Up to 80% of all the credit reports I see contain inaccurate or incomplete information. Below you will find a link to each of the credit repositories for disputing your credit. Be sure to contact all three of the bureaus with your request.
Click on the above links and fill out the online (or by mail) credit dispute request.
Each repository has five days to notify the specific tradeline of the dispute. Within 30 days, the tradeline (creditor) must complete its investigation of the item and report back to the repository (Experian,Equifax, TransUnion) with its findings and the need for modification or deletion, if applicable.
If there is no response from the tradeline, the repository must remove the item from your credit file.
If any change is made to your credit file, the repository must notify you in writing within five days.
You may also add a 100-word statement to your credit report to explain your side of the story. But, this will not change your credit score and is more of a moral victory than anything else.
How do credit-fixing services work? They initially submit a credit dispute request. When the response comes back that the item will not be removed they resubmit a dispute request until the tradeline doesn't respond. Eventually, the request falls through the cracks and the item must be removed!
What To Do If Derogatory Items Are Not Removed
Once you hear back from the repositories that you are human and have made mistakes here are a few ideas of what to do next:
First, paid collections that have been verified can not be removed. But if collections are unpaid, outstanding and still owing try the following: Call the creditor, give them as little information as necessary to access your account. Don't tell them you have money or you're getting a loan. Remember, their company has been assigned or purchased your collection account. Most collectors are paid by commission and have an incentive to collect as much as possible from you. They don't care about your situation and the reason why the account is delinquent. They only want your money! Tell them you are willing to pay the account in cash if they will give you a letter stating it was reported in error and should be removed. If they agree to this try to pay them and get the letter in person. Don't trust them to mail it to you.
If they won't give you a letter to remove the item, make sure they fax or mail a paid receipt. Do your best to negotiate a lower payoff amount. Remember, any piece of the pie for them is better than nothing at all. If you don't receive the letter in a few days call them every day until you receive it. You will need this to inform the repositories that the account is now paid and settled.
These are accounts that have been released as uncollectable. There's not much you can do about them unless they have been reported in error. Accounts reported in error can be removed by submission of a credit dispute form to the repositories or by calling the creditor direct and getting a letter to remove the item.
Judgements are court ordered instructions to pay a creditor. The judgement is good for ten years. If not paid in ten years they must be removed from your credit or title unless renewed through the court. Judgements which are paid require a "release of judgement." The release must be sent to all three repositories.
BANKRUPTCY AND FORECLOSURE
These items are rarely reported in error. They will stay on your credit report for ten years and can not be removed. BUT, They only effect your credit score for two or three years. Lenders look for bankruptcys to be released/discharged and good credit reestablished for a period of two years. After that time, they have very little effect on real estate loan decisions.
CREDIT COUNSELING SERVICES
Most borrowers don't know that open counseling accounts look to lenders like an open bankruptcy and most of the time they won't make a loan. Don't fall into the trap of using these services unless you absolutely have too.
Information on this page is for educational purposes only. Specific questions for real property transactions and credit items should be directed to your attorney, tax preparer and C.P.A.. Copyright 2011, reprint by permission only
Please call or Email if you have any questions
Bill Varney (714) 377-9001
Bill Varney is a Broker licensed by the California Department of Real Estate License 01208311 NRMLS 344109
To begin the dispute process click on the credit bureaus to the left and follow their instructions. They are required to investigate your claim within 30 days.