Too Many Errors
Credit repair serves a real purpose. Credit reporting errors are much more prevalent and costly than most people realize. Over half of all credit reports have errors on them that are serious enough to cause the victim to pay higher interest rates and even to be denied for financing. Credit repair is about finding and correcting these errors, and there is more to it than most people realize.
Too Hard to Find
Many people dismiss credit repair as a process that requires no more than a cursory scan of their credit reports. Unfortunately, a quick scan of your credit reports will almost certainly leave almost all of the score-damaging errors undiscovered. To tap the real potential of credit repair requires an exploration of the credit reporting guidelines embodied by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). An understanding of the FCRA is certain to reveal a number of surprising and correctable errors. And every error caught and corrected is money in the bank.
Why Credit Repair Matters
You might be shocked at the potential cost of impaired credit. You pay interest on the money you borrow, and your interest rates are based on your credit. And it adds up. If you have a mortgage, an auto loan, and a couple of credit cards a damaged credit report could be costing you thousands of dollars each year. A small investment of time today can repay you in a tangible way for many years to come.
Sneaky Defensive Credit Bureaus
If you are going to launch a credit repair project you must adopt a somewhat skeptical attitude towards the credit bureaus. It might be handy to understand that the credit bureaus are not government agencies, nor do they have any status other than for-profit businesses. They each manage billions of pieces of data for over 200 million Americans, and they are not perfect. They are interested in maintaining accuracy, but only to the extent that it is not an economic detriment. You should also keep in mind that they often take a stand against credit repair only because it is in their best financial interest to do so.
The Problem with the FTC
The FTC in very justified in their campaign against crooked credit repair operations. The only real caveat here is that the FTC operations and press campaigns against scams can be heavy handed and unhappily omit the fact that, as in every industry, there are good guys and bad guys, and there are many excellent credit repair companies capable of significantly transforming your life.
How the Bureaus Manage Disputes
Once you decide to get your credit repair project underway you need to be conscious of the fact that you need to work thoughtfully, and even respectfully, within the credit bureau system. It is essential to understand the FCRA and to focus your disputes in areas that you have leverage, but it is equally important to understand that you will face some resistance. The credit bureaus receive mountains of disputes every day and have the right to refuse to process any request they feel is frivolous. They use this right liberally, and you need to be patient; determined, but patient.
Collectors and Credit Repair
Another somewhat recalcitrant group of participants in the credit reporting process is collectors. They are governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and in their interaction with the bureaus by the FCRA, but there are so few repercussions for failure to comply that an amazing number of errors, intentional and otherwise, slip through the cracks. And the unwary consumer pays the price.
Winning the Credit Repair Battle with Collectors
When it comes to collectors appearing on your credit report, doubt your eyes. Take the time to understand how reporting period limits work, and how collectors reset them causing collections to report many years past their legal reporting limit. And to defend yourself against any active collectors you will also need to understand how statutes of limitation work. When it comes to credit repair a little homework really pays.
Professional Credit Repair Services Work
Not everyone has the time available to master the details involved in credit repair success. Nothing can affect your financial life like your credit. You simply cannot afford to do half the job. It’s your credit, and you owe it to yourself to make sure the job is done right. Either invest in a couple of good books and put in some serious study time, or hire someone to do the job for you. Credit repair is all about the details. It’s not hard to get the results if you do it right. Good luck!
Copyright © 2009 Ian Webber. All Content. All Rights Reserved.
Ian Webber is an expert in consumer law and credit repair. Ian is a graduate of the London School of Economics and The University of Chicago where he earned his LLM. Ian consults with one of the leading online credit repair
services and is currently based in Florida.