Credit Fix Solutions

Legal, effective credit report repair

Thursday, June 22, 2006


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How to Get a Bank Account With Bad Credit History

When initially asked to write this article, I did not think that many people would need to know how to get a bank account with bad credit history. Both my husband and I have had problematic credit at one time or another. Sometimes we have chosen not to have a bank account, but we never had any problem opening one. After researching the subject, I learned that other people have had problems.

When you have bad credit, it seems that nothing is easy. Questions about how to get a credit card, how to get a bank account with bad credit history and where to get a free instant credit report are frequently asked. Many people are interested in learning how to repair their bad credit as well. It may be wise to make efforts to repair your credit before you worry about how to get a bank account with bad credit history.

It is quite possible that if you have been denied a bank account by one bank, another may allow you to open an account. All banks have different policies, so shop around first. If you really need someplace to keep your money, you can get a prepaid credit card, no matter what your credit history is like. If you want to know what information is stored on your credit report, you can get a free instant credit report.

It is wise to check the information on your credit report at least once a year. Due to a recently enacted law, a free instant credit report is now available on line. The three major credit bureaus created one website, www.annualcreditreport.com, to allow consumers easier access to their free instant credit report. Each consumer is entitled to one every year. If you are trying to learn how to get a bank account with bad credit history, then you have probably either been denied an account or denied credit. If you have been denied credit then you are entitled to a free instant credit report within 60 days of the credit denial. The lender must tell you why you were denied credit, in specific terms. If you were denied because of information on you credit report, he must furnish you with the name and address of the credit bureau that he used.

Some companies that advertise a free instant credit report have similar website addresses. Some companies offer a free instant credit report, if you sign up for their credit monitoring, credit repair information or services. The Federal Trade Commission advises consumers to spell the website address correctly or link to it from the FTC official website to avoid the impostor sites.

If you are trying to learn how to get a bank account with bad credit history and you have a record of bouncing checks, you may want to open only a savings account. Instead of writing checks to pay your bills, you can use money orders. Most banks will give you an ATM to use for cash withdrawals. You will probably not be able to get a debit card. Debit cards are generally linked to one’s checking account. If your balance is large enough, some banks offer a secured credit card. The credit limit is determined by the balance in the savings account. Some of the prepaid credit cards offer on-line bill pay and free direct deposit. This may be a good temporary solution for someone interested in how to get a bank account with bad credit history.

It may be possible to learn how to get a bank account with bad credit history. It is definitely possible to learn how to repair bad credit. Some companies that offer prepaid and secured credit cards charge a fee to report account activity to the credit bureaus. Before you pay a company to report good credit history, get a free instant credit report. If you have problems that you do not know how to correct, contact a law firm that specializes in credit repair.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


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These are my personal experiences when I first looked for a free credit report without a credit card. Do not be too discouraged, things are easier now.

Almost ten years ago, I was looking to buy a new home. A builder was advertising a “no down-payment mortgage”. With my permission, he pulled a copy of my credit report and told me that I had problems. I knew that I was entitled to a free credit report. Without a credit card, I began searching on-line for a source. The builder told me that the credit bureau was in town and that I could get a free credit report without a credit card if I went directly to the credit bureau. I could not even find the address.

For your information, if you are ever denied credit. The lender is required to provide you with the name and address of the credit bureau which provided them with the information they used in reviewing your application. You are entitled to a free credit report, without a credit card, within 60 days of the denied application.

This builder was a little strange. He printed out a copy and waved it in front of my face, telling me that he was not supposed to even let me see the report. He told me that in a couple of years, I might be able to qualify for his program. I had no idea what information he was talking about. I had owned and recently sold my own home because I had moved to a new city. I decided to rent for a while, just in case I did not like the new town. I did not have an active credit card, because I do not like credit cards. They sometimes get me into trouble. But, I was sure that this alone was not reason to refuse me into his no down payment program. So, my search began for a free credit report without a credit card. The builder said that I should be able to get one on-line, but that I would probably have to pay a fee. This made no sense to me, because I knew that I was entitled to a free copy.

I found a site that offered a free credit report without a credit card. They said they would send me my “free credit report” in the mail in a couple of weeks. My free credit report without a credit card turned out to be a magazine. The title was “My Free Credit Report”. This was my free copy, but they wanted me to know that subscribing was easy. I would be billed in three easy installments. I think that at this point, I gave up looking for a free credit report without a credit card. Having a case of “sour grapes”, I decided that I was not ready to buy a new house anyway.

Today, because of a recently enacted law, commonly called the FACT act, consumers can view and print a free credit report without a credit card, on-line, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The website was created by the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. The website was created to make it easier for people like me to find their free credit report without a credit card. Actually, it was created to make it easier for anyone to access the information stored on their credit reports. You are entitled to a free credit report without a credit card once in a 12 month period, if you have been denied credit within the past 60 days, if you are unemployed and planning to look for a job within the next 90 days and for various other reasons. The website address is www.annualcreditreport.com. It will come up if you type in free credit report into a web search engine, but other offers and services will pop up as well. If you type in “free credit report without a credit card”, it will not show up on the first page at all. Misspellings of the website address are being used by companies to attract customers to the services they offer. In order to avoid an experience like mine, you can type the website address correctly or access it from the Federal Trade Commission’s official consumer credit website or click on the website address above. Hope this information makes your search for a free credit report without a credit card a little easier. If you need help repairing your credit, visit Lexington Law Firm.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


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Questions about the Credit Repair Report Service

What can a credit repair report service do legally?
The consumer has legal right regarding the information that is reported to and stored by the credit bureaus. There are legal techniques for repairing poor credit; a credit report repair service helps consumers take full advantage of their legal rights.

What are the legal techniques for repairing poor credit?
If any information on your credit report is inaccurate, out-dated, unverifiable or misleading, you can dispute this information. A credit repair report service can help you if you do not have the time or the know-how to do it yourself.

Is establishing “good credit” effective for repairing poor credit?

While establishing good credit is always a good idea, even if that means obtaining a secured credit card, “good credit” does not outweigh “bad credit”. Most lenders look at your overall credit score, many evaluations are done by computer, so if you credit score is below a certain number you may not qualify for lower interest rates, or you may be denied credit completely. A reputable credit repair report service should evaluate your individual situation, before promising results.

Where do I find information about repairing poor credit on my own?
The first place to visit is www.annualcreditreport.com. At this website consumers can view and print copies or their credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. Even those people who are not concerned about repairing poor credit should review the information on their credit reports on a yearly basis. The major credit bureaus are required to provide you with one free copy per 12 month period. If you choose to hire a credit repair report service, you will still need copies of your credit reports.

Is repairing poor credit possible if I still have outstanding debts?

You can negotiate with creditors, asking them to remove the negative information once the debt is paid. But, if you have negative items removed and the debt is still owed, the creditor may just report the information again. A reputable credit repair report service will not recommend that you try to have items removed from your credit reports which are accurate, only that information which is inaccurate, misleading, unverifiable or out-dated.

Is repairing poor credit possible after declaring bankruptcy?

Lawyers that offer credit repair report service say that repairing poor credit after bankruptcy is possible. They say that it is sometimes easier to have information about bankruptcies removed from your credit report than other information. If you have a past bankruptcy, successfully repairing poor credit may require the help of a law firm that specializes in credit report repair. They can usually offer more help than other credit repair specialists and credit counselors.

Can a credit repair report service repair my credit report for me?

They can help. You will be involved throughout the process, because the credit bureaus will only communicate directly with you.

Where do I go for more information about repairing poor credit?

The Federal Trade Commission’s consumer credit website provides helpful information about credit repair. They advise consumers about choosing a credit repair report service. They provide sample letters for making disputes with the credit bureau, if you are trying to do it yourself. In addition, you can visit Lexington Law. They have a large question and answer section at their website.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


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Choosing a Credit Repair Specialist

You can improve your credit score. You can hire one of the credit repair companies to help you or you can do it yourself. There are legal techniques and there are illegal techniques. A reputable credit repair specialist will only offer to help you do what you could do on your own if you had the time, patience and knowledge.

