Five Easy Steps to Repairing Your Credit

By: Peter Lenkefi

Have you damaged your credit rating, and now need to repair it? It can be a long, tedious process, if you aren’t sure of exactly what to do. And if you decide to work with an agency that specializes in this type of work, you’re paying someone to do work that you can do yourself, for free. This article will discuss what options you can take to repair your credit, yourself, without having to pay a penny to do it.

If after the walk through in this article, you are still having problems with your credit repair, it is well advised that you talk to an experienced lawyer in this area. There may be no other way to get some unauthorized information off your report – but let’s try these simple steps, first!

1. Credit Repair: Get Copies of Your Credit Reports
Send a letter to each of the major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, CSC, Innovax, and Experian), asking them for a copy of your credit records. Some states require that you send along a copy of a credit denial letter with this letter, or else they will levy a charge (somewhere between $3-10). If you are serious about trying to repair your credit, you’ll need to do this manually, instead of online, for several reasons. First of all, many online credit repair companies are hit or miss; you may or may not get the information you require. Secondly, the printouts may be difficult to read (after having been scanned several times), and last of all, it is difficult to go back and find exactly where the information was located, if need be, again.

2. Credit Repair: Take a Good Look
Make a copy of all of the credit reports you receive, and highlight each and every person and company who has reviewed your credit history. Do you know who all of these people, and companies are? You should. Do some sleuthing, and try and figure out if every company listed is one that you have given access to. Don’t forget that many agencies are allowed to access your credit rating reports, such as collection agencies, people trying to grant you credit, insurance underwriters, etc. Any entries that say “PRM” next to them are for promotional reasons, and are entirely legal. And finally, review all of your payment history with each credit agency to ensure it is all correct. If there is a discrepancy somewhere, write down the particulars. You’ll need to go hunting for information confirming your case.

3. Credit Repair: Send a Letter
If applicable, send a letter to each of the credit agencies, letting them know there has been an error. Be specific; attach proof stating your case (a cancelled check stub, payment history printout, etc.) You may use the form that the credit repair agency sends you instead of writing out your own letter, but don’t feel badly if you need more space to state your case. Make sure to keep a copy of everything that you send as well, just in case it gets lost in transit.

4. Credit Repair: Review
About 30 days after you’ve sent off your letters, you should receive responses from the credit repair agencies you have contacted. The letter will show clearly what has been changed, along with a new copy of your credit report, as well as any omissions, deletions, or additions to your credit repair file. If you still have an issue, you have up to two years to make changes on your file, as per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

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