Credit repair companies have been around for many years.  A quick check of the Internet reveals that there are a number of choices. In fact, there is now a web site that rates the top ten credit repair companies in the country and you can even buy a franchise to start your own CR company.  So it brings up an important question.   What do these companies actually do to repair your credit and what are you actually paying for?  In other words, what do they know about fixing your credit that you don’t?

In our book entitled “The Consumer Guide to Reading Your Credit Report” we tell you that there are actually only seven reasons the Credit Bureaus will accept for disputing information on your credit report.  These are:

  • Not My Account
  • Account Paid
  • Duplicate Account
  • Account is in Bankruptcy
  • Account closed over 7 years.
  • Judgement Satisfied
  • Belongs to ex-spouse
  • Corporate Account

The book then explains on some detail the justification for using these reasons.  In truth, however, there are only two or three reasons that usually result in a dispute being successful. 

Not My Account – Actually, we have already covered this topic ink our 11/4/15 article subtitled “The Proper Way to Dispute Credit Report Errors” The article also includes a sample letter you can use as a template to have them removed from your report.

Account Paid/Judgement Satisfied – Collection agencies are famous for not updating the credit bureaus when account has been settled.  When you decide to settle a delinquent account or a judgement, you should send copies of all your correspondence with the collection agency during the negotiation process to the appropriate credit bureaus.  If you haven’t done that and your report has not been updated as settled, you will have to write to the credit bureaus and request a “reinvestigation” of that trade line. A sample letter for making that request is below. 

In your letter, you should also request that the collection account removed as soon as the settlement is satisfied. The collection account is a duplicate and the collection agency is not the original creditor

Account Closed Over 7 Years –  The FCR Act is clear on this.  A closed account over seven years old should be removed from your report.  In fact, you can request that a closed account be removed at any time. If you have a number of these old accounts on our report it can cost you 10 to 12 points off your score. 

 

SAMPLE LETTER

John Doe
123MAIN St.
Anytown, Pa.

 

EQUIFAX CREDIT INFORMATION SERVICES
EQUIFAX OPTIONS
PO BOX 105496
ATLANTA, GA 30348

 

RE:COMPLAINT LETTER FOR DELETION OR CORRECTION OF INACCURATE   

           INFORMATION

Dear Sir or Madam:

Please investigate the following inaccurate information. I formally request that the following inaccurate items be immediately investigated.  This information must be corrected / removed in order to show my true credit history, as these items should not be on my report.  By the provisions of 15 USC section 168hi of the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, I expect that these items be re-verified and/or deleted from my credit record. THESE RECORDS on my credit report ARE NOT CORRECT.

 

Creditor

ADDRESS

Acct No

Reason

COLLECTORS, INC.

CHICAGO, ILL.

123454568

ACCOUNT IS SETTLED

    
    
    

Thirty days from the receipt of this letter is your allotted time under the law to re-verify these entries. Please understand that failure to do so within that 30 day period constitutes reason for you to promptly delete the information from my file. (FCRA 15 us S168li (5)(A)).  Finally, this item should be removed from my report since collectors, Inc. is not the original creditor.

Also pursuant to 15 USC s 168li(6)(A) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, please notify me when my credit report has been corrected and send an updated copy of my credit report to the address above.  According to the provisions of 15 USC section 168lj, there should be no charge for this notification.  

Thank You,

John Doe

The point with all of this is you can clean up your credit report yourself if you just stick to the basics and follow the law.  If you decide to contract with a credit repair company, you should know that the FTC has receive a number of complaints over the years about the integrity of many of them.  https://www.ftc.gov/search/site/CREDIT%20REPAIR.

If you decide to try it yourself good luck.  Drop me an email at info@debtrpos21 and let me know how you did of if you have any questions.

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