Just because someone calls himself a credit repair specialist does not necessarily guarantee that he has a long list of qualifications. If he is not very good at what he does, then he probably will not stay in business very long, but you may not want to be one of his few customers. If you are thinking of hiring one of the many credit repair companies to help you improve or monitor your credit scores, check the company out first. Find out how long they have been in business and if they can provide you with the names of satisfied customers.

Credit repair companies which make unbelievable claims about how quickly they can improve your credit score may be suggesting something illegal or they may simply be exaggerating. Any reputable credit repair specialist knows that it takes time to improve credit scores. If there is inaccurate information on your credit report, correcting this information will improve your credit score, but this is not usually a “quick” process. The Federal Trade Commission advises that consumers should beware of credit repair companies which claim to be able to improve your credit score in a very short period of time. A couple of months is a reasonable amount of time to expect to see any results.

Some credit repair companies suggest that you dispute every negative item on your credit report. A reputable credit repair specialist will tell you that you should only dispute negative information that is questionable, outdated, unverifiable or inaccurate in some other way. The credit bureaus have the right to simply ignore disputes which they believe are frivolous. If you send them a letter disputing a large number of negative items and you have not been a victim of credit fraud, then they may simply ignore your letter.

At least one credit repair specialist has been known to say that the credit bureaus will probably not bother to investigate disputes. The major credit bureaus have systems in place to investigate disputes and it is highly unlikely that they will remove negative items without investigating. It is more likely that they would classify the dispute as frivolous. If they do happen to remove negative which are accurate, the company which originally supplied the information may simply report it again. So, even if you are successful in the short term, you may not be in the long run. Credit repair companies which claim otherwise are not being completely honest.

Negotiating with creditors is a legal technique to remove negative comments from your credit report. You can do this on your own or you can get help from a credit repair specialist. Sometimes a plan of action is all that you need. Reputable credit repair companies can provide you with a plan and many offer other valuable services. Identity theft insurance and credit monitoring services may not improve your credit score, but they could protect you from fraud.

Some credit repair companies are associated with law firms and while this inspires confidence in the legalities of the services offered, it is still a good idea to pick one that has been in business for a while, has a list of satisfied clients and does not make outrageous claims. Choosing a credit repair specialist which is a lawyer, a paralegal or has other qualifications is a better idea than picking one at random.

Friday, June 02, 2006


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How to Repair Credit Scores

If you are wondering how to repair credit scores, then it probably means that your credit score is “less than perfect”. If so, you are not alone. Many businesses offer to repair your credit. There are credit repair specialists, credit repair lawyers, credit repair kits and credit repair counseling; the list goes on and on. If you are confused about how to repair credit scores, then you will be even more confused by this vast array of services and items which are supposed to help you repair your credit. There are certain things that you can keep in mind which may help you choose between credit repair counseling and other products. Credit repair is a very individual thing. Everyone has different issues and therefore has different needs.

The first step in learning how to repair credit scores is to obtain copies of your credit reports. At www.annualcreditreport.com, you can view and print your credit reports. The information stored on them is the basis of your credit score. The FICO score is all that many lenders look at these days and many decisions are made by computer and the information recorded on your credit reports affects your FICO score. You can improve and repair your credit scores, if you can remove inaccurate, misleading or unverifiable negative information from you credit reports.

The next thing to learn about how to repair credit scores is how to report inaccurate information. Even people who have excellent credit should occasionally review their credit reports for inaccurate information. Identity theft is fairly common and can ruin a person’s credit rating. If you believe that you may have been a victim of identity theft, then you should notify the credit bureaus immediately and have them put a “fraud alert” on your account. Other inaccurate information should be reported in writing to the appropriate credit bureau. They have 30 days to investigate your dispute and when the information is removed it should help to repair your credit score.

Many people get credit repair counseling and consumer credit counseling confused. They are not the same thing. Consumer Credit Counseling Services, which are non-profit organizations, do many things to help consumers create a workable budget and pay off their debt, but they do not provide information about how to repair credit scores. Some “for profit” companies have chosen names similar to “Consumer Credit Counseling Services” in order to attract business. So if you are in need of credit counseling, rather than credit repair counseling, it is recommended that you learn about their fees up front. Even the “non-profits” charge a fee, but it is far less than that charged by the “for profits”. Paying off debt will help to repair your credit scores. A portion of your score is computed by comparing amounts of available to amounts of used credit.

Learning how to repair credit scores is time consuming and sometimes frustrating, but it is worthwhile. If you can successfully repair your credit scores or even improve your credit scores, you may save hundreds or thousands of dollars in excess interest. Including a consumer statement, sometimes called a “hundred word statement” may not repair your credit score, but some lenders do look at this information.

People who want to know how to repair credit scores legally and cost effectively may be able to obtain results more quickly by contacting one of the reputable law firms that specialize in credit repair issues. These people can repair your credit for you, saving you time and saving you money in the long run. There are some credit repair counseling services which recommend strategies such as file segregation and applying for employer ID numbers in order to create a “new” credit history. These recommendations are illegal. You may want to know how to repair credit scores, but you do not want to create legal problems for yourself.


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Sample Letter for Credit Repair

This article includes a sample letter for credit repair. Letters like these are sent to a credit bureau or credit reporting agency to report inaccuracies on your credit report. If you are surfing the web looking for information about credit repair, you will find free credit repair letters at several sites, but you will also find that there are software programs with “fill in the blank” type letters. Whether you choose to pay for a sample letter for credit repair or use one of the free credit repair letters, the process is the same.

Before the letter writing can begin, you will need to obtain copies of your credit report. These can be viewed and printed at www.annualcreditreport.com. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you spell it correctly or you may end up at an impostor site. The FTC also has brochure which includes a sample letter for credit repair.

Once you have your credit reports, you will need to check them for inaccurate information and report the inaccuracies to the applicable credit bureau. This is also referred to as a dispute or disputed information. You can use the wording in this sample letter for credit repair or the wording in other free credit repair letters. The main thing to remember is to keep the letter unemotional. Simply state the facts.

Sample Letter for Credit Repair:

Today’s Date

Some free credit repair letters suggest that you include your name and address at this point, others include it at the end. The FTC sample letter for credit repair suggests the use of the phrase “complaint department”. The use of that phrase, as well as where to put your name and address seems to be a personal choice.

Address of the Credit Bureau which is reporting the inaccurate information:
Equifax
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Trans Union
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022


Experian
PO Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013

Re: Credit File Problem

To Whom It May Concern: (Dear Sir or Madam)

I recently reviewed a copy of the credit file your company maintains in my name. While doing this, I identified the following problem(s):
(The sample letter for credit repair suggested by the FTC is written a little differently.)

I have enclosed the following documentation that supports my claim:

If you have any “proof” that the information is inaccurate, (statements, cancelled checks, the “proof” depends on the individual item) list it here and enclose a copy (not the original). If it is not possible to provide “proof”, for instance if you do not believe that you ever had an account with a listed company, simply state what information you are trying to correct and leave out the line about documentation.

Please investigate and correct this (these) problem(s) as quickly as possible and send a corrected copy of my credit report to my home address.

You may want to include a copy of the inaccurate credit report with the disputed information circled or highlighted. If you are disputing several items, you can use one letter for all or one letter for each. The credit bureaus may be less likely to consider a claim frivolous if you send one letter for each disputed item. They are not required to investigate disputes which they consider “frivolous”.

Examples of free credit repair letters close formally, using Sincerely and your signature.

If you do not receive a response from the credit bureau within 30 days, you can send a follow-up letter. A follow-up sample letter for credit repair follows. The date, greeting, closing and addresses would be the same. The body of the letter would be something like this:

On (applicable date), I contacted this bureau regarding the inaccurate information in my credit file. I have waited a reasonable amount of time and have received no reply regarding my dispute. Please correct this information immediately.

