A step-by-step guide to Do-It-Yourself credit repair
If your credit is not so good and you need to have it repaired, you have many options that you can use. You can get help from credit repair companies, but their service is at a cost. It is important to note that some of these companies deliver good results, but many do not. You can also seek help from a credit attorney or take the do-it-yourself route.
What is credit?
Credit is the financial power you have that lets you borrow money or access goods or services now with the promise that you will pay later.
The work to improve or repair your credit helps ensure you will qualify for loans at favorable terms when you need them.
Repairing your credit yourself is entirely possible
If you are persistent and organized, you can do just as well as any best credit repair company or credit attorney available for hire.
Six steps to successful credit repair
The steps below take you through the most important options to do credit repair yourself, including ways to remove errors and improve your credit score.
1. Get copies of all your credit reports. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the big three credit reporting firms. You should obtain all three credit reports.
- You can obtain a free copy once a year from each of these companies at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
- If you have 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 claimed your free copy.
- Find out what these credit monitoring companies are saying about your creditworthiness..
2. Find any errors. Once you obtain your credit reports, look for any negative information, even if it is true. Nearly everyone has at least one error on his or her credit report.
- Remember that the credit bureaus only report information. They do not take the time to verify it.
- Prepare a list of everything you want to dispute.
3. Dispute all the negative items. While it will not do any good to dispute correct items that still carry a balance, everything else is fair game. All items that have a balance will reappear the following month anyway.
- You need to document all disputed items in writing. Do not use the forms available online on the credit bureau’s website. That only makes everything too easy for them.
- There are many form letters online that you can use for your dispute. You only want to say that you disagree 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 rule 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 have proof of 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 they delete the items in question from your records.
4. Don’t give up. As previously mentioned, you need to be persistent and organized to succeed when you do credit repair. You must send your letters, make follow up, and document everything. Save copies of all your correspondences and their responses. This information might come in handy at a later date.
5. Realize the truth of the situation. Credit bureaus make money by selling credit reports, not by taking the time to respond 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.
6. 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 to any item that they fail to verify and consequently refuse to remove
- Credit bureaus have a long history of caving in at the last minute and giving consumers everything they want.
- Let them know your intention to file a lawsuit with your local small claims court.
- You might have to show up to court before they are willing to deal. It is in their interest because they 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 accomplish. As you can see, there is no need to hire a credit attorney or a credit repair company. It is pretty simple and effective. It can take months to see any real improvement, but it is much faster than just waiting out the many years it takes for the items to fall off the list naturally. Contact H&S Accounting & Tax Services if you need help finding templates and other ressources.
Boost your credit and better your life. You will be happy you did!