Credit Repair - How to Fix Your Credit Yourself
Credit Repair - How Long Are Things on Your Credit Report?
For more information on credit reports, see "Credit Reports Explained"
Credit Repair - Can You Fix Your Own Credit?
How to Repair Your Credit
Score & Save Money On
All Your Credit Purchases!
How to Repair Bad Credit
Yourself - Fast
Reparing your credit is really all about one thing; raising your FICO credit score. If your
credit score is low, under 680 or so, you need to raise it. This is especially true in  light of
the problems experienced by the mortgage industry since late 2007. Until you repair your
credit score, you'll not be able to get the best interest rates on loans, mortgages and credit
cards. Many prospective borrowers have reported trouble getting approved for mortgages
at all, even with credit scores that would have previously been considered good.

Obviously, this can cost you thousands of dollars and worse, the home you really want.
So, how do you go about fixing your credit and raising your credit score? Something you
need to know about credit repair - Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (Public Law
90-321, 82 Stat. 164), credit repair companies cannot require you to pay or legally receive
any payment until they have completed the services they have promised.

Here is what you need to know about fast credit repair: According to the U.S. Federal
Trade Commission (FTC), there are several things to look for when evaluating a credit
repair agency, organization, or offer.

* companies that want you to pay for credit repair services before they provide any
services.
* companies that do not tell you your legal rights and what you can do for yourself for
free.
* companies that recommend that you not contact a credit reporting company directly.
* companies that suggest that you try to invent a “new” credit identity – and then, a new
credit report – by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your
Social Security number.
* companies that advise you to dispute all information in your credit report or take any
action that seems illegal, like creating a new credit identity.

Take Note: If you follow illegal advice and commit fraud, you may be subject to
prosecution. Obviously a prison term isn't worth some points on your FICO score. So if a
credit repair firm seems to be guiding you into something that seems suspect or you have
any reservations, get a second opinion. It's not worth winding up in prison to salvage your
credit. In fact, credit repair agencies may not remove certain things from your credit
report. The exact text of the federal law pertaining to repairing credit reports is as follows:

"You have a right to dispute inaccurate information in your credit report by contacting the
credit bureau directly. However, neither you nor any ''credit repair'' company or credit
repair organization has the right to have accurate, current, and verifiable information
removed from your credit report. The credit bureau must remove accurate, negative
information from your report only if it is over 7 years old. Bankruptcy information can be
reported for 10 years."

The preceding is quoted directly from the federal statute on credit repair. It is fairly
unambiguous and easy to interpret.

*   You’re entitled to a free credit report any time a company adversely impacts your
credit, like denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment. You must ask
for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. You will receive the
name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company. In addition, you
can get one free credit report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job
within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud,
including identity theft.

* Each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and
TransUnion – is required by law to provide you with a free copy of your
credit report, at
your request, once every 12 months. You should take advantage of this. After your initial
request, stagger the request with each of the three credit reporting agencies so you get
one free credit report every three months. The companies rolled this out across the
country during a nine-month period. By the end of September 2005, consumers from
coast to coast had access to a free annual credit report if they asked for it.  Beyond the
first free credit report, a consumer reporting company may charge you up to $9.50 for
another copy of your report within a 12-month period.

NOTE: On March 14th, 2006, the three major credit reporting agencies revised their credit
scoring system. They can now all use the same scoring system. The new system, known
as "Vantage Score" is now available to the reporting agency's customers. It's up to the
individual customer to decide weather they want to use the newer Vantage system, or the
FICO system. The Vantage system is a real credit scoring system, not, as some have
called it, a
FAKO credit score.

* You can dispute mistakes or outdated items on your credit report for
free. Under the
FCRA, both the consumer reporting company and the information provider (that is, the
person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a consumer
reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in
your report. To take advantage of all your rights under this law, contact the consumer
reporting company and the information provider.

If an item is changed or deleted, the consumer reporting company may not put the
disputed item back in your credit file unless the information provider verifies that it is
accurate and complete. They also must send the updated information to anyone that
received a copy of your credit report in the previous six months.
You really can do much to fix your own credit and raise your FICO credit score. If you
don't want to, you need not retain the services of a credit repair agency. If you feel
comfortable, and have the time, you can do much of what they do to fix your credit. To
fix your own credit, and raise your credit score, there are several steps you can take.

