1. Disputing inaccurate negative items with the original creditor first
Before you do anything else, you should always dispute your inaccurate negative items with the credit bureau first to expedite the process of getting those items removed from your credit report. Statistics show that 15 to 25 percent of all inaccurate items disputed in your first attempt could be deleted. The strategy here is to tackle the easy items first and concentrate on the more complicated items later.
2. Neglecting to properly document all communication
You should keep a careful and accurate record of the dates and times you:
- send a letter
- receive a letter, or
- speak to an individual regarding your credit repair.
Be sure to send all dispute letters by Certified Mail with a Return Receipt Requested.
Keep your records organized. Easy access to records you may need to prove your case can be a time saver.
When you are disputing items with the credit bureau, accurate documentation is critical to your success. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that credit bureaus have up to 30 days to respond to you with the results of their investigation of your dispute. If you do not receive a response within 30 days they should remove the disputed item.
3. Using the online disputing service provided on credit bureau websites
Although it may seem convenient, it may not be in your best interest to use the online disputing service provided on credit bureau websites. If you dispute items online on a credit bureau website, you will not have any written records or return receipts documenting your dispute. Credit bureaus use a standard automatic response program that generates a standard computer code and in most cases the furnisher is not contacted about the dispute.
4. Not disputing a listing with the original creditor after disputing it with the credit bureau
You can dispute questionable negative listings with the Information Furnisher. An Information Furnisher is the original creditor, which can be defined as any entity that has reported information to the credit bureaus about you.
Disputing with an Original Creditor
Much like you would with a credit bureau, you can dispute information listed on your credit report by the original creditor.
The original creditor must take the following steps.
- They must perform an investigation of the specific dispute.
- They must respond within 30 days.
- If their investigation proves that the item listed is in fact inaccurate, they must notify the credit bureaus of their mistake and request that it be corrected immediately.
Filing a proper and documented dispute with credit bureaus is crucial to your success. By doing so, you will place the burden of proof in the hands of the original creditor. This means you must wait for the results of your dispute from the credit bureaus before taking any further action.
It is crucial to your success that you dispute all inaccurate negative items listed by a creditor with the credit bureau first. Also, whenever you write to the original creditor, make sure you are requesting an investigation and not just a verification of the negative item.
5. Throwing In the Towel and Quitting Too Soon
For most people new to the credit repair process, this sequence of events can appear confusing, complicated and at times, overwhelming. The best advice is to take baby steps and accomplish a little every day. Once you’ve mailed your Dispute Letters, most people shouldn’t spend more than an hour or 2 a month on this process. When you consider all the advantages there are to a high Credit Score, it makes those few hours of work seem like a very wise investment of your time.