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5 steps to carrying out credit repair yourself

Do you regularly review your credit reports?If your answer is no, then you need to begin, and the sooner the better. Because these are generated by human beings, there are unfortunate cases in which your payment history is reported inaccurately.

You should ask for your report from various credit bureaus and contest any inaccurate information, so that you are in the best possible position in case you ever want to take on a major loan, like a mortgage.

You can do something towards credit repair yourself

Whatever your credit situation is, there is something you can actively do to make it better and place yourself in as healthy financial state. It is not something that can happen overnight though, which is why the earlier you start the better.Also, the more regularly you look into it the better.

It is easier to dispute each item of misrepresented information as it occurs than to spool them and have twenty different queries stretching over five years to deal with. In the following paragraphs, we’re going to outline how you can get and maintain your credit on the right track.

1.     Get your credit report copy

Preferably, you want your history from the three credit bureaus – Trans Union, Equifax and Experian. These reports are accessible for free online on the respective websites and we advise that you get copies at least yearly or bi-annually if you can. Just follow the instructions and get your report.

2.     Don’t go ballistic

Things are never as bad as they look, so take a deep breath and then begin. For starters, there usually is duplicate reporting, where the same debt is reported more than once with small alterations to make it look like you have say three pending accounts with ABC Ltd., when in essence it’s just the one. It happens.

Such errors can be easily corrected through a phone call or email. Email is always better – it’s a written record and it takes out the emotional factor from the equation. The company should correct that and send you a copy of the updated report. If you aren’t making headway with one representative on phone, hang up and call back to talk to a different one.

3.      The real work

Now the errors are gone, you have the correct report. This is where you begin the real job of carrying out credit repair yourself. Separate each item and handle it differently depending on the status of the account. It goes without saying that you should get and keep all your receipts just in case.

If you do have an open balance, then you’ll deal with the creditor or collection agency if the debt has already been forwarded there. Don’t be intimidated when dealing with them; they want you to pay because that’s how they get paid. But be polite, you also don’t want to tick them off.

Say you want to pay but can only afford to do so in monthly installments for instance. Get leverage for yourself – that the account be reported as fully settled and removed from your report without a bad rating – and get their word in writing.

It might work the first time over, but even if not, stick to it – politely but firmly – eventually the creditor will come around. Don’t over-commit yourself this time. Genuinely report what you can offer, you’ll always work something out. Repeat for every owing amount with every creditor.
If the bill is paid but your rating is still bad, then your job is with the reporting agencies. For paid out accounts, dispute every single one in writing. The law requires that all disputes be attended to within thirty days.

If they do not respond in 30 days, the law requires that the disputed account be removed. Do it as many times as is necessary until you have a clean bill of health, there’s no limit. But each time, maintain courtesy and professionalism.

Like we said it won’t happen in a night, but work at it until all of them are gone and then work to keep the report clean.
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