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Solutions To Credit Repair

Solutions To Credit Repair


Solutions To Credit Repair

by Richard Frankel

No one erases bad information unless it's inaccurate. Only wrong information can be changed. Accurate information remains on your credit report for seven years from the time its initially reported (ten years for bankruptcy). Even information about bills you fell behind on but now are paid will remain on your report for these time periods.

Credit repair services cannot ask for payment until they've kept their end of a promise. Federal law also states that credit repair services give you a explanation of your legal rights, a detailed contract written out, and three days to cancel (this applies to for-profit services, not to nonprofit organizations, banks and credit unions, or the creditors themselves).

Be cautious about emails for credit services. Many unsolicited emails are fraudulent.

You can correct mistakes on your credit report yourself. If you were recently denied credit because of information in your credit report, you have the right to request a free copy. Otherwise there is a small fee, unless your state law provides for one free report a year. It doesn't cost anything to question or dispute items in your report. Follow the instructions provided by the credit bureau. The major credit bureaus are: Equifax, 800- 685-1111, www.equifax.com; Experian, 800-682-7654, www.experian.com; and TransUnion, 800-916-8800, www.transunion.com. Contact all three, as the information each has may vary.

You can add an explanation to your report. If there is a good reason why you were not able to pay bills on time (laid off, sudden illness, etc.) or you refused to pay for something because of a legitimate dispute, give the credit bureau a short statement to include in your file.

Know that you cannot create another credit file. Fraud companies often offer to provide consumers with different tax identification or social security numbers in order to create a new credit file. This practice, called file segregation, is illegal, and it does not work.

If you have credit problems, find a counselor. Your local Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) can give you advice about how to improve your credit record. The CCCS may also be able to make payment plans with your creditors if you've fallen behind. These services are offered for free or at a very low cost.

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