What is “credit repair” and why you shouldn’t pay anyone for it

I recently posted about “Debt Settlement” companies and why you shouldn’t pay for services that you might be able to handle yourself. Today’s pet peeve is the “credit repair” industry. Anyone who promises to erase negative events from your credit report is promising you more than they can deliver. No one can “erase” negative occurrences such as lawsuits filed or auto repossessions or foreclosures from your credit report. As a result, be careful about advertisements and claims that sound too good to be true.

First of all, you have a right to get a free credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once a year. Just go to one of the three credit bureaus, either TransUnion, Experion or Equifax. They each have websites. If you want, go to www.annualcreditreport.com for a free report. The only problem is that you won’t be able to access your credit score without paying a fee. If you want to go the extra mile, then ask for a fresh report once every four months by staggering your credit report requests.

Your credit score will not be adversely affected by requesting your own credit reports. This is because your requests are considered to be “soft credit reports” instead of the attempts of prospective lenders which are termed “hard credit pulls”.

If your credit reports show errors or inaccurate information, then you have a right under the Federal Credit Reporting Act to challenge that information. You should contact the credit reporting agency directly and they should investigate your report within 30 days. If they cannot provide information substantiating the debt, then the debt report must be removed.

These are all things you can do yourself and you won’t need to pay anyone for it.Finally, if your credit score is currently impaired, then remember that if you pay your bills on time for 12 to 24 straight months, then your score will show great improvements.

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