Do It Yourself Credit Score Check Up

do it yourself credit score checkupWould you like to know how to improve your credit score?

 Here are a few very helpful tips you can use to do it yourself.

I've written several articles and blogs on the subject of Credit Repair, How to Improve Your Credit Score, How to Have Errors on Your Credit Report Corrected, etc. over the years.

When it comes to the subject of "CREDIT REPAIR", there are several misconceptions, but the most prevalent is that you can get the top three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) to remove negative information from your credit report.!

You may have seen ads from the newspaper, TV, radio, on line or phone making claims such as:

  • "We can remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens and bad loans from your credit report!"
  • "We can erase bad credit!"
  • "We will help you create a new credit identity that is 100% legal!"

Credit Reporting agencies sell (that's right, they are in business to make a profit) your credit history to those who need to know that if they loan you money, you have (or have had in the past) the ability and track record to repay that loan!

Make sense?  Sure.  Then why would you think that you or some Credit Repair Company could magically make negative information disappear?

Yes, there are some credit repair companies who, in my opinion (and most likely your state's attorey general) have the methodology to have some negative items removed from your credit report for a short period of time or until the creditor realizes it and makes a claim to have it replaced!

Some people will pay a lot of money for this type of shady "credit repair" in order to get a loan or possibly qualify for an apartment or even for employment.

Be very careful of these claims!  They could come back to  haunt you!

The Federal Trade Commission has written many good articles on this subject and credit repair in general.

Here's a link to a very good article: CREDIT REPAIR: HOW TO HELP YOURSELF

OK, but what about LEGITIMATE ERRORS?

If you haven't done so already, you need a copy of your credit report (not necessarily your score at this time) from each of the top 3 Credit Reporting agencies.

If you have applied for credit, insurance or employment, and were denied, you can request a copy of the report, if you do it within 60 days.

You are entitled to a FREE CREDIT REPORT every 12 months.  Just go to or call 1-877-322-8228.

Carefully check all of information on all 3 reports.

Make sure you name, social security number, address, etc. are correct.

What you are looking for is accounts that you know (and can prove) that you have paid off.

Also, depending on your state's statute of limitations, negative information in the past (charge offs, accounts that you were late paying often, etc.) can be removed after a certain number of years.

For example, if you live in Oregon, the statute of limitations is 6 years on most accounts.

But, the biggest thing you are looking for is for accounts that you have paid off and are still showing a balance or may have been turned over to a collection agency.

Make a copy of your the page of the credit report showing the account you wish to dispute.

  • Circle the account.

Gather the proof of payment:

  • Letter or account statement with $0 balance
  • Copies of check and/or money order you used (you may have to contact your bank or go on line)
  • Letter of satisfaction if you paid off a judgment


Now, you are going to write a letter with this information to EACH OF THE 3 CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES.

Yes, you can go on line and in many cases this works best, but somehow I think the "paper trail" of a letter with proof is more effective.

If you do not get a reply within 45 days, make sure to follow up!  Don't GIVE UP!

This is where I think it may be a good idea to hire a professional, ethical credit repair company to do this for you.

Yes, it will cost you some money, but there is a lot of time and effort that will go into challenging several items and you may not want to spend the time.

Check with your state's attorney general's office for a list of good, reliable credit repair companies.

If you live in Oregon, click here for a list of registered companies.

Comment on the subject of Credit Report Disputes:

Recently, I had written a blog about this subject and received a comment from a Credit Repair Company owner.

The blog was titled "Best Options for Credit Card Debt Relief" in which I listed and explained several ways to help get debt.

He commented and asked the question why I did not explain how to "fight for non payment of a credit card" rather than file for bankruptcy.

I understand and apprecitate the comment, but in my opinion, if you or I agree to repay a debt by taking out credit, then we have given our word...made a promise to repay and should do so if at all possible.

I don't think it is right to try an find a loophole such as they fact that a debt collector (as much as I don't like most of them) can't provide sufficient paper work to prove that the debt is legitimate in order to get out of paying a debt you know you owe.

On the other hand, I've had cases where after a creditor or collector agreed to accept less than the full balance due to the severe financial hardship of the consumer, the remaining balance showed up at another collection agency later.

Of course, in that case, you should (and we successfully did) dispute the claim.

I understand that there are many circumstances that happen that may make repayment impossible.

In those cases, if a Debt Management Program or a Debt Settlement Program can help, then a person should take advantage of such programs.

If things are so dire that neither program can help, then Bankruptcy may or should be the only option.


  • Order a FREE Credit Report
  • Check for errors
  • Gather proof of payment
  • Write letters
  • Follow up! Follow up! Follow up!

If all of this sounds like TOO MUCH, we can help:





Tags: dispute errors on your credit report, credit repair, credit report, debt relief in Portland Oregon, credit report dispute, credit repair scams, credit card debt relief oregon, Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, credit reporting companies

DIY Credit Repair

diy credit repairDIY credit repair is not as hard as you think!

If you think you have errors on your credit report, there are steps you can take to correct them without paying a so-called "credit repair company".



