DIY Credit Repair
Do you know about DIY credit repair methods that are easy to use?
Many people don’t bother trying to fix their own credit profile out of fear that it’s too complex and time consuming. Don’t assume that only professionals with years of experience in the credit repair industry can be trusted.
Instead of hiring a professional, do-it-yourself credit repair methods can save you a lot of money. And it’s never been a better time for you to fix your own credit.
You can also see our article on credit repair companies if your main concern is saving time by having a professional do this work for you.
DIY credit repair can remove collections, account charge-offs and late payments from your credit report. You can clean up your credit history while saving hundreds of dollars that credit consultants charge for doing essentially the same steps. When your reports are updated, you’ll see your credit scores improve as the negative items are removed. So how do you take the first steps involved in DIY credit repair?
How to Start Using Do-It-Yourself Credit Repair Methods
First you must have a copy of your credit report from each of the “Big Three” credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. And pay the extra charge to have them generate your credit scores too. Of course, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of these three companies once per year.
Look for errors in your credit reports. This includes accounts you’ve never had and dates that are wrong. Even credit reporting companies make mistakes. Also look for accounts you’ve paid off that are still being reported with unpaid balances.
Auto loans, personal lines of credit, and many other types of financing can be reported incorrectly when, for example, the lender goes out of business or is acquired by another financial institution. This also happens sometimes when a company extending credit upgrades their information technologies and they fail to ensure that the customer database has been updated.
These types of problems have been more common in recent years, so it is worth checking your report carefully to be sure your scores aren’t being torpedoed by something that is so easy and quick to fix.
If you find any errors then you should alert the credit bureaus. DIY credit repair kits and some of the better credit guide books have tear out forms for this. You simply find the correct form and complete it, then present your “dispute” of the item as it is reported by the bureaus.
Once your dispute letter is received, the credit bureau has a limited number of days to validate the account information as it is being reported by the creditor. If they fail to do this within the time frame allowed by consumer credit reporting laws, then the entry must be deleted from your record.
You will receive an updated credit report from the bureau with the account either corrected or deleted entirely. DIY credit repair doesn’t sound too complex, does it?
If the account turns out to be valid, and the credit bureau has validated this fact with the creditor reporting it, then you still have other options. You can contact the creditor directly and find out what they know about your account.
Getting Help With Credit Repair
This is an opportunity for you to meet people who work for your creditors. You will talk with employees who are sympathetic and want to help you achieve what you are trying to accomplish. Explain your circumstances for your financial hardship that led to the account’s delinquency.
Show that these circumstances are behind you and that the item being reported derogatorily to the credit bureaus doesn’t reflect the kind of consumer behavior you have now. Bad things happen to good folks. Even people at the credit reporting companies realize this from their own personal experiences.
You will want to express to your creditor that your desire is to make good on the debt. This may involve paying off the outstanding balance through a payment plan or a reduced settlement amount. You’ll explain that you intend to “make this right” and satisfy the creditor.
In return for your willingness to do this, you require a letter from them stating that the account has been paid and any derogatory information reported about it is to be deleted from the credit bureau. Your creditor mainly wants to be paid, not ruin someone’s credit profile. You will be surprised at how effective this strategy can be.
When your reports are updated, you’ll see your credit scores improve as the negative items are removed.
Points to keep in mind when repairing your own credit:
- Credit report errors are common.
- Order your credit reports at least a couple of times each year.
- Creditors are motivated to be paid. Use this to your benefit.
- Payment agreements help you boost your credit scores.
- Secured credit cards demonstrate your ability to pay on time.
- Credit applications result in an “inquiry” on your record. Minimize them.
- Learn about debt settlement, consolidation, and credit repair.
- Use the internet, guides and software to manage your credit profile.
You can do it yourself or you can hire a consultant to complete the steps involved in these two credit repair tactics. Many people utilize DIY credit repair software. If you are willing to learn how to use these programs, you will gain a huge advantage in efficiency and staying on top of timelines for your dispute letters and other contacts.
People who promote credit consultants are convinced that creditors take them seriously and therefore they are more effective. If this is true, then it can be said even more so for attorneys who specialize in helping consumers clean up their credit. Either way works, but you’ll save a good amount of money if you try it yourself first.
Of course, if you are someone without the time to get involved in restoring your credit, then it may be worthwhile to hire an expert to just take this and run with it.
Do-It-Yourself credit repair involves commitment. Be organized and keep good records of all conversations and correspondence. Follow through. It takes some time so be patient but persistent, and you will see results. Your credit profile and scores will improve and you will again be flooded with credit offers.