DIY Credit Repair: FAQ

The Guide
Sample Letters

Q. - Is credit repair really possible?
A. - Absolutely. The credit reporting industry's conduct and obligations to consumers are governed by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. More recently, there's FACTA of 2004 which added new regulations to the business of selling credit information. Under Federal Law, you have the right to challenge what the three major credit bureaus are reporting about your credit history or activity. When you dispute or challenge this information, the credit bureaus must respond by either verifying the source and accuracy of the information or remove or correct the information. Challenging and disputing what's bad about your credit is the essence of credit repair.

Q. - How fast can credit repair be accomplished?
A. - It's not something which can be accomplished overnight by anybody. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) defines timeframes by which the process of dispute and verification must occur. Basically, the law gives the credit bureaus 30-45 days to respond to challenges and disputes you make. Therefore, credit repair can't be forced to happen sooner than what the law provides for in the due course of the process. Consequently, 30-45 days would probably be the minimum amount of time for effective credit repair.

Q.- What types of bad credit can I repair?
A.- Any derogatory items or accounts which the credit bureaus can not verify, or don't bother to verify in the allotted time of 30-45 days... the "reasonable" time as appropriated by the FCRA, can be repaired by virtue of their removal from your credit report or their correction of information.

Q.- Can I remove or correct items which are accurately reported but negative?
A. - Negative items or accounts which are hurting your credit that are your fault can be removed or corrected if you press the credit bureaus to verify the accuracy of the reported items, and they do NOT accomplish this within the timeframe requirements of the law. When credit bureaus sell information about you, they can do so without proving that what they're reporting is true... unless you challenge and dispute the information. Without your challenge, they are not required by law to prove you're guilty, and so they regularly convict you without proof. But, when you do challenge them, they will often opt to clear you of guilt without proof just the same, because within their system it's very often just a whole lot easier to handle disputes in this manner. This is why credit repair requires persistence and an attitude of not taking "no" for an answer.

Q.- When I take on repairing my credit myself, can it get expensive?
A.- Aside from your time, your only investment will be paper and cheap postage.

Q.- I'm not a very good typist. Can I handwrite my dispute letters?
A.- Yes. In fact, handwriting your letters may prove even more effective, as it won't appear you're employing the services of a credit repair clinic.

Q.- I've received my credit reports, and looked them over. I see discrepancies and the bad items. But, now that I've got this far, I'm really not sure what I can dispute. I'm just not sure what to do next?
A.- Everyone who undertakes the credit repair process will have different things to dispute under different circumstances. There are similarities for sure, but it's probably safe to say, no two credit repair efforts will be exactly the same. Also, people arrive at the point of needing credit repair for different reasons and from unique experiences in their lives. You have to be your own advocate. Don't work at credit repair from the angle that "they're right, and I'm wrong... I guess they've really got me."

If you got into serious legal trouble, be it criminal or civil, you'd look to hiring a lawyer to do what?... to get you off the hook, or get you the best deal possible, right? Innocent or guilty, your lawyer would fight on your behalf so that whatever you were accused of didn't harm you.

Credit repair is no different. It's 100% legal, and you have as much right to declare you're "not guilty" in credit repair as you do in a court of law. Let the system prove otherwise, if it can. But, when it doesn't, you win. Check out, "Credit Scenarios" to read stories of how other people fought and won.

Credit repair is not an exact science as individuals will have different credit issues to deal with, and may sustain unique responses from the credit bureaus. We are providing this resource as a free tool, and cannot guarantee credit repair based on individual situations. Use of this manual, like any resource at Finance Globe is subject to our website terms of use.