Credit repair is a popular and often misused term.
If you have errors on your credit report, here are 3 tips on how to repair your credit report:
1. If you haven't done so already, request a FREE COPY of your Credit Report.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy and privacy of consumer information on the nation's credit reporting agencies.
If you want to dispute items on the report, you need to follow some simple steps.
But first, you need to be aware that there are many so called "Credit Repair Companies" that are making claims like:
- We can remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens and bad loans from your credit report!
- We can remove all charge offs and bad credit history to improve your credit score!
- Improve your credit score by 50-100 points in 30 days!
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can accomplish the same thing on your own!
Understand that a Credit Report is a history of your credit...how much, what kind, repayment history, etc.
If you have had a rough time and missed payments or had accounts charged off and go to debt collectors, your credit report will reflect it and THERE IS NOTHING A CREDIT REPAIR COMPANY CAN DO ABOUT LEGITIMATE ITEMS.
However, if you have items on your credit report such as:
- Accounts showing a balance when you know AND HAVE PROOF that you paid it off...
- Items that still remain after the STATUE OF LIMITATIONS for your state has passed...
- Address or employment errors...
- Accounts that you don't have...AND CAN PROVE IT
...then, you can dispute those items yourself and with the proper proof and/or documentation, can have those items removed.
2. Gather evidence and proof for your dispute.
Let's say that there is a Visa account with a balance of $5,000 that you paid off either IN FULL or Settled for Less Than the Full Amount.
Get a copy of your cancelled check(s) or bank statements clearing showing that you have paid this account as agreed.
If you cannot find the proof, then you can try to make the creditor VALIDATE THE DEBT.
Mail a detail account along with copies (not originals) of your canceled checks or bank statements (make sure to black out bank account numbers) to each of the credit reporting agencies.
You can also go on line to each reporting agency, but I think the written proof mailed by CERTIFIED MAIL (so you can prove they received it) is much more efficient.
The credit reporting agencies will contact the disputed creditor or debt collector.
Once the investigation is complete, the credit reporting company must provide you with a copy of the results and a free copy of your credit report if the dispute results in a change.
3. If you receive a letter from a debt collector and you don't think you owe the debt, MAKE THEM VALIDATE IT!
Many debt collection agencies BUY OLD DEBT at pennies on the dollar and try to collect. Some of the debts are legitimate and yet many are not. Because of the harsh language and threats of PENDING LEGAL ACTION, many consumers just pay the debt!
If you know that you don't owe the debt, send the same information as above the to debt collector. Demand that they provide you with documentation of the original contract showing your signature and date.
If they cannot provide the documentation or if they deem it is too much trouble to investigate, they will cease collection activities.
If they do not provide documentation that clearly shows you owe the debt, and they continue to contact you, REPORT THEM TO YOUR STATE'S ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE AND the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC).
If you find that you have old debts that you legitimately owe, you may be able to negotiate a settlement for much less than the balance! We can help you through the process. Simply give us a call at 1-877-492-4109 or click on the link below.