Do Not Despair
There are many events that can create the need for credit repair, from the loss of a job to a medical emergency that taps savings and strains an otherwise sound budget. There are also cases of identity theft that, through no fault of ours, cause grievous credit harm. Regardless of the underlying cause, there is never a case that should make us despair.
It is important to understand, as you examine your damaged credit report, that the credit reporting system is prone to spawning errors from the seeds of real events. This is not the fault of the credit bureaus. The reporting system is massive and incorporates data from millions of participants, including creditors, collectors, courthouses and the services that gather public records. Expect errors to occur.
The need for credit repair is inherently acknowledged by the presence of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The requirement by the FCRA that all national credit bureaus provide free reports to consumers on demand once per year at no charge is a nod to the inevitability of errors. Perfection, from a system of such complexity, is not in the cards. The solution is regular disciplined self-monitoring.
The Time is Right Now
The need for self-monitoring is never more important than after a period of credit damaging financial hardship. It is almost inevitable in these cases that credit repair is necessary. As traumatized as you may be from the events that led to the credit damage it is still critical to address it efficiently. To ignore it may be easier, but reporting errors when neglected have a way of multiplying and taking root.
Feel Good Again
There is literally no situation that justifies sticking your head in the sand. Foreclosures, charge-offs, collections, and even the discharge of a bankruptcy is an occasion for credit repair. To address the issues now in an intelligent and thoughtful manner will put you on the path to recovery, give you peace of mind, and deliver a refreshed credit report and score that you can feel good about.
A Detailed Examination
The first step is a detailed examination of your reports. It might be worthwhile hiring a good credit repair service to do this for you as many of the score-wrecking errors that arise are subtle. This means that you may miss the errors entirely or mistakenly identify them as accurate. Just because something looks familiar does not mean that it should be on your report.
Dispute the Errors
Once all of the reporting errors are identified it is time for the dispute phase of your credit repair project. As in the case of the initial proofreading, you might want to turn this important but repetitive task over to a professional. The effectiveness of credit bureau disputes depends on a highly organized and specifically targeted routine of approach and response. If you do it right you will soon have a greatly improved credit report.
Up From the Ashes
The final step on the path to renewed credit is rebuilding. This requires opening new accounts and managing them for the greatest possible FICO score impact. Secured credit cards are the credit repair weapon of choice, and a remarkably powerful way to propel your scores back into the realm of respectability. Being secured, they are not based on your credit history, so there is no fear of denial. Open two cards and manage them with great care. Make your payments on time and keep your balances low. Soon the bad credit of the past will fade from memory.