All 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax & Transunion) give you the ability to fix your credit and dispute derogatory or negative trade lines through their websites. This is required by the federal government. However, because the credit bureaus give us the ability to do this doesn’t mean they are an advocate of the process. Know that they are not working on our behalf to help us clean up our credit reports.
Here is why and its basic logic. The credit bureaus do not generate revenue or make a profit by addressing negative items on our credit reports. Even if those accounts are erroneous or obsolete. This process is a huge expense for these companies. It’s simply a downside of their business. Therefore they are not going to make it easy to fix your credit.
Steps To Fix Your Credit
Prove Your Identity
First, they are going to require that you prove your identity. If you cannot prove you are who you are they are not going to allow you to submit a dispute. There is actually a very valid reason for this, identity theft.
Once the credit bureaus go through the federally mandated process when they receive a dispute from a consumer, they will send you updates in the mail. They want to make sure they are not sending your personal, private information to someone else. Therefore, be prepared to answer random security questions that will give the bureaus enough information to validate that you are who you say you are.
Provide a Valid Reason for Disputing Accounts
Then you will have to provide a valid reason for the dispute. What is valid to you is not necessarily valid to them. For instance, because you co-signed for a loan or credit card for someone and they didn’t pay is not a valid reason to have the item removed from your credit report. Nor is being deployed on active duty in the military, or going through a divorce. There are valid reasons for disputing an item such as the account wasn’t yours. But the credit bureaus are not going to publish this information. This is further evidence that they want to make it as difficult as possible for consumers to fix your credit.
Don't Give Up After One Dispute
You may be successful in submitting a dispute through the credit bureau website or writing a letter on your own. But you may also receive a letter from the bureau verifying the accuracy of the account on your report and thus stating that the information will remain unchanged. If that happens don’t give up! This is the biggest mistake consumers make when trying to dispute items on their own. Dispute it again. Make the credit bureaus contact your creditor and have that creditor respond again. Do it several times. In some cases when the creditor sees that you are not giving up they will simply not respond to the bureau(s). When this occurs the item must be deleted from your report by law.
A Professional Service Can Save Lots of Time and Frustration
As you can tell this is a lot of work and most of the time leads to failure and frustration. Many consumers make the decision to pay for a professional company with a good track record to go through all of this for them. Companies that have been in business for several years know exactly how to navigate through this process. They use proper dispute reasons and codes. And, they submit acceptable proof of identification, and will not give up.
If you decide that your time is worth far more than trying to fix your credit on your own, let's talk. We have been in business since 2012, have thousands of people, and work in all 50 states. For a one-time activation fee of only $179 and $79/month, you will immediately be able to see your credit scores and credit reports with all 3 credit bureaus.
You can then choose to dispute as many items as you have immediately. You will have 24/7 online access and get real-time updates on both your credit scores and credit reports.
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Fix Your Credit Through the Credit Bureaus was originally posted in August 2014 and was updated in July 2023.
ERA Credit Services is an Independent Advisor
and does not directly provide credit repair services or accept funds from clients for credit repair services.