Bad credit can stop you cold. It will leave you unable to purchase a home, a car, have a credit card for emergencies. It forces you to live solely on your income. Now this isn't always a bad thing but life doesn't just roll smoothly. We have times when something unexpected comes up and we don't always have a thousand dollars sitting to replace the refrigerator that just went out or money to pay cash for an expensive car repair. I am often asked "So what can I do to improve my credit"? or "What can I do to help rebuild my credit"? The good news is there are effective credit repair techniques that can help you repair bad credit and improve your credit.
The first thing you need to do is pull your credit reports. You can pull one per year, from each of the three cra's at annualcreditreport.com. The only problem with their reports are you do not get your FICO score. You do have the option of paying, on average, $ 7 per each report for your scores but you need to be aware that they are FACO scores. A FICO score is what all lenders see and you can only get your credit report with FICO here. I, strongly, suggest that you pull your report from FICO at the beginning of your repair. This way you can judge your progress in an accurate way.
When you request your report, you will be given questions that you should be able to answer based on items in your report. If you answer the questions correctly, you will be given immediate access to your credit report. Once you receive your report, review it carefully and identify any inaccurate information.
Each report should have a file # and an address that you can dispute. I strongly recommend making all disputes via snail mail and certified, return receipt. You do have the option of disputing via phone or internet but again, this is strongly not advised. Doing your disputes gives you proof of when something was mailed and received. This is important because the CRA's allow the data furnisher 30 days to reply to a dispute. If they do not reply within the 30 days, the CRA must remove the tradeline from your report.
After 30 days has elapsed-or sooner if the data furnisher responds quickly-the CRA will send you an updated copy of your credit report. This report will not have your score but it is a good record to keep of your progress.
You can dispute as many items as you find are inaccurate, there is no need for one dispute per mailing.
Many people are surprised how many mistakes can be found on a credit report and how easily it can be to get some items removed. Removing negative tradelines can really help you improve your credit.