Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit bureaus have 30 to 45 days to investigate a disputed claim. If they can’t verify it within that time, they must remove the entry. For example, if you file a dispute with a credit bureau over a late payment and your creditor can’t verify the information, the bureau must remove that late payment from your credit report. For payments less than 90 days late, you can request a goodwill adjustment from your creditor and set up payments to prevent further damage to your credit history.
Here’s a good example of when a reputable credit repair service can help you do something you may not be able to accomplish yourself. If you have a collection account that’s been sold to a few different debt collectors, it can appear on your credit report multiple times. That information is accurate but having that one debt dinging your credit score multiple times doesn't meet the “fair” standard that Padawer mentioned.
There are a lot of reasons that your credit may be in rough shape. Most are related to your spending habits. And, if you missed a few payments or your debt levels are too high—think over 30% of your total available credit limits—disputing errors won’t help you. You’ll have to make some changes to improve your credit scores instead. And you may have to wait a bit to see an uptick.
The credit bureau usually has 30 days after receiving your dispute to investigate and verify information. Typically, the credit bureau will reach out to the company that provided the information and ask them to investigate. The credit bureau is required to send you the results of the investigation within five business days of the completion of the investigation.
And with ecommerce transactions becoming more and more common right along with significant data breaches, identity theft rates are only increasing. The number of documented data breaches increased from 614 in 2013 to 1,579 in 2017. Whatever the source, mistakes in a credit report can have devastating effects on a consumer’s ability to access credit.
Unfortunately, Credit Repair has lost some credibility within the industry. Why? According to the Better Business Bureau, the company was asked to prove their claims that the average customer sees progress every month while using their services - even seeing improvements in the neighborhood of 7% of questionable credit report negatives being taken off their credit reports every 30 days. As of the date of our review, the BBB was still reporting that they had not received proof of those advertising claims. Those claims are still prominently featured on the Credit Repair website.
After you’ve resolved the negative items on your credit report, work on getting positive information added. Just like late payments severely hurt your credit score, timely payments help your score. If you have some credit cards and loans being reported on time, good. Continue to keep those balances at a reasonable level and make your payments on time.
My Credit Group is a credit repair company staffed by credit experts, loan officers, collection agents and debt negotiators. The company has been employed by numerous organizations, including the United States of Defense and Chase Manhattan. They will develop a personalized plan to repair your credit, tailored to your credit history and needs. They can also employ debt settlement negotiation services while working on repairing your credit.
Your loan balances also affect your credit score in a similar way. The credit score calculation compares your loan current loan balance to the original loan amount. The closer your loan balances are to the original amount you borrowed, the more it hurts your credit score. Focus first on paying down credit card balances because they have more impact on your credit score.
Advertiser Disclosure: BadCredit.org is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BadCredit.org does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.
"I had virtually had nowhere to turn as I tried to reconstruct this area of my life until I began to search the net for solutions. I spoke with a representative of CreditRepair.com and was immediately assured that this was the safest and legal approach to resolving my credit issues. What I really like is the daily update and the activity being reported."
How much you spend on credit repair depends on how involved you want to be in the process. If you hire a credit repair company, expect to pay a setup fee of up to $100 and monthly service fees of up to $150 for as long as six months. If you invest the time to repair your credit on your own, the credit repair process is free. Credit repair software that costs between $30 and $400 can help you draft letters to creditors and credit bureaus.
You'll find a lot of helpful information under the Credit Education tab. Ovation keeps their blog updated regularly on topics ranging from Bankruptcy to Payday Loans and much more; if you feel a little lost just browsing through the most recent posts, you can click on any of the topic categories on the right side of the page, underneath the Recent Posts header.
Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from third party companies ("our partners") from which Experian Consumer Services receives compensation, however, the compensation does not impact how or where the products appear on this site. The offers on the site do not represent all available financial services, companies, or products.