If it is low, you may fail to get the best conditions on loans or even qualify for them. Meanwhile, your chances of getting a dream job diminish, and even the best apartments become impossible to rent. Credit scores are universal indicators of trustworthiness. However, they are not always fair. The mission of credit repair is to help you restore your status through the removal of reporting errors.
What Makes These Services Possible
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, all nationwide bureaus in the United States have an obligation to provide accurate information. They have to remove any unverifiable or outdated entries. Unfortunately, it is the consumers who need to prove the inconsistencies. You can do it on your own for free or hire a company to accelerate the process — for example, here are a few tips for credit repair in Houston.
The longer your borrowing history — the more mistakes you may accumulate. Sadly, many citizens remain blissfully unaware of the problem until their loan applications get rejected. Even student loans may cause reporting issues.
The more often you check your reports and correct them — the easier it is. The most complex cases of repair take between six months and a year, while the simplest ones may be resolved in a couple of months.
Suppose your score has fallen inexplicably, so you collect your reports to find the cause. You discover that all three bureaus have inconsistent records. This is possible, as every lender may communicate with just one bureau.
In this case, you need to open three different disputes, contacting each bureau independently. This requires a lot of work and formal communication. In cases like this, the benefits of delegated fixing are apparent.
Can I Do Everything Myself?
Yes, this is legal and feasible. The law protects your rights, allowing you to dispute any questionable information free of charge. Consumers can see their scores and collect the reports for free.
To see where you stand, go to www.annualcreditreport.com and download the copies from all three bureaus. The score may be checked on websites like My FICO, or in dedicated apps like Credit Karma. Afterward, you will need to follow the standard steps of repair, just without the assistance and additional services rendered by the score fixers. Here is how this works.
1. Analyze the Information
Compare and scrutinize all three official reports. Find any questionable entries. Mistakes may arrange from misspellings to late payments that never happened or even false events like bankruptcies or evictions. In addition, most negative entries (aka derogatories) have a lifetime of seven years. Sometimes, the information remains after expiry, which may also be disputed.
2. Prioritize the Errors
To understand where to start, you need to know how the scores are calculated. Every element in the FICO and VantageScore assessment has a certain weight. For example, the history of payments is the most influential factor. It determines 35% and 40% of your totals, respectively.
3. Gather Evidence
Before writing to the bureaus, you need proof — bank statements and any other documents from your lending organizations. Remember that reporting agencies will only delete data if it is unverifiable, unsubstantiated, or outdated. Build your case.
4. Dispute the Inconsistencies
Finally, it is time to draft and send your dispute letters. Depending on the severity of your case, you may need to contact one, two, or all three bureaus. Any formal correspondence should be sent by certified mail with a return receipt requested. This way, you will know exactly when your letters were received, and when a response should be expected.
In 30 days, every recipient should provide the results of its internal investigations. If you are lucky, the errors will be removed, the score will jump, and you will get a free copy of your corrected report. Otherwise, additional proof or a redispute will be required.
Why Pay for Credit Restoration
As you can see, this is a complex process and a challenge to the average consumer. Not only should you gather and analyze three separate histories but you also need to communicate with financial institutions and bureaus, collect sufficient evidence, etc. These tasks require time and knowledge of credit consumer laws at the very least.
If your proof is inconclusive, the bureau will reject your claim or ask for more data. This makes fixing even longer. In the most basic case, with the assistance of a repair company, you may see the first results in over a month. Millions of consumers in the United States would rather pay a fee than deal with all the paperwork. A team of professionals can remove:
- any accounts that do not belong to you,
- false information about late or missed payments,
- false legal events like evictions, repossessions, bankruptcies, etc.,
- outdated derogatories,
- any unverifiable debts, etc.
To sum up, these services are well worth the money when your score falls due to reporting errors, but you do not have enough time to deal with complex disputes. In addition, you may receive a wide range of extra services, such as score monitoring, fraud alerts, protection against identity theft, tools for personal budgeting, etc.