Do it Yourself
of us believe that it is only through an agency that we could
possibly have any hope for repairing our own credit.
Rest assured that this is not true.
It could possibly cost you more money and time to arrange
through an agency than it would to just do it yourself.
My recommendation, before contacting an agency for
assistance is to follow the steps below as you may just be
surprised at the results.
your own credit takes time, and definitely takes patience.
You first need to contact the credit reporting agencies in
writing requesting your credit report.
You are entitled by Federal Law to a free credit report
every year. There are
three main credit reporting agencies that you will need to
contact; TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Check our
page for addresses and phone numbers and how to request your
credit reports online.
the following in your written correspondence with the credit
request for a copy of your credit report (You are entitled to one
free credit report a year).
a copy of your state ID.
proof of your current address if it is not current on your ID.
your last known addresses for the past 5 years.
a copy of your social security card.
I would send this certified mail with return receipt requested
just to be safe.
at least 4-6 weeks to receive your credit report(s).
If you have already received an annual credit report from
an agency and are not entitled to the free yearly report, you may
also use any denial letter of credit within 60 days of its
receipt. If you
receive a letter denying you credit, make a copy and enclose it
with your written request for a copy of your credit report.
you receive your reports from all of the agencies, review each
report for accuracy and differences.
Design a spreadsheet or written log to track the
differences. Do not
hesitate to make use of disputes or accounts that are invalid.
If you find anything on your report that is worth
disputing, most agencies allow you to file an official dispute via
their web site. If
you need to provide proof that you paid for something, you may
need to mail it in with a dispute form.
If you do the latter, send in only one dispute at a time.
If you send more, the credit bureau can legally say you are filing
a frivolous claim and not help you.
credit reports should include contact and account information for
each creditor. Organize
all of your debt and creditors.
Most debts older than 7 years old will or may not appear on
your report, if this is the case, leave them alone. Do not dig
around for them. Most
creditors after 7 years of not having any contact with you will
write off the debt, some may continue their pursuit to locate you,
either way, donít open Pandoraís box if the account isnít
listed on your credit report.
credit bureau will review your claim and contact your creditor,
who has 30-45 days to argue your claim and prove they are correct.
If they do not, the credit bureau will remove the negative item
from your report!
correct accounts, take it upon yourself to contact each creditor
to make payment arrangements, most are willing to work with you,
some may make your task very difficult.
If a creditor is being difficult, feel free to ask for his
or her supervisor or speak with someone else.
Expect some creditors to be rude and unwilling to work with
you, do not feel discouraged, and just ask to speak with someone
else. Offer a settlement amount or specific monthly amount you can
afford. Write down
details of the conversation as well as the personís contact
information every time you speak with a creditor.
may take up to 6 months to feel like you are making any progress
at all on your credit with your payment arrangements but rest
assured that your credit will fall into place within a year.
is very important that while you are paying your creditors, that
you pay by check or money order and keep all of your receipts.
Always include a SASE (self-addresses stamped envelope)
with your payment and request a receipt for the payment from the
copies of your credit reports on a yearly basis from each agency.
Do not obligate yourself to any other creditors while
paying off your current ones.
You will or may receive several credit offers, throw them
away. Stay focused on
your goal to get out of debt and keep track of all your activity
such as payments, contact with the creditors, their names,
extension, time and date you spoke with them and list any details
of your conversations and arrangements. You can repair your own