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Credit Insider

Credit Insider Guide to three laws of credit repair

There is more to credit than the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

A repair outline.Credit report repair can be considered to be a set of interventions one applies to questionable credit listings in order to manifest an improved credit rating. These interventions are usually conducted by written letter, although -- while usually not recommended -- some approaches may be attempted by telephone.

Although some consumers think only "send in a credit bureau dispute" when they hear the phrase credit repair, the truth is a bit more complex. Good credit repair comprises a whole range of approaches, many of which don't even involve the credit bureaus. Although an in-depth examination of the full range of available techniques is not intended here, it makes sense to provide a few guidelines -- heuristics, if you will -- for reference. Having covered the legal bases for credit repair in the previous sections, I will employ only the acronyms for such legal statutes here.

Caveat: Heuristics are only useful as a means of mentally organizing a great deal of material. Remember, though, that no collection of simple rules can define every situation. That said, these heuristics roughly apply.

  1. Credit bureaus: Think FCRA disputes.
  2. Collection agencies: Think FDCPA validation and FCRA disputes.
  3. Original creditors: Think FCBA based interventions and FCRA disputes.

Getting started. Probably the most common question asked by those who are new to the subject of consumer credit is "How do I start?" Well, even after taking care of the preliminaries -- i.e., becoming teachable, identifying a community of like-minded others (or a law firm), and committing yourself to following through -- the first step isn't really starting per se. Rather, the very first step is to take stock of where you are, and such personal assessment will pretty much dictate how you proceed -- specifically, whether you will decide to go solo or request capable assistance. Either way, the good news is that you've decided to take action.

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