Cleaning up Your Credit
Almost every item on your credit report will have some mistake, even if only slight. Do not acknowledge any of the accuracies, but be sure to note all inaccuracies. Write next to each item something like, "not mine, not accurate, mistaken item, complete error," or whatever is most appropriate. Request a copy of the corrected report within thirty days. If they do not respond within 30 days, send another letter. In this letter you will include a copy of your dated original letter and a new letter firmly requesting they remove the disputed information. Include a cc: to the Federal Trade Commission.
The credit bureau may write a letter asking you to call. Do not call under any circumstances. Your phone call will be recorded and a log will be made of the conversation. Simply write back with copies of your original letters, telling them of the original date you submitted your request. Keep a file of all correspondence to and from the credit bureau and follow through continually. Do not get discouraged, as this will be worth your while.
What happens is that the credit bureaus forward your dispute to the individual creditors. who have forty-five days to respond. If they do not respond within the allotted time the item must be removed. However, if they do respond at a later date with information that documents the credit report is correct, the item will be placed back on your credit report.
For those of you who have filed bankruptcy in the past, the items that were discharged will normally show up as a charge-off or uncollected debt. You will want to write to the credit bureaus, providing a copy of your complete bankruptcy papers and request that they show the debt as "discharged in bankruptcy." This looks better and raises your FICO score. FICO sores above 680 make it easier to obtain mortgage loans.
You may not be able to clean up every item on your credit report using these methods, but you will certainly be able to improve the way it looks to potential creditors.Want to know your credit score? Click here for a free credit report.
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