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Need Credit Repair Help? Try Doing It Yourself!

No matter what many credit counseling scam artists may try to tell you, no one can legally remove any information that is up-to-date and accurate from your credit report. They can't do it, and you can't do it yourself. However, you CAN request an investigation of anything you find in your credit file that you believe to be either incomplete or inaccurate. That is perfectly legal, and can be done at NO cost to you. In fact, anything that a credit repair company offers to do for you can be done yourself, generally free or for a nominal fee. The good news is that just because you may have some negative information in your credit report doesn't automatically mean you can't get credit at all. Most creditors have their own guidelines when it comes to granting credit, which means that each company will look at your credit report in a slightly different way. For instance, itís not uncommon for companies to lend more credence to the most recent information in a credit report. That way, if you experienced some financial difficulty a number of years ago, but then were able to get back on an even keel and have been exemplary since that time, you'll be more likely to receive the credit you're seeking with those companies. It might even be to your benefit to have an informal discussion with a potential creditor to discuss how they interpret credit reports--even before you apply for credit. You're entitled to a free credit report every twelve months, and it's worthwhile to take advantage of that fact, just to see what information is contained in your file. Many financial advisors and consumer advocates suggest that you review your credit report periodically, because erroneous information can sometimes get into your report inadvertently and can affect your chances of getting a loan or qualifying for insurance--as well as how much those will cost you, in terms of interest rates or premiums. So request a free credit report from one of the Big Three: Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion, and make sure that all the information it contains is up-to-date and accurate, especially if you're about to apply for a major purchase, seek insurance, or apply for employment. Checking your credit report on a regular basis can also alert you to identity theft, which is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world today. Inaccurate or incomplete information in your credit report can have a significant impact on your chances of obtaining loans, insurance, or a job, so it's well worth the effort to make sure everything in your report is exactly as it should be. If you're having trouble with your credit report and need help finding assistance, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for help. Find them on the Web at http://ftc.gov, or you give them toll-free at 1-877-FTC-HELP. Their TTY number is 1-866-653-426

1. They maintain an online database that lists hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S., and they'll be able to steer you toward the help you need. Copyright © Jeanette J. Fisher


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