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Do it Yourself Credit Repair Guide

Credit Repair is easy, but requires diligence. This Credit Repair Guide will show you how to get a free credit report and how to repair your own credit reports.

1. Get a Credit Report from all 3 credit bureaus, review them, and identify any incorrect or derogatory information.   Get Free Credit Reports

2. Review personal information.  When you have a current credit report, review the following:

  • personal information for inaccurate, incorrect, erroneous, misleading, or outdated information
  • Names and Aliases
  • Addresses (check zip codes)
  • Social Security Number(s)
  • Date(s) of Birth
  • ID Number(s) (drivers license, student ID, government ID etc.)
  • Spouse Information (maiden name, previous last names)
  • Employers (names, dates, locations, type of termination etc.)

3. Fix personal items in your credit report first

If you find mistakes in the personal items of your credit report, Identify and dispute mistakes on your personal information first, because the reporting agency uses it to verify all other items in your credit report. Write and mail a dispute letter to each of the three credit reporting agencies that has listed inaccurate personal information. List all personal information mistakes in one letter. This may include mistakes to your address, mistakes or misspellings in your name, social security number, job, etc. Attach a copy of your credit report with the mistakes highlighted.

4. Rank the order of questionable items in your credit report

Review the rest of the items in your credit report and note any inaccurate, misleading, or outdated information. Next rank each item according to its importance.

  • Bankruptcy
  • Consumer Credit Counseling loans
  • Foreclosures
  • Liens
  • Defaults
  • Charge offs
  • Repossession
  • Court judgments
  • Collections
  • Past due payments
  • Late payments
  • Credit rejections
  • Credit inquiries

5. Dispute questionable items in your credit report

After all personal information has been fixed from step 3, Identify the most serious of the questionable items from the list above, and write and mail a dispute letter to each of the three credit reporting agencies that has listed the inaccurate or questionable derogatory item. Attach a copy of your credit report with the mistake highlighted.  You must do this one item at a time, (do not dispute many items in the same letter or they will simply reject it). You can perhaps dispute 1 or 2 items in the same letter.

6. Credit reporting agency's legal obligations. If you dispute an item in your credit report with the credit bureaus,

  • Credit agencies must investigate your disputes.
  • They must inform you of the results of the investigation.
  • They must provide an updated free copy of your credit report.
  • Usually between 10 to 30 days they'll send a letter informing you that they are investigating your credit dispute.
  • Within another 10 to 30 days, You should receive a letter informing you of the results of their credit item investigation.

7. Dispute one credit report item at a time

Dispute one item at a time (except personal information). Disputing more than one item may cause the credit bureau to reject your dispute as frivolous, which they can do legally.

Once you have identified what credit errors are present, notify each agency in writing. Include copies of supporting documents, as well as your complete name, address and a copy of your credit report with the items in question clearly marked. Keep copies of everything you send, and mail correspondence certified mail with return receipt requested. You may also need to contact your creditors individually so that they can check and correct their records as well.

8. Wording of Credit Dispute Letters

Use specific words such as: erroneous, outdated, misleading, or unverifiable. Mere explanation of the reason a debt was not paid might not constitute a dispute and does not require the credit-reporting agency to re-investigate or accept your written dispute statements.

9. Write Additional Dispute Letters

In some cases, Credit Reporting Agencies may be slow to respond to your dispute. If this should occur, write another letter, strongly reminding the credit bureau of their legal obligations.

10. Filing a formal complaint with the FTC

If the credit reporting agencies continue to ignore you, follow up with a written notice that you intend to file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you don't receive a response within 15 days, file a formal complaint.

Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Response Center
Room 130
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20580
Phone: 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357)

www.ftc.gov/credit

The FTC does not resolve individual consumer disputes but gathers complaints, comments, and inquiries to spot patterns of violations so they can institute legal actions.

11. Dispute the next damaging information on your credit report

As soon as the Credit Reporting Agency has corrected your personal information and provided you with an updated credit report, it's time to start disputing the next most damaging item according to your list.

12. Stall letters

You may receive a letter from the credit reporting agency that says, "if your request is determined to be frivolous, you've violated federal laws and can be held liable". They call these stall letters. If the agency eventually finds the information they are reporting is inaccurate, incorrect, erroneous, misleading or outdated, they must remove or correct it.

13. Completing the credit repair process

Continue disputing items until each questionable item has been corrected or deleted from your credit report.

I hope you find this credit repair guide useful. Please write us and tell us your success story.



The Hard Money Pros
Private and Hard Money Lenders in California
PO Box 91472, San Diego, CA  92169
jmac@TheHardMoneyPros.com
www.TheHardMoneyPros.com
(619) 846-1550

©Copyright 2006 JMAC Funding

Licensed by the California Department of Real Estate, DRE# 01440161