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What Is Credit Rehabilitation?

It is possible to improve your credit. Legitimate processes require time, effort, and adherence to a plan for repayment of debts. There is no instant remedy. Yet, it is possible to undertake this task independently, without an attorney if you wish.  The rewards for improving creditworthiness include everything from qualifying for car loans and mortgages to lower insurance premiums and job offers. 

Now that you are convinced of merits of repairing credit and are ready to work, you may be wondering how to get started.

Repair Your Credit

  • Recognize that you cannot remove negative information from your credit report if the information is accurate and timely.
  • Request an investigation of information in your credit file, free of charge, so that you can check for inaccuracies or omissions.
  • For any company that takes adverse action against you, such as denying a credit, insurance, or employment application, request a free annual credit report. Request the report within 60 days of obtaining your first notice of the action taken against you.
  • Request your free annual credit report each year if you are unemployed and plan to seek work within 60 days, or if you receive welfare, notice inaccurate information on your credit report that is due to a fraud committed against you, or are a victim of identity theft.
  • Each of the major national credit reporting agencies—Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union—is required to provide a free annual credit report each year to consumers who request them. Request by website, phone, or mail. Be careful not to make the request online through a service claiming to provide a free credit report but that tacks on a monthly credit-monitoring fee.
  • Dispute mistakes and stale (outdated) items included in the credit file. Credit reporting agencies that receive updates and corrections are required to update incomplete, inaccurate, and outdated information, or they are subject to fines, sanctions, and penalties.
  • Put everything to credit reporting agencies in writing (letter form) and include copies of supporting documents. Retain originals. Send letters by certified mail so that you have proof of receipt. Attach a notated copy of your credit report.
  • Items you dispute must be investigated, and the credit reporting agency must report results of the investigation in writing, once completed, with a free copy of your credit report if the dispute creates a change in the report. Corrected copies of your credit report can be sent to those who recently requested and/or obtained it.
  • If your dispute is unresolved by investigation, you may request inclusion of a statement of the dispute in your credit report. You may request that anyone who recently received the report obtain an updated copy.
  • Request that items that are negative and accurate be removed after requisite waiting periods. These may include bankruptcies, judgments, and criminal convictions.
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