You may want to include a copy of the original letter, credit report and any documentation that you originally sent. If the credit bureaus do not respond to your requests; if you cannot achieve results using this or another form of free credit repair letters or a sample letter for credit repair included in software programs, it's time to contact credit fixing lawyers -- make sure you stick with the ones that specialize in credit repair issues.


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Credit Repair Tips


A list of ten credit repair tips follows. This is by no means a complete list, maybe just enough to get you started.

Credit Repair Tip #1
Look for free information before you buy anything. Did you know that the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, are required to provide consumers with one free copy of their credit report every year? If not, you are not alone. Companies which sell credit reports and other credit repair tips are betting that most people do not.

Credit Repair Tip #2
Visit www.annualcreditreport.com. At this site consumers can view and print the information accumulated by the credit report agencies or credit bureaus. There is no charge for these reports, but the credit bureaus are allowed to promote the products that they sell, such as credit repair tips, on this site.

Credit Repair Tip #3
There may be a lot of information on your credit report or just a little, depending on the types of credit that you have and the length of time that you have been using credit. Print the reports out and begin the process of reviewing the information that the credit bureaus have been accumulating about you. Use a yellow highlighter to highlight information that you believe may be inaccurate, misleading or unverifiable. This is information that you will dispute.

Credit Repair Tip #4
One of the credit bureaus has an on-line dispute system, but it is not very user friendly. The window is tiny and in order to read a sentence, you have to scroll from left to right. The best way to notify the credit bureaus of your disputes is to send them a letter. Letter writing suggestions are included in many books with credit repair tips, but you can view a perfectly usable example of a dispute letter at the Federal Trade Commission’s credit website.

Credit Repair Tip #5
Wait.

Credit Repair Tip #6
If you have not received a response from the credit bureau or bureaus within thirty days, send a follow-up letter: “Please remove these items from my credit report immediately. I have waited a reasonable amount of time.”

Credit Repair Tip #7
Wait.

Credit Repair Tip #8
If you receive no response from the follow-up letter, you will need to
contact a lawyer, preferably one that specializes in credit repair issues. The credit bureaus are allowed to disregard disputes that they consider frivolous. There are no guidelines for disputes which might be considered frivolous.

Credit Repair Tip #9
Sometimes options are recommended which are illegal, such as file segregation. Do not create more problems for yourself.

Credit Repair Tip #10
Visit myfico.com for more credit repair tips. This site also shows how different actions affect your credit score.

There are several sources on the internet for credit repair tips. As with most information, there are hundreds of books full of credit repair tips, software programs with credit repair tips and credit repair specialists that charge for their credit repair tips, but there is a lot of free information as well.


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Info About the Credit Repair Businesses

You have to be careful when choosing among the many credit repair businesses. Price may be a consideration, but experience and customer satisfaction are just as important. There are credit repair businesses with years of experience, but there are also companies which open quickly. These sometimes close just as quickly, leaving the customer with less money and the same credit score. An effective credit repair program can be a “dream come true”, but a credit repair scam can be a nightmare.

If you are considering a credit repair program offered by one of the many credit repair businesses, there are certain things which may indicate a scam. The Federal Trade Commission advises that consumers should beware of credit repair businesses which claim to be able to repair your credit in a very short period of time. A credit repair program takes time to implement and time to work. Thirty to forty-five days is reasonable for initial results.

It is also, of course, advisable to avoid credit repair businesses that recommend an illegal or questionable credit repair program. If you have problem credit, then you have enough problems. You do not want your credit repair program to create more. A legal and effective credit repair program includes contacting the various credit bureaus to have negative items removed from your credit report. An illegal credit repair program includes applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to use instead of a social security number. Credit repair businesses which suggest the EIN alternative should be avoided. An EIN is a number assigned to a business by the IRS. If you are not a business owner, you have no “business” applying for one.

A comprehensive credit repair program should include an evaluation of your particular credit situation. If a company offers a free evaluation, take it, but do not disclose social security, credit card or bank account numbers. Only discuss your credit problems in general terms.

It is possible to avoid the credit repair businesses all together. If you have the time, patience and energy to develop a credit repair program on your own. You can view the information in your credit reports free once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com. Spell it correctly or you may end up at an impostor site. FICO charges consumers a fee to view their credit scores, but many lenders use the FICO scores as the basis for determining credit worthiness. A complete and effective credit repair program will remove negative items from your credit report, which in turn will improve your FICO scores.

Some law firms offer a comprehensive credit repair program. These credit repair businesses offer only legal options for consumers interested in improving their credit scores. Of the many companies which offer credit repair services, one which is associated with a law firm is probably the safest choice.

Though you may have heard otherwise, it is possible to improve your credit score and it is worthwhile investment, whether you choose to hire one of the credit repair businesses with a legal credit repair program or do it yourself.


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FAQ: How Can I Repair My Credit Rating?

Many people ask, “How can I repair my credit rating?” The answer they receive depends largely on “who” they ask.

How can I repair my credit rating? According to the Federal Trade Commission, the only way to repair bad credit is to be patient and wait. This is a frequently heard answer, but some organizations are coming around. Even Fair Isaac, the creators of the FICO scoring system, now suggests that consumers should make every effort to improve their credit scores.

Can I repair my credit rating if I have had late payments? Of the many factors which affect credit scores negatively, late payments reported by creditors is a major one. Many creditors will remove late payment reports if the customer asks in the right way. You can improve your credit score by having reports of late payments removed from your credit report.

Will the credit bureau repair my credit rating? The credit bureaus will do nothing to repair your credit rating unless you initiate a dispute. You can dispute items on your credit reports that are inaccurate, misleading, outdated or unverifiable. The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate your dispute and either remove the negative item or contact you. When negative items are removed from your credit report, your credit score will improve.

Will establishing good credit repair my credit rating? Establishing a good credit history, while important, will not improve your credit score.

Is it legal to repair my credit rating? Some disreputable companies may suggest illegal strategies, not simply to improve your credit score, but to create a whole new credit identity, but there are legal methods.

Can I repair my credit on my own? You can attempt to repair your own credit, in fact, even if you retain a lawyer, you will be very much involved in the credit repair process. Without legal assistance, it may be frustrating and difficult to repair you credit rating. Many of the books and software programs that are available are already outdated, because the laws that protect consumers change so quickly.

Can credit repair companies repair my credit quickly? The Federal Trade Commission advises consumers to beware of companies which offer to improve credit scores in an unreasonably short period of time. It will probably take at least 45 days for the first issues to be resolved. That is a reasonable amount of time. If a company is claiming to achieve results in less than 45 days, consumers would be wise to find out exactly what they are doing and how much it costs, before they pay anything.

Can credit repair attorneys repair my credit faster and easier than I could on my own? While results vary and reputable law firms will not promise results in a specific amount of time (just like they would not promise how a court case will turn out), many credit repair lawyers have a successful history. Look for one that has been in business for a while, belongs to the Better Business Bureau and has had a number of satisfied clients.


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Credit Repair Schemes and Scams vs Credit Repair Attorneys

Unlike the services offered by credit repair attorneys, many companies suggest options that are questionable and some which are downright illegal. There have been reports of “credit repair clinics” and specialists which do nothing but take consumers money and then close up shop quickly. If you are interested in legal credit repair, your only real option is to try to do it all yourself or hire a credit repair attorney.

One credit repair scheme (not offered by credit repair attorneys) suggests something called “file segregation”. They suggest that you, the consumer, apply for an employer identification number (EIN) or federal tax identification number. This number is used to identify a business. If you are not a business owner, then simply applying for an EIN is fraudulent. Once a person has this EIN, this credit repair scheme suggests that you use this number and a different address to apply for credit. Making any false statement on a credit application is a crime. A credit repair attorney would never suggest that you do anything illegal, but other credit repair specialists might.

