There is a general consensus among trustworthy experts that the best way to repair your credit, while avoiding credit repair scams, is to do it yourself.
Bad credit reports can be very expensive. But if you have a poor credit score all is not lost. You can do specific things to improve your credit rating.
There are two things you need to keep in mind at the outset.
First of all, understand that there is no magic formula.
Fraudulent credit repair companies will tell you they have an inside track or secret method that they can use to repair your credit and do it virtually overnight.
Don’t believe what these credit repair companies tell you, it is simply untrue and potentially dangerous.
Some of these so-called secret methods are extremely risky and probably illegal. Restoring genuine creditworthiness does not happen overnight.
That leads us to the second thing you need: commitment to the process.
Begin at the Beginning
We have all heard of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, and you probably have at least a vague idea of what they do.
But you need to get more specific and find out what exactly they are reporting about you. Your creditors communicate with these bureaus and will often only subscribe to one of the three bureaus.
As a result, each report from each bureau concerning your creditworthiness may be slightly different.
You need to obtain your credit report from each of the bureaus.
It is critical that you get all three reports. A partial picture of your credit situation is of no value. You need a complete picture. There may be some variation, but the average cost for a report is about $9.
If you have been denied credit or employment due to a poor credit rating, you can obtain a free report. The company must supply you with the name and address of the reporting credit bureau.
Now that you have the credit reports from the three credit bureaus, you need to carefully look them over.
You are now looking at the information that the bureaus use to rate your credit. Remember, all this information comes from your creditors. This information is not verified and is assumed by the bureau to be accurate.
As unfair as it may sound, responsibility for accuracy is left up to you. Do not be surprised to find spelling errors, typos, inaccuracies in your history, incomplete, wrong and outdated information.
From these three reports make a list of the errors you want to dispute. Include the nature of the error and why you want to dispute it.
Errors in your credit reports may cost you money, access to personal loans, such as cash advance, and even employment. You need to be thorough and accurate.
Getting Back to the Bureaus
It may seem downright unAmerican, but as far as the bureaus are concerned you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent. They will not give you the benefit of the doubt.
You have to prove the errors beyond a shadow of a doubt. To communicate errors in your credit reports, you have a couple of choices.
You can complete the form that is supplied by the credit bureau or you can write a letter. Whatever method you choose, you need to make everything user-friendly for the credit bureau.
Help out the person reading your information by including a copy of the report with all the errors circled or highlighted.
You do not want them to have to print out a copy of your report and hunt for the errors. Also, include any additional information and documentation to support your claims.
Tell them why you included the information and documents you enclosed.
Don’t make them guess why you included something, even if it seems obvious to you. Keep impeccable records including dated copies of all the forms, letters and documents you sent them.
Then be patient. It will take about a month for them to investigate your claim. If inaccuracies are proved, respective changes will be made in your report.
Adding Gravitas to Your Report
In the credit repair process, adding positive information can be nearly as helpful as eliminating negative information. It is a common practice to deny people credit because of an inadequate credit report.
In other words, a potential creditor is saying that they do not have enough information to make a decision to grant credit. One very common cause of this is that some creditors do not report your history to the bureaus.
If you find this to be the case, ask them to report your account information and your payment history. Once this information is included, you should experience a positive bump in your credit score.
You can build and create a credit history through the use of secured credit cards and cash advance loans. Secured credit cards and payday loans are offered to those with bad credit, with no credit or those in the process of credit repair.
Also, you can open a savings account at your bank. It shows creditors that you are making an effort to save and reserve money.
That pretty much covers basic do-it-yourself credit repair. I find many people are surprised how straightforward and simple the process is.
They were expecting something far more complex. I ask you, is there anything here you cannot do yourself?