credit report if the lender can’t verify the repossession is valid or fails to answer the dispute within 30 to 45 days.

To file a credit bureau dispute, you will first need to get your credit reports. You can get a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus at

Once you have your credit reports, you will want to see if it’s reporting on all 3 credit reports and then look for any errors or inaccuracies. You will then report the error to the credit bureaus reporting it by filing a dispute. You can do so by phone, mail, or online. Sending a letter to each credit bureau is the best way to do it.

Can I get a car loan after a repossession?

Yes, however, it’s best to get the repossession on your credit report removed before applying for a loan. Unfortunately, very few lenders will give you an auto loan with a repo on your credit report.

If they do, the amount of interest you’ll be paying will be enormous. You may pay 3x to 4x what the car is worth.

What can I do to rebuild my credit after a repossession?

There are several things you can to start rebuilding your credit after a repossession. Some of these things you can start doing immediately.

  • Pay all of your bills on time – Paying all of your bills on time is vital to maintaining a good credit score. When you pay late, it is reported to the credit bureaus and it can remain on your credit report for up to seven years. Even if you make the minimum monthly payment, it is important to pay it on time.
  • Try to pay down your debt – A lower credit utilization ratio (amount of available credit you’re using) can help improve your score. There are a few different strategies for paying down debt. Consider the debt snowball or debt avalanche method.
  • Check your credit report for errors – Ensure that all the information listed is accurate and up-to-date. Carefully review the reports for any incorrect or outdated information. This includes incorrect account numbers, incorrect addresses, incorrect payment history, or accounts that don’t belong to you. If you find any errors, you’ll need to dispute them.
  • Consider a secured credit card – A secured credit card is a type of credit card that requires you to put down a security deposit to use the card. The amount of the security deposit is usually equal to the amount of the credit limit. When you use the secured card and make timely payments, they’ll be reported to the three major credit bureaus, allowing you to build a positive credit history.
  • Consider a credit builder loan – A credit builder loan can help you build credit by providing you with a small loan, which you can use to make regular payments. Similar to a secured card, your on-time payments will be reported to the credit bureaus.

Hiring a Credit Repair Professional to Help You

A professional credit repair company like Lexington Law can also help you remove negative items like repossessions from your credit report. They have many years of experience helping people, and they make sure the job gets done correctly.

They can also help you potentially remove late payments, charge-offs, collections, foreclosures, and even bankruptcies. If you’ve been struggling with bad credit and are ready to improve your credit scores, call them for a free credit consultation.

Lexington Law Client Testimonials:

I must commend your company and staff, on doing an exemplary job on my credit history. For the few months that I have been a client, their reputation represents that of professionalism, courteousness, and people oriented. I am happy with the progress that has been made. Keep up the great work.

— R.S., Lexington client

I am very satisfied with the service you offer your clients. I feel your firm is committed and dedicated to obtaining results. Since becoming a client, I have been astonished by the number of deletions you have been able to obtain for both my husband and me.

I would never have been able to achieve the results you have on my own and hold down a full-time job at the same time. I look forward to getting your updated emails just to see how many more negative entries have disappeared.

— K.L. & B.L., Lexington clients

Letter from TransUnion

repossession removed from TransUnion

Discount for Family Members, Couples, and Active Military!

When you sign up for credit repair services with your spouse or family members, Lexington Law will discount the initial set-up fee by $50. The one-time $50.00 discount will be automatically applied to both you and your spouse’s first payment.

Active military members also qualify for a one-time $50 discount off the initial fee.

Lauren Ward
Meet the author

Lauren is a Crediful writer whose aim is to give readers the financial tools they need to reach their own goals in life. She has written on personal finance issues for over six years and holds a Bachelor's degree in Japanese from Georgetown University.