According to Credit Repair by Robin Leonard and Deanne Loonin, the key to improving credit scores is to remove negative information.
Out-of date information: - lawsuits, paid tax liens, accounts sent out for collection, criminal records (but not criminal convictions), late payments and other information older than seven years - Bankruptcies older than ten years
Incorrect information: - incorrect name, address, phone number, Social Security number and/or employment information - bankruptcies not identified by the chapter number - accounts not yours or lawsuits in which you were not involved - incorrect account histories – such as payment history - duplicate accounts - closed accounts that still show open
If there are errors to your credit report, then take the following steps:
Complete a request for reinvestigation form or send a letter listing incorrect items and explanation to correct error.
Credit bureau must investigate issue within 30 days upon receipt. Send follow-up letter after 30 days of no response.
If credit bureau can’t remove information, then contact creditor (ex. Customer service deparment, president, or CEO).
Note: Credit bureaus are not obligated to make any changes.
One of the key things to remember when trying to repair your credit is knowing what to pay off first. The secured debts should be high priority since they are linked to an item for collateral. The item is anything of value that the creditor can take if you don’t repay such as a house. There is no collateral for unsecured debts. Student loans and alimony/child support payments should be top priority for unsecured debts since creditors can use aggressive collection tactics.
Secured debts – have collateral
Mortgages and Home Equity Loan (HELOAN) or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
Cars, boats, tractors, motorcycles, planes, RVs
Personal loans from finance companies
Tax liens, judgment liens, mechanic liens and child support liens
Unsecured debts – no collateral
Credit card purchases
Student loans – more priority
Bills from doctors, dentists, hospitals, accountants, and laywers