Credit Repair-Why Should You Care?
Even if you don’t believe in Credit, or you have had bad past experiences with credit, you are still going to want to build your credit score. First of all, a poor credit score can cost you thousands over the life of a six-year car loan. For example, if you have excellent credit you can get a car loan, as low as 2.99% at Navy Federal Credit Union. However, debtors with poor credit may be forced to accept a car loan up to 28% interest.
Also, even if you are going to purchase everything, via cash, it is still beneficial for you to maximize your credit score as your credit score will affect how much you pay in other areas. One example of this is that by having good credit, you will likely get a lower rate on your auto insurance. Also, with a bad credit score or no credit score, some landlords may not even rent to you, and if they do rent you, a higher deposit will be required.
First Things, First-Know Your Credit Score!
The first step toward credit repair is to check all three of your credit reports for errors, which can be done for FREE in the following situations that are listed below:
- Yearly-A free copy of your credit report once every year, upon your request from Each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To order your report, go to annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228
- Credit Denial-If you are denied credit, insurance, or employment. (You have to ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the denial)
- Unemployment-If you’re unemployed and plan to look for employment within 60 days. (One free report yearly)
- Welfare-If you are on welfare, you can get a free credit report
- Fraud-If your credit report is inaccurate because of identity theft, fraud, or other discrepancies.
You may order reports from each of the three credit reporting companies at the same time, or you can stagger your requests throughout the year.
Credit Karma– Credit Karma is a great service, which allows you to get, unlimited access to your credit reports. The only limitation is that you will only get your free credit reports from two out of the three credit reporting beureaus:Transunion and Equifax. As a result, you should still order your, yearly, free credit report;so, you can get your Experian credit report . WARNING-Credit Karma will try to get you to buy credit cards and sign up for other loans. So, avoid this site if you don’t think you have the willpower to say no to, unwanted, credit cards and
Credit Repair Steps
You can legally increase your credit score. But, improving your credit score will take time, effort, sacrifice, and you will have to pay your bills on time dutifully. It doesn’t cost anything to dispute mistakes or outdated items on your credit report. Both the credit reporting company and the information provider (the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a credit reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.
TIP-To ensure that you pay your bills on time, sign up for autopay with your bank.
For best results, contact both the credit reporting agency where errors may have occurred and also the creditor or source of the incomplete information that you found.
Why Pay For Credit Repair When You Can Do It Yourself? When you look up credit repair, on United States consumer protection agencies, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau you will be told to not waiste you money because you can do it yourself. Initially, under most circumstances, this is correct as you can attempt to correct your credit report yourself. However, DIY credit repair takes time, patience and perseverance. So, if you are short on time, you may want to consider hiring a credit repair company. Also, hiring a lawyer may be necessary if their are credit errors on your report that either the creditor or credit bureaus refuse to correct.
Three-Step DIY Credit Repair
Step 1 Check: Check your credit reports, from all three credit bureaus, for mistakes, errors, and any omissions. Then if you find any error go to step 2 and 3.
Creditor- If you find errors on your credit report, first Contact the creditor or the source of adverse information on your credit report and ask them if they will voluntarily contact the credit bureaus to ask them to fix the mistake in your credit report. If they refuse to do so or lie to you and stall then you should contact the applicable credit bureau.
Step 2 Contact Creditor: First, you should politely tell the creditor (assuming the credit error has to do with credit cards or other forms of debt) that an error was made and then ask them to tell the credit report agencies to fix the mistake. Assuming the creditor agrees with you; you should then need to wait for thirty (30) days to see if the credit errors were in fact reported and corrected. If the corrections were made great! However, if the errors still show up you should then go to step three.
Step 3 Contact Credit Bureaus: Tell the credit reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate. Include copies (NOT originals) of any documents that support your position. In addition to including your complete name and address, your letter should identify each item in your report that you dispute, state the facts, and the reasons you dispute the information and ask that it be removed or corrected.
You may want to enclose a copy of your report and circle the items in question. Send your letter by certified mail, “return receipt requested,” so you can document that the credit reporting company got it. Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures.
Credit reporting companies must investigate the items you question within 30 days — unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all the relevant data you provide about the inaccuracy to the organization that provided the information. After the information provider gets notice of a dispute from the credit reporting company, it must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results back to the credit reporting company. If the investigation reveals that the disputed information is inaccurate, the information provider has to notify the nationwide credit reporting companies so they can correct it in your file.
When the investigation is complete, the credit reporting company must give you the results in writing, too, and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. If an item is changed or deleted, the credit reporting company cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies that it’s accurate and complete. The credit reporting company also must send you written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the information provider.
If you ask, the credit reporting company must send notifications of any correction to anyone who got your report in the past six months. You also can ask that a corrected copy of your report be sent to anyone who got a copy during the past two years for employment purposes.
If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute with the credit reporting company, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and future reports.
You may want to request that the credit reporting agency gives your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past. You’ll probably have to pay for this service.
Sample Credit Bureau Letter
Tell the creditor or other information providers, in writing, that you dispute an item. Include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider reports the issue to a consumer reporting company, it must include a notice of your dispute. And if the information is found to be inaccurate, the provider may not report it again.
Below is a template of a credit bureau letter aksing the respective credit bureau to investigate errors or omission that may appear on your credit report.
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. The items I dispute also are circled on the attached copy of the report I received.
This item (identify item(s) disputed by the name of sources, such as creditors or tax court, and identify the type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.) is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is incorrect or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be deleted (or request another specific change) to correct the information.
Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records, court documents) supporting my position. Please investigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.
Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing.)
Fixing credit report errors can be a long, tedious process. However, fixing a credit report error is the quickest way to raise your credit score 100+ points. Also, if you don’t get the results that you desire, you need to be prepared to send out multiple letters until the error is corrected. If you are busy, you also may want to consider paying someone to fix your credit report errors. Whatever route you take, fixing credit report errors can be the quickest way for you to maximize your score, which will result in you being able to purchase the car or mortgage of your dreams.