1) As mentioned above, get a copy of your
credit report from the three credit reporting
agencies above (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). It is important to get a copy from
all three agencies because they usually contain some different information and you don't
want to miss any derogatory credit information. Remember, you are entitled to one free
credit report from each credit agency every year.

These free REPORTS DO NOT INCLUDE FICO SCORES, ANALYSIS OF CREDIT,
and CAN BE VIRTUALLY UNFORMATTED and difficult to read. Reports with the
in-depth analysis that will make it much easier to repair your credit can be obtained from
the credit reporting agency Equifax  -
click here. (Free Trial Offer)

2) Notify the credit reporting agency in question, in writing, of any derogatory items on
the report you feel are incorrect. Make sure you report your position with as much
documentation as possible. Make sure you keep the originals of anything you send and
only send copies. The credit reporting agency is required to respond to your written
dispute claim within thirty days.

3) Notify the creditor of the disputed items. Again, make sure you notify them in writing
and retain any original documentation supporting your position. This is where many
people feel comfortable retaining the services of a qualified attorney. Some feel the
notification of a dispute carries more weight if sent on a respected law firm's stationery.
A law firm specializing in writing such letters to creditors knows exactly what is
effective when writing a dispute letter. They have done the same thing hundreds of times
before.

4)When speaking with creditors on the telephone, make sure you
document  everything.
Keep a written record about exactly what you discussed, the date & time, and who you
spoke with. This is extremely important in the event you need to speak with them again
or you need to, heaven forbid, go to court at some point.

Powerful Techniques to Raise Your Credit Score Quickly -
You can use these credit score improving tricks yourself. Once you've cleared your
credit report of any inaccuracies, there are some techniques you can apply that will
result in a fairly rapid increase in your credit score.

1) Piggybacking - This is the process of getting yourself added as an authorized user on
someone's credit account who already has great credit. Their credit history is added to
your history. This has the effect of giving you their long history of perfect payments and
"paid as agreed" on their credit report. It's extremely effective. This technique is such a
powerful way to raise your credit score that it has spawned businesses that specialize in
connecting people with stellar credit with those who need to piggyback. Those with the
excellent credit are paid a fee for the use of their credit history.

NOTE: The prevalence of this technique to raise credit scores, especially to obtain a
home mortgage, combined with the problems in the sub-prime mortgage market, have
led lenders to complain loudly. In mid 2007 Fair Issaac, the people who provide the
FICO scoring system, indicated they would stop incorporating the effects of
piggybacking in their next revision of the FICO scoring system.

2) Adding an additional credit card account with a fairly high limit. Your options are
limited because if your credit is under about 700, fewer companies will offer you credit.
There are some firms that are still doing so, however. This has the effect of raising your
aggregate credit limit, and thus your credit utilization score, a key component of your
overall FICO score.

3) Using Seasoned (aged) Trade Credit Lines - Here is another very powerful, yet almost
unknown credit building technique that is just starting to be uncovered by the average
person. There are literally thousands of businesses out there with stellar credit and long
credit histories. They pay their bills on time every month and have for years. You can
use these businesses' credit to your advantage. You are able to basically have their
excellent credit history reported as part of your credit history. It's similar to
piggybacking, but you are able to use a business's credit.

4) Sub Prime Merchandise Credit Cards - These will also result in a rapid rise in your
credit score.  The downside is that you have to buy something from the company that
issues the card, but that's probably a small price to pay. It works as follows; You are
issued a credit card by a merchant. There's no credit check or cosigner required, so it's
perfect if you have really bad credit. The requirements are that you can only use it to buy
products from that merchant, and you must pay a large percentage of the purchase with
cash. You only finance a small percentage.

These cards usually have a fairly high limit, however. This is fantastic because it's
reported just as any other high limit credit card. That has the effect of raising your upper
aggregate credit limit, while only slightly increasing your outstanding balance. That helps
your credit utilization score, and thus your credit score. One caveat here; you can over
use this and get yourself into more credit trouble than you are in now. Exercise restraint.

