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By Tara-Nicholle Nelson | Broker in San Francisco, CA

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Credit Report

Have you noticed your Facebook friends posting pics of their newly cleaned, organized, spruced, and shampooed closets, rooms and carpets?  I certainly have - seems like the urge to tackle those big Spring Cleaning projects is in the air!  Seeing those photos on social media is strange, as without the before, the after is not necessarily too exciting (looks like a big empty garage to me!).

But I understand the urge to post them -- Spring Cleaning is one of those tasks that is daunting and dread-making until you’re done, and you feel the great sense of accomplishment, freshness and possibility of your post-cleaning space.

Removing clutter at home removes obstacles to mental clarity by stopping up those little nagging drains that leak a little bit more of your energy every time you see that pile of papers that need shredding or the boxes of toys your kids no longer use. And the same goes for Spring Cleaning your credit report in advance of kicking off your house hunt. It’s stressful to have little credit report glitches get in your way and hold up the process after you’re already in heated house hunt mode. 

Getting out in front of potential financing issues by doing a DIY credit cleaning gives you the chance to remove all those glitches and obstacles to a smooth loan approval, underwriting and home buying transaction. 

Here’s how to do-it-yourself:

1.  Do one scan for flat-out errors.  Go to AnnualCreditReport.com and order your credit reports from all three reporting bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Look for accounts that aren’t yours, that have long been closed or otherwise are erroneously reported (e.g., payments listed as late that were actually on-time, a short sale listed as a foreclosure, etc.). Follow the instructions on the reports to dispute such report errors immediately - both online/on the phone and in writing. 

Be prepared that it might even take several rounds of disputes and submissions of documents proving your case to ultimately clear everything up - if you experience this, make sure to loop your mortgage pro in after the first dispute round, rather than waiting months and months to even make the first call.  It might be the case that the hard-to-dispute items are simply not making much of a difference to your ability to get a home loan. 

2.  Do another scan for small reporting inaccuracies you think don’t make a difference - but do.  In particular, you’re looking for things like:
  • delinquencies that should have aged off
  • balances listed as higher than they truly are
  • limits listed as lower than they really are, and
  • short sales/foreclosures that are improperly dated, among other things. 

Paying bills late or not at all is only one thing that dings your credit report and score. Having a maxed out credit account (loan, line or card) limits is another.  So, if your credit report shows your balances as higher than they actually are or your limits as lower than they actually are, this by itself can actually impair your credit score. 

These sorts of little, technical errors can, cumulatively, create a serious, negative impact on your credit score. They are very common - and commonly overlooked by consumers who are looking primarily for big, bad errors and wrong reporting that might indicate identity theft or other nefarious goings-on.  So take a second tour through your credit reports looking for inaccurate balances and limits.

In the same vein, triple-check the dates of any delinquent payments, collections, short sale(s), foreclosure(s), or bankruptcies that are legitimately reported. Another common error is for these sorts of derogatory credit marks to have been dated inaccurately.  Delinquencies should age entirely off your report after 7 years, and bankruptcies after 10.  The precise date of a short sale or foreclosure can actually make or break your ability to qualify for a home loan - so make sure it is reported accurately.

3.  Pay the right things off - and take care not to pay off accounts you need to show your responsible use of credit. A few things that most lenders will demand you settle, bring current or pay off entirely before you can buy a home:
  • accounts in collections
  • state and federal tax liens
  • past home loans or lines of credit in default that were not extinguished through foreclosure or short sale (e.g., second loans, home equity lines of credit, etc.)
  • defaulted federal student loans (for FHA loan applicants).

If you do have to negotiate with any such creditors for settlements or repayment plans, consider including the way they report the account as one of the negotiables in your settlement deal.  Consult with your mortgage professional about how you should ask the creditor to report the resolution as part of the settlement - you might not get it, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.

Your mortgage pro can also help you understand how you should sequence and prioritize the various items on this little laundry list. For example, some lenders might allow you to simply extinguish a tax lien at closing, while most FHA loans won’t allow for a credit pre-approval while you have a defaulted federal student loan on your report.

But do exercise some caution when you start paying off debt in preparation for home buying. Some house hunters take the opportunity to pay all their debt off and close out old, unused accounts, thinking it will document their readiness for the financial responsibilities of homeownership.  Not so: credit scores are optimized when they show that you (a) have credit available to you, and (b) are responsible in how you use it.  The ideal for the FICO score calculations is to be using roughly 30 percent of the credit available to you on your accounts.  So don’t pay them entirely off, and whatever you do, don’t close accounts that are open and/or current. 

