The first step in the credit repair process is to get your credit reports. It is also the single biggest opportunity you have to make the job easy. Make a good decision now, and the entire process will be a breeze. Or make the wrong decision and your credit repair effort will be fraught with struggle.
The Real Cost of Free Reports
You can get your credit reports once per year for free from annualcreditreport.com, a site mandated by the government per the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Free is good, but these reports are guaranteed to make your credit repair job a headache. Each report is in a different format with little or no thought given to ease of use.
Get the Advantage
For a small investment, typically under 20 dollars, you can make your credit repair project infinitely easier. Each of the three bureaus sells high quality, user friendly, tri-merged reports. These reports incorporate information from each of the bureaus and will allow you to see everything clearly. Any of these well designed reports will give you an advantage as you embark on the next phase of the job.
Making Your List
The next phase of credit repair is analysis of your reports. Here you will quickly see the benefit of your investment in a good tri-merged report. Examine each line and make a note of the items that do not look right to you. Be sure to take your time. In addition to questionable derogatory information, be sure to look for duplicate accounts, revolving accounts with overstated balances, and closed accounts that are reported as open.
Simple Dispute Letters Work
Now it is time to send letters to the credit bureaus to dispute the errors you found. This is another opportunity to make the task easy. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the less you say in a dispute letter, the more effective it will be. A single sentence is often enough to get the credit repair job done. If you have found a closed account that is reported as open with a balance, just say that the account is closed and paid. Simplicity brings success!
Managing Your Results
Soon you will start getting responses from the bureaus. When an error is corrected it is wonderful, but there may be cases where you do not get the answer you want. There may even be cases where a credit bureau refuses to process a dispute. Now is your opportunity to exercise patience. Understand the bureaucratic nature of the credit bureaus and do not take rejection personally. Just send the dispute again. You will be amazed how a calm and patient attitude will pay off.