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Basic Steps to Repairing Your Credit

Mar 29, 2008
Credit Repair is generally the process of bringing "back to life" your credit history and raising your credit score. Credit repair is the process of restoring your financial reputation. Credit repair is completely legal as long as you follow the rules and guidelines provided by The "Fair Credit Reporting Act". The "legal" steps to credit repair include:

* Obtaining a copy of your credit report.
You are entitled to a "free" copy of your credit report once a year from Annual Credit Report, or you can buy a credit report from one of the three major reporting agencies - Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian.

* Review the list of negative entries.
Be sure to carefully review the entries, and focus on the negative items that are of longer duration, e.g. 90 day items are more important than 30 day items.

* Look for disputable items.
Anything you have paid or that is incorrect/misrepresented in the credit report is disputable. Victims of identity theft and other scams will probably find many disputable items.

* Call the Creditor.
Sometimes, you may call in to a creditor and engage in someone over the phone that will be easy to work with. You can explain the situation, and ask them to remove the negative item from your report. Some of them will, others won't. If they say no, ask to talk to their supervisor to see if they will remove the item. If the answer is still no, cordially hang up the phone and move on to the next item. Repeat this step for all disputable items.

* Dispute the negative items.
If calling the creditor is unsuccessful, you may dispute the item with credit bureaus. Simply run a google search for "credit bureaus", pick some of the top ones, and use their online dispute forms to complete the request. Alternatively, you may check the phone book for credit bureaus, and send them a detailed letter outlining the reason for the dispute, and mail it to them.

* If all else fails, hire a credit repair company.
There are many to choose from, but beware of companies that bend or break the law to repair your credit. Companies that use terms like "debt elimination" have a knack for operating contrary to the law. More to follow in a future post.

Credit repair is possible, even probable if it is done properly and with patience. Using these steps will help set you back on the road to credit worthiness.
About the Author
Get more great finance and investing tips at Jeffry Evans' personal finance blog. Credit Repair Basic Steps is just one of many great articles you will find at Personal Finance Resources.
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