How To Start Your Bad Credit Repair
You cannot do credit repair by sending just one letter. Credit Repair is a process. And, you must do it right. This article hopefully will guide you through the process.
I’ve divided this article into different sections that have to do with credit repair. Each of those sections will talk about the process from one perspective or another. There is a lot of information about credit repair on the internet. Some of it is accurate (good) and some of it is wrong (bad).
Ultimately, you must decide what will or will not work for you. I can not make those decisions for you and you are responsible for the results that occur, good or bad, from your effort.
So proceed cautiously!
Spend money where appropriate to get good information or help if you think that it is right for you.
Remember, free information may cost you more in the long run than spending a couple of hundred dollars now to get information or help that is specific to and correct for your situation.
First, I am going to give you a list of steps that you will need to go through to begin repairing your credit. It may take a lot more than I list for you to be able to clean up your credit report well enough that you will be able to get credit.
If your credit file is accurate, nothing that you do from a dispute standpoint may work. The only thing that you will be able to do is “clean up your act” and start paying your bills on time… all the time.
Usually, if your credit score is bad enough and the information in your credit file is correct, it may take 2 or 3 years or longer of making regular, on-time payments in the agreed-to amount to improve your credit score to the point that creditors will trust you enough to loan you money… with collateral. You may not be able to get signature notes until the adverse reports drop off your credit report due to age (7 or 10 years, depending upon the situation).
Second, I give you some thoughts about when I think that you will definitely need to have regular copies of your credit file and where you can get them. Most of the better services run in the neighborhood of $20 to $30 USD per month. Usually they start with a free trial during which you can cancel with no charges to your credit card and you can cancel at any time effective at the end of the current billing cycle.
Third, I talk briefly about Credit Repair Services and listed two that I suspect are reputable. I’ve also given you a link to some warnings from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) about things to watch out for when dealing with Credit Repair Services. Some individuals may find it much more attractive to pay someone else to clean up the problem for them. Usually they charge less than $50 USD per month for their services. If they don’t do anything for you, you can probably get your money back even after any guarantee period if you threaten to complain to the FTC or local law enforcement. Most companies, reputable or shady don’t want that kind of trouble.
Always remember that when people are spending time helping you it will cost a lot more than if you buy a book or course and do it yourself.
Fourth, I’ve identified two Credit Repair courses that seem to be highly rated. I chat briefly about taking a course and doing it yourself.
Finally, there are some books listed that I found on Amazon that I think might be able to help you and could be an excellent way to get started. You may be able to pick up enough information from the books that you can make an informed decision as to how you want to go about dealing with your credit repair.
At a minimum, the following will be required:
- You will need to become knowledgeable in the applicable Federal as well as State Laws (statutes and case law. Statutes are laws as passed by Congress or your State Legislature and which have been signed by the President of the United States or the Governor of your State as appropriate. Case law is what the Courts have said that those Statutes mean based upon cases that have been tried in the Federal and/or State Courts).
Your rights are laid out in the following Federal Legislation:
- Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act).
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Note that some states have waded on the issue in with credit information-type legislation. You will need to identify rights that your state has provided you with.
- Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies by [clicking here]. Please note that the site doesn’t have a current security certificate but the site is the site referenced by the FTC. If you don’t trust me, go to the FTC.gov credit-related site by [clicking here] or typing the following into your browser’s address box:
- Review your report to identify inaccurate, incomplete or just plain illegal entries in your credit file.
- File a dispute concerning the information that you identified.Under the FCRA, both the consumer reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a consumer reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To take full advantage of your rights under this law, contact the consumer reporting company and the information provider.
- Tell the consumer reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate.Consumer reporting companies must investigate the items in question — usually within 30 days — unless they consider your dispute frivolous.They also must forward all the relevant data you provide about the inaccuracy to the organization that provided the information. After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the consumer reporting company, it must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results back to the consumer reporting company.If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide consumer reporting companies so they can correct the information in your file.
When the investigation is complete, the consumer reporting company must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. (This free report does not count as your annual free report under the FACT Act.).If an item is changed or deleted, the consumer reporting company cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies that it is accurate and complete. The consumer reporting company also must send you written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the information provider.
- Tell the creditor or other information provider in writing that you dispute an item.Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider reports the item to a consumer reporting company, it must include a notice of your dispute. And if you are correct — that is, if the information is found to be inaccurate — the information provider may not report it again.
- Eventually, you will need to see whether your disputed information was actually removed from your file and stayed removed and that your credit score has improved as a result of that removal. If they correct something, they are supposed to give you a free copy of your file.But, if I were you, I would want to see my report two or three months later to make sure they actually stopped reporting the removed item. Congress passed the laws because the creditors were not cooperating with consumers. I’m old enough to remember how bad it was and I remember the collective sigh of relief that was heard across the country when Congress put them in their place.
Here are some sources of products and services that we believe will help you as you begin repairing your credit scores.
Credit Scores & Credit Repair Related Information
If you are interested in regularly receiving your credit information, there are several initially free services that you can sign up for but unless you contact them before the free-trial period ends, they will automatically bill your credit card at the end of the trial period. You will need to contact them to resign your membership before the trial period expires. Here is a link to a company where you can get a reasonably priced credit report with a trial period:
Credit Repair Services
The FTC warns that consumers should definitely be careful when dealing with credit repair services. I think to a certain extent this is true but, in my mind, you can get into a “Chicken Little” mind set (remember the phrase: “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”). To see what the FTC has to say about Credit Repair Services [click here].
Credit Repair Products
I think that most people want to cut to the chase and just learn how to fix their credit score.
Here are links to what I think are two reasonably priced, highly ranked credit repair products: