Are you tired of getting turned down for bad credit?
Do you feel powerless over your credit reports? Good news for you: you don’t have to wait seven years to get your good credit restored.
If you are unsatisfied with your credit report, there is hope. Under the fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers are allowed the option of disputing any information in their credit file. By law, the credit reporting company must accept your dispute and investigate it. If the information is unverifiable or incorrect, the credit-reporting agency must remove or change the information within thirty days of your dispute.
How do you go about this? Write to each credit-reporting agency and request a copy of your report. Call before you write and find out how much they charge per report. If you have recently been turned down for credit, you are also entitled to get a free copy of your credit report. However, don’t make the mistake of getting turned down for credit just so you can get a free report! Inquiries into a fair to bad credit file affect your credit score, and are not easily removed. In this case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can get in contact with the “Big 3” by calling and writing to them at the addresses below.
Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241; (800) 685-1111.
Experian (formerly TRW), P.O. Box 949, Allen, TX 75013; (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742).
Trans Union, 760 West Sproul Road, P.O. Box 390, Springfield, PA 19064-0390; (800) 916-8800.
Once you get your credit reports, check for ANY errors on it, including beginning dates of delinquency, dollar amounts of debt, or accounts that you don’t remember having. You can write a letter disputing any items that are inaccurate. When you decide to dispute an item, make sure to keep a copy of the letter you send them as well as send it certified, return receipt.
It is best to dispute one item at a time; credit reporting companies become suspicious if you’re disputing your whole report! Some people also find it helpful to use a lawyer to write the letters. If you can’t afford to do this, you should also check our Pre Paid Legal plans in your area. For a flat fee of 16-27 dollars a month, you can have access to top-quality lawyers in your area that will write letters and make phone calls on your behalf. Look in your yellow pages for your closest distributor of these plans.
Once you have some information removed from your report, you’ll be on the right track. There will be some negative information you simply can’t get removed or changed. Don’t be disheartened; if the information is truly inaccurate, you have the right to take the agency to court. There are plenty of consumer-oriented lawyers who can help you make your case. (Pre Paid legal plans help here too; they give you representation in any state!)
Lastly, if all else fails, you are allowed to add a 100-word statement to your credit reports. If illness, a job loss, or divorce caused you a bumpy financial time, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Your statement should reflect your recognition of past problems and work toward the future with new credit insight.