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Be warned, the "100-word statement" will not raise your credit score

In a fair and just society, it seems like there should always be a means to express yourself and your viewpoint. We often feel that if we could just tell our side of the story, everyone would understand and any misinformation would be cleared up. Although that sounds reasonable, there are times when telling your point of view can do more harm than good.

Dealing with damaging information about you on your credit report seems like a perfect example of when you would want to take a stand for yourself. There are many events in a person's life that can cause financial hardship and lead to a few months of late bills or a missed payment now and then. Unexpected health issues, job losses, and family stress in your life can all have a direct negative effect on your normal bill paying routine. But it seems reasonable that once you get on your feet again and quickly get back to your typical, responsible self, there shouldn't be long-lasting negative consequences.

That being the case, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a provision for a 100-word statement was allowed, very likely under the best intentions by lawmakers. This 100-word statement gives consumers an opportunity to explain the circumstances behind negative items on their credit report, with the idea that creditors may be willing to grant leniency if they knew both sides of the story. Unfortunately, in our world of technology, it is unlikely that anyone will read your 100-word statements, let alone take them into consideration. Your credit score is tallied by a computer and this 100-word statement has no quantitative value, and therefore, does not have any effect on your score.

Furthermore, if the statement actually is read, the one brief sentence out of your 100-word statement that makes reference to you paying your bill late is the sentence that can be highlighted and possibly used against you. Often your explanation forces you to admit guilt and this puts you in a vulnerable position when attempting to try and defend yourself. With your statement in hand, credit bureaus no longer need to follow up with the creditor making the negative claim because you have already stated what they need to know.

So while the 100-word statement may seem like a good way to address the negative items on your credit report, it does not do anything to raise your score and may become an obstacle to future credit repair efforts.

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