As anyone who has researched credit repair to any degree has heard, you absolutely have the right to repair your credit on your own. In fact, Dr. Randy Padawer, who co-wrote the best selling “FICO® 850” seminar for The Motley Fool and acts as a consultant for Lexington Law, became a credit expert by becoming an uber-do-it-yourselfer when it comes to credit repair.
You have probably also read that you can dispute the questionable negative items in your credit reports for free. The credit bureaus even provide a form on their websites to make this process easy for you.
Something that you likely will not hear as often is that repairing your own credit is rarely as easy as it initially seems. On its surface, credit repair seems to be a simple process. You obtain a copy of your credit reports, identify the inaccurate items they contain, dispute them with the credit bureaus, and wait for the bureaus to perform their investigation. Of course, if it really were that easy, there would be no reason for Lexington Law or any other credit repair organization to exist.
As you continue researching credit repair and the process of self credit repair, you will begin to understand the complexities of working to correct your credit score. You will find that it is not at all uncommon for the credit bureaus to reject your disputes or to verify a negative item that is actually inaccurate. You will find that effectively repairing your credit reports may involve also working with your individual creditors and if they are unresponsive to your needs, invoking your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act to force them to correct inaccurate listings. If you have questionable credit listings added by collections agencies, you may find that you also need to work with these collections agencies in a similar fashion by taking advantage of your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
In addition, with all of these communications you will find there are set protocols for dealing with each party that if not observed could hamper your credit repair efforts. And on top of that, there are some pitfalls you will need to recognize and avoid in order to make sure your credit score does not lower as a result of your credit repair efforts.
The rewards of repairing your credit can be huge but credit repair is not always easy and not without risk. Worst case scenario, self credit repair could hurt your credit score and even result in you being sued. For this reason, anyone looking to repair their own credit should practice their due diligence and adequately research the process before getting started.
As we mentioned above, Dr. Padawer became a credit expert through educating himself about self credit repair. But for most people, becoming a credit expert is not the goal. The goal is to repair their credit and this is why credit repair organizations like Lexington Law exist.
In 2004, Lexington Law conducted a study of over 2,000 of our clients. A very interesting finding from this study was that almost 40% of those surveyed had attempted self credit repair before enlisting the help of the firm. Despite the fact that credit repair is something you can do for yourself “at little or no cost” according to the FTC, these people found it was easier to pay for Lexington Law’s credit repair services than to continue working on repairing their credit on their own.