There are certain things that are very helpful to know before you embark on your journey of credit repair. This article will cover these points. Credit repair is your right. You may feel somewhat guilty for making a mess of your credit, but there's no reason to spend time punishing yourself. When you deal with the credit reporting agencies, you need to be clear headed and unemotional. Make a record of all of your dealings with them, because you may well end up in dispute with their version of facts.
The main right you have as a consumer is to have accurate information reported on your credit report. The reason behind the Fair Credit Reporting Act is to make sure that people have a mechanism to dispute potentially negative credit data. Recent studies have shown that a large percentage of all information reported by credit reporting agencies is inaccurate or outdated. It behooves you to make sure the information is up to date, and positive. Removing negative tradelines will greatly increase your credit score, which will result in lower interest rates across the broadest spectrum of loan products. One key area to make sure to dispute is any wrong address data.
If it's an old address that you don't live at anymore, and in particular it's associated with a bad account, you'll want to make sure to dispute it with all 3 major credit reporting agencies. There is no way for them to prove you live at an address that you say you don't live at, so simply dispute the line item as "never lived at this address" and you should have a very high degree of success in removals. Once you've successfully disputed your old addresses you're in a better position to argue your other derogatory items. You'll want to keep very accurate records as you do this, because the CRAs only have 30 days to respond, and you'll want to hold them to their obligation.
The best way to ensure their compliance is to use a return-receipt requested mail so that you have a signature and a date and time stamp of when the letter was received. This clearly shows the CRA that you "mean business" and it also helps protect your 30 day dispute period. Even if the CRA has an infraction, it will be up to you to document it and to follow up and get the negative info removed. Truth be told, dealing with the CRAs is usually not easy, but sheer dilligence should ensure your success in the long run. The process of credit repair can take six months or longer for results to be evident. But it's something that can be done for very little money, and with very little effort.
You need to maintain a positive attitude, keep excellent records, and follow up. Studying the Fair Credit Reporting Act will be the best method you can find for learning what your rights are, and you can easily join the Credit Repair Forum to ask specific questions from people who have been in the same situation as you, and have successfully clawed their way back to the top. Good luck with all of your efforts.
You can learn more about Credit Reports at the Credit Repair Forum.