Credit repair attorneys can help you legally repair your credit scores. Even FICO now suggests that consumers should take steps to improve their credit scores in order to receive the best interest rates on mortgages, loans and credit cards. Of course, they also offer to sell you reports and packages to accomplish this feat. If you want to know your FICO scores, you will have to pay for them. The information compiled by the three major credit bureaus and listed on your credit report is available for consumers to view and print free of charge on a yearly basis, but these reports do not include your FICO scores. Before you pay FICO for information, it might be wise to take advantage of a free credit consultation offered by many credit repair attorneys.

There are still many who say that it can not be done, that only time and patience will repair bad credit, but credit repair attorneys and their clients know better. Many of these law firms have been in this business for twenty years or more. If it were not possible to achieve results legally, then logically they would not have been in business for very long. That may be one reason that so many of the credit repair clinics have gone out of business.

One might think that a credit repair attorney would charge a lot more than a credit counselor or other non-law firm affiliated organization, but actually most credit repair attorneys do not charge that much. Especially when you consider the work they do and the results they achieve. The cost of bad credit or even “less than perfect” credit amounts to hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in additional interest alone. Many of those other credit repair companies charge just as much as credit repair attorneys while doing less work for the customer and achieving less if any results.

Most credit repair attorneys charge a start up fee and a monthly fee, rather than a per item fee. Most people have many items on their credit reports that need attention and the monthly fee works out better in the long run, but the best credit repair attorneys offer a money back guarantee related to how much negative information they are able to have removed from your credit report.

Many people have tried to achieve credit repair results on their own. It is possible. It takes time and patience. It can be frustrating and results are often hard to achieve. If you have tried the do-it-yourself approach, don’t give up, contact a credit repair attorney. There are some situations that are very difficult. Sometimes creditors are not willing to talk to you. Credit bureaus are not willing to work with you and no matter how hard you try to correct credit problems on your own; you keep running into brick walls. Let the credit repair attorneys do the hard work for you.


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About Credit Repair/Debt Consolidation Strategy

Some companies suggest that debt consolidation may improve your overall credit score, but as a strategy for credit repair, debt consolidation may not be the best choice. According to Fair Isaac, the company that invented the FICO credit risk scores that lenders use, there are many factors which affect your credit score. These factors must all be considered before taking out a debt consolidation loan, particularly if your hope is to achieve a higher credit score.

A credit repair debt consolidation strategy assumes that monthly payments on credit card balances are unaffordable and therefore causing occasional late payments. FICO says that payment history accounts for about 35% of your score. They also say that delinquent payments can have a “major negative impact”. So, if a debt consolidation loan will help you to make your payments on time, then it could be a good thing.

FICO also says that simply moving around the balances on your credit cards and closing unused accounts will not improve your credit score. They suggest that you pay your bills on time and work towards paying off balances on revolving charge cards. So, for purposes of credit repair, debt consolidation might help if you are able to pay off credit card balances faster. This will all depend on the individual and the specifics of the debt consolidation loan.

If you are considering a credit repair debt consolidation loan, be sure to compare fees and interest rates among different companies. While multiple inquiries affect your credit score negatively, inquiries made over a short period of time, generally within a 30 day period, are only counted as one inquiry. This is a recent change made by FICO with the understanding that consumers now “shop” loans.

To achieve credit repair, debt consolidation is not your only choice. FICO suggests that you check your credit report for inaccuracies and report those to the applicable credit bureau. If you have a history of late payments, but you are now current with a specific lender, you may be able to have the lender remove those items from your credit report. Sometimes they will do this just to satisfy a customer.

Many companies suggest other methods of credit repair; debt consolidation may or may not be the best choice for you. A law firm that specializes in credit repair like Lexington Law can give you the most accurate information and the best suggestions for your individual situation.


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A Brief Credit Repair History

(The History of the Credit Repair Business)

Whether you call it credit repair history of the history of the credit repair business, here are some facts. Risk-based pricing is the real reason that there is a credit repair business. Risk-based pricing is the practice of charging different interest rates to different people. Lenders decide who gets the best interest rates based almost entirely on a person’s credit score. Credit repair allows borrowers to qualify for the lower interest rate. To achieve credit repair, history must be rewritten, to a certain extent. Inaccurate, misleading and unverifiable information must be removed in order to improve a person’s credit score.

People involved in the credit repair business know how an individual’s credit score is computed. One might think that it is based entirely on a person’s payment history, but other factors are used to determine a person’s credit score. Some borrowers consider only the FICO credit scores; some consider the credit rating and others actually look at the information listed on a credit report by one or more of the credit bureaus. The history of the credit repair business or credit repair history is relatively short, but the history of credit scoring and rating goes back nearly as far as bank loans. Lenders needed some sort of system to evaluate a person’s “creditworthiness”.

Several laws govern what information can be used to determine a person’s creditworthiness. Several laws are designed to help consumers report unfair or inaccurate information. A credit repair business that is familiar with the laws regarding credit issues will be able to provide the most help to consumers who hope to achieve credit repair. History does not always repeat itself, just because an individual had credit problems in the past, does not mean that they will continue to have credit problems in the future. Critics of risk-based pricing feel that charging a person a higher interest rate, because they have had problems repaying loans in the past will only make it harder for that same person to repay loans in the future. When the credit repair business works, it works to keep this from happening.

Even a person whose credit score is “not that bad” can benefit from credit repair. If a company in the credit repair business has an effective credit repair history, they may be able to save a consumer much more than the cost of the services. For instance, FICO provides the following figures. For a $216,000 mortgage, a FICO score of 760 or above would qualify for a 6.29% interest rate, equaling a monthly payment of $1335. The rates go up as the score goes lower. A score of 700-759=$1367, 680-699=$1392, 660-679=$1423, 640-659=$1486, 620-639=$1567 and a credit score below 620 will require “creative financing”. In 2003, less than 30% off all Americans had a credit score between 750 and 799, and 50% were below 700. So, an effective credit repair business could have saved Americans between $768 and $5568, just in interest on their mortgages in the last two years.

If we look at credit repair history on an individual basis, some credit repair specialists are more effective than others. Some recommend solutions which can create more problems than they solve. The credit repair business can be a dream come true to persons with “really bad credit” and a money saving tool to those with “not so bad” credit, if the person chooses the right law firm.


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Credit Repair Book Reviews

If you are attempting credit repair yourself instead of hiring a law firm to help you, then you may be thinking of buying a credit repair book. There are nearly 200 different titles under the listing credit repair book at Amazon.com. Whenever there is a market for consumer information, someone (usually many people) will write a book.

If you are thinking about buying a credit repair book, first look at when the book was published. If it was not published in late 2005 or 2006, then the information may be inaccurate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides a number of free pamphlets, brochures, and mini-books to consumers. In September of 2005, they published “Your Access to Free Credit Reports”. If you are attempting credit repair yourself, you may want to visit the FTC website and download this free brochure. As opposed to a credit repair book that you might consider buying, the FTC’s publications are “just the facts”. But, they are the facts that you will need before you begin the process of credit repair yourself.

One credit repair book, written prior to 2005, still indicates that the credit bureaus will charge a small fee to consumers who want a copy of their credit reports. Credit bureaus will charge a fee for credit reports and other information if you do not know your rights. This is why, if you are attempting credit repair yourself, without consulting a law firm, you will need to know your rights. The credit bureau is not going to advise you of them. While not an actual credit repair book, the FTC’s brochure will give you all of the information that you need if you have inaccurate information on your credit report, if you have been a victim of identity theft and why you would want to view your credit report in the first place.

There are two things that you must have if you are attempting credit repair yourself, neither of which is a credit repair book. One is time. The other is patience. You will need time to write the letters required to remove inaccurate, misleading, or unverifiable information from your credit report. You will need patience to wait for a response from the credit bureau. If you do not have time or patience, any credit repair book, no matter how interesting and fact filled, will be a waste of money. If you have the patience needed to attempt credit repair yourself, but you work nine hours per day, have a two hour commute, have to do dinner, get the kids to bed...then you may not have the time. Sometimes, even if you have the time and patience, you cannot achieve results. Many people have had to hire attorneys to get negative items removed from their credit reports. Others have turned to credit repair clinics and have been scammed out of thousands of dollars. There are as many complaints lodged against credit repair clinics as there are against credit bureaus.

