How To Fix Credit!

Dear Reader,

It’s time to talk about how to fix credit!

The first step is to face your credit by getting a copy of your credit report.  Everyone is entitled to yearly free copy of credit.  This is taken directly from the Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.consumer.ftc/gov/articles/0155-free-credit- reports.

Q: How do I order my free report?

The three nationwide credit reporting companies have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.

To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228. Or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228 or mailing to Annual Credit Report Request Service.

So get a copy of your report. It may not be as bad as you think.  You can also come into a MariSol branch, bring this article and MariSol will run a free copy of the credit report that we utilize from Experian.  It will have a credit score on it as well as the address for all creditors on your report.  This is a free service that MariSol provides because we are a Community Development Financial Institution.  Plus, we really think it is important that you know what is on your credit.

Read the report.  Not sure how – each of the credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion or Equifax have information on their websites on how to read.

If you see an item that is not yours or that you have paid off but still shows a balance owing, then you should file a dispute.  Each of the credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion or Equifax has an online dispute function or you can write a letter the old fashion way.  For any dispute, you need to state:

  • What credit line is a disputed?  For example – It is a Sears Credit Card for a balance of $26.00 for Account # xxyy22 under the name of John Smith.
  • Why is it disputed? – For example – I paid off this card in 2010 and here is my statement showing a zero balance.  (Provide written proof to back up your dispute (if available)
  • Who you are and what address they can reach you?   The credit bureau has 30 days to investigate the dispute and must give you the results in writing.  So they need to know how to reach you.  Keep copies of all communication.

If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute with the credit reporting company, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. You also can ask the credit reporting company to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past. You can expect to pay a fee for this service.

Article written by CEO, Robin Romano.

 

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