How to Fix Your Credit Report in 3 Easy Steps
Often, people feel as if they have no choice but to either wait for their credit to improve on its own or seek professional help. But is it possible to do it yourself?
The answer is a resounding "yes!" Not only can you do it yourself, but it's also often better for your credit to do it yourself than to get professional help.
A professional might charge you $200 an item to get it off your credit report. From all three reporting agencies, that's $600. If you applied that $600 to pay down a high-balance account instead, that's often a much better use of your money than hiring a professional.
What is the process of repairing your credit report?
- Start by Figuring Out Exactly What Needs to Be Done
You need to list every disputed item on your credit report.
Disputing incorrect entries is easier than you might expect. Credit rating agencies are legally bound to research each and every single claim of inaccuracy.
Go through the credit report from each reporting agency and note each inaccurate account.
- Contact the Agencies
The best way to contact an agency is through the mail. Certified mail is the best way to track dispute letters. Maintain a record of every letter you send for future reference.
Mail the agency with a listing of all inaccuracies and request that they either be removed, or they provide proof that the item is correct.
You should receive a response within about 30 days.
Reporting agencies sometimes remove your item in 30 days and add it back in if they receive proof later. Please enclose proof of the removal of your possessions with your letter.
If you don't get a written notice, you're legally eligible for $1,000 from the reporting agency.
- Cost versus Benefits of Doing It Yourself
As discussed earlier, it's much cheaper to do it yourself than to hire a professional. You can pay off the debt by saving money, and improving your credit rating.
However, there are a few things that you have to take into account when you're disputing credit report items on your own.
First are the time requirements. You need to carefully research every disputed item to ensure that it truly is incorrect. Then you need to provide any documentation you can and keep tabs on everything.
Also, you should consider the amount of energy it takes to go through this process. Simply trying to hold all the pieces in your mind takes a lot of concentration, and for many people, it can be stressful.
Should you do it on your own? It depends on whether you'd rather have the time or have the money. If you can spare the time and would rather do it yourself, it's absolutely a viable method and thousands of people do it every year.