Although there are numerous credit repair companies offering their services for a fee, savvy individuals can do their own credit repair with a few simple steps. The advertisements placed by credit repair services touting their experience, qualified personnel and other qualifications can make the process seem daunting but it is really quite simple.
The basic steps for do-it-yourself credit repair include:
Establish good credit strategies now and carry them into the future
The first step of do-it-yourself credit repair is to request a copy of your credit report from Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. These are the three major credit reporting agencies and individuals are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of these agencies. Requesting a report from each of the three agencies is important especially if you believe there may be a mistake on one of the reports. The information on all three reports will be similar but mistakes may only appear on one of the records.
Once the credit reports are acquired it is time to review all of the information carefully. Each item on the report should be examined and discrepancies should be noted. In reviewing this information, highlight anything that seems suspect and review your documentation to verify the validity of the item.
After compiling a list of mistakes, it is time to officially dispute any inaccuracies on the credit report. The dispute processes will most likely involve filling out a dispute form or writing a letter detailing the alleged mistake. In both cases documentation supporting the validity of the dispute will be required. For specific information on how to officially file a dispute, contact the credit reporting agency directly. Once the dispute process begins, document every aspect of the process. This is important because dispute resolution is a time sensitive process with specific guidelines for how quickly a dispute must be resolved. The agency may be required to remove a disputed item from a credit report if they do not respond in a timely fashion.
When a negative credit report is a result of a poor credit history and not mistakes, only time will properly repair the credit. The long term credit repair strategy for financial errors in judgment includes devising a debt reduction strategy which will demonstrate diligence and establishing sound credit strategies which will be viewed favorably in the future. Credit reporting agencies do not hold grudges. Credit lapses are removed from credit reports after set periods of time and a history of good credit is rewarded with a solid credit score.