What is Credit Repair?
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Credit repair is the act of working to make sure an individual's credit report is accurate and up to date. The credit bureaus and financial institutions must comply with over 200 legal provisions when reporting information on your credit reports. They commonly fail to follow The Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. When this happens, you can demand the removal of information that was illegally added to your credit reports. When the credit bureaus and creditors realize that they have been caught violating these laws, they would rather change the information on your reports than risk a lawsuit or a fine.
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How do I repair my credit?
Pull your report
Everyone is entitled to one free credit report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. Each of the credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, if you ask for it. The three companies have a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address for consumers to order the free annual credit reports the government entitles them to. To order, go to www.annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Evaluate negative items
Once you have obtained your credit report you will want to evaluate what is bringing your score down. Most credit reports have Potentially Negative items or items for further review these are the ones bringing your score down.
The items here are listed in order of descending importance with the first item being the "most damaging" to your credit.
Past due payments
No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. The law allows you to ask for an investigation of information of your credit file that you dispute as misleading, inaccurate, erroneous, unverifiable or outdated information. There is no charge for this. Some people hire a knowledgeable credit repair companies to investigate on their behalf to save time and frustration.
Mistakes do happen, and when they happen on your credit report it can be costly! A study by US PIRG (a national consumer watchdog organization) indicates that as many as 80% of credit reports contain at least one error, and as many as one fourth contain an error serious enough to result in the denial of credit. Its tough enough paying for your own mistakes don't pay for someone else's too.
Check for outdated information the majority of states allow the credit bureaus to report your negative items for seven years with the exception of Bankruptcy and Judgments which are reported for ten years. You can check the statue of limitations for more information.
Contact the Credit Bureaus
Tell the credit bureaus, in writing, what information you think is misleading, inaccurate, erroneous, unverifiable or outdated information. Include copies (NOT originals) of any documents that support your position. Your letter should identify each item in your report you wish to dispute; state the facts and the reasons you want to dispute the information, and ask that it be removed or corrected. Your letter should include your full legal name, current address, and social security number. You will also want to include documentation proving your identity to the bureaus so they cannot stall identification, as follows: a copy of your photo id, a copy of your social security card, and a proof of address (such as utility bill). You may want to send your letter by certified mail, “return receipt requested,” so you can document that the credit reporting companies received it. Keep copies of your dispute letters and enclosures.
Po Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30348
Po Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
Po Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
The credit bureaus then have thirty days to investigate your dispute and respond back. Once you receive your response you will want to evaluate what has been removed or corrected. Once that is evaluated you will want to make note and send out additional letters tell desired results are achieved. Keep in mind that this can be a tedious task and will take a lot of determination.
Get New Credit
After you have cleaned up your report it is time to reestablish. If you have loans or revolving credit already being reported on time keep it up! If you do not, you will want to reestablish credit by opening some new accounts. Don't forget to keep your balance at half or less than the available limit.
If you would prefer to have a trained professional assist you in repairing your credit please visit www.AcademyCredit.com for a free consultation.
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