Good credit is a goal for most people, often because your credit scores and reports significantly influence your financial d
ecisions. For example, what's on your credit report can affect your interest rates as well as your ability to secure a loan, a competitive insurance policy, and even a job.
This is where credit repair comes in handy–solid credit repair from the best credit repair companies in Houston, Texas can help you fix poor credit standing that might have declined for many reasons. Credit repair involves correcting or restoring a poor credit score, and includes hiring a reputable credit repair company, like The Phenix Group, to contact credit bureaus, point out anything incorrect on your credit report, and request it be removed. Of course, you can repair your credit yourself; however, it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.
You must request your credit report and review it for accuracy to repair your credit. By federal law, you’re eligible for a free annual report from the three major credit bureaus in the country–Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. However, the information in your reports can vary from one bureau to another because some lenders might report to one bureau, not the other two.
After you get your reports, check them for any inaccuracies. If you find any, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lays out a credit dispute process you should follow. First, the FTC recommends you write to the bureau in question. Next, elaborate on which items you’re challenging, and attach copies of any evidence. You can also contact individual lenders directly to dispute the information they provided to the bureaus.
By law, credit bureaus must investigate your dispute within a month, unless they consider it unnecessary. The credit reporting bureau must also hand your letter and evidence to the lender who provided the disputed item or service. Then, the lender must investigate your claims and report back to the bureau.
Once the inquiry is complete, the bureau must provide you with the results in writing. If the credit bureau agrees with you, the original lender must alert all bureaus with the inaccurate data to rectify your credit report. If the credit bureau disagrees, you can still provide a written explanation that’ll be included in your credit report.
The federal law requires credit bureaus to respond to every disputed information within a month, and if there’s no response, the disputed item must be removed from your credit report. However, suppose the disputed information was accurate and was removed from your credit report solely because the credit bureau missed a deadline. In that case, it’ll show up on your credit report within two to three months. This is because, by law, creditors can re-verify accurate information at any time and put it back on your credit report.
Although legitimate credit repair service providers can deliver on their promises, the industry is full of con artists. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau outlines some warnings to look out for:
Claims to clean up all negative marks from your report: In regards to what credit repair can remove, no one can legally remove accurate information from your report. If a credit repair service provider promises to do that, that is a huge red flag.
Recommendations that you challenge accurate information: Challenging accurate information is equivalent to fraud.
Coercion to pay in advance: A legitimate company won’t ask for payment before doing anything.
Remember, a reputable credit repair company, such as The Phenix Group, can only help you remove inaccurate information from your credit report so that it doesn’t hurt your credit score and guide you toward methods of building better credit.
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