CREDIT REPAIR PROCESS

Free_Credit_Repair_Advise_28111

What is the repair process?

The credit repair process is a simple step-by-step process. process is presented below. It walks you through each step you need to follow to repair your credit report as much as it can be repaired. To make this task even easier, a checklist is provided at the end of this section. This checklist will show you at a glance where you are in the credit repair process for each disputed item. The checklist will also serve as a record of contacts just in case you feel a need to plead your case in Conn. To successfully repair your credit, you must accept two things. The first is that credit repair is a slow process, often taking many months to complete. The second is that not all negative items can be successfully removed. If, after following all the steps given in this chapter, you cannot remove a negative item, accept that it will stay on your report. Then, use the techniques in chapter 9 to strengthen your credit enough that those bad marks on your credit report no longer matter.

The steps involved in repairing your credit are:

Part 1: Analysis

  1. Obtain a copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies.
  2. Analyze the information on each credit report.
  3. Make a list of all the negative entries you find and write down the cause of each of them.
  4. Make a list of the negative entries and write down the reason each should be removed. Use Appendix 11 to help you with this part.

Part II: Repair

Break up negative entries into small groups of approximately three items. For each group, perform the following steps:

  1. Write a letter to the credit reporting agency explaining why the items in this particular group are incorrect. Ask that the matter be investigated and corrected. If this step does not resolve the matter, then
  2. Write a second letter to the credit reporting agency requesting that the items be reverified and that for any items not corrected at this time, let them know that you want to be supplied with the contact information on the person at the creditor’s organization who verified this negative information about you. If this investigation does not resolve the matter, do the following:
  3. Write directly to the person at the creditor’s office that the credit reporting agency said they contacted. Explain the situation to the employee and why you think this item is inaccurate and should be removed from your credit report. At this point, if the creditor does not agree to remove this item, it will probably stay on your credit report. (Note: Sometimes a negotiation can be entered into with the creditor to have this item removed. This method will be discussed in more detail a bit later.)

The above three steps should be done for each group of negative entries on all of your credit reports. If all three steps need to be followed, this process will take approximately 3-4 months.

After the credit repair process is completed, it is time for:

Part III: Damage Control

To minimize the effects of any negative items left on your credit reports after the credit repair process, do the following: Examine all the negative items left on each credit report and develop an explanation of up to 100 words on why these items appear in your credit report. Send this explanation to the credit reporting agency. It will then become part of your permanent credit record.

Part IV: Legal Action

If, after all your efforts, you still have items on your credit report that legitimately do not belong there, there me legal steps you can take to have these removed.

This is basically all that is involved in the credit repair process. Following these few simple steps will dramatically improve your credit rating.

The Plan In Detail

Let’s examine each of these steps in a bit mom detail. This will give you a better understanding of all the options available to you at each step. It will also give you some examples to make the concepts clearer to you.

Analysis

How to analyze information on a credit report:

Each of the three credit reporting agencies has a different way of reporting your credit information to you. When you receive your credit report, you will also receive instructions on how to read and decipher all the codes in the report. These instructions will tell you what each field in your report represents. In general, the type of field you will be concerned with is the field that gives your credit status for each entry. Generally, this field tells you whether or not your payments are current, and if not, the reason they are not. This field is very important. If the credit item is in any way negative, this is where you get the information you need to understand the reason why it is negative.

Other fields you need to check for accuracy include the time the account was opened, the monthly payment on the account, and the accounts credit limit. Basically, you want to examine every item in detail to verify that all the information is correct. If any entry is incorrect, negative, or older than 7 years (10 for items relating to bankruptcy), they will go into your list of items to correct. Once you have completed your list, it is time to move on to the next step.

Generate a facts list:

As you examined your credit report, you probably found some entries with inaccurate information as well as some entries with accurate information that was negative. The fact list helps you keep all this information organized and lets you know what will be easy to correct and what will be difficult.

