Before you begin do-it-yourself credit repair, you’ll want to get copies of your full credit reports from all three bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax).
You can get your reports truly free, once a year, at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. Other websites may claim to offer free reports, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns that these offers are often deceptive.
You can also try free credit score tracking apps Credit Karma or Credit Sesame to get a sense of where you stand.
Credit scores range from 300 to 850. A score of between 700 and 740, depending on the scoring method used, is considered “good credit” and usually enough to qualify you for the best credit cards and lowest mortgage rates.
The next step in credit repair is to dispute incorrect information on your credit report.
Errors aren’t common, but they happen. Of course, sometimes bad credit is just your fault. You shouldn’t try to argue accurate information, but if you do see errors–even small ones—it’s worth cleaning them up. Here’s how:
Once you have the copy of your full credit report in hand, check your identity information (Social Security number, spelling of your name and address), and credit history.
Review the list of credit cards, outstanding debts, and major purchases. If you see any mistakes or questionable items, make a copy of the report and highlight the error.
Next, gather any information that you have to back you up, such as bank account statements, and make copies of these as well. This is important! The credit bureaus won’t do anything without proof.
Write a letter to the specific credit reporting agency that shows the falsehood, whether it is Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Explain the mistake and include a copy of the highlighted report along with your documentation. Although certain bureaus now let you submit disputes online, it’s not a bad idea to send this letter by certified mail, and keep a copy for yourself. The reporting agency has 30 days from the receipt of your letter to respond. The Federal Trade Commission provides advice on contacting the credit bureaus about discrepancies. We can help at Community Credit Repair
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