by Bob Ramsak
If you are wanting to fix your credit score then you need to follow two major steps. The first step is to remove negative listings on your credit report and the second step is to build positive reporting accounts on your report.
How To Erase Bad Credit Items
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a piece of federal law that gives every citizen the right to dispute any item they feel is incorrect on their credit report. This law is what entitles you to potentially fix credit information and erase bad credit on your credit file.
In order to dispute an item on your credit report you first need to know what information is actually on their and damaging your credit rating. Additionally you need to know you can only file a dispute for items that are on a specific credit bureaus credit report. In other words you can only dispute items that are on your Equifax credit report with the Equifax credit bureau.
You can get a copy of your credit reports from all 3 major bureau, for free once a year. To use this visit annual credit report and you can request your reports there for free. Once you get your reports you need to review them in detail and you’ll probably be surprised at how different each credit report is.
The reason you’ll have different information on each one of your credit reports is because not all lenders or creditors will report to all 3 credit bureaus. A quick tip if you dispute an item that is not reported on that particular bureaus credit report they will blacklist you and ignore any future dispute attempts on your behalf.
For example if you dispute a collection item with Transunion but that collection item is not on your Transunion credit report, then from our understanding Transunion will ignore any disputes you make in the future for any item on your Transunion credit report. You can also hire a professional credit repair firm to perform the credit dispute process on your behalf but it is not required.
Once a credit bureau gets your dispute they are going to investigate the item by contacting the debt collector or lender and asking them to verify the account and the relevant information. If the item is not verified then according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act it must be removed from your credit report.
If you have an item that comes back from a bureau investigation and it is verified this doesn’t mean you have to just live with the bad credit. In fact many collection agencies will settle an account with you and in exchange for your settlement payment they will stop reporting your account information to the credit bureaus and this way you are still able to erase bad credit from your report.
You are going to experience some difficulty getting the credit bureaus to team your dispute valid and investigate it. This unfortunately is the way the credit bureaus operate and it is a result of profit motives. The credit bureaus are spending money when they investigate consumer disputes.
The only reason the credit bureaus do conduct investigations is to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and even that is debatable. The credit bureaus have been fined time and time again by the FTC for not complying with this law and investigating consumer disputes. If you experience any trouble we strongly encourage you to consider hiring a specialist because you don’t have to just live with a bad credit report.
Positive Reporting Accounts
You can build positive items on your credit report by paying your current monthly bills on time and you may benefit from opening a new credit line. A new credit line as a unsecured credit card, or installment loan with responsible use will help you build positive items on your credit.