Okay, you’ve had a bad stretch of luck and your credit report is in tatters. You’ve been late on a lot of payments and you’ve even failed to pay anything on several of your credit cards for the past three months. So you go online and you search on the term “credit repair” because goodness knows, your credit does need repairing.
What you’ll find
What you’ll find is almost a full page of listings on Google for companies that offer credit repair. You will probably find a listing for Credit Report Repair, Bad Credit Repair, Credit Repair and more. However, if you click on the listing Credit Report Repair and then How It Works, what you’ll find are four “stages” as follows: Stage One: Obtain Credit Reports; Stage Two: Legal Action Begins; Stage Three: Credit Score Analysis; and Stage Four: Follow-up and Escalation.
Stage Two – Legal Action Begins
The website describes this stage as, “The attorneys and paralegals assigned to your case will review your credit reports and prepare and send the appropriate legal challenges and interventions in accordance with your case, under your direction.” What this site never says directly is that you can get your credit repaired. And there is good reason for this. No information on your credit report that is accurate can be changed or removed.
The most that one of these credit repair companies can do is find inaccurate or erroneous information and get that fixed. But you could actually do this yourself. In other words, credit repair companies, despite what they might claim, can’t do much more in credit repair than what you could do yourself.
DIY Credit Repair
As noted above, the only information you can get removed from your credit report is information that is inaccurate or erroneous. You can find these mistakes yourself simply by monitoring your credit report on a fairly regular basis. You can get free credit reports from all three of the credit service bureaus on the website www.annualcreditreport.com. However, you can only get your reports free once a year. This means a better tactic is to order one credit report from one of the three credit bureaus every four months. This way, you would have almost year-round credit report monitoring.
The credit bureaus
The three credit reporting bureaus are TransUnion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. You can request your credit report from any of the three by calling 1-877-322-8228.
What to look for
Credit reports are not much fun to review. Yours might run 12 to 14 pages and won’t be easy to read. But you must read your reports carefully as this is the only way you can spot erroneous or inaccurate information. The two most common credit report bungles are information that’s just totally inaccurate and what are called reporting errors. This could be accounts attributed to you that are not really yours, applications for credit that you didn’t really fill out, and out-of-date employment information. Another type of error to look for is called an omission. This could be the report of a delinquent payment that you’ve already fixed or an old collection action you have satisfied but is still being listed as overdue.
How to correct errors
Unfortunately, fixing these errors is easier said than done. You’ll need to write a letter to the appropriate credit bureau and ask it to make the necessary correction. You will need to include some proof that the information was erroneous or the credit bureau may just ignore your request.
Fix your debts and not just the errors
Living under a big cloud of debt can have a very negative effect on your entire life. If you’re heavily in debt, there is a solution called debt settlement or debt relief. We’ve helped hundreds of American families find relief from their debts through debt settlement. You can learn more about debt settlement by filling out the free debt analysis form you will find on our homepage. It’s easy to fill out and could be your first step towards becoming debt-free.