A credit repair book can only take you to a certain point. The information provided in most of these books is available free from the FTC or it is opinion based. If you can find one that was written after September of 2005 by a lawyer, then you will get the most accurate information and you can be assured that all of the recommendations are legal. If you have attempted credit repair yourself and failed, for whatever reason, you may want to contact a law firm that specializes in credit repair issues. A credit repair book can not do it all for you, neither can a lawyer, you will still be involved to a certain extent, but a lawyer may be able to achieve results where you could not.


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How to Repair Bad Credit

If you are wondering how to repair bad credit, then it probably means that you have a “less than perfect” credit rating. If so, you are not alone. Many businesses have sprung up to offer assistance to those who need credit repair help. There are credit repair specialists, credit repair lawyers, credit repair kits and credit repair counseling; the list goes on and on. Consumers who are confused about how to repair bad credit are even more confused by this vast array of services and items which are supposed to help. There are certain things that you can keep in mind which may help you choose between credit repair counseling and other products. Credit repair is a very individual thing. Everyone has different issues and therefore has different needs.

The first stop in a “how to repair bad credit guide” should be at www.annualcreditreport.com. At this website the consumer can view his or her credit reports. This is the basis of your credit score. The FICO score is all that most lenders look at these days and many decisions are made by computer, but the information recorded on your credit report affects your FICO score. Before you get credit repair counseling or some other service, check your credit report for inaccurate information.

The credit bureaus know how to repair bad credit, but they will not help you much. You must report any inaccurate information that you see to them. Even people who have excellent credit need to keep an eye on their credit reports. Identity theft is fairly common and can ruin a person’s credit rating. If you believe that you may have been a victim of identity theft, then you should notify the credit bureaus immediately and have them put a “fraud alert” on your account.

Many people get credit repair counseling and consumer credit counseling confused. They are not the same thing. Consumer Credit Counseling Services, which are non-profit organizations, do many things to help consumers create a workable budget and pay off their debt, but they do not provide information about how to repair bad credit. Some “for profit” companies have chosen names similar to “Consumer Credit Counseling Services” in order to attract business. So if you are in need of credit counseling, rather than credit repair counseling, it is recommended that you learn about their fees up front. Even the “non-profits” charge a fee, but it is far less than that charged by the “for profits”.

If a credit repair counseling service is not associated with a law firm, the consumer should get the details of what services they are offering; what is included in their “how to repair bad credit plan”. Some credit repair counseling includes explaining what the consumer needs to do to repair his or her own credit; have negative items removed from the credit reports, make sure all information is accurate and up to date and include a consumer statement, sometimes called a “hundred word statement”. This information is also available in books, software programs and so-called credit repair kits. People who want to know how to repair bad credit and do not have limited finances often choose to spend twenty dollars or so to buy the information and attempt the process themselves. This can be frustrating and time consuming, but it may pay off in the end.

Credit repair counseling services that recommend “file segregation”, changing social security numbers or using an employer ID number should be avoided because of the legality of these options. The Federal Trade Commission recommends that consumers beware of any credit repair counseling service that promises results in a very short period of time. You may want to know how to repair bad credit, but you do not want to waste money or end up with legal problems.


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FAQ: What Can Credit Repair Specialists Do Legally?

The consumer has legal right regarding the information that is reported to and stored by the credit bureaus. Credit repair specialists help consumers take full advantage of their legal rights.

How can I repair my credit report? If any information on your credit report is inaccurate, out-dated, unverifiable or misleading, you can dispute this information. Credit repair specialists can help you if you do not have the time or the know-how.

Will establishing “good credit” repair my credit report?
While establishing good credit is always a good idea, even if that means obtaining a secured credit card, “good credit” does not outweigh “bad credit”. Most lenders look at your overall credit score, most evaluations are done by computer these days, so if you credit score is below a certain number you may not qualify for lower interest rates, or you may be denied credit completely. Reputable credit repair specialists should evaluate your individual situation, before promising results.

Can I repair may credit report on my own?
Yes, it just takes time and patience.

Can I repair my credit report if I still have outstanding debts? No. While you may be able to have negative items removed, if the debt is still owed, the creditor may just report the information again. Reputable credit repair specialists do not recommend that you try to have items removed from your credit reports which are accurate, only that information which is inaccurate, misleading, unverifiable or out-dated.

Can I repair may credit report if I have declared bankruptcy?
It is possible that you may be able to achieve some results if you have declared bankruptcy. Many people believe that bankruptcy wipes their credit report clean, but it only releases you from overwhelming debt. It does not remove information from the credit report that led to the bankruptcy in the first place. If you have a past bankruptcy and you are trying to improve your credit rating, it might be wise to contact credit repair specialists that are associated with a law firm. They will probably be able to offer more assistance than credit repair specialists that are credit counselors.

Where do I go to view my credit report? The website www.annualcreditreport.com has been set up to allow consumers to easily view their credit reports on line. Companies that advertise as credit repair specialists and attempt to charge you for copies of your credit report are not being honest. If you need more than one copy of your credit report per year, then you may have to pay for additional reports, but this payment should be made directly to the credit bureau.

Can credit repair specialists repair my credit report for me?
They can help. You will be involved throughout the process, because the credit bureau will only communicate directly with you.

For more answers to frequently asked questions visit Lexington Law.


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Fast Credit Repair?

How fast is fast? According to a recent poll performed by the Associated Press, Americans do not like to wait for anything. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the consumer should beware of any credit report repair services which offer fast credit repair.

Most credit report repair services offer to assist individuals in getting certain information removed from the files maintained at the various credit bureaus. Consumers are allowed to dispute information that they believe is inaccurate. The credit bureaus are allowed to take 30 days to investigate. Ideally fast credit repair would take at least 30 days plus the amount of time it takes to send the letter and get a corrected report. So, credit report repair services which advertise that they “may” be able to improve your credit score in less than 30 days “may” prove to be disappointing.

American’s distaste for waiting is what created the interest in credit report repair services in the first place. People who are patient would simply wait for negative items to be removed from their credit reports. But, anyone who cannot wait in line for 15 minutes without becoming angry is not going to be happy waiting five to seven years for an item to be removed from their credit history. So, anyone with a less than perfect credit score seeks fast credit repair.

No credit report repair services can guarantee results in a specific amount of time. No reputable credit report repair services make such claims. If they have been in business for quite some time, they may be able to provide examples of what they have been able to accomplish for other people. But, this does not mean that individual results do not vary. No company can honestly promise fast credit repair to everyone.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit report repair takes time and patience. This is true if all the information included on your credit report is correct. A quick look at your credit reports will help you determine if any of the credit report repair services can help you. If credit report repair services suggest “file segregation”, changing social security numbers, using or changing employer idea numbers, then you have selected fast credit repair that is illegal. Legal credit report repair services simply correct information, at your request, that is misleading, inaccurate, unverifiable or incorrect. Making false statements on a credit application is illegal.

Legal credit report repair is simple. You can do it on your own if you have the patience, but as we know, most Americans do not have the patience. If you do choose to get help from one of the many credit report repair services, choose one that is associated with a law firm. In general, a law firm will not suggest that you do anything illegal to achieve fast credit repair.


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Credit Repair “Secrets”

The big “secret” is that you can repair credit scores that are bad, damaged, less than perfect, etc. Many companies are selling credit repair secrets, credit repair “kits” and other information about credit issues. They are able to sell this information, because everyone wants good credit, many people have bad credit and most people do not know where to go for information or who to contact if they need help.

