Free Credit Repair Guide
It is best to understand your credit first before you attempt credit repair yourself. MyFico.com is a great resource to find out what all is impacting your credit report. The basic factors are payment history and the amount of debt you have. If you have good payment history and low balances on debts then you are in good shape. Let face it, you are not reading this if you have good credit. The good news is that you are here to make the effort to change the direction of your credit score. The main idea in credit repair is to remove debt, and negative payment history, and increase your positive accounts.
Credit Repair Step 1:
To begin, you need to have a copy of all three of your credit reports. You can go to AnnualCreditReport.com and obtain all three reports (without scores) for free without needing a credit card. Each account on your reports should be evaluated, which are negative, and which are positive. Each negative account should be addressed by disputing them directly on the credit reporting sites: Experian.com, Equifax.com, and TransUnion.com. Each of these sites have a free account dispute form that can simply be done online (see links below). Each of the debtholders must provide proof of ownership of the debt within a 30 day period or it will be removed from the credit report. Most accounts that are old or written off will be removed from the credit and can no longer cause more damage.
Credit Repair Step 2:
Think of a sinking ship, you must first find all of the holes and begin to patch them all while removing water from the boat. By running your credit every 6 months you can find where the wholes are located. Then disputing is a quick and easy way to patch a couple of the wholes. The rest of the accounts will need to be called and resolved. Most companies will take 10 to 50% of the original debt, but it is very important that you have them agree to send proof of the resolution to both you and all three of the credit reporting agencies. Once resolved you must again dispute the debt on all three of the credit reporting agencies. That way the negative payment history will no longer impact your credit. Most debtholders will ignore the request for proof and the credit reporting agencies will have them removed.
Credit Repair Step 3:
While you are patching the holes in your boat you need to be getting the water out. These are your open accounts in good standing. You do not need many accounts, and there are different types of accounts. A secured loan would be a house or car, while and unsecured loan is a credit card or short term loan. You do not want a large amount of debt or possible debt, so you need to reduce your credit cards down to two accounts, and make sure the limits are not very high. If you have a car or a house, then you need to make sure you are making good payments.
Tip: Payments are registered at 30 day increments. So if you can get a payment in before then it will not make it to your credit report. However, late payments often incur large fees from credit card companies and increase the interest rate to the maximum percentage.
By having just a few open lines of credit in good standing, and all of the negative accounts removed your credit should start increasing at a healthy rate and your ship is no longer in danger of sinking.
Credit Repair Summary:
- Get all three credit reports
- Dispute all negative accounts
- Resolve the remaining negative accounts
- Dispute all the accounts that have been settled with negative payment history
- Pay down and close any unnecessary accounts
- Make good payments going forward on the two or three remaining good accounts
These steps along with making sure all of the accounts are monitored and maintained in good standing should have your credit repaired and going up within 6 to 9 months. These methods can achieve a mid-score over 600 within a year to 18 months.