That said, don’t go out charging up a storm trying to bring zero balance accounts up to 30 percent credit limit usage.  A flurry of new charges can upset your debt-to-income ratio and be seen by the FICO calculating robots as a sign of potential financial distress.

4.  Get your mortgage pro to help.  Up to now, you’ve been working on the reports that you can pull yourself, for free, as mandated under the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) through AnnualCreditReport.com. These reports are free and are the smart starting point for your credit Spring Cleaning, but they have two important shortcomings:
(1) They are almost never identical to the report your lender will actually use as the basis of your mortgage application, and
(2) They do not include the FICO credit score on which lending decisions are based.

So, once you’ve dealt with any major or minor reporting errors you detect on the free reports, get your mortgage pro in the loop (if you haven’t already) and ask them to pull your report and FICO score, and help you to troubleshoot it.  From the report, they can tell you whether you’ll have any challenges qualifying at the price range you desire and, if so, they can help you put a plan of action into place for finishing up your credit fitness program.

Many mortgage pros have software or expertise that can power a set of recommendations about what you need to do to complete your credit report Spring Clean, like paying 3 particular accounts down by a specific dollar amount, each.  Also, they generally have access to Rapid Rescore or similar programs that will have your report updated and your credit score revised within a day or two after you pay a bill down or execute your mortgage broker’s other score-boosting advice. (By contrast, it can take 30 days or more it can take for your score to be updated if you dispute your report on your own.)

5.  Ask about augmenting your report with non-traditional “tradelines,” if needed.  If you simply don’t have much credit because you like to pay cash, kudos to you for managing your finances responsibly.  Increasingly, lenders will allow borrowers to use non-traditional accounts to document their credit history.  If you can document your history of paying your rent, health insurance, or even child care bills on time, every time, for at least 12 months, talk to your mortgage professional about whether you can use any of these accounts to prove yourself creditworthy to mortgage lenders.

Is anyone Spring Cleaning their credit report right now?  What have you found - any tips or insights you can share?

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By June Ann Holland,  Thu May 2 2013, 10:03
Great information to pass to some clients, thanks for sharing it. So many people never think of checking their credit report, and if they did they would not know what to do to correct any areas, or what steps to take to improve their scores.
By wayne,  Thu May 2 2013, 10:29
Not to be rude but what is mentioned is the same standard stuff that has been talked about hundreds of times.
But technically everything is sound advice, not detailed but solid sound advice. # 4 is called a "What If Simulation". Helpful but only good for what if you pay this or that off or down. #5 is typically used for showing additional on-time payment "history" to the lender for lack of payment history, usually not the score. Creditors pay the bureaus to report information, that is how a score is created, you can't ask a health insurance company, apt complex or utility company to report the information to the bureaus since the system does not work that way.
By Appts_bvnp,  Thu May 2 2013, 10:32
Aged old stuff nothing new
By Monee' Loporto,  Thu May 2 2013, 10:46
Creditkarma.com is a great way for people to keep up with their credit score and simulate ways to better their credit score. I have been using it for about a year now and it has really helped me be more knowledgeable about what to and not to do ... good luck !!
By Joyblanch,  Thu May 2 2013, 10:55
That's very true! It happened to me. It's traumatic because it involves big money to settle some of my debts even my husband is the buyer alone. They also need to check my credit report. I don't see any point but I need to.
By Diana Walton,  Thu May 2 2013, 11:01
Very informative. Tara, thank you for sharing. Diana
By Tony & Adriana Orrico,  Thu May 2 2013, 11:08
This article will be a great help to my clients. Thanks, Tara.
By Andreaxoxotom,  Thu May 2 2013, 11:17
credit karma was 34 points lower on that site then when I had a finance company pull it up. Was very happy to here it was better than I thought
By Lou Antognoli,  Thu May 2 2013, 11:24
Does your "free" credit report count against the 3 that are allowed before red flags arise?
By Honolulu Aunty,  Thu May 2 2013, 11:43
Is there any way to remove the one late payment on a credit card? I had one for a $55 Sears credit card and it stayed as a black mark for years and years. 7 years? It should now have been removed.
I always pay the bills on time, and just this year, I overlooked my Nordstrom payment for 2 months, and now THAT has been reported to the credit bureau and will stay on my report for 7 more years.

AARGH! Is there any way to get that removed?