One of the credit repair secrets that companies are selling is information about obtaining your credit report. You are entitled to a yearly free copy of your credit report. Each of the three major credit bureaus accumulates information about you and your “creditworthiness”. If you want to attempt to repair credit issues, obtaining your credit report is the first step. Even if you have excellent credit, it is a good idea to review the information on your credit reports on a regular basis. A recent law has made it easier. You can view and print copies of your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com. Credit repair “secrets” are not really secrets, they are just sometimes not well known.

There are many things that can negatively affect your credit score; late payments, multiple inquiries, charged off accounts, judgments, liens, bankruptcies, identity theft, etc. In order to repair credit scores, negative information must be removed from the credit report. Companies which sell credit repair secrets will probably provide you with sample copies of letters to send to the various credit bureaus and possibly the addresses of the credit bureaus. This is information that is also included in most credit repair “kits”. These credit repair secrets are available free at the Credit Repair Blog.

Another good source for free information that may help you repair credit issues is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). That may not seem logical. One may wonder what the FTC has to do with credit repair secrets or consumer credit issues in general. The FTC provides all kinds of consumer information at their website. You can even link directly to the free credit report website from theirs. They included this link, because there are many internet companies which have altered the URL address slightly and a consumer could unknowingly end up at the wrong site, end up paying for useless information and not end up with their actual credit report. The FTC also offers a very long and detailed booklet for victims of identity theft and/or credit fraud. Attempting to repair credit issues after identity theft is particularly frustrating.

You can pay for information that companies call “credit repair secrets”. This information may be useful if you are attempting to repair credit issues on your own. You can find most of this information yourself, if you are willing to do a little research. There are many companies which offer credit repair services. The FTC advises that consumers should beware of any company which claims that they can repair credit problems in a very short period of time. The suggestions made by some of these companies are actually illegal. Credit bureaus have thirty days to investigate any disputed information, so attempts to repair credit problems of any kind which involve inaccurate information on your credit report will take at least 30-45 days. If you do decide to get help from a credit repair specialist, it is advisable to choose one that is associated with a law firm. That way you can be sure that their recommendations are legal. For more credit repair secrets, view earlier blog posts.


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Credit Repair after Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy will not repair or improve your credit score. According to legal experts, credit repair after bankruptcy is possible. Some companies will offer credit immediately after bankruptcy, at very high interest rates, but buying a home or a car may not be possible for several years. Unless a bankruptcy credit repair expert can help. There are a certain number of law firms that specialize in credit repair, for any reason, credit repair after bankruptcy is just one of many.

Bankruptcy is a last resort for those people who are swimming in debt and cannot pay their bills. Bankruptcy credit repair is an option for those people who have declared bankruptcy and would like to begin to reestablish themselves without paying exorbitant interest rates. Bankruptcy may allow them to keep their house and possibly one car payment. But, anything else of value goes.

Credit repair after bankruptcy may allow those who did not previously own a home, obtain a mortgage with a decent interest rate. A recent law requires that all persons who apply for bankruptcy relief have received credit counseling within the previous year. A Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) is a good place to start when a person is having trouble paying their bills. While credit counseling may prevent bankruptcy; credit repair counseling is not one of the services provided by the non-profit CCCS. The CCCS is allowed to charge a reasonable fee for their services, but the new bankruptcy law requires that if a person cannot afford credit counseling, it will be provided at no charge.

Credit repair after bankruptcy or after any event which damages one’s credit rating, is not free. It can be expensive, but if you have a past bankruptcy, credit repair may save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest each year. The experts recommend that before you make any major purchase (whether or not you have a past bankruptcy) credit repair may be beneficial. If you are considering a major purchase, a house or car, obtain a copy of your credit report and learn your credit score. If your score is below 680, then you can benefit from credit report repair services. If you have a past bankruptcy, credit repair may be beneficial.

Some credit repair companies suggest options which are illegal. The only way to be sure that credit repair after bankruptcy or bad credit repair of any kind is legal is to choose a law firm that specializes in credit repair. They are aware of all laws regarding credit repair issues and they can advise you of your legal rights. For more information about bankruptcy credit repair services, visit Lexington Law.


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Credit Repair Information

You may have heard that bad credit report repair is impossible or illegal. Bad credit report repair is possible and if you contact a law firm which specializes in credit report repair, then it can all be done legally. If you contact a company that is not a law firm, then they may be doing something ineffective or illegal. The only way to be confident that the credit repair information you are getting is legal, accurate and effective is to contact an attorney.

Not all attorneys specialize in bad credit report repair. Those who do generally charge a fee for initial consultation and a monthly fee, one company, Lexington Law, offers to refund overpayment if they are not able to remove a substantial amount of negative credit report information. Some companies charge for credit repair information, giving you what amounts to helpful hints; where to get your credit report; how to write a letter and other so called credit repair information that you can find on your own for free. These and companies that advertise that they can accomplish bad credit report repair in less than thirty days should be avoided.

Whether it is referred to as “problematic”, “less than perfect” or just “bad credit”, anyone with a credit score below 680 can benefit from bad credit report repair. Why? Because lenders charge higher interest rates to people with what they call “sub-prime” credit scores. How much can that amount to? A $20,000 car that is financed for a period of five years at an interest rate of 14% for someone who has sub-prime credit costs them an extra $4722 in interest. At 20% for someone with bad credit, that same car costs an extra $8593. If bad credit report repair is effective and costs around $1000 (could be less, could be more), then a person with less than perfect credit would still save almost $4000 and the person with bad credit would save about $7500. Bad credit report repair is a worthwhile investment.

None of this can be accomplished if you are currently behind on payments to your lenders, whether credit cards or loans. You may need debt management or credit counseling, but you will not need credit repair information until you can put these issues behind you. Credit counseling, while helpful when you are in over your head, is not the same as bad credit report repair. Even if you have had a bankruptcy, bad credit report repair may be helpful.

It is sometimes possible to achieve some results on your own, but it may be time consuming, frustrating and ineffective. You will also be unaware of everything that you can accomplish unless you contact a lawyer that specializes in bad credit report repair. The credit repair information available from credit bureaus and government agencies only mention some possibilities; how to report discrepancies or inaccuracies. Sometimes, items are not removed in a timely manner, even though the credit bureau says this is not true. If you cannot afford to hire a legal firm, you can begin bad credit report repair by writing a letter which disputes information listed on your credit report to the appropriate credit bureau. They have thirty days to respond. Suggestions for writing these letters and addresses for the three major credit bureaus are listed in an earlier post. You should try to keep all emotion out of these letters and put your request in very simple terms. You may have to write a follow-up letter, if the credit bureau does not respond in a timely manner. This letter should also be unemotional and simply state that you have waited a reasonable amount of time (30-45 days) and you would like the inaccurate information removed immediately and a new copy of your report sent to your home address. When you see a company selling something called a credit repair kit, check out the contents before you buy. The previous credit repair information (concerning letter content, etc) is what they are usually selling.

If you are able to achieve results, you are one step closer to bad credit report repair. If the credit bureau does not respond to the follow-up letter, your only real option is to contact an attorney.


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The Differences in Credit Repair Agencies

There are major differences in the companies which call themselves credit repair agencies. If your main objective is to repair credit report discrepancies, then there are several things to consider before hiring one of these companies.

There are several varieties of credit repair agencies. There are the “professional credit counselors”, the “credit experts”, and various other descriptions that basically mean the same thing. Then, there are the law firms like Lexington Law, which will help you repair credit report inaccuracies.

The first thing to look at is exactly what services these credit repair agencies offer and how much they charge for these services. If you only have one or two pieces of inaccurate information on your credit report, you may be able to take care of this yourself. You can view your credit report on line, free of charge, once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you need to repair credit report information, you can report the information on line, but the sites are not particularly user friendly. You can contact the company which reported the information and ask them to remove it. You can send a letter to the appropriate credit bureau, letter writing suggestions were made in an earlier post. Credit repair agencies should be able to take care of all of this for you. If you are paying them to resolve these issues, then you should only have to sit back and wait.

