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Repairing Credit Yourself

The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right to dispute any and all items on your credit reports that you feel classify as inaccurate, unverifiable, or misleading. If the bureaus can not verify that the information on your reports is indeed correct, then those items must be deleted.

Disputing items on your credit report is easy. Getting results from the credit bureaus is amazingly difficult, complex, and infuriating. It is not a coincidence that the Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints against credit bureaus than any other type of business. Remember, the credit bureaus are primarily interested in protecting their profits. Investigating your challenge consumes these profits. Short of sparking a mass number of lawsuits, the credit bureaus seem to do everything in their power to discourage consumers from making progress in their restoration efforts.

How hard is it to repair my own credit?

Repairing your credit by yourself is possible. But remember, the credit bureaus are committed to the failure of credit repair efforts, and the credit bureaus have far more experience in discouraging hopeful consumers than you have in beating giant credit bureaus.

Yet, some consumers have achieved results in repairing their credit without professional assistance. The following is a guide to help you determine whether or not you should seek professional assistance in your credit repair efforts.

Attempting to repair your own credit while failing to dedicate sufficient time or attention can result in further damage to your credit rating and may make it impossible for anyone to repair your credit for you. For this purpose, we'll give you a preview of the time commitment required to repair your credit. Examine very carefully your capabilities and your schedule before deciding to repair your own credit.

Example of a Month's Activities in Restoring Your Credit (for a couple)
Activity Hours Required
Monitored calendar daily to check deadline of each of six credit bureau correspondences 2 hours
Drafted six new original credit bureau query challenges 4 hours
Visited post office six times to mail correspondences by Certified Mail/Return Receipt Req. 2 hours
Carefully analyzed and marked six credit reports to find negatives/deletions/ positive changes 3 hours
Drafted 4 tardy credit bureau response follow-up letters 2 hours
Visited post office 4 times to mail follow'up letters by Certified Mail/Return Receipt Req. 2 hours
Responded to 2 credit bureau stall letters by providing further information/ challenging time loss 2 hours
Visited post office 2 times to mail stall responses by Certified Mail/Return Receipt Req. 1 hour
Responded to 2 "frivolous or irrelevant" credit bureau rejection of dispute letters 2 hours
Visited post office 2 times to mail "frivolous or irrelevant" claim Certified Mail/Return Receipt Req. 1 hour
Requisitioned six new credit reports at $8.00 each through local credit bureau 2 hours
Contacted ten creditors and made creditor-direct challenges 8 hours
Drafted 20 letters to creditors (one per spouse) to challenge and demand further documentation 4 hours
Visited post office once to mail letters to creditors Certified Mail/Return Receipt Req. 2 hours
Contacted ten creditors by telephone to negotiate deletion of negative listing 4 hours
Carefully analyzed ten responses from creditors with billing histories and promissory agreements 5 hours
Contacted six state, federal, and licensing organizations to locate addresses and forms for complaints 2 hours
Prepared complaints to six state, federal, and licensing organizations 3 hours
Visited post office to mail complaints Certified Mail/Return Receipt .5 hours
Total hours per month (first month) 51.5 hours

This chart shows liberal estimates of time required to repair your own credit. If you are a single person working on his/her credit alone, you can subtract 25% from the total time required. This time investment will continue on a monthly basis, gradually shrinking as creditors agree to delete their listings. On the average, you can expect the process to take between twelve to eighteen months, unless you have very little negative credit (meaning, one negative item per report.)

Each response to a creditor or a credit bureau must be an original and must pertain specifically to your present situation or you may be red-flagged as a frivolous credit repair troublemaker or be ignored altogether. There are no effective "form letters" or "fill in the blank" responses that yield results. Credit bureau checkers spot form letters easily as the sign of someone attempting to repair their credit. As such, these letters generally earn a swift "frivolous and irrelevant" response.

Dueling with the credit bureaus and credit grantors requires an aggressive and tenacious personality. You must be willing to wade through rejection after rejection until you achieve your desired credit repair.

The credit bureaus will shoot down the majority of your claims and disputes. They will treat you like a disreputable person and a liar. You must take this rejection without becoming discouraged. If you are the kind of person who tires quickly from an emotional struggle, you should seriously consider hiring a professional to repair your credit. If you are the kind of person who becomes angry when dealing with the slow, bureaucratic employees of big bureaucracies, you will not fare well. Patience is an absolute requirement. If you are thick-skinned and have the fortitude to fight the credit bureaus and your creditors for as long as it takes, then you may have the proper disposition to repair your own credit.

In the process of repairing your credit, you will have to track and monitor dozens of communications at once. This will require organized, disciplined habits. Every day, you must check up on each of these communications to make sure that the credit bureau or credit grantor hasn't overextended their time limit. You must spend at least one-half to one hour per day tracking your responses, results, and taking appropriate actions. Remember, you will be dealing with three credit bureaus per person, plus you will be communicating with each credit grantor appearing on each credit report. In most cases, the number of simultaneous communications will exceed twenty or thirty. If you are not a very organized person, you are definitely not in a good position to attempt to repair your own credit.

Restoring your own credit is like repairing your own transmission or representing yourself a court of law; it is possible, but you must decide if you are willing to take the time and assume the risks of doing it yourself. Most people choose to allow an attorney to represent them because an attorney better understands the complexities of the legal system. If you decide your time is better spent and you would like a respectable company to help, we HIGHLY recommend using Lexington Law.

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