Thank you for the article,

Honolulu Aunty
By Deb Anderson,  Thu May 2 2013, 11:54
It isn't new news, but presented well! Scoresense is only $1 to try and you also have full access to your scores and reports ( if you have pulled your annual credit report within the past year). Even if you have kept up on your credit reports, I have found that all the credit bureaus have an incredibly high error rate. They reported my current residence (of 8 years) to be an apartment I occupied 20 yrs ago, even though I corrected it last year. It is very important to look at your reports yourself, since a lender assumes it is accurate. If any other company had that poor of a reporting accuracy, they would be out of business. Fair Isaac is not fair. Especially to hispanics or other minorities. I have seen 3 different social security numbers associated with one customer with his name spelled 4 different ways, showing him in Washington state and California, when he had never been to either place. Definitely check it yourself!
By Titus Pullo,  Thu May 2 2013, 12:05
Tara gets paid to write every article. Informative or not. Nothing new here. I got all this info from Suzy Orman already.
By Ora Wilson,  Thu May 2 2013, 12:07
Tara, great information as I too know this, but, when a person pays off past debts they can ask the collection company agree to give them a letter of deletion my lender told me this, that way it won't report negative even though it is paid off, and don't settle a partial payment like 50-60% bad move, pay the full amount and get the letter of deletion, also what I learned is the FICO score is different from the credit bureaus score maybe this also applies for Credit Karma and Quizzle, they report lower, the credit bureaus yet work with the creditors, you can't trust their scoring you must get a FICO score true scoring, to Honolulu Aunty what you can do is pay on time for now on, that will ease the 60 day payment over paying on time, you can call them and ask them to update the late payments it won't hurt and e-mail you a reminder that the payment is due, if they won't dispute it . I paid late on one of my cards, it's still there but, it doesn't affect my score as I pay now on time no more late paying. Serious matter with payments of any kind. The credit bureaus are making money off of ignorant people that won't take the time to educate themselves, you believe everything you here, ask questions, research, they know the scores are lower yet they still sell them to people that don't know any better. Knowledge is power or applied knowledge is more powerful, educate yourself, you keep up with your car repair, so, do the same with your credit, why pay someone when you can do it yourself.
By Chris Carter, MORTGAGE LENDER,  Thu May 2 2013, 12:23
Yes, these make up a good initial approach. As a licensed MLO, I am dealing with more and more credit issues from applicants every week. It is very important for everyone to understand that credit repair takes time.

With more people having to deal with credit dings suffered during the 2008 financial meltdown, buyers/borrowers should be aware that while lenders may say that someone is eligible for a new mortgage 2 years after a short sale, the effect on that person's score goes on for up to 7 years. Just because the waiting period may have elapsed, the score doesn't automatically catch up. The score has to also have recovered at least to the loan program's minimum by the time the waiting period is over. This is a source of major misunderstanding among applicants.
By Sue Botelho,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:06
This article has some inaccuracies, such as paying off collections. We, as lenders, do NOT tell our clients to pay off ANY collections that are over 12 months old, in most cases, as it will DROP their credit score. If you are working with a client with credit issues, make sure you send them to a qualified lender to help dissect their credit accurately instead of generally to make sure they get the credit score that they need in order to be able to buy. If you have clients that are looking to purchase and need credit advice or help, please feel free to contact me at sbotelho@waterstonemortgage.com and avoid giving them erroneous advice that will not only hurt their credit but potentially lose you a client!
By Rose,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:18
Not too long ago there was detailed spot on 60 minutes about the futility of contesting inaccuracies in your credit reports and the people who were paid to process these disputes for a living were all told just to do nothing, do not forward any of the evidence and to reject the claim.
It was detailed and extensive, saying that the inaccuracies are many and impossible to fight.
There has been no person, place or office where the buck stops who is ultimately responsible to address these inaccuracies.
By mendez.robert1967,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:22

Paying off a collection will not drop their score under any circumstance. It wont always benefit them, but it will not lower their score. I suspect you're thinking of "re-aging" a debt which only original creditors can do
By Jaylee Baker,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:29
If a buyer is looking to purchase in the next 90 days, they need to consult a lender before they do anything to their credit report. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, paying old debt will absolutely drop credit scores. A lender should be able to give good guidance on what needs to be done.
By buzz13,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:29
Any thoughts on what to do if a relative have severely ruined your credit, and what we can do to get things off the credit report that belong to them and have the creditors