The Truth about Credit Repair

The truth about credit repair is actually pretty straightforward. It consists of fixing a bad credit rating whether it’s as simple as mistakes on the report or addressing other reasons that the rating might have fallen in the first place. Without meeting these conditions head on, you’re not going to be able to repair your credit. There is no magic wand, and not even hitting the Powerball will fix bad credit – it would just give you a lot of money (just a lot less than you think) and bad credit. You may also have seen “credit repair” services advertising themselves, and through about using them to fix your bad credit.

 

And that’s where it gets complicated.

 

You have a right – a legal right under the FCRA – to credit reports from the “Big Three” that are accurate, fairly reported, and substantiated. You can and should dispute errors on your reports, since a poor credit rating is itself an extra expense – you don’t get the best interest rates possible, and may even be denied credit for critical purchases. You can DIY, hire a lawyer, or you can use a credit repair agency, but the simple fact is that what’s legitimately on that report stays on there.

 

  • Bankruptcies stay on for seven to ten years.
  • Judgements are reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations kicks in.
  • Tax liens fall under the seven year reporting standard, too.
  • Delinquent accounts are reported seven years from the date of the last payment before the account was declared delinquent.
  • Charged-off accounts are reported for 180 days plus seven years from the date you missed your payment.
  • Late child support also falls under the seven year rule.
  • Federal student loans can be reported until paid off as with Perkins loans, or seven years after a) the date the loan was first reported as delinquent, b) the date that the DOE took over the loan, or c) when you came out of default, started paying, and then went into default at a later time.

 

You can learn how to offset those dings by developing good credit habits, but information that is legitimately on your stays until the drop date. Here’s the thing you need to understand – it is a federal offense to lie on a credit application. It is also an offense to get items fraudulently removed from your report. You also should not misrepresent your social security number, or obtain an EIN in order to get a “new credit identity” often hawked by scammers.

 

The only thing you can do is develop good credit habits, Make and stick to a budget, correct errors on your report, and wait for the new data to outweigh the old information on your report. I know that it’s not what anyone wants to hear, but it is the truth. Magic Eraser does not work on credit reports. In time, the entries that caused your bad credit will be further away and your new entries will outweigh them.

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Chad Van Horn

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