Everybody’s hurting with the economy as it is now. Credit is practically impossible to find – if you have any hope of getting it, you better have the best credit report you can have.
If you need to clean up your credit, you might be tempted to pay a credit repair company to help repair your credit score. But here’s the secret: Everything they can do for you, you can do for yourself! In fact, often credit bureaus are more cooperative with a consumer wanting to fix their own credit than a credit repair company! (These they assume file fraudulent, nuisance claims hoping the sheer volume of the requests will work to their advantage.) So let’s take a look at the basic steps of self help credit repair.
Order Current Credit Reports
Your first step is to order an up-to-date credit report. You will need to get them from all three of the credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experion. Since creditors don’t have to report things to all three bureaus, they will each be slightly different. Improving your score means working with all three. It may seem like a lot of work, but self help credit repair requires it – and it really shouldn’t be that bad.
This doesn’t have to cost you a bundle. You can order one free copy every year from each bureau by going to the government sponsored site www.annualcreditreport.com. You are also entitled to a free report if a company deny you based on a credit report (credit card, insurance, employment). You would need to order it within 60 days of the denial, from the company that the denial was based on. Information would be given with the denial.
Examine The Reports
Look at the report very carefully. Check for typing errors, information that is outdated, incomplete, or inaccurate, and inaccurate account histories. Be meticulous at this point – it will only work to your advantage as you do your self help credit repair.
Document As You Dispute
A dispute form will come with your credit report. You can you this form, or you can write a letter. Often a letter is more effective, as it allows more specifics. Most experts say that disputing one item at a time (with each bureau) is best, but if the mistakes are in the “personal information” section, they can be disputed all at once.
For each item, clearly state what is wrong. Attach a copy of your supporting documentation. Use a highlighter to mark the item(s) on a copy of the credit report, which you will include with the letter and documentation. Finally, make a copy of the whole shebang (for your records) and sent it certified return receipt requested.
Know Your Rights
From when the bureau receives your request, they have 30 days to investigate your claim. If they cannot verify it, they must remove it. If they make changes, they will send you the results with an updated copy of your credit report – for free.
These are the basics of self help credit repair. There are many other steps you can take to deal with anything that the credit bureau will not remove. They can also be done in as self help credit repair.