Many people have a lot of extra time on their hands due to the current events: loss of jobs, social distancing and quarantining. There are so many hobbies that can be picked up, catching up on rest, spending more quality time with those in your household, and learning something you’ve always wanted to but didn’t have time for.
One of these is working on your credit. The two biggest reasons that people hire credit consulting companies is because 1) they don’t have the knowledge to do it themselves and/or 2) they don’t have the time to do it themselves.
This article will give you an idea if you are ready to fix your own credit. Ask yourself if you have the time and energy to do some of these important tasks:
Research the laws around credit repair – An important place to start is with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This was enacted by congress in 1970 to protect consumers. It sets forth hundreds of requirements that companies like Experian, Equifax, and Transunion must follow. This document is 78 pages and of course not written in an easy way for most to follow; however, with time and concentration you can get through it. Print it out, grab a highlighter and set time aside to go at it. In addition, look up credit laws that apply to your specific state.
Research the Statute of Limitations in your state for credit bureaus to report and for collection agencies and collectors to collect debts.
Have Necessary Supplies - Stamps, envelopes, and a printer are essential as the credit bureaus take disputes more seriously when they are sent via postal mail. They also require photocopies of documents such as your drivers license or state identification, proof of address, and social security card.
Persistency – The credit bureaus often send responses that insinuate or clearly state they’ve reached a final decision and will not investigate your dispute. This is where most people repairing their credit stop. Persistence along with using the law to your advantage is necessary.
Patience – The back and forth with the credit bureaus and the timeframe that they have between each dispute requires patience backed by strategic follow-up.
Understand the Makeup of your Credit Score – Know what and how everything on your report is affecting your credit score. Learning the 5 things that make up a credit score is a great place to start.
If this is for you, here are a few pointers when it comes to fixing your own credit:
Disputing Online – As we mentioned above, postal mail is the most effective form of disputing. There are many options online to dispute, but it lowers the success rate for deletions.
Timing - Make a calendar and add dates on when to follow-up with the creditors, collection agencies and credit bureaus.
Tracking – Keep a copy of everything that you send and everything that you receive.
Make sure to not dispute items on your account that you can be sued on. This is based on the statute of limitations in your state. In the same case, if there are clear violations weigh both decisions.
You have to know that credit repair is a process and it takes time and expertise. There are many reputable credit repair companies out there that give great advice (FOR FREE!) and can make the process much easier for you. If you would like an additional edge, Take Charge Credit Consulting offers a Do It Yourself package that will greatly advance your efforts while repairing your credit yourself.