Step One – Get the Info
The first thing you need to do is get a copy of your credit report. After all, you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. The idea behind looking at a current credit report is to make sure your credit report is free of errors and is 100% accurate. Do not only concentrate on the trade lines (good or bad), be sure to check your name, addresses (past and present) and other personal details.
Step Two – Seek and Destroy
If you find a discrepancy, you will need to write to the credit bureau that is reporting the erroneous information and dispute it. Some people try to contact the creditor that is reporting the information with the hopes to get them to remove the item, but I have not personally seen a lot of success with this method.
Step Three – Make a List
Next you should make a list of all the negative items on your credit report and decide whether or not you want to dispute them. My advice is, dispute anything and everything that you do not agree with. Many people do not know this, but when it comes to disputing items on your credit report, you (the consumer) have the upper hand.
Step Four – Write Letters
This is the part where people usually throw in the towel, but it is really easy. You have two options when it comes to disputing items on your credit report, you can dispute them online at any one of the credit bureau’s websites, or you can do it the old fashioned way, and write letters by hand to send in. To be honest, I have seen both work really well, I would suggest doing whatever you’re more inclined to stick with.
Step Five – Find a Template
The easiest way to write dispute letters that really “knock ‘em dead” is to use one that has already been proven effective.
Step Six – Be Thorough
When you send your dispute letter, it helps to send any and all documentation you have supporting your claim. This is important, the more “proof” you have, the easier it will be overturned. Don’t have any substantiation? Send a dispute letter anyway, in a lot of cases, you can still get items removed (remember the 30-day rule?).
Step Seven – Keep Track
Here is where you have the edge as a consumer. The reporting creditor has 30 days to respond to your dispute (to the credit bureau), or your item is automatically removed. It’s just that simple. Send your well written letters, and keep track of time.
Step Eight – Be Persistent
Don’t take “No” for an answer! If you want that darned negative item off your credit report, don’t just take your first answer and give up. You have to be persistent, in fact in most cases when it comes to fast credit repair, persistence is what triumphs. Just keep disputing and eventually you will win.
Step Nine – Stay on the Ball
Here is where it gets tricky… most of my clients have several negative items on their credit report that they want removed, so staying organized and being persistent begins to be quite hectic and a little crazy at times. The key to success when you are trying to dispute ten items all at different intervals is quick response time coupled with excellent documentation. When you get those return letters in the mail, don’t just file them away to deal with later – deal with them right then and there and you will stay ahead of the dispute game.
Step Ten – Celebrate!
That’s right … it’s time to celebrate. If you follow all the previous steps mentioned above, it is not inconceivable that you can raise your credit score up to (and in some cases over) 100 points in about a month. I have seen it happen time after time, you just need to be consistent and persistent.
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In our Debt Free Family Plan (DFFP), we offer debt elimination plans and a variety of debt relief programs to help you get out of debt sooner and live a debt-free future. We offer free credit counseling and very affordable debt management services and we are able to keep our fees very low. If you’re struggling with debt and are ready to begin the journey to becoming debt-free, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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