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.


Become familiar with the information contained in each of your credit reports. They'll all look very similar, even if you've ordered them from different bureaus. Each credit report contains your personal identifying information, detailed history for each of your accounts, any items that have been listed in public record like a bankruptcy, and the inquiries that have been made to your credit report.
Credit bureaus must send a notice of any corrections made to your report. Sometimes, a deleted dispute can reappear on your credit reports if the lender proves its claim is valid. If you find a derogatory mark reinserted on your credit reports, you can dispute it again. If you believe a credit reporting agency or one of your creditors has violated the FCRA, you should submit a consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

If you'd like to get a feel for what to expect from The Credit Pros, you can get a free credit score and summary, along with an action plan, by entering your name, number, and email address. You'll then be contacted for your free initial consultation. We found some customers who described that experience as frustrating, with representatives who spoke too fast and didn't take the time to answer questions - but since it's free, there's no risk for you to give it a try for yourself.


This provider offers a "performance-based refund policy": after you've been a client in good standing for 6 months, you can request a full evaluation of any progress they've made in repairing your credit. For every improvement or deletion they've made, eCreditAttorney will count it as a $95 value. If the total of monthly fees you've paid exceeds the value of $95 per improved/deleted item, you'll get a refund of the difference. Do the math, because that's not a fantastic deal: at $29/month, eCreditAttorney would only have to make two improvements or deletions over the course of 6 months to demonstrate adequate "performance".
They may be willing to waive some of the late penalties or spread the past due balance over few payments. Let them know you're anxious to avoid charge-off, but need some help. Your creditor may even be willing to re-age your account to show your payments as current rather than delinquent, but you'll have to actually talk to your creditors to negotiate.

Of course, if keeping accounts open and having credit available could trigger additional spending and debt, it might be more beneficial to close the accounts. Only you know all the ins and outs of your financial situation, and like thumbprints, they're different for each person. Make sure you carefully evaluate your situation; only you know what can work best for your financial outlook.
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