If you have bad credit, you probably pay much attention to the ads you see all over the internet that promise “credit repair” and “free credit counseling.”
I am not in the business of credit repair and I have nothing to gain from advising people on the matter. However, as a mortgage broker for over twelve years, I can tell you all that you would like to know about it!
First of all, let’s just get this out of the way: Nobody can “fix” anything on your credit report for you, if the information is accurate.
I don’t care what any company promises you on the telephone, television, or internet. If you owe a bunch of organizations money, and you haven’t paid them, there is probably nothing that anybody can do for you. Period.
“But my cousin’s uncle’s friend had his credit repaired…”
If you know of somebody who had their credit repaired, they either 1.) had legitimate disputes with their creditors, or 2.) got very lucky– if you consider paying up to $ 500 for something you can do yourself “lucky.”
Here is how it work; no ifs, ands, or buts:
If you have bad credit (delinquent collections), but there are legitimate errors in how they are being reported, you can contact all three credit bureaus and ask that the errors be removed. If you have any evidence or support for your case, include that with your letter. For example, if a creditor reports that you pay late every single month, you can very easily have that removed by providing cancelled checks and bank statements proving that you do, in fact, pay on time every month.
Is that not logical? I can also assure you that if you can prove that a company is incorrectly reporting your debt as delinquent, and they do not remove it, you can sue them for thousands of dollars. If you have proof of your case, you do not need credit repair, you need a good tort lawyer.
Compose your dispute letter (and evidence package) in triplicate and send it to:
Experian NCAC P.O. Box 9556 Allen, TX 75013
Equifax Information Services P.O. BOX 740256 Atlanta, GA 30374
TransUnion Customer Disclosure Center Trans Union Consumer Relations P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19022-2000
Your creditors will have 30 days to respond. In other words, if you dispute your that you paid a certain bank’s VISA card late– the bank will have 30 days to respond to your dispute.
If the bank never responds, then the item gets removed from your credit report.
The “credit repair” companies can do nothing more for you than that.
They will dispute every item on your report and hope that a couple of the creditors never respond. If the company disputes twenty delinquent credit items and they get lucky and three of your creditors never respond, they will boast that they removed 15% of the bad credit from your report.
In reality, 15% of your creditors just didn’t bother to respond.
There is no reason for you to pay expensive fees just to send a dispute letter. Some companies charge as much as $ 500 and they offer no guarantees! They offer no guarantee because they can’t actually help you with legitimate bad debt. You made your proverbial bed and now you have to lie in it. They might fluff up the pillows a bit, but if you are a deadbeat, you will have bad credit and nobody will be able to fix it.
Here is a sample dispute letter that you can use. Again, just mail it to all three credit bureau addresses listed above.
To Whom It May Concern:
On my credit report, I have found several inaccuracies. The following debts are reported as having late payments, but I have never been late:
1. Acct Number (from credit report), Debtor Name, Late Date(s) in dispute.
In addition, the following collection is not mine:
1. Acct Number (from credit report), Debtor Name, Late Date(s)
Thank you, Your Name and Social Security Number
However, be warned! If you dispute legitimate items that do belong on your credit report, it could damage your credit even further.
The best way to repair your credit is to pay off any creditors that you currently owe money to and be responsible with any new credit issued to you.