Finding out your credit score is not as good as you expected is stressful and frustrating. The interest rate for the home you want to buy is going to be unaffordable high. So your dream home just got a bit more expensive for you to buy. All because of your poor credit score. Most people are surprised by the fact their credit score went down by some points. Sometimes hundreds of points. A common reaction is “This must be some kind of a mistake”. And some of them are right. About 20% of consumers have some erroneous information on their credit reports. Incorrect information in a credit report may cause a lot of damage, so don’t ignore it. You have to react and fix it.
Lenders and landlords use credit reports to calculate the credit scores of their potential clients. The credit score is responsible for the terms of your loan and the interest rates. The bottom line is as follows – a poor credit score will cost you extra through higher interest rates, a good or excellent credit score will save you money through better loan terms.
The ultimate goal of credit repair is to improve your credit score. It is not an easy job to do, certainly, you can’t do it in a day. But it is worth doing it. You can save a lot of money on long-term loans if your credit score is excellent. The amount of the monthly house loan installment may vary in hundreds of dollars, depending only on the credit score. A lower credit score brings a higher amount of the monthly loan installment and vice versa. This means that if you have an excellent credit score, you pay less money every month for the same loan than someone with a low credit score.
How Does Credit Repair Work
Credit repair removes incorrect, inaccurate, as well as any kind of erroneous information from credit reports. You have the right, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), to dispute the information in your credit reports you find erroneous. Examples of tipical incorrect information are as follows:
Identity errors result from your personal information errors. It is usually a misspelling or a typo or some similar mistake in your personal information. Sometimes your name is mistaken for the similar name of some other person and their personal data is listed as yours. If you were the victim of identity theft, there may be accounts on your credit report that you can’t recognize and you don’t remember having them opened. This is a potentially very complicated situation. You have to react fast to prevent further damage.
Duplication errors occur when the same debt is listed several times under the different creditors’ and lenders’ names. This can happen when a lender or a creditor changes the name for some reason.
Account-related misinformation is a common error appearing on credit reports. It may be the actual status of the account that is reported wrong. A closed account may be still listed as open. Also, there could be accounts where you have been paying monthly installments on time and the payments are listed as delinquent or late. Sometimes the problem with an account could be the wrong date when the account is opened or closed.
Information too old to be included in your credit reports. Information about bankruptcies and other negative marks should be removed from your credit reports, usually after 7 years, but sometimes they stay there longer due to a mistake.
Under the FCRA you have the right to dispute any information in your credit reports. The same law requires reporting agencies to investigate any information you disputed. This investigation has to be reasonable. If the information cannot be verified or is determined inaccurate it has to be removed from the credit report. This is how credit repair works. You review your credit report to identify inaccurate and incorrect information that may damage your credit score. You write dispute letters to credit agencies. After that, the investigation credit bureaus are required to remove the flawed information. But, you should know that credit repair can’t remove negative marks if the information is accurate, timely, and verifiable.
Fix Problems Yourself or Hire a Credit Repair Company
Everything a credit repair company could do to help you improve your credit score, you can do it yourself. There are no “special” rights a credit repair company has in disputing information from your credit report. Credit repair companies charge monthly fees to take care of your credit report. The fees variate from 70$ up to 150$ per month or higher for some special services they provide. You should know that it takes months to see the results on your credit report. It will cost you at least 1000$ a year to hire a credit report company to take care of your credit report. And it is not even worth it, because everything they can do you can do it yourself.
These agencies often make unrealistic promises, such as that they can remove negative marks from your credit report even when they are correct and accurate. You shouldn’t believe these too good to be true promises. Credit repair companies use shady tactics taking advantage of the FCRA requiring credit report agencies to verify any disputed information. Sometimes, credit repair companies dispute the same item over and over again or dispute every item in the credit report. This is just time-consuming. You are paying the fees monthly and the result of their work is at the very least questionable.
Be wise with your credit history
If you are determined, you can do a lot for your credit score. But you should work on it all the time. Don’t be late with your bills, review your credit history regularly, keep the balances of your credit cards low, manage your debt, limit your applications for new credit, and have responsible financial behavior overall. Still, you might have your credit score lower than expected even with all these precautions. It may happen that your low credit score is actually not your fault. You may be a victim of identity theft. This situation may be tricky and very unpleasant.
If the perpetrator of identity theft uses your personal information to open accounts or get a credit card or a loan and start spending money that you will have to pay, you may even end up in court because of being sued by the creditors. This is not a joke. And it is not easy to prove you are a victim there. The best way to treat a situation like this is to hire a reputable credit repair attorney. You need someone experienced to represent you in a court. Regardless of knowing you are sued for something you didn’t do, get a lawyer.
Get a Lawyer in St Louis
The personnel at Cook Law LLC are experienced lawyers dealing every day with credit repair in St Louis. Our high level of expertise on the FCRA comes from years of experience in taking care of our clients correspond with credit report agencies and representing them in court.
It often happens that people check their credit reports only before they apply for a loan for a car or a house. To find out at that moment that you are a victim of identity theft is bad news. Among other inconveniences, it will take time to improve your credit score and clean up your credit report. And there’s no time to waste. Because you want that loan for your dream house ASAP before it is sold to someone else, you can’t afford to take the wrong steps. That is why you need a lawyer with a high level of expertise on the FCRA. Someone to show you the way out of this unpleasant situation. Also, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damage caused to you by the errors in your reports. At Cook Law LLC we will evaluate for free if you have a claim and represent you in court if a settlement fails. We will take your case contingent. You will pay our lawyers after you get paid for the damages suffered.
The process of getting a credit report in order to improve your credit score may be very time-consuming and frustrating for a consumer. The time factor is also crucial. You can’t afford to take the wrong steps and prolong this unpleasant process. Get a lawyer and find your peace of mind. Let the experts on the FCRA help you. It pays off in the end.