Credit Repair Myths and Facts
There are no secrets to repairing your credit. Many shady credit
repair agencies would love you to think the contrary. Negative
items can be removed from your credit report and you can do it
yourself. One does not need a credit repair “expert” or “law
firm” to do it either. While the credit world can seem complex
to the average individual, the basics are really simple once you
Fact: You can remove negative items from your credit report.
According to the FCRA, you have the legal right to dispute any
piece of information with a credit bureau. Upon doing so, the
credit bureau then has 30 calendar days to investigate the
item(s). After that time, the credit bureau will either update
the item as you request or leave it alone if they proved it was
correct to begin with. If you submit additional information on
the dispute during the 30 days, the credit bureau is allowed to
take an additional 15 days. Disputes can be submitted online at
the credit bureau’s site or simply sent via postal mail, which
happens to be my recommendation. Disputes sent in based on the
free credit report now provided under FACTA are given 45 days to
Myth: Collection agencies can call you anytime and do as they
To stop collection agencies from calling you, simply send them a
cease and desist letter stating they are only allowed to contact
you via postal mail. This ability is afforded you via the FDCPA.
Collection agencies have a series of actions they must do to be
in compliance. You would be surprised at just how many FCRA and
FDCPA violations are committed on a daily basis by many
collection agencies. Never speak with a collection agency over
the phone. Conducting discussions via written form is best
because you have proof.
Fact: Paying a collection account will not improve your
As far as credit scores go, a paid collection account is the
same as an unpaid one. Your official credit score is called a
FICO score. It takes into account many things such as:
Age of overall credit file.
Number of accounts in good standing.
Number of accounts delinquent.
Negative items: liens, bankruptcies, repossessions, etc.
Time since the negative item was created.
Amount of your credit being used (utilization).
New account under six months old (which hurt your credit).
Number of hard inquiries.
Typically, mortgage lenders will require delinquent accounts be
cured but this won’t improve your score.
Myth: You must pay any bill that comes to your home from a
Under the law you have the right to challenge the legitimacy of
any bill sent to you—it is called validation. By sending a
validation letter to a collection agency they must, by law,
cease all collection activities until they can validate the
debt. It is important to note the word is validation and not
verification which mean two entirely different things.
Validation means they must submit to you proof the bill is
yours, which is not a simply an invoice sent to you. Until that
is properly done, they can not report the item to your credit
report, ask you for money or do anything which can be deemed
further collection activity. Do they anyway? Yes they do. This
is why it is important to know the law, which is on your side.
It is vital that you check your credit report often as most
individuals have erroneous data in them. Don’t assume that
everything will work as it should because it almost never does.
No one will be looking out for your credit identity but you.
Credit standing has never been more necessary than it is today.
Just about everything we do in life from applying for a job to
booking a hotel room has something to do with our credit
American Consumer Group, a non-profit organization, has set up a
free credit repair site with all the information mentioned in
this article. Go educate yourself and spread the word.
This article is copyright Jason Andrew Martin LLC.
About the Author
This article is copyright Jason Andrew Martin LLC. Jason A.
Martin has been conducting business on the Internet for 11
years. He is a free-lance writer on many topics and is currently
working on obtaining a degree in Journalism and Law. His blog is
displayed at: Jason A.