Do It Yourself Credit Repair
The first step in cleaning up your credit is to dispute the negative information on your credit reports. You will need to send a letter to each of the three credit bureaus. Each letter should have the negative entries listed out as germane to that particular report. For example, TransUnion might not have the exact same negative entries as Equifax. So, you must review each report thoroughly and address the negative entries only listed on that particular report.
On the initial round of letters, you can use the reason “item verify.” This will ask the credit bureau to verify this negative information directly with the original creditor. Which does not always happen, but this is the first step to getting this off your report. If the credit bureau comes back with “Item Verified,” you can then dispute this entry directly with the Original Creditor.
When sending this letter, you can also dispute any other addresses that are listed on the report. When you mail this to each bureau, make sure to sign the letter and include a copy of your current driver’s license.
You can write the original creditor to dispute a listing. When you do so, you are asking for an investigation, not verification. Per the law, the original creditor is not required to “verify” an account. This is why you want to ask them for an “investigation” into the late reporting, balance listed, or whatever incorrect information you notice listed on your credit report.
The most powerful tool for credit repair for you to use is the ability for you to dispute negative listings with the information furnisher, typically the original creditor. An information furnisher is any entity reporting information to the credit bureaus about you. This one was passed in the FACT Act in 2003.
However, before disputing with the original creditor, you must have disputed with the credit bureau FIRST. If the original creditor fails to comply with your dispute, they are in violation of the FCRA, but you can’t sue them unless you have disputed with the credit bureaus FIRST.
So, after you have disputed this with the credit bureaus and they come back and say “item verified,” you can then send a letter directly to the original creditor asking for an “investigation” into the negative information.
You’ve removed a negative entry on you credit report through your hard work and perseverance, but what if a removed negative item is back on my credit report? This can happen because a credit bureau will sometimes remove negative information temporarily until they get the information verified as true. Then they will put this information back on your report. By law, they can do this, but they have to notify you in writing. If they fail to notify you in writing, it is an instant violation of FCRA, which carries a $1,000 fine PAYABLE TO YOU!
You can write a letter that can be sent to each credit bureau to request the removal of inquiries. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows only authorized inquiries to appear on a consumer’s credit report. You must challenge whether the inquiring creditor had proper authorization to pull your credit file. The only authorized agencies that can pull your credit are from an insurance company, using it for employment, a court order, or using it as a firm offer of credit such as buying a house or a car.