So you’ve decide to take control over cleaning up your own credit. This is quite possible for any consumer to do without hiring so-called credit repair services. However, you’ll want to be careful with how you word your requests to the three agencies when organizing your most crucial financial information.
Pay for only what you need. Federal law states your credit reports are free once a year from all three credit reporting agencies. Your FICO score will cost a small fee should you want it. Although important, it is only really needed if you’ve never seen it before or will be looking into a car or home loan.
Use pre-form letters. When you’ve studied your reports and find errors or updates, use proven pre-form letters when corresponding with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They contain proper legal terminology which helps push along the timelines of getting bad data off your report.
Word your explanations carefully. If you do have a very dark mark like a Charge-Off that won’t be coming off your report any time soon, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) law allows you to send a personalized explanation to the three credit reporting agencies regarding the adverse information. Stay away from launching into a long recount of your troubles. And make sure you indicate that the matter has been resolved.
Proofread your correspondence. Make sure you write down dates, names and any other vital information at the top of documents you both receive and send. Double-checking numbers like statute of limitation expiration dates can save time and confusion.
Keep organized copies of everything. When you have to contact three separate credit agencies to correct on negative mark, paperwork can start flying around and get lost or forgotten. Create file folders for all three agencies. Remember to always shred your outdated reports.