There are many options available if you need to repair your credit. Credit repair companies will help you, but they do charge a fee. Some of these companies really do a good job, but many do not.
Repairing your own credit is entirely possible. If you’re persistent and organized, you can do just as well as any company available for hire.
Follow these steps to successfully repair your own credit:
- Get copies of all your credit reports.Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the big 3 credit reporting firms. You should obtain all three reports.
- You can obtain a free copy once a year from each of these companies at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
- If you’ve recently been denied credit or a job for having poor credit, you can also get a free copy of your reports, even if it has been less than a year since you got a copy.
- Find out what these companies are saying about your credit worthiness.
- Find any errors. Once you obtain your credit reports, look for any negative information, even if it’s true. Nearly everyone has at least one error on his or her credit report.
- Remember that the credit bureaus just report information. They don’t take the time to verify it.
- Make a list of everything you want to dispute.
- Dispute all the negative items. While it won’t do any good to dispute true items still carrying a balance, everything else is fair game. Items with a balance will just reappear the following month anyway.
- All disputed items should be documented in writing. Do not use the forms that are available online on the credit bureau’s website. That just makes everything too easy for them.
- There are many form letters online that you can use for your dispute. You basically just want to say that you don’t agree with the items and wish to have them verified.
- The credit bureau then has 30 days to go back to the creditor and verify the accuracy of the item or else the item must be removed from your credit report. This applies if they fail to accomplish this task in time, for any reason. It’s the law!
- Be sure to send all of your correspondence by registered mail or some equivalent. You want to be able to prove when the item was received by the credit bureau.
- If they don’t verify the items in time, remind them of the law and demand that the items in question be expunged from your records.
- Don’t give up. Persistence and being organized are the keys to success. You must send your letters, follow up, and document everything. Keep copies of your letters and their responses. You just might need all of this information at a later date.
- Realize the truth of the situation. Credit bureaus make money by selling credit reports, not by responding to your inquiries. The last thing they want to do is spend time and resources on you. If you’re a pain in the neck, you might eventually get what you want.
- Don’t be afraid to use the court system.Taking the credit bureaus to court and suing them can sometimes be the best solution.
- Anytime you have a mistake on your credit report that the credit bureau refuses to remove, there is a $1,000 fine. The same $1,000 fine applies for any item that they fail to verify and refuse to remove.
- Credit bureaus have a long history of caving in at the last minute and giving the consumer everything they want.
- Don’t hesitate to file a lawsuit with your local small claims court.
- You might have to actually show up to court before they are willing to deal. But these credit bureaus don’t want to get stuck with thousands of dollars in fines, especially when they have nothing to gain. Give it a try.
Do-it-yourself credit repair is something that anyone can do. It really is very simple and effective. It can take months to see any real improvement, but it’s much faster than just waiting out the many years it takes for the items to fall off the list naturally.
Boost your credit and better your life. You’ll be happy you did!
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