There is nothing funny about credit repair fear. Well, maybe it would be humorous if the side effect were not so potentially devastating. Do you know anyone who can't seem to get themselves to the dentist? Years slip by. Eventually they make their appearance at the dentist office holding their head and moaning with the pain of a toothache. Millions of consumers have the same relationship with their credit reports.
I wince at the sound of the dentist drill. I understand. But there are some things that need to be taken care of. If you wait until there is a serious problem before taking action you may discover that the price of inaction is well beyond your means. Your credit report affects everything in your life. A regular course of maintenance is in order. Did you know that over 70% of all credit reports contain errors? Did you know that even innocuous looking errors like account opening dates can have a major impact on your credit?
The Ripple Effect
In a recent blog entry I wrote, "You should not overlook the myriad items that are determined by your credit scores. Your automobile loan payment, like your mortgage payment, ripples through your lifestyle by limiting other purchase choices that you make. Credit cards, personal loans, debt consolidation loans, home equity loans; all count."
It all Adds Up
This ripple effect should not be underestimated. A positive swing of fifty points in your credit score can translate into thousands of extra dollars in your pocket each year. Every single dollar of savings is a dollar that is available for other things that you would like to do with your life. The right decisions about maintaining your credit report can easily send you on a Caribbean vacation, pay for your night classes, send your children to a better school, or maybe just get you that new big screen television that you want.
The First Easy Step
So, given the importance of your credit, it would make sense to find a way to steel your nerves for the job of a comprehensive review of all three of your credit reports. Let's take the first step. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, in response to the frightening number of errors that continue to appear on consumer's credit reports forced all three credit bureaus to provide a free copy of your report each year. Take advantage of this law. Go to annualcreditreport.com and get all three reports. Once you have your reports you are on your way. Don't think too far ahead. There are a couple of handy tricks that will make the job easy, even for those with a paralyzing fear of paperwork.
Organization is the Key
The key to getting through the job of credit repair is organization. Don't bother trying to deal with all three reports at one time. Sit down with one report. Get a nice clean legal size pad and a pen. Don't jump ahead to the derogatory section. Start at the top and work your way down line by line. Check every thing. Account opening dates, high credit limits, duplicate accounts, current balances; all are important.
One Report at a Time
Each time you find something that is wrong make a note on your pad. Each report comes with dispute instructions. Follow the instructions and dispute every item that you noted. I suggest that you leave the other two reports for another day. There are no economies of scale to assaulting all three reports at one time. Each bureau needs to be attacked individually.
Less is More
Take your time and address each dispute as clearly as you can. It should be helpful to know that the credit bureaus do not want to hear the story of your life. They also do not want to hear any explanations. Just say what you need to say. Be neat. If you take your time the experience should be painless and you should get very satisfactory results.
It's Your Life
If you simply can't make your way though the job you should hire a good credit repair company to do the job for you. Credit repair should be very affordable and should never lock you in for any pre-determined period of time. Your credit is very important. You work hard for your money. Make sure that your credit report is working just as hard for you.
Copyright © 2007 James W. Kemish. All Content. All Rights Reserved.