May 19th, 2010 9:10 PM by Korene L Clopine-Seaman
Top Ten Credit Repair Strategies
#1 is to Dispute the Accuracy of Accounts that have late payments
A recent 30 day late payment is much worse than an Old bankruptcy. To dispute late payments you need to write a letter that states three things.
First, "name of creditor and number of account you are disputing"
Second, the reason for the dispute.
And third, what you want them to do.
What should you "dispute?"
That's the key question. Most people state that specific credit report accounts "are not theirs" or "inaccurate" - but you have a better chance of removing the credit report item if you give some details. Look at every tiny piece of data on your credit report for each account.there are lots of things to dispute to increase your score..
Force the Credit Bureaus to confirm data on your credit score like - Date of late payment, current balance, High limit, name of creditor, date account opened and other missing or erroneous information with the original creditor. The credit bureaus probably won't do this correctly within the 30 day period required by law, and then you can demand removal.
Make sure that your credit report dispute letter includes your name, address, and social security number - and that you send only one letter per line item/account per Credit Bureau. If you lump all the credit report accounts you are disputing in one letter, the Credit Bureaus may be able to disregard your dispute as "frivolous."
#3 - Reduce Your Balances to Under 30% of Credit Limit Ratio
Pay down any credit cards you have and keep the balance under 30% of your available credit limit. When you use 40% of the credit limit on a card you lose points with the credit bureaus. As you use more of your available credit limit.50%, 60%, 80%, 100% your credit score goes down.
Always keep the balance around 30%.
Here's something that you can do right now.
Get rid of your Capital One Credit Cards!
Capital One always reports to the Credit Bureaus that you have used 100% of your credit limit. Under oath their executives have admitted that they do this to deliberately lower your score so you can't get credit from anyone else.
#4 - Only have credit accounts with Reputable Companies.
Companies like Capital One, Providian - those that you see advertised on late night TV and those that have teaser rates will suppress your credit score.
Because the Credit Bureaus know that people with these accounts are more risky. If these types of accounts are on your credit report your credit score will suffer, and you'll pay higher interest rates for everything.
Only get accounts with reputable financial institutions.
Make sure to pay them in full every month, on time and only use about 30% of the credit limit. That's a great way to increase your credit score.
Creditors generally have the same responsibility under the law to maintain accurate information..and just like the Credit Bureaus, they often fail to do so.
So first, go ahead and dispute the negative line items on your credit score with the Credit Bureaus. Just because they send you a letter saying that the credit report account is accurate, doesn't mean that the creditor has actually provided proof of this to the Credit Bureau. By law the Creditor and Credit Bureau can only prove the account is accurate with a signed written contract by you or other original documentation. If the Creditor has not followed the law ..you may be able to File a legal Action against them.
Many people simply sue in Small Claims Court which costs between $35 and $100 depending where you live.
Don't worry, it's easy.
Provide proof to the court - including the letters you sent - how the creditors have not proved or removed the account. Write about how their actions have hurt you financially and created mental anguish and hardship. You don't even have to ask for money unless this is required and then ask for $1,000.
Just make sure you ask for complete deletion of the negative account on your credit report with all Credit Bureaus.
Do you think they'll want to send the President of their company to your county to appear in Court. Nope. If they just ignore you and don't show up in court that's ok too. Either way, you win..and the account gets deleted..permanently.
#6 - Get Good Credit Added to Your Account
Get added as an "authorized user" on an account of someone like your husband or wife who has a great credit history with a company. (Note that the Credit Bureaus often mix up negative information from other people on your account.)
Often, that account will be reported to the Bureaus as yours too!
Now, the Credit Bureaus claim they are cracking down to preven people from improving their scores this way. However, remember that Credit Scores are created "on the fly" by the credit bureaus and what your credit score is - depends on the scoring model used.
So, this positive history from someone else is probably only NOT counted when you are applying for a mortgage if your lender is using the FICO NextGen Model.
Make sure your lender is using the FICO Classic scoring model. More than 80% of lenders DO use the FICO Classic so you'll probably be in luck!
Many different names make you look risky and lower your score. Many different names also make it a lot more likely that someone else's name will match a few letters of yours and their negative information may be reported on your credit report.
A simple letter stating that these are NOT your names and requesting deletion should do just fine. Make sure to include your full name, address, and social security number in the letter so the credit bureau can identify you properly.
#8.- Dispute, Correct, or Remove Address Changes
Different addresses indicate less stability and lower your score.
If the profile of people in your neighborhood have lower scores or economic profiles, your score will be lowered as well. That's especially bad news for people in low income areas and who live in Senior citizen communities.
Is that discriminatory?
Do you think that is fair?
What if you are in the Military?
What if you're a salesman or get promoted a lot and have to move around the country?
You can challenge the addresses on your report as not accurate.for lots of different reasons.
PO Boxes, Mail Drop boxes indicate higher credit risk. You look less stable and will have a lower credit score with the credit bureas if you have a PO box rather than a physical street address. Of course, people who are NOT credit risks have PO Boxes and Mail Drop boxes for legitimate reasons like protecting their privacy and themselves from identity theft.but the credit bureaus don't care.
If you think getting a box at Mail Boxes Etc which has a physical address.can get around this, you'd be wrong. The Bureaus have a list of almost every single Mail box drop location in the country.
They will flag you as more credit risky and your credit score will be lower on all three credit reports from the major credit bureaus!
#10 - Dispute, Correct, or Remove your Employment Record Change Your Job Title
If you own a Business and/or have CEO or Owner in your title the Credit Bureaus view you as a more credit risky entrepreneur. Making yourself CEO or President is a perk of owning your own company, but you should change your title to General Manager or Chief Financial Officer and report this to the credit bureaus. Salaried positions are viewed more favorably.
So to improve your credit score, change your job title and dispute the accuracy of any title or employment position that isn't yours.
#11 - Are Bankruptcies worse for your credit score than late payments?
It depends. A recent 30 day late payment is much worse for your credit score than a Bankruptcy that is 5 years old. Recent financial troubles are a red flag that you are more risky and less credit worthy so your credit score will go down.
Can you get Bankruptcies removed from your credit report?
Here's how a lot of people do it.
#A. You dispute the bankruptcy as "not yours" if it is not yours, or several parts of the information listed as "inaccurate" i.e. Date, Plantiff, Amount, etc.if any of these parts are inaccurate.in writing. (Please note that you have to include 3 key elements in your letter i.e. Creditor Name, Account name, Reason for Dispute, and What You Want Done.) If the bankruptcy is listed with all 3 credit bureaus, submit 3 separate letters and sign them in blue ink. The Credit Bureaus have 30 days by law to respond.
#B. When they respond, you then dispute their process i.e. Demand documentation and verifiable proof that the account is yours and fully accurate. Request original paperwork with your signature on it. State that you've contacted the Courthouse and have learned that the court has not reported a bankruptcy in your name to the Credit Bureau.
Request the name, address, and phone number of the staff person who verified the account so you can have your lawyer "depose" them for the lawsuit you are likely to file. Demand that unless they can prove that the account is yours and accurate they must delete it immediately.
In this step you are "calling their bluff" when they stated to you that the Account had been verified correctly according to law. It hadn't, and the Bureaus will have 30 days to respond or delete the item.
#C. If the Bureau does not delete the item or ignores your request or does not respond within 30 days.then you got 'em!
Send a 3rd and Final letter stating that they have broken the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and are required to delete the item immediately. Threaten a lawsuit.
This process is how many people remove Bankruptcies from their credit score.