How to Fix your own credit report….and why you should not go it alone
Yes, can try to fix your own credit report. In fact, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), it’s your job to make sure your credit report remains accurate. Congress decided that it’s up to consumers to review their own credit reports and then let the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Trans Union and Equifax, et al…there are others), know if the consumer has an issue with anything on it.
Here is what you can do:
1. Write a letter to the credit reporting agency that is reporting the inaccuracy on your
credit report. (You can do this on line with each credit reporting agency, but don’t.
You should do it in writing, and send it return receipt requested). Your letter must
contain the following information:
a. Information to identify yourself such as your full name, address and social security number. Some credit reporting agencies require proof of your identify.
b. Information to identify the item you are disputing. If it’s a judgment or a lien, it’s called a public record. If you are disputing something that a creditor is reporting about you, then it’s called a trade line. You must identify the public record or trade line you are disputing, clearly.
c. Describe your dispute clearly. Many times, consumers may say that the item does not belong to them. This happens if they have a common name. Other times, a consumer may dispute the accuracy of the trade line if it is reporting late payments when, in fact, the consumer was not late.
2. You then must give the credit reporting agency 30 days to conduct its investigation into your dispute. Before that happens, the credit reporting agency has to give notice of your dispute to the creditor who also has to conduct its own investigation into your dispute.
3. Be prepared for disappointment. Credit reporting agencies will rarely take your word for it that a trade line or a public record is inaccurate or not yours. Unless you have and can provide the correct supporting documentation, the credit reporting agencies will not take any action to fix your credit report.
Here is what you should do:
Let us write your dispute letter. Here is why:
1. Our services are free to you. Under the law, the Defendant has to pay our fees and costs; not you. If we write a dispute letter and get your credit report updated so its accurate, our services are free. If we have to sue the creditor and credit reporting agency for you, our services are still free to you. Free is good. Let us be good to you.
2. We know how to write the right dispute letter. We have literally written thousands of dispute letters for our clients. We include the information that they need to identify your credit report, identify the item that you are disputing and to take the corrective action. If you fail provide them with all of this information, they will bounce your letter and ask you for more information and that will delay your credit report from getting fixed. We right the correct letter the first time and include all of the necessary information and supporting documentation the first time. Did we mention that we do this for free?
3. We set the credit reporting agencies and the creditors up for a lawsuit if they don’t fix your credit report. All of your rights under the law start with your dispute letter. If you don’t provide the right dispute letter to the credit reporting agency at the beginning, then you will have nothing to take to court in the end. Put our experience and knowledge to your use. Again, our services are free to you.
Moral of the story:
When you are sick, you see a doctor. When your credit is ailing, you should see a professional too. Unlike a doctor, you will never receive a bill from us. We know how to repair credit legally.