How is credit repair possible?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows a consumer to challenge the information on his credit report on the basis of "completeness and accuracy." When a consumer files a dispute, the credit bureaus must contact the source of the credit information (the creditor) and confirm that the information is accurate, verifiable, and not obsolete. In some circumstances, the credit bureau is required to go beyond a simple verification of the creditor's own computer record. If, within 30 days, the credit bureau has not received verification from the creditor, then the credit bureau must promptly delete the credit listing. Learn More.
Legal credit repair methods
To better understand what legal credit repair is, it would be helpful to understand a few types of illegal credit repair:
Illegal: Changing your social security number to obtain a clean bill of credit. If any company should suggest this type of credit repair, report them to the authorities.
Illegal: Disputing every item on your credit report, regardless of nature. The Fair Credit Reporting Act specifically states that only items that are unverifiable, inaccurate or misleading should be disputed. Items that are clearly yours, and reflect your credit history should not be disputed.
Illegal: Charging for services that have not yet been completed. This is to protect the consumer from fraudulent companies that charge for services that never get completed (charging to "repair your credit", then hitting the road...) Learn More.
So, what exactly is legal credit repair?
Legal Credit Repair consists of removing the negative items on a credit report. There are a few different methods of going about this, the most common and effective are:
"Goodwill" Negotiation Negotiating directly with creditors and asking them to "please" remove negative items from your credit reports is a viable method of credit repair for mild late-pay accounts. There are no laws that require that negative items stay on your reports for any amount of time, and creditors have the ability to simply remove these items if they see that it could somehow work to their benefit, even if that simply means a pleased customer.
Credit Disputation The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right to contact credit bureaus directly and dispute items on your credit reports. Just as in a court of law, you have the right to plead "not guilty" to negative information on your credit reports, and leave the burden of proof to the credit bureaus. You can dispute any and all items on your credit reports that you feel classify as inaccurate, unverifiable, or misleading. If the bureaus can not verify that the information on your reports is indeed correct, then those items must be deleted. Learn more.
Credit repair resources
Visit the credit forums to discuss credit repair and other credit related issues.