A Brief Credit Repair Guide

Credit repair is a pretty popular topic right now. Credit repair advice is everywhere. Credit repair clinics, law firms and counselors offer services to those who interested in improving or protecting their credit scores. This is a brief step by step credit repair guide that may help to get you started.

The first step in any credit repair guide should be where to get copies of your credit reports. Many companies collect information about you and your credit history. The three major companies are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. These are referred to as the credit bureaus or credit reporting companies. They collect information about you and sell this information to lenders. Much credit repair advice revolves around reviewing the information contained in these reports. You can obtain free copies of your credit reports once a year by visiting http://www.annualcreditreport.com.

Step two of our credit repair guide concerns the information you will need to view your credit reports on line. Not all credit repair advice will include this information, but we think it is relevant. Working on improving your credit score can be frustrating enough, without having to visit a site several times, because you did not have certain basic information to prove your identity. In order to verify your identity, you will be asked a few questions about yourself. You may want to have account numbers and banking information available. They will not ask you to enter this information, but they may ask you to confirm this information. They may also ask questions about previous addresses. This was difficult for me, because I have lived at the same address for over seven years and could not remember my old address. If for some reason, you can not access your credit reports on line, the credit bureaus provide toll free numbers and mailing addresses to use instead.

Step three of our credit repair guide is similar to the credit repair advice that you will see in most places. Review your credit reports for inaccurate, out-dated, incomplete or unverifiable information. Unverifiable is a term that a lot of information on your report may fall under. If you claim that information is inaccurate and the credit bureaus are unable to “verify” the information, then they will remove it from your report. Removing negative items from your credit reports should improve your credit score. Companies must be very careful about the credit repair advice that they give out. They should not recommend that you dispute information which is accurate and of course you do not want to dispute anything that is good or “paid as agreed”.

Step four of our credit repair guide involves communicating with the credit bureaus. Some of the credit bureaus allow you to dispute information on line. These sites are not particularly user friendly and reporting inaccuracies on line does not mean that they will investigate any faster. It generally takes thirty to forty-five days to receive a corrected copy of your credit report. This is why most credit repair advice includes words about being patient. While you may wish that you could improve your credit scores overnight, legal credit repair strategies will not work that quickly. In fact many government agencies and the credit bureaus themselves advise that only time and patience will improve credit scores. However, if there is inaccurate information on your report and you can get it removed, then you can decrease the wait time substantially.

Step five of our credit repair guide involves communicating with your creditors. If you have had a history of late payments, but you are now current, you may ask the creditors to remove the history of the late payments from your report. You can tell them that you are attempting to qualify for a low interest loan and you just need to improve your score by a few points. You can call your creditors on the phone or send them a letter. This is called “good will” negotiation. Some credit repair companies will prepare these and other letters for you. They charge a fee for this service and other credit repair advice, but if you feel that you are not a good communicator or do not have the patience to do it yourself, a reputable credit repair company is an option.

The last step of this brief credit repair guide is really just a bit of credit repair advice; don’t give up. You can improve your credit score. You can do it yourself or you can hire someone to help you. It may be frustrating and time consuming. There are some scams and schemes that you should avoid and if you do hire someone, make sure they outline their fees up front and clearly define the services that they can perform.

We hope this credit repair guide will get you started down the road to better credit. If you need more information, visit the Credit Repair Blog.

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