Do you have negative items on your reports? These marks are significantly damaging your FICO score and include: charge offs, collections, repossessions, late payments …
How Do I Erase These?
First, you must get a copy of your report from each bureau. You must do this because then you can see what items you will need to dispute. You may be surprised often reports will vary from each bureau.
The most effective way to prevent yourself from removing negative items is to file a dispute with a bureau where the item isn’t on your report. The bureau will then deem any future attempts to challenge any item as frivolous leaving you in a very tough spot!
Where Can I Get My Reports?
You can get a free copy of your report from each bureau once a year, just visit annual credit report and you can get them there. You are entitled to a copy of your report for free by The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
This law was first passed in 1970 and also gives you the right to dispute any item on your report that you feel is inaccurate. In other words it is completely legal to dispute any negative item on your report. The myth that you have to just live with bad credit is completely false!
Once you have your reports there are two steps to follow:
1. Settle Outstanding Debts – you may need to settle some debts before you can remove an item from your report. However before you just pay a debt you should seek debt validation.
This forces the debt collector to prove that they legally own your debt and can collect on it. You would be shocked at how frequently debt collectors are unable to provide this, it is rumored that it is common practice for these agencies to sell your debt but to continue to try and collect on it.
You should never settle on the full balance if your debt is verified, instead you should start by offering 30% – 40%. For instance if the balance is $2,000 then you should start by offering $600, often debt collectors have purchased your debt for pennies on the dollar and will be happy to settle. You need to ensure that they agree to stop reporting the item to the bureaus in exchange for your payment.
2. Dispute Negative Marks – you will also need to file a credit dispute in which you challenge the accuracy of an item on your report. You can do this by writing a dispute letter and then you must send one letter to each bureau, three letters in total.
When the bureaus get your letter and deem it valid they will conduct an investigation. They will contact the lender and ask them to verify the account. It is common for accounts to not be verified regardless of the accuracy and then the bureau must remove it from your report. It is estimated that 80% of all investigations result in the deletion of a mark from the credit file.
You can get a free credit consultation by calling 1-800-232-2903 – or visit us to learn more about how to Repair My Credit and get a free customizable dispute letter. It may be in your interest to look into profesional Credit Repair Companies – they can also help with the debt validation.