Guide to Credit Repair

Why would I want to repair my credit?

By eliminating false or unverifiable negative marks on your credit report, you can improve your score dramatically, as well as your chances of obtaining credit and better interest rates. According to a study by the Public Interest Research Group in Washington D.C., nearly 80% of credit reports contained an error of some kind!

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Do I need to enlist with a company to repair my credit?

No. You may take action yourself to dispute items on your credit report if you so choose. However, many people decide to hire a company to work on their behalf because they lack the expertise, time, or patience it takes to repair one’s credit successfully.

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How can I be sure a credit repair company is legitimate?

Always check with the Better Business Bureau for consumer complaints about any debt/financial company of interest to you. Avoid any company that guarantees success before getting to know your personal situation and working on your case, and any company that makes promises that sound too good to be true. Insist that all guarantees and promises be given to you in writing.

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Are false items on credit reports common?

Yes. Most individuals’ credit reports contain some error. Many errors can make a big difference in how credit is extended to the individual, and in interest rates. Closed accounts incorrectly listed as open, negative items older than eight years that remain listed past their “drop off” date, and pure, simple mistakes all are common errors.

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Is it worth it to dispute items?

For most people, yes. Your credit report is supposed to be your documented credit history, and if it is not accurate you might not be getting the credit you deserve. A single negative item can have a big affect on your score. In other words, an error could cost you money in interest rates or in opportunities for credit. Disputing items by yourself is free of cost, so if you have the patience to do so, it certainly is “worth it”.

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Is there anything I can do about true negative items?

Items that are challenged and that are unable to be verified must be removed from your credit report. If you choose legitimately to dispute any negative item, the appropriate credit agency must investigate. If the creditor attached to your challenged item does not have evidence or does not take the time to respond to your dispute, the item must be removed from your report.

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What should I look for as an opportunity to repair?

First, look for negative items that should have dropped off your report (usually after seven years) but have not, as well as accounts that remain listed as open after they have been closed. Next, look for any other items that are listed falsely or incorrectly. Lastly, look for negative items that you do not believe are verifiable.

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When should I receive a response to my disputes?

The credit agency should respond to your disputes within 30 to 45 days.

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Is there any further action I can take after disputed items are removed?

Yes, your job is not over after your disputed items have been removed. First of all, make sure that the item has, in fact, been removed. After the fact, periodically check to make sure that an item has not been reposted. Also check your other credit reports to be sure that the item does not somehow end up elsewhere.

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