Each of the three major credit reporting agencies will have on line information on how to submit challenges to errors on their reports:

1.  Get proof of payment or settlement for the account in question:

Let's say you paid off a credit card bill and yet there is still an outstanding balance showing either to the original creditor or to a collection agency.

  • Request copies of cancelled checks from your bank
  • Print online report from your bank
  • If you have the last statement show a zero balance...even better!

2.  Follow the instructions for each reporting agency to submit or open a challenge to your report.

You will be assigned a FILE NUMBER.  Make sure to write it down or better yet, make a copy of the page.

3.  The credit reporting agency will contact the creditor about the account in question. 

This may take up to 30-60 days.

4.  If you do not receive an email or letter within 45 days, check back with the credit reporting agency to get an update on your open file.

Your proof of payment should do the trick, but in some cases you may need to MAIL copies of proof of payment with explanation. The point is...DON'T GIVE UP! The credit reporting agencies want to provide an accurate report and will correct errors when proven to be errors.

If you are having trouble paying off credit card or other unsecured debts, we can help!

If you find that you have legitimate balances on some of your credit card accounts, a Debt Settlement Plan could be the answer!



Tags: credit repair, credit report, credit repair scams, credit report and credit score

5 Tips: How to Improve Your Credit Score

how to improve your credit scoreHere are 5 tips that you can use to improve your credit score:

1. Check the accuracy of your credit report

Did you know that by law, you have the right to obtain a FREE credit report from each of the three national credit reporting companies every 12 months?

To have the best credit score possible, you must make sure that your credit report does not contain errors.  This is your responsibility!

To get your Free Credit Report:

  • Or, you can call 1-877-322-8228 to request that your report be mailed to you.

2. Pay your bills on time

Although there are several factors in determining a credit score, one of the most important is making regular, on-time montly payments.  Most banks have automatic online payment, so take advantage of the service!

3. Understand how your credit score is determined

Basically, your credit score is base on how you answer these five questions:

  • Do you pay your bills on time? If you are consistently late paying your bills, your credit score will suffer.
  • How much outstanding debt do you have? If you have too much outstanding debt compared to your ability to repay (based on income, debt limits, etc.) then your score will suffer.
  • Have you applied for several new accounts recently? Filling out several store card applications or trying to establish new credit with several charge cards in looked on as a negative for your credit report.
  • How long is your credit history? Even thought you may never have had bad credit because you have never really had a loan or credit card, this is considered a negative on your credit report.  Try to establish one or at the most, two accounts and pay them on time and possibly pay them off in a few months.
  •  What types of credit accounts do you have? Too many finance companies or high interest credit cards may hurt your score. On the other hand, a mix of installment loans (auto, home, etc.) and a credit card or two is much better for your score.

For more information, check out the Federal Trade Commission's website at Facts for Consumers.

4. Take the time and effort to legally improve your credit score

It is well worth the effort to improve your credit report and score!

Click on this link for step-by-step instructions on how to repair your credit report.


There might be a few legitimate credit repair companies, but I haven't ever found one!

You can find all you need to know about how to legally correct or repair your credit report at the FTC's site "Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself"

If you have some questions or need some more information, our Solutions Specialists are here to help.  Give us a call!


OR, Click on the link below for a FREE PERONALIZED DEBT ANALYSIS!

how to improve your credit score

photo by: kanonn



Tags: credit repair, credit repair scams, how to improve your credit score

Credit Repair Scams!

Beware of credit repair scams! 

Many so-called Credit Repair companies make claims like:

  • "We can remove bad loans, bankruptcies, judgments and liens and improve your credit score!"
  • "We can erase bad credit!"
  • "Bad credit history?  We can improve your credit score in 30 days!"

Sound a little too good to be true?credit repair scams

Credit Repair companies target consumers with bad credit histories or low credit scores promising to clean up or eliminate negative items on their credit report...FOR A FEE!

You may have received a call or email and wondered..."How did they get my name and information?"

The credit reporting agencies sell information to companies! 

Nice to know!

Anyway, the truth is, these companies cannot provide an improved credit report by using methods or tactics that you could not do yourself!

Step 1:

If you haven't done so already, request a FREE copy of your credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies:

  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • TransUnion

You can receive your FREE report by going to


Step 2:

If you find inaccuracies and/or errors, you will dispute them by:

Write a simple dispute letter stating the dispute and provide copies of documents that support your dispute:

  • Paid off statements
  • Settlement agreement with copy of processed check
  • copy of the error on the credit report


Step 3:

Mail your letter with supporting documents to the credit reporting agencies by CERTIFIED MAIL, return receipt requested so that you can document that the agency received it.

For addresses of the three major credit agencies, click here.


Credit reporting agencies must investigate your claims within 30 days.

They must forward all the relevant data that you provided to the company to the company.

Once the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the consumer reporting agency, it is required to:

  • investigate
  • review the relevant information
  • report the results back to the credit reporting agency

If the investigation proves that your dispute is true, the information provider has to notify the credit reporting agency so that they can correct it in your file.

As you can see, this may take some time and effort, but you could certainly save yourself several hundred dollars by doing-it-yourself.

For a complete report from the Federal Trade commission, click below:  Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself


credit repair scams

Tags: credit report, credit repair scams, Equifax, Experian, TransUnion