The problem is that some credit repair agencies are only selling information that is freely available if you know where to look. Some of them will handle the letter writing for you. Some credit repair agencies recommend action which is illegal. The only way to effectively and legally repair credit report issues, if you cannot achieve results on your own, is to contact a law firm that specializes in credit repair issues. Not just any law firm, your private attorney may or may not be able to handle this for you. He/she will probably charge more than a law firm which advertises alongside other credit repair agencies.

Even if you do not have problematic credit, it is a good idea to view your credit report on a yearly basis. You can legally repair credit report problems, but it may be difficult. People steal names and social security numbers to finance cars or other major purchases. One young man was unaware that his social security number and name had been used, until the thieves were late making a payment. They had also used his address, so the bank sent the late notice to him. He was unable to resolve the issue with the bank. The police were unable to help him; no one knew where this person actually lived. The credit bureau was unresponsive. His credit score was being damaged and he was not responsible, but he could not prove it. His lawyer was finally able to correct the situation, but it was quite expensive. At the time, there were not many credit repair agencies. A law firm that specializes in credit repair would have been less expensive than his private attorney, but if they existed he was unaware of them.

The Federal Trade Commission advises that consumers should beware of credit repair agencies that claim to be able to repair credit report inaccuracies in a very short period of time. The credit bureaus have thirty days to investigate any claim or dispute. Any credit repair agencies that claim to be able to achieve results in less time should be questioned thoroughly, before you give them any money.


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Credit Repair Letter

A credit repair letter is a letter that you or a firm which represents you, sends to a credit bureau or credit reporting agency to report inaccuracies on your credit report. This is not an “official term”, just a term that people have begun to use to refer to this type of letter. Many people are interested in credit repair. Because of this, there are many companies selling credit repair “kits”, services and even sample copies of a credit repair letter. Some of these services are scams. Some recommend action which is illegal. The kits and software programs are mostly full of information that can be obtained free. The only credit repair services which can be purchased with confidence are those provided by a law firm or private attorney.

The idea behind credit repair is simple. False, inaccurate, misleading or outdated information on your credit report leads to a lower credit score. If the company that reported the inaccurate information is a company that you currently deal with, you may want to contact them first. If they will not correct the information, then you contact the credit bureau directly. This is where the credit repair letter comes in to play.

A credit repair letter should include the following information:

Today’s Date

Address of the Credit Bureau which is reporting the inaccurate information:

Equifax
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Trans Union
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022

Experian
PO Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013

These are the three major credit reporting agencies. Disputing information on line is an option to a credit repair letter, but the sites are not user friendly and it could be less time consuming to simply send a letter. They will have the same length of time to respond either way. The credit repair letter continues:

Re: Credit Record Problem

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently reviewed a copy of the credit file your company is maintaining on me. While doing this, I identified the following problem(s):

At this point in the credit repair letter, you should clearly describe each inaccuracy in as few words as possible.

I have enclosed the following documentation that supports my claim:

If you have any “proof” that the information is inaccurate, (statements, cancelled checks, the “proof” depends on the individual item) list it here and enclose a copy of this material with your credit repair letter.


Please investigate this problem as quickly as possible, correct it, and provide me with a corrected copy of my credit report. Please send this copy to:

Your Name
Your Street Address
Your city, state and zip code


Include your phone number and thank them for their prompt attention to the matter.

Sincerely,

Your signature

You will also want to include the following information in your credit repair letter: full name, previous names, social security number, birth date, spouse’s name, current address and previous addresses for at least the last five years.

Once you send the credit repair letter(s), the credit bureau has thirty days to investigate. If you do not receive a response within thirty days, you can send a “follow-up” credit repair letter or contact an attorney or a law firm like Lexington Law that specializes in credit repair issues. The sample letters are not complicated and not worth paying for. This is some of the information provided in the credit repair kits that companies are selling. It is okay to sell information, it is big business. Rather than pay for the information, you may just want to pay a modest fee at a place like Lexington Law for professional help.


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Online Credit Repair Services

Online credit repair services may be one of the newer online services. There are so many things that can be taken care of online these days. Why not online credit repair.

There are many online credit repair services. These services operate by taking your basic information online and then contacting you by phone. Payment is deducted automatically from an individual’s bank, credit card or paypal account, just like other online transactions. Individuals should make sure that the online credit repair site is secured by verisign and look for members of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online reliability program. In order to be accepted as a member of the BBB, a company must have been in business for at least a year and must adhere to the guidelines created by the BBB for fair business practices.

Online credit repair services, as the name suggests, help customers improve their credit ratings by removing inaccurate, false or misleading information from their credit reports. This is legal online credit repair. There are credit repair services that suggest different ways of improving credit scores and some of these are illegal. The only way to be sure that an online credit repair service is totally legal is to choose a law firm that specializes in credit repair. There are several online credit repair services that are operated by law firms.

These services are not as expensive as one might think. Usually a sign up fee and a monthly fee covers whatever issues exist on the credit report. Most do not charge a per item fee and individuals with large numbers of inaccuracies benefit from this feature. According to customer’s comments, legal online credit repair is much easier than trying to do it on their own and much more effective. It ends up saving them hundreds of dollars in interest per year and allows them to have the things they want in life.

Online credit repair is easy. Online credit repair is safe if the company’s site is secured by verisign. An online credit repair service is reliable if it is a member of the BBB. And online credit repair is legal, if conducted for the consumer by a law firm. If you have past credit issues and you would like to try to improve your credit rating, visit a credit repair service online. They should provide information that will allow you to determine if they can help, before you pay.


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Credit Score Repair Can Be a Reality

For many people, a high credit score is just a dream. Past issues have left them with items on their credit reports that impact their overall credit score in a negative way. Some people are not aware of the possibility of credit score repair. Help is available.

There are so many things that can cause credit problems. Things as simple as late payments and as devastating as divorce, can lead to bad credit scores. Credit score repair specialists are familiar with all of these things. There is no need to be embarrassed. They have heard it all before.

Credit score repair strategy involves removing items from your credit reports that have a negative impact on your credit score. Information may be outdated, inaccurate or misleading. It is possible to dispute this information alone. But, it is time consuming, frustrating and sometimes ineffectual. Law firms, like Lexington Law, that specialize in credit score repair have different techniques at their disposal. They can often accomplish things that you could not do alone. They are aware of the current laws regarding credit issues. They can make sure that everything is done legally. They know how to word disputes to make the credit bureaus pay attention and respond quickly. Credit score repair is their business and they know their business.

A high credit score can mean the difference between a high interest rate and a low interest rate. People with high credit scores get the best credit card deals, the best mortgage rates, lower insurance premiums, etc. Credit score repair for individuals who have had past credit problems can have these things, too.

There are credit score repair companies which employ credit counselors or advisors, but they may not be nearly as effective as a legal team dedicated to resolving a person’s credit score issues. Many people think that this type of thing is very expensive, but it can be quite affordable. Bad credit is very expensive, costing hundreds of extra dollars per year in interest rates alone.

There are law firms that specialize in credit score repair that will refund a portion of your money if they are not able to achieve results. Policies like this make credit score repair lawyers work extra hard. Legal credit score repair has nothing to do with bankruptcy, though credit score repair strategies may be able to remove items related to bankruptcy more quickly. Declaring bankruptcy is not a credit score repair strategy. Recent laws require that those who are considering bankruptcy receive credit counseling. Non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling Services help with budgeting and goal setting, but do not address credit score repair. In the end, only you and your legal team can make credit score repair a reality, but it can be done.


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A Credit Repair Kit or a Waste of Money

For the purposes of this article, I compared the contents of two “credit repair kits”. These are being sold all over the internet. The ads go something like; “Repair Credit Rating! Increase Credit Score! Do It Yourself!” I just wanted to see what they were selling and if it was worth fifteen or sixteen dollars.

