Credit Repair FAQ
People often write in and ask a wide range of questions about credit repair. Listed here are some of the most common questions we receive. If you are considering repairing your credit, then please check out our FAQs to help you understand more clearly how it works.
What exactly is credit repair ?
The simple answer is that when your credit is damaged you can take specific steps to “repair” it. Negative items in your public record are often inaccurate with the amounts, dates and transaction information that is required to be included for them to be legally reported. Often, the creditor who is reporting the damaging information about you is unable to verify their accuracy. They must remove it when they are made aware of the errors.
Some negative credit items that can be removed:
- Late payments
- Liens (tax liens too)
- Student loan defaults
- Charged off accounts
- High balances on cards
- Court ordered Judgments
- Accounts that have gone to collection companies
Many thousands of people have discovered credit repair methods and used them to take control over what is being reported about them and fix their credit scores.
Can repairing credit help fix the score?
Yes. Definitely. However, there are some things to be aware of. Credit scoring is the result of complex scoring algorithms, or formulas, that crunch all the data in your record and then calculate a number: Your credit score. Repairing credit focuses on removing negative items such as late payments, liens, and collections accounts. It does more than that, but that’s the central point, to clean your credit profile.
To increase your credit score you must do certain things and continue to do them over a span of time. Usually this takes place 6 months to a year before a significant improvement in your score becomes apparent. The question is, what are the things that you must do after your credit is repaired to boost your scores?
6 things that affect your credit score:
- Make all payments on time and pay them early when you can.
- Exceeding credit limits on revolving credit accounts (credit cards).
- Keep balances on credit card accounts below 20% of available credit.
- Avoiding #2 above means you must pay attention to #3, above.
- Limit the number of credit inquiries, such as applying for new credit.
- Don’t close aged accounts… use them to pay for gas and groceries.
If you remember these guidelines, then your “consumer behavior” as it is monitored by the credit bureaus will be favorable. That’s another way of saying that the credit reporting agencies will have only a positive image of you as a consumer, and your credit scores will almost certainly improve.
Unless something else occurs during this time, something really bad, such as bankruptcy, more liens and judgements, or anything the credit agencies have determined would represent serious credit risk.
Are methods used to fix someone’s credit legal?
(It sounds too good to be true, like it’s “gaming” the system)
Expired negative items that were never removed when they should have been are often discovered during the credit repair process. Derogatory remarks in your credit history all create an image of your responsibility and your financial stability.
You have the natural right to ensure the accuracy of what is publicly reported about you. And you can have them removed if they cannot be proven to be accurate, or if they are shown to be misleading or incomplete. If they can’t be verified, then they will probably be a good candidate for removal from your public record.
Sometimes the creditor simply doesn’t want to incur expenses in tracking down this information merely to report negative information about you. What’s in it for them? Remember that these are usually businesses, so their time and the expense involved in complying with your request to remove negative entries in your report is generally not worthwhile for them, especially if the account has been paid. This works in your favor.
Using Do-It-Yourself (DIY) credit repair techniques or hiring an expert should give you the same results. The pros are usually more methodical and efficient. They systematically remove negative, inaccurately reported and erroneous marks in your record. Legitimate credit repair consultants identify these problem areas. They develop a strategy for fixing your credit and raising your scores. Some items may not be able to be removed, so these trained experts can take steps to lessen their impact on your credit report and protect your good reputation.
Is repairing my credit file really that important?
Consumer credit is evaluated for deciding if someone is suitable for a job, an apartment, a home loan, business partnerships and more. Even a person’s social life can be impacted by their credit scores. For example, dating services have been revealing that people are asking for credits scores before agreeing to a first meeting with a potential romantic partner.
More than ever in the past, people demand to have current knowledge about your character and your personal history. And this comes to them in the form of the information contained in your credit report. It may not seem fair, however it’s one of the first things people who make decisions about your future consider. Credit repair is a popular topic now, and knowing how to repair your profile can make a significant difference in the opportunities that open up for you.
If someone is married, can they correct their credit individually?
Credit bureaus identify consumers with certain specific information, such as name matches, addresses, and social security numbers. This last item, a person’s social security number, is emphasized as a personal identifier.
Because each spouse has their own social security number, they also each have a separate credit record. This is almost always the case even if they have credit files that merge much of their jointly held accounts and other relevant information into one report.
When a creditor evaluates applicants’ request for credit, especially for major purchases such as a home, auto, or other big ticket item, they will analyze the individual records of each individual applying for credit, regardless of their legal relationship such as husband and wife, parents and children, or any relationship that ties them together in their financial affairs.
Can these methods clear public records, such as
liens and judgments from a credit report?
The point of repairing consumer credit is to remove derogatory information from the profile. All of these can be removed and so can late payments, collections and any other items that the reporting creditor has been challenged with as “inaccurate” and erroneous. This does not mean that they always will be removed. However, they often are removed after a systematic investigation and correction procedure is implemented.
The creditor that is reporting is almost always an entity that wants to be paid. Some will remove their derogatory comments and clear your record if you settle with them. Others are less flexible. It requires working through a strategy and following up with each of them to optimize your results.
How long will it take to repair my
credit and fix my score?
The answer to this depends on several factors. Remember, there are 3 major credit bureaus reporting your credit information. Although timelines for processing your requests are fairly standardized by federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), each of these agencies has their own systems and procedures.
If you have many inaccurate items or errors in your credit report, and if you have several negative entries to dispute, then it would take longer to complete the process and clean up your credit profile.
Someone who has only a few corrections and has an “average” credit history can expect to see good initial results within 2-3 months. If a person has poor credit with several late payments and collections, then it takes about 6-7 months for substantial improvement. And if the credit record has been seriously damaged, then the process merits an ongoing effort that could stretch 12-18 months, involving multiple disputes, corrections and monitoring to help ensure permanent credit restoration.
You can find out about the experts we recommend at certain credit repair companies. These professionals are efficient, methodical and provide the fastest results you can reasonably expect to achieve. If you have more time and want to do this yourself, then our suggested credit repair software can speed up your credit restoration activities.
The goal is to set a workable strategy that consistently produces positive results visible in your credit report. Sometimes this takes longer to achieve but the outcome is worth the time and effort to accomplish it. Not to overstate the obvious, however this is why you should get started repairing your own credit or having a professional get going on it for you as soon as you can.