You need to fix or repair your personal consumer credit reports because they contain inaccurate or outdated information. Although there are several Credit Repair Kits available on-line, most people do not need credit repair kits to fix or repair their own credit reports.
Credit repair kits are do it yourself kits that promise to show how to repair or establish credit and how to set and achieve credit-improvement goals. They usually claim that, "with a little work your credit report can be spotless" but most fail to explain how time-consuming and frustrating credit repair can be!
Depending on the price; you may receive just a few fill-in-the blank forms or a full-blown kit!
High-end kits contain most of the following information and/or items:
- how creditors rate you
- how to avoid bankruptcy
- work sheets for setting goals;
- how to prepare a budget
- how to establish new credit
- how to obtain your credit report
- how to set credit improvement goals;
- fill-in-the-blank monthly budget forms;
- how and where to obtain secured credit cards;
- how to decide if you need the services of a credit counselor;
- sample letters for use when contacting creditors and credit bureaus;
- lists of where to get secured credit cards with toll-free "800" numbers
Warning! Price does not always mean quality!
Everything contained in these "do it yourself" credit repair kits is offered on this web site or can be obtained free from several sources, such as the Federal Trade Commission's web site, National and Local credit and debt counseling organizations, local better business bureaus, and various other state and local government organizations set up to assist consumers in dealing with credit.
up 3. Can I really repair my own credit?
Yes, but you should know that repairing credit equates to making your credit report as accurate as possible . . . not changing or removing accurate and timely information!
If your credit records are inaccurate, contain outdated or misleading information and, you want to tackle repairing your own credit, be prepared to do a lot of work!
Many advertisements lure you in by making it sound like repairing credit is easy. It's not difficult but it is time consuming and can be at times very frustrating!
You may see advertisements like this:
- Don't worry, we show you step-by-step how to succeed by taking advantage of several consumer credit laws including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- Remove any type of negative information; student loans, bankruptcy, tax liens, judgments, inquiries, etc.
- You do not have to prove anything; let the Credit Bureau do all the work! By law, they must research any challenged item for authenticity or delete it within 30 days.
IMPORTANT! The reality is that accurate and timely information will not be removed from your credit report. Although it's true the credit bureaus are required to investigate your dispute, they DO NOT do all the work! You must provide them with enough information and proof of your claim before they have to do anything - in other words you must do your homework - or the credit bureau can consider your dispute frivolous and legally ignore your request!
Section 1681i, Reinvestigation required (1):
(A) In general If the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained in a consumer's file at a consumer reporting agency is disputed by the consumer and the consumer notifies the agency directly of such dispute, the agency shall reinvestigate free of charge and record the current status of the disputed information, or delete the item from the file in accordance with paragraph (5), before the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the agency receives the notice of the dispute from the consumer.
(B) Extension of period to reinvestigate Except as provided in subparagraph (C), the 30-day period described in subparagraph (A) may be extended for not more than 15 additional days if the consumer reporting agency receives information from the consumer during that 30-day period that is relevant to the reinvestigation.
Section 1681i, Determination that dispute is frivolous or irrelevant (3):
(A) In general Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a consumer reporting agency may terminate a reinvestigation of information disputed by a consumer under that paragraph if the agency reasonably determines that the dispute by the consumer is frivolous or irrelevant, including by reason of a failure by a consumer to provide sufficient information to investigate the disputed information.
(B) Notice of determination: Upon making any determination in accordance with subparagraph (A) that a dispute is frivolous or irrelevant, a consumer reporting agency shall notify the consumer of such determination not later than 5 business days after making such determination, by mail or, if authorized by the consumer for that purpose, by any other means available to the agency.
(C) Contents of notice: A notice under subparagraph (B) shall include - (i) the reasons for the determination under subparagraph (A); and (ii) identification of any information required to investigate the disputed information, which may consist of a standardized form describing the general nature of such information.
IMPORTANT: Only credit bureaus can insert and remove information from the credit profiles they maintain. Credit repair companies DO NOT have access to actually change reports, they send dispute letters too; exactly the same thing you can do for yourself.
up 4. So What's the Bottom Line?
- Only credit bureaus can insert and remove accurate and timely information from credit records; and
- Credit bureaus, upon a request accompanied with a reasonable explanation or proof that the item is inaccurate, must re-investigate the item and, if they determine your dispute to be valid, or they cannot disprove your dispute, they must remove or correct the inaccurate information. Read more in the The Fair Credit Reporting Act
To repair your own credit records, you must:
- Send written requests to all credit bureaus asking them to remove or correct errors or outdated information, and;
- Provide reasonable information or proof that the information is inaccurate. (Just saying, "it's incorrect" is not enough and they can legally ignore your request).
Although credit repair companies, lawyers, and even individual citizens can request changes to credit records; the credit bureau ultimately decides what to change or remove based upon their own investigation. If you still disagree with their decision you can place a 100-word statement next to any item that you believe is wrong. Sample 100-word Letter
You can obtain copies of your credit reports and write your own dispute letters by yourself so the bottom line is purchasing a credit repair kits is more of a convenience than a necessity.