A credit repair kit is basically an informational packet, compiled by a writer, put in a box and sold to you. One company advertises a $9.95 kit, but will not tell you what is in it. Another company charges more, but at least provides content highlights. These kits are supposed to help you repair credit rating scores. The only thing they really do is put some credit related information in one place for you. If you have a library card, you can find the same information at the public library.

The credit repair kit that lists contents starts off with “how to set goals for yourself”, which sounds more like a self-help issue than a credit repair issue. Goals are important in all aspects of life, but there are probably better sources of goal-setting advice than an internet credit repair kit.

Next on the list was “how to prepare a budget”. Budgeting is very important, but it will not help you repair credit rating scores. Next in this credit repair kit was “how to wipe out debts without bankruptcy”. The only way to “wipe out debts” is to pay them off, by setting realistic goals and creating a budget. If you are unable to do this on your own, a non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling Service can help you. A recent law requires that you get credit counseling before you can declare bankruptcy. But, none of this has anything to do with helping you repair credit rating scores.

Where to find a secured credit card and where to get the best deals on credit cards are two more “reports” included in this credit repair kit. This information is available on line at several different websites dedicated to providing information about credit card deals. These sites do not charge a penny for this service and there information is accurate and up-to-date. Credit card companies are always changing their offers. But, this still has nothing to do with helping you repair credit rating scores.

More information included in the credit repair kit; how to obtain your credit reports. This is information that we at the Credit Repair Blog have provided many times, but here it is again; www.annualcreditreport.com. Spell it correctly or you may end up at a site selling a credit repair kit. But, at least this does have something to do with helping you repair credit rating scores.

Next in the credit repair kit list is sample letters for creditors and credit bureaus. In general, disputing information on your credit report and having that information removed will help you repair credit rating scores. You can dispute information on line at the credit bureau site, but these sites are not user friendly. You can dispute the information in writing, which is why the credit repair kit is offering to sell you sample letters. Or you can call the credit bureau, another not so fun thing to do, that will normally result in the credit bureau employee advising you to put your dispute in writing. It is hard to say why sample letters to creditors are included in this credit repair kit. Disputes are generally handled in this way. You report the dispute to the credit bureau. The credit bureau contacts the creditor or investigates in anyway that the credit bureau deems necessary. The credit bureau contacts you regarding its findings and sends you a copy of the corrected credit report which will help you repair credit rating scores. If you can handle this on your own, then you probably do not need a credit repair kit. If you need help, contact a legal firm like Lexington Law that specializes in credit repair issues.


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Self Credit Repair: Tips and Suggestions

The primary focus of bad credit repair is to verify that all information on your credit report is correct and up to date. Self credit repair is a do-it-yourself kind of program. Rather than paying a credit repair company to deal with the credit bureau for you, you do it yourself.

Before you embark on the journey of self credit repair, you will need several things. The most important is education. The best place to start is probably the Federal Trade Commission. They provide consumer information on credit issues and advice on where to go for help. This is probably a good place to mention that self credit repair is not possible until “credit issues” have been resolved. If you are behind on, or having trouble making payments, then you may need credit counseling, but not credit repair. If you have had problems paying your bills in the past and those problems are now behind you, but your credit rating has been damaged, then you may need credit repair, but not credit counseling. The non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling Services available in most cities are the best, most reasonably priced credit and budget counseling services, but they cannot help you repair your credit. There is no non-profit credit repair service, which is why there are so many do it your self credit repair programs and so many credit repair companies.

Credit repair companies simply do the work for you. In some cases, they may be able to achieve better results that you can on your own. A self credit repair program is not particularly costly, but can be time consuming and ineffective. Some credit repair companies can be very costly, but they may save you some time. If you are trying to repair your credit quickly, because you are tired of paying high interest rates or because you have been denied credit, then you may want to consider a credit repair company.

The first thing that you will need for any self credit repair program is copies of your credit reports. There are three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, and a number of smaller credit reporting agencies throughout the country. If you are attempting self credit repair, you may want to start with one of the three majors. You can view and print a copy of your credit report from any of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free copy per year from each of the bureaus. You must pay for subsequent copies. As you are working your way through self credit repair, you will need several copies.

You will need a yellow highlighter for the first step of your self credit repair program. As you are looking at your credit report, highlight any information that is inaccurate, outdated or questionable. You will need to report any inaccuracies to the credit bureau, either in writing or on-line depending on the bureau. The credit bureau has 30 days to investigate. If they need more information, they will contact you. Once they have the additional information, they have another 30 days to investigate. Which brings us to another self credit repair necessity; patience. You will need patience to write these letters and wait for results. It is at this point that many people give up on credit repair entirely. Some people just give up on self credit repair and turn to a credit repair specialist for help.

Time, copies of your credit reports, a yellow high lighter and patience. These are the only things that you really need to begin a self credit repair program. You do not need expensive “do it your self credit repair software”. These software programs mainly consist of copies of form letters for you to send to the credit bureaus and the information that you have just read. If you have decided after reading the self credit repair requirements that there are some things that you do not have (like time and patience, yellow highlighters are pretty easy to come by), then you may want to consider a credit repair company.

The FTC warns consumers to avoid companies that claim to be able to achieve results in very short periods of time. One company advertises that they “may” be able to increase your credit score by “as much as” 100 points in “as little as” fifteen days. That is highly unlikely. It is true that a reputable credit repair company
can achieve faster results than self credit repair, but they will be perfectly honest about the “30 days to investigate rule”.


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Where to Go For Credit Repair Help

You may have heard that only time can repair bad credit, but the truth is that even time does not always repair issues that affect your credit rating. There are legal credit repair strategies that can help you repair bad credit issues, regardless of time.

The reasons people seek credit repair help are as unique as the individuals that seek it. If you have applied for credit and been turned down, you were probably angry and embarrassed. You are not alone and there is help. There is legal credit repair help. Government agencies will often say that the only way to repair bad credit is to wait. This is not necessarily true. If you have been turned down for credit, you can obtain a free copy of your credit report from the credit bureau that supplied the information causing the denial. You are also entitled to a free copy every year, regardless of whether you have been turned down for credit or not. If you notice any of the following things then you should get legal credit repair help.

One of the first things that you may notice when you view your credit report for the first time is that some of the listed items are very old. You may also notice that some are inaccurate. You may not even recognize the names of some of the companies that have supplied information about you to the credit bureau. If you notice any of these things, then get some legal credit repair help. If the interest rates you are paying on your credit cards are higher than your friends are paying, then you may benefit from legal credit repair. There are many reasons to seek legal credit repair help. Now the question is where to go.

There are a number of companies which offer to improve your credit score, some in a very short period of time. These services may be a waste of money. There are also companies which recommend that you create an employer ID number to use when you apply for credit, instead of your social security number. If you are not a small business owner, this is illegal. So, in order to avoid wasting money and breaking the law, you must search for legal credit repair help.

Of the many companies that do offer legal credit repair help, some are not involved in credit law at all. They may be credit counselors or call themselves credit experts and while the services that these companies offer may be legal, they may not be effective. Only a law firm which specializes in credit law can provide credit repair help that is both legal and effective in all bad credit issues.

It is legal to attempt to repair your credit rating on your own by having false, out-dated or inaccurate information from your credit report. It may also be frustrating and ineffective. Sometimes credit bureaus will refuse a request because the wording is incorrect. There are legal credit repair companies that offer to sell you letters to copy and send to the credit bureaus. Remember to compare the prices charged by these companies to credit repair law firms that do everything for you.

Legal credit repair is definitely worth your time and money. You will save money in the long run, because your interest rates will be lower. Your insurance premiums may be lower. You will probably not have to pay security deposits for services that you need or want. If you have tried to correct your credit issues on your own, don’t give up. Or, if you have not tried to repair your own credit, because you did not have the time or the know-how, or because you thought that it would not work, get some legal credit repair help, preferably from a law firm like Lexington Law that specializes in credit repair issues.