Home & Mortgage
So here you are, thinking about buying your first home, getting your first car, or maybe even trying to refinance the mortgage you obtained a few years ago. You think you might have issues on your credit report, or you know that you do. You may have no idea about the status of your credit report or your all-important credit score, or you may have been told your score is too low to qualify. What can you do?
You need to get your credit repaired and restored. By following the five steps outlined in this article, you will be well on your way to the kind of credit that gets you noticed for the right reasons, not the wrong ones.
The first step is to obtain a copy of your credit report. If you have already applied for credit, the company or person that obtained your report should be able to give you a copy. If you do not have access to your report, you can contact any of the three major credit repositories and obtain a free copy of your report. This is your right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Please see the links below to obtain your credit report. It is important that you obtain all three, as some entities do not report to all three credit repositories.
The second step is to analyze that report. This is a big problem as the reports are not necessarily easy to read or understand. It has been shown that 1 out 3 credit reports have information being reported that the individual had no knowledge of. These unknowns could be past medical bills that you thought your insurance paid for, unpaid traffic tickets, or even unpaid library late fees. Worse yet, many utilities are now reporting your payment history to the credit repositories.
The third step, once you have identified the negative items, you have to act. For items you know are paid, and not being reported as such, you must contact the credit repositories reported the incorrect information and petition them to correct it. The steps to follow in this process can be found by clicking the link below, or by searching "Fair Credit Reporting Act" on the internet. Typically, you will want to provide proof of prior payment along with your request for investigation. This can be done in letter form, or online with the various repositories. FCRA requires that the repositories investigate your claim within 30 days of receipt and provide you with the outcome of their investigation.
For those accounts that are reporting as unpaid, you must make contact with the company reporting the derogatory information and determine if you do indeed owe the money. If you do owe the money, make arrangements to get them paid. In all cases, make sure you obtain proof of payment from the creditor. Cancelled checks or credit card receipts may not be enough if you have to challenge the reporting later on. You should be diligent in demanding that the creditor update your credit report, showing a $0 balance and paid date.
The fourth step is simple. Make your payments on time! You will never enjoy the benefits that a good credit rating can provide if you choose not to make your payments on time. If you are faced with the choice of making a minimum payment on time or making a larger payment late, always choose to be on time.
The fifth and final step is get professional help if you need it. If you have several negative items on your reports, or if you have many things that you know are paid, but lack the proof of payment, you may need to employ the services of a Credit Repair and Restoration Provider. As a Certified Credit Repair Counselor, you will find a link to more information about the credit repair process service I provide below.
In conclusion, you will find many closed doors if you do not have good credit. However, if you choose to have good credit, you will find many doors open for you, welcoming you to the many opportunities that a good credit report can provide. Make your choice today!
Brent Burns is a Mortgage Planner in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He has been designated a Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS) by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and a Certified Credit Repair Counselor by National Financial Credit. You can find out more about Brent and his Credit Repair and Restoration services at his website, http://www.mynfcredit.net/BBurns Brent specializes in providing clients with credit repair and restoration solutions, and structures mortgage plans to help achieve both their long and short term financial goals. You can contact Brent directly at 815.477.5545
Link to information on the Fair Credit Reporting Act: http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcrajump.shtm
Link to obtaining your free credit report: http://www.annualcreditreport.com
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