You have decided to repair your credit. You need to make sure that all of your payments are made on time from now on. Make sure your finances are organized and that there is enough room in your budget for the occasional unexpected expense. Credit repair requires effort and you don’t want to slip backwards. Credit repair can transform your life; make the right effort and you will be richly rewarded.
Review Your Credit Reports
Get copies of all three of your credit reports. You can get them online at AnnualCreditReport.com for free one time each 12 months. This website is government mandated and is the only place where you can get your reports for free. All of the other websites that advertise free credit reports require you to join a monthly service; there is value in these monthly services, but make sure you know what you are buying. Once you have your reports it’s time to start your credit repair project.
Correct Your Account Limits
Credit repair can be daunting. I suggest you take one manageable step at a time. Begin by proofreading the credit limits on your revolving accounts. A significant part of your credit scores are based on the ratio of your current revolving balances to your credit limits. Many credit card issuers under-report these limits and inadvertently harm your credit scores. Put your credit repair plan into action. If you discover any under-reported limits communicate the issue to the creditor and provide a copy of a credit card statement to the credit bureaus.
Eliminate Extraneous Accounts
Examine your reports for extraneous accounts. These can include closed and paid accounts that are reporting as open with balances. You should also look for duplicate accounts. Take your time. Credit repair requires a little patience. A duplicate account with no derogatory information may blend into the background, but can have a negative impact on your credit scores. Duplicate accounts are common occurrences and can be easily rectified with a bit of credit repair. The credit bureaus rather than the creditors most often cause these errors, so a letter to the offending bureau ought to do the trick.
The collection industry may be the largest single contributor to credit reporting errors and well worth your credit repair attention. The FTC has made it clear in their elucidation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that when collectors sell debt to another collector or returns it to the original creditor they should withdraw their reporting of the item. Unfortunately, there is no incentive for compliance and so these erroneous collection accounts continue to report, often for years. Generally speaking, you would be well advised to challenge collections as part of your credit repair project; an easy credit repair task.
Use Debt Validation
If you get a collection letter in the mail open it right away and prepare to respond. For a thirty-day period following receipt of a collection letter you are in the legal drivers seat. Don’t miss this credit repair opportunity. If a stranger knocked on your door and asked for money would you hand it over? I hope not. Don’t give a penny to a collector without validating the debt. You have the right to demand proof from a collector that they have the legal right to collect, and an objective accounting of the amount claimed due; do this within thirty days, and do it in writing.
Know Your Statutes of Limitation
Debts are not collectible forever. If you are embarking on a credit repair effort this is one of the truly important facts to know. Statues of limitation vary based on state and debt type. This information can easily be found on the Internet. Once the statute of limitation has expired a collector can no longer sue you for the debt, and hence cannot get a judgment. Read this credit repair fact carefully. If a debt is beyond the statute of limitation a collector has absolutely no way to enforce collection. This gives you two wonderful credit repair options. You can send them a cease communication letter and you will never hear from them again, or you can contact them to negotiate payment. Once they know you understand your rights they should be happy to settle.
Save for the Future
With all of the effort you are putting into your credit repair project you will want to insure that nothing comes along to send you back to square one. The best credit repair insurance in the world is a healthy saving account. If unexpected expenses arise, and they will, you will not bust your budget if you have some money set aside. Saving also offers some amazing fringe benefits that transcend the obvious, like self-confidence and peace of mind, which can’t be measured, but are definitely priceless. Good luck!