Credit scores are the determining factor on how good the deal is for most of the major purchases we make in life. Managing your credit wisely can save thousands of dollars over one's lifetime and even donate to a comfortable retirement. Think about this, improving your credit scores by 50 points can save around $ 33,000 over the life of the average mortgage. If you also consider the likelihood that you will also pay higher rates on car loans, and credit were talking about a huge sum of money. What if you were able to put all of that money into a retirement account, wow!
Before we get started, I would like to touch on the "companies" that advertise that they can magically clean your credit and have your scores up in a matter of days. In my opinion any company that makes such a claim is less than legitimate at best. The simple fact is that it's extremely the credit bureaus that will update your scores via the information they receive. By law, credit bureaus can not treat you any different than the people you hire to clean up your credit. This means that Know-how and hard work are the only differences between you and credit repair companies. So if you are willing to learn a little and roll up your sleeves you can save some money.
Do not get me wrong, there are a lot of legitimate credit repair companies that perform great services for their clients. Depending on how bad your credit is repairing your credit can be a lot of work. If you are unable to spend the time or you lack the "stomach" to deal with collection agents then I suggest that you look into hiring a legitimate credit repair company. The only downside is that it can be very expensive and the money you spend paying them to repair your credit can be used paying down debt.
3 Tips for Fast Credit Report Repair
1) Opt out of all credit bureau solicitations – Have you ever wondered how you get "pre-approved" credit card and mortgage offers? Credit bureaus actually sell your information to companies to solicit you. These leads are furnished to the solicitors by credit type and a credit score range. The credit bureaus then "ding" your credit score 3 – 10 points for the inquiries! The good news is that you can "opt out" from this practice and it will raise your credit score 3 – 10 points within a week. You can find the website here: http://www.optoutprescreen.com .
2) Validate all debts as real debts on your bureau – This action requires that you have a credit bureau in hand. If you are serious about cleaning your credit it is critical that you have one it will be your blue-print. You will need to pony up about $ 40 bucks to get a credit report with all 3 bureaus and scores. Many companies offer "free" credit reports if you join their credit monitoring service that ironically cost around $ 40 bucks.
With Credit report in hand, you need to validate ALL debts with collection agencies that are reporting on your credit bureau. Look for debts that are older than 7 years old, (from the charge-off date) the credit bureaus have remove these by law. Dispute these debts with the credit bureaus NOT the collection agencies. Next, look for duplicate collections, many collection agencies will package and sell your debt to other companies and never remove their original report. Send a letter to the credit bureaus with an explanation asking that they remove the debt.
3) Dispute ALL debts with the credit bureaus – Dispute all late payments, collections and negative remarks that appear on all 3 credit bureaus, not the collection agencies. In the dispute letter simply state that you do not believe the debt is yours and ask them to have the reporting agency to prove that you owe the debt. In the event it is a late payment simply say that you were not late.You can find a good letter by following the link above.
Note: When I say dispute all items I mean all negative items either they are a legitimate debt or not. By law the collection agencies have to prove that you owe the debt within a reasonable amount of time or remove the remark on your bureau. Many collection agencies are too busy or unable to respond to the credit bureau's request. When this happens the credit bureaus have to remove the negative remarks regardless of their legitimacy.
10 Ground Rules for Dealing with Collection Agencies
- To use an analogy, credit collection agents are the Devil incarnate and they are on commission.
- Arguing with the Devil is fruitless; they hold the gold and will absolutely win the argument.
- Speaking with the "supervisor" usually will not work; he got his position by being the meanest Devil.
- The Devil will lie and cheat, it is his nature. Do not EVER give debit card numbers, checks numbers, credit card numbers, or bank accounts over the phone to a collection agency.
- Make any and every payment you send to them with a money order or certified funds.
- Send all correspondence via certified mail return receipt, leave a paper trail and make a file.
- Do not accept a deal or negotiated payoff without having it in writing.
- When negotiating a lower payoff take their first offer, they will almost always call back to sweeten their offer.
- When negotiating a lower payoff always approach the collection agent from the position "this is all I can afford to pay" not "this is all I am going to pay you". Refer to rule # 2
- Always have a copy of your credit report when repairing your credit [http://www.lendfast.com/creditrating/apply.html]!
Obviously, there is a lot more to know than we have mentioned in these three tips. However these three tips will almost always help you with fast credit report repair. NOTE: Executing these three tips do not want to the collection agencies at this time. If collection agencies update the information on your bureau it can actually lower your credit scores. Do these three steps first before contacting the collection agencies and then you can dance with the devil later.
Source by Aubrey Clark