Any items you found on your credit report that are erroneous entries will be very easy to correct or remove. When the credit reporting agency, at your request, tries to verify this information, it will find that it is incorrect and remove it. Any items found on your credit report that are outdated (generally after 7 years, 10 for bankruptcy) are also very easy to remove. A letter requesting their removal is generally sufficient.

The items described above are just clean-up items. They are items that clearly do not belong on your report because they are either wrong or outdated. The third group of items on your list will he negative items that are legitimate entries. Some of these will be easy to remove. Some will be hard. It is dealing with these items that will be taking the majority of your time and energy.

Generate a reason list:

For each item on your fact list, figure out the reason you are going to use to have it removed. For items that are wrong or outdated, the masons are very simple and obvious. For incorrect entries, the reason is that the entry is incorrect and that the information is misrepresented. For all outdated items, the reason is that by law all outdated entries must be removed from the credit report.

For all other entries, the legitimate negative entries, the reason depends on the situation. Appendix 11 suggests a possible reason for each negative entry you may encounter.

These reasons can be used as is or as a guide for you to use in wording your own reason for having the item removed or improved. These steps complete the analysis you need to complete to begin the actual repair of your credit report. The next several sections detail everything you need to do to achieve maximum success in repairing your credit report.

General guidelines for dealing with credit reporting agencies:

The very first and most important rate when dealing with credit reporting agencies is to be polite. Remember, your tellers are being read by people. If you are nasty to them, they will not be willing to help you much. If you are polite, they will try to do a good job for you. If you have trouble writing good letters, Appendix III contains several businesslike letters that are excellent for communicating with these people on a professional basis. Just find the one you need, fill in the blanks, and mail it in.

Second, if your handwriting is legible, it is better to write the letter than to type it. People tend to give more attention to a handwritten letter than to a typed letter. It is no promise of better service but is a small effort that may help you get it.

Third, no matter how you prepare the letter, be sure to sign and date it.

Fourth, mail your letter via certified mail, return receipt requested. This process starts the clock ticking at the credit reporting agency. By law, they are required to investigate your claim and report back to you the results of their investigation in a reasonable period of time, (A reasonable period of time is generally accepted to be around 30 days from receipt of your letter.) If they do not respond in this period of time, the item in dispute must be assumed to be unverifiable and must be removed from your credit file. The return receipt lets you know when they received your claim and lets you know when to write them again to inform (hem that an unreasonable period of time has passed and the item(s) must by law be removed. [Note: Credit reporting agencies are very aware of this law and are generally quite responsive. But, you could get lucky on a hard to remove item and have it removed by default. This gamble is worth the slight extra cost incurred by sending the letter certified mail.]

Lastly, it is best to deal with your request for corrections in batches of 2 4 entries. You can do mom if you want but in general, the people at the credit reporting agency are much mom responsive and friendly when given a small number of items to work on that when given a huge number of items to work on. Of course, the more specific you are, the more entries you can put in a single letter, If you do multiple letters to cover many problems, mail them approximately three days apart. That way different people will work on them and each item will get the proper attention it needs to investigate your claim properly. A second reason to dispute only a few items per letter is to guarantee that the credit reporting agency does not consider your request frivolous and discard it. By law. they are allowed to discard frivolous requests. They may find a letter stating that 30 items in your credit report are wrong to be a frivolous request.

Repair

The First letter:

The first letter you write to a credit reporting agency for a particular problem is very simple. It is just a statement of the problem that you are requesting be resolved along with information identifying who you are. It will be written in a polite, yet firm manner. The idea is to let them know you are aware of your rights under the law in a respectful and professional manner. A template for this letter can be found in Appendix III.

The whole purpose of this letter is to let them know you have an issue that needs to be resolved and that you are willing to work with them to give them whatever information they need to help you solve the problem.

The credit reporting agency will take the information you sent them and verify that it is on your credit report as stated in your letter. They will then attempt to verify the accuracy of this item with the original creditor in a timely manner. If they cannot successfully verify this information, they will remove that en” from your credit report. If they verify with the creditor that it is correct, it will stay on your credit report. Either way, you will get a reply from them in about thirty days detailing the results of their investigation.

Assuming this letter did not resolve your problem, it is time to move on to:

The second letter:

The second letter is sent to the credit reporting agency if the first letter did not resolve the issue to your satisfaction. This letter gives all the information the first letter supplied. Additionally, it states that it is a request for an investigation of this matter and further states that you want the information on who was contacted at the creditors firm. There is a template for this letter in Appendix III.

When the credit reporting agency receives this letter, it will reinvestigate the items requested. If any items are not resolved to your satisfaction, they will send you the information on the person they contacted at the creditors office to verify this information. It will usually include the company, the person’s name and address/phone number. This information can be used later by you to contact the creditor directly and discuss the matter.

At this point, you have done all you can to get a credit reporting agency to remove a negative item from your credit report. If them are still negative items left on your credit report, they are legitimate m far as your creditor and the credit reporting agencies are concerned. At this point, it is necessary to contact the creditor directly to try to get the item removed from your credit report by them.

Letter(s) to creditor:

There are several approaches you can take when communicating with your creditors. You can claim the information is incorrect or you can claim it is correct and you want to come to a resolution that is satisfactory to both you and the creditor.

If you claim the information is incorrect, you will need proof to back up your claim. Creditors assume their information is accurate. It is up to you to prove them wrong. If you can prove to them that they are wrong, they will quickly have your credit report updated with the correct information.

If the information is correct, you can request the creditor remove it and offer a negotiation with the creditor to restore your good credit. Some template letters for various situations are given in Appendix III.

Some examples:

If you were late on your credit card payment for several months in a row but have been current with it the whole last year, you could write the creditor and state that you have been current the past year and would appreciate it if they would remove the negative entry on your credit report and have it reflect the current paid status your account now enjoys.

If you refused payment on something they have spent months trying to collect from you, you could offer the creditor a settlement; repayment of x% in return for having your status upgraded to paid in full and for your credit report being modified to reflect that new status.

For each different type of scenario that comes up, a different type of custom letter can be created but they are basically of the two types described above: having had late payments on a loan and now being current, and having an outstanding unpaid debt and offering a negotiated settlement for the amount still owed.

By talking to or writing directly to the creditors in a polite manner, you will find that you can generally resolve almost all of your remaining credit problems. But, if they are still some problems left after this step is complete, it is time to write a letter of up to 100 words describing your bad credit and have the letter become part of your credit report.

Damage Control

The 100-word letter:

The 100-word letter is your chance to tell your side of the story. This is the very last thing you want to do. I( is only used if every other possibility is exhausted. This is because the letter does not remove your bad credit. It is just an explanation of why you have bad credit.

Is it ever useful? It definitely is! Future creditors will read the letter and use it in their evaluation of your creditworthiness. It often turns borderline credit applications into approvals rather than rejections.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that two years ago you lost your job and fell behind on several payments before you become re-employed. Since then, you caught up on all your payments but some of your creditors refused to remove the negative marks they reported against you.

You would write a letter stating that you were unemployed for a while due to a layoff and suffered financial hardships during this period. Further, you would state that you have since become gainfully employed and have faithfully paid your bills ever since then.

A creditor who rated you marginally unacceptable based on your negative credit would read your letter, which by law is attached to your credit report, and understand why you have these items of bad credit. For many creditors, that will be enough to sway them to approve your credit, especially if you show steady employment for over a year.

Of course, other situations would require different types of letters. However, each letter would have a common theme along the following lines:

  1. A one-time extraordinary event occurred that damaged my credit.
  2. I have since recovered from that one-time event.
  3. I’m now current in my obligations.

Take this outline and fill in the facts relating to your specific situation. This will give you a very powerful presentation of what caused your negative credit. And, remember the letter must be stated in 100 Words or less.

Although a written statement can be a very powerful technique for improving Your credit standing, there are some important limitations you should understand. As the reporting of credit information to creditors becomes more and more computerized, it is becoming common practice for your written statement to not be included in this electronic transmission. This means that the potential creditor may never see your written statement. This is one of the unfortunate costs of modernization and efficiency.

So how do you get around this potential problem with future creditors? It is quite simple. When applying for credit, tell the creditor that there is a written statement in your credit report that they should read and also give them a copy of your written statement to be sum you cover all bases. This little bit of extra work will guarantee that the written statement will be examined by the creditor with the rest of your credit profile.

Legal Action

Sometimes a situation arises where there is a negative entry on your credit report that is not correct and no matter what you try, you just cannot get it removed. This sometimes happens when the creditor’s information does not match your information and they choose to ignore your request to investigate the situation properly.

This situation doesn’t happen very often but it can be very annoying and troublesome when it does. To remedy these types of problems, the law allows you to go to court to get the matter resolved. So, if you have an incorrect entry on your credit report and can prove that it is incorrect, take the credit reporting agency and the creditor to small claims court. Unfortunately, it is beyond the scope of this book to describe this legal process in detail, as it is different in different parts of the United States. To find out more information for your part of the country, a phone call to the county courthouse will give you all the information you need to go to small claims court where you live. And the best part is that you can do it all without a lawyer.

These are all the steps you can do to repair your credit. As you can see, there is no guarantee of you being 100% successful. It is unfortunate but sometimes we have to just accept our mistakes and misfortunes and rebuild our lives from that point. If you are one of the people who cannot remove enough of your negative credit items from your credit report, don’t despair. Chapter 9 discusses many techniques you can use to re-establish your credit rating even with a very negative credit report.

CREDIT REPAIR CHECKLIST

  • Credit Repair History for (Your Name)
  • For Credit Reporting Agency
  • DATE / /
  • First letter to credit reporting agency mailed on / / (attach copy of letter to this form)
  • Received reply from credit reporting agency on / / (attach copy of reply to this form)
  • Second letter to credit reporting agency mailed on / / (attach copy of letter to this form)
  • Received reply from credit reporting agency on / / (attach copy of reply to this form)
  • Contacted original creditor on / / (attach copy of letter to this form)
  • Received reply from the original creditor on / / (attach copy of reply to this form)
  • 100-word letter mailed to credit reporting agency on / / (attach copy of letter to this form)

RESOLUTION OF DISPUTE

How to use this form:

This form is to be used as a record of all your contacts with credit reporting agencies and creditors. Use one copy for each item you are disputing. By filling in contact dates and saving all correspondence you have a complete record of all your dealings with the agencies and creditors for each disputed item. You also know at a glance what step you are on with each disputed item and what you need to do next to continue your credit repair process for that item.

Free “sample letters” to use (cut and paste):

Sample Letter 1

Re: Request For Credit Report

To Whom It May Concern:

Please send me a copy of my credit report.

  • My full name is:
  • My social security number is:
  • My date of birth is:
  • My current address is:
  • My previous address was:

Enclosed, please find my check (or money order) in the amount of $XXX, as payment for this credit report. Also enclosed is a copy of my driver’s license, billing statement or utility bill with my current address clearly stated. Please send the report to:

Sincerely,

Enclosures Sample

 

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Letter 2

Re: Request for Free Credit Report on credit denial)

To Whom It May Concern:

Please send me a copy of my credit report as soon as possible I have been denied credit within the past 60 days by based on a credit report from your company. Enclosed please find a copy of the denial letter

The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, 15 USC section 1681g provides the credit bureau should send me information which led to the rejection of my credit application. According to the provisions of 15 USC section l6Slj, there should be no charge for this information.

  • My full name is:
  • My social security number is: My date of birth is:
  • My current address Is:
  • My previous address was:

Your immediate attention to this matter is appreciated.

Sincerely, Sample

 

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Letter 3

Re: Complaint Letter to Delete Inaccurate Information

To Whom It May Concern: I formally request that the following inaccurate items be immediately investigated. They must be removed in order to show my true credit history, as these items should not be on my report. By the provisions of 15 USC section 168ti of the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, I demand that these items be reverified and deleted from my record.

  • Item No.
  • Company Name
  • Account Number
  • Comments

Since 30 days from the receipt of this letter is your allotted time under the law to reverify these entries, it should be understood that failure to do so within that 30 day period constitutes a reason to promptly delete the information from my file (FCRA 15 Usc sl6Sli (5)CA)).

Also, pursuant to 15 USC sI68ti (6)(A) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, please notify me when the items have been deleted You may send an updated copy of my credit report to the below address. According to the provisions of 15 USC section 1681j, there should be no charge for this notification. Also, please send me names and addresses of individuals you contacted so I may follow up.

Sincerely,

 

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Sample Letter 4

Re: Request for Removal of Outdated Information

To Whom It May Concern:

Please note that under Sections 605 and 607 of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act you are obligated within 30 days to delete obsolete information from my consumer credit report. The following items on my credit report are more than seven years old and exceed the statutory time period under this Act, and they must be removed;

Also, pursuant to Section 168 of The same Act, [ am entitled to notification that the items have been deleted. Please send an updated copy of my credit report to the below address, as well as to any other party that has inquired about my credit rating in the last six months.

I anticipate your immediate attention to this matron

Sincerely,

 

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Sample Letter 5

Re: Required to Respond

To Whom It May Concern:

Thirty days ago you received my letter disputing several items listed in my credit report, issued by your firm The items were accurate and incomplete. I have attached the original letter.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 USC 1681j (5)(A), you the 30 days from receipt of this letter to respond to my request for re-verification of tie erroneous items. I have not received a reply from you within these 30 days. Therefore, it must be that the information in my report was either inaccurate or could not be reverified. In either case, according to the provisions of 15 USC section l681i (a), the items must be deleted immediately.

Please respond immediately so that I do not need to pursue my legal rights under 15 USC section l681n or 1681o, which require your compliance with the law.

Also, pursuant to 15 USC section 1681i (d) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, please send me notification that the items have been deleted. Send an updated copy of my credit report to the address below, as well as to any other party that has inquired about my credit rating in the last six months. According to the provisions of 15 USC section 1681j, there should be no charge for notification of changes on my credit report.

Sincerely,

 

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Sample Letter 6

Re: Request to Meet Inquiries with Account

To Whom It May Concern:

The presence of inquiries as entries separate from accounts on my credit report inaccurately duplicates information. These inquiries reflect an incomplete and inaccurate processing of information in my file. The inquiry entries should be removed, or at least merged into the accounts to which they belong. The accounts in question are:

  • Company Name
  • Account Number

Under the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 USC section 1681i, please investigate and delete these disputed items. Send me names and addresses of persons contacted. Thirty days from receipt of this letter is the length of time you are allowed under 15 USC s1681i (5)(A) to complete these actions unless you immediately notify me otherwise. It should be understood that failure to reverify within this time constitutes non-verification, and the items must be promptly deleted according to Section l6SliCa).

Also, pursuant to [5 USC section 1681i(d) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, please notify me when the items have been deleted. Send an updated copy of my credit report to the below address. According to 15 USC section 1681j, there is no charge for notification of changes on my credit report.

Sincerely,

 

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Sample Letter 7

Re: Demand For Corrected Credit Report

To Whom It May Concern:

On (year), I wrote to tell you I had not heard about any specific actions taken to reverify the items I had identified as inaccurate or incomplete in my credit report.

Copies of my correspondence are attached for your review.