5) Get your credit limits raised. - This is another way to quickly raise your FICO credit
score. An advantage is that it's easy, and most cases fast because the credit card
companies love to raise limits at the least provocation. This boosts your credit score  
because your total credit limit (the limits of all your credit cards combined) is used to
calculate a key metric known as your
credit utilization score. Raising your limit will
lower your utilization score and thus raise your FICO score. It works like this. If you
owe $10,000 in credit card debt, and the total limit of all your cards is $30,000, your
credit utilization score is 33%. If you get your credit card companies to raise your limits
so that your total limit is now $40,000, your credit utilization score will fall to only 25%.
This will instantly improve your FICO credit score. It is important you don't actually use
the addtional credit.
How long do you have to worry about derogatory entries on your credit report? Is there
a time when you can finally be clear of past mistakes? Thankfully, the answer is yes. A
bankruptcy or foreclosure will follow you around for ten years and other derogatory
credit information will stay on your credit report for seven years. The clock on the credit
reporting period begins when a bankruptcy is discharged and at the date of last activity
on other credit accounts.

Once the account has been eliminated and remained delinquent, the seven year clock
cannot be reset. In the past, some creditors would attempt to reset this clock by selling
the account to another creditor. The Federal Trade Commission has stated this practice is
illegal. The seven year period to report derogatory information must commence no later
than 180 days after an account has been sent to collection or charged off to a profit and
loss report by the creditor.

If you are in the process of trying to finance a major purchase, such as a home, boat or
car, the lender will want your credit score to meet their qualifications. In addition, as they
look over your credit report, they will expect it to fit within certain guidelines. The closer
your credit report is to their requirements, the better the interest rate will be on your
mortgage or large loan. Because of the problems in the mortgage industry, lenders have
been tightening their requirements, making high credit scores even more important now
than in the past. Due to the potential for substantial savings here, businesses have begun
to offer credit optimization services. They will thoroughly examine your credit report to
see exactly what can be done to give you the best chance for a favorable interest rate.
Consumers are finding numerous other benefits as well, including faster loan closing and
fewer requests for complicated supporting documentation.

The leader in this growing field are the experts at
Consumer Info.  An Experian
company, they've brought their considerable firepower and expertise to bear in an effort
to help consumers optimize their credit, weather it's due to an impending mortgage,
refinance, or new car loan. They can get you a copy of your credit report from all 3
credit reporting bureaus for free (The above link is for a free trial offer). That's the first
step in restoring your credit.  In addition, this will greatly improve your chances of
getting better rates on your credit cards, potentially saving you even more money for
years to come. As an additional bonus, it's very simple to get their help, their fees are
quite reasonable, and they're fast. If you don't feel comfortable trying credit repair on
your own, you should definitely use their expertise.

Many of the things they do you can actually do on your own. Many consumers however,
feel more comfortable having experienced professionals handle such important things for
them, in order to ensure they're done correctly. In addition, a professional can get your
credit score improved faster, in most cases. Weather that is important to you depends
upon your time frame. If you are currently in the market for a vehicle or mortgage, time
is obviously more important. If you are about to finance a major purchase, don't even
think about it without making sure your credit is the best it can be. You can save many
thousands of dollars over the term of the loan, and it'll be easier to get. Go there now to
see how they can
help you save money.
Credit Repair - An Industry Insider Reveals Special Techniques
As with any industry, there are things that insiders, those "in the know" are aware of that
99.9% of the general public just doesn't know. Think of the industry you work in.
Chances are there are many things that give you an advantage there over the average
person off the street. With the credit industry, this is the same, only much more so.
There are special techniques you can use to raise your FICO score that will let you enjoy
the advantages that a higher FICO score brings. You'll get lower interest rates and
preferred offers on credit cards.
If you're shopping for a big ticket item, such as home, some of these advantages include:
  • Faster time to closing
  • Lower Interest rate
  • Easier Qualification
  • Less Hassle Dealing With Finance Personnel
  • And of course, Saving Money

The
Credit Secrets Bible gives you this insider's perspective on raising your credit score.
It's full of special techniques that are very fast and effective. The average person just
doesn't know these and has little chance of ever finding them out. It's a pitty too,
because they can be extremely valuable for your financial well being. Having a good
credit score is becoming more important every day. You can really help your score
improve by using the techniques in the
Credit Secrets Bible. This is a great resource if
you are going to raise your own credit score without the help of a
credit professional.

Even better is that many of the techniques discussed will boost your credit in days or
weeks, not years. If you are trying to get a good mortgage or vehicle loan in the near
future you must repair bad credit, this is vital to your success.
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