Is it possible to repair your credit by yourself?
The answer is a resounding “yes!” Not only can you handle your own credit repair, but it’s also often better to do it yourself than to get professional help.
For example, a professional might charge you $200 an item to get it off your credit report. And from all three reporting agencies, that’s $600. If you used that $600 to pay down a high-balance account instead, that could be a much better use of your money than hiring a professional.
What does the process of repairing your credit report on your own look like?
- Start by Figuring Out Exactly What Needs to Be Done
Go through your credit report and write down all the different items that you need to dispute.
You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once per year by going to www.annualcreditreport.com
Disputing incorrect entries is easier than you might expect. Credit rating agencies are legally bound to research each and every single claim of inaccuracy.
- Contact the Agencies
The best way to contact an agency is through the mail. Letters of dispute can be tracked using certified mail. Make sure you keep records of every letter you send in case you have to take further action in the future.
Mail the agency with a listing of all inaccuracies and request that they either be removed or they provide proof that the item is correct.
You should receive a response within about 30 days.
Note that sometimes reporting agencies will remove your item in 30 days and put it back in the report if they receive the proof later. If that’s the case, they’ll need to send you the proof and a letter informing you that the item was placed back on your report.
If you don’t get a written notice, you’re legally eligible for $1,000 from the reporting agency.
- Cost versus Benefits of Doing it Yourself
As discussed earlier, it’s much cheaper to do it yourself than to hire a professional. The money saved can be used to pay down debts, further improving your credit.
However, there are a few things that you have to take into account when you’re disputing credit report items on your own.
First of all, are the time requirements. You need to carefully research every disputed item to ensure that it truly is incorrect. Then you need to provide any documentation you can and keep tabs on everything.
Also, you should consider the amount of energy it takes to go through this process. Simply trying to hold all the pieces in your mind takes a lot of concentration, and for many people, it can be stressful.
Should you repair your credit on your own? It depends on whether you’d rather have the time or the money. If you can spare the time and would rather do it yourself, credit repair is absolutely achievable and thousands of people do it every year.