Since you have not given me names of persons you contacted for re-verification of the information, nor have you complied within the statutory time period-30 days- to my request for re-verification, I assume that you have not been able to reverify the information [ have disputed. Therefore, you must comply with the provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and drop the disputed items from my credit report.

I demand that you send me a copy of my updated credit report showing the elimination of the items which I disputed on the attached letters. This copy must be provided free, according to USC section l681j. I demand that it be postmarked within five days after signing the certified mail receipt for the letter you are holding.

If [do not receive an updated copy of my credit report with the disputed items dropped, my attorney, will pursue my legal rights under 15 USC section 1681n or 1681o of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, “Civil liability for willful noncompliance.” Your credit bureau may be liable for:

  1. Any actual damages I sustain by your failure to delete the items
  2. Punitive damages as the court may allow
  3. Costs of the court action, plus attorney’s fees

I have forwarded a copy of this letter to the Federal Trade Commission, the Subcommittee on Banking, Credit, and Insurance, the Consumer Protection Agency and Department of Business and Professional Regulations (Division of Consumer Complaints.)

Sincerely,

 

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Sample Letter 8

Re: Addition of Consumer Statement

To whom it May Concern:

I have disputed the accuracy and completeness of incorrect information on my credit report Since reinvestigation has not resolved my dispute, I want the following statement, without alterations, included in my credit report to set forth the nature of my dispute for others to see:

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 USC section 161 Ii (b), I have the right to enter this “consumer statement’ in my credit report. The Act also states that you are obligated to include my statement in any subsequent consumer report that includes the disputed information. Furthermore, because my statement contains less than 100 words, I demand that you include the full text of the statement in my report, without changes, alterations or summaries.

Pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, please send me a free updated copy of my credit report with the above statement included. I assume that 15 days from your receipt of this request represents a reasonable time for completing this update unless you immediately notify me otherwise.

Sincerely,

 

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Sample Letter 9

Re: Request for husband and Wife File Separation Current Account Number:

To Whom It May Concern:

Under the Equal Opportunity Act, a husband and wife are allowed to maintain separate files pertaining to credit information. The undersigned request that credit information on file accounts of the undersigned be maintained in separate files.

We further request that all past, current and future and information be reported as separate account information to all credit reporting agencies.

Sincerely,

 

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Sample Letter 10

Re: Request For Addition of Supplementary Credit References

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, ~5 USC section 1681i, I am requesting that you add the following credit references to my credit report:

Creditor’s Name Creditor’s Address Account Number Type of Account

Thank you for your attention. Please inform me within the statutory 30-day time period from your receipt of this letter of your compliance with the 15 USC 1681e requirements that all information in a consumer’s credit report is reflected with “maximum possible accuracy.”

Sincerely,

 

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Sample Letter 11

Re: Explanation For Delinquent Payment

To Whom It May Concern:

It has recently come to my attention that several of my payments to your account have been labeled “late” on my credit report.

These missed payments were due to:

  • List Reasons

I have been prompt in paying in the past, and since the late payments occurred for The above excusable reason, please correct the payment history for my account at the following credit bureaus, which carry your account histories:

It is important that my credit report reflect the good relations I have had with your company in the past. The corrections in the credit report will make it more representative of my financial habits.

I appreciate your assistance.

Sincerely,

 

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Sample Letter 12

Re: Request for Reasons for Credit Denial

To Whom It May Concern:

Recently, the undersigned was denied credit by your company.

Please be advised that, pursuant to Section 615~) of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the undersigned hereby requests a full disclosure of the factual information disclosed to you by persons other than Consumer Reporting Agencies concerning the undersigned. Such information must be in sufficient detail to allow the undersigned to refute, challenge or dispute its accuracy.

Please take further notice that you are required to render such notification to the undersigned within a reasonable time. The Federal Trade Commission has defined such reasonable time as thirty (30) days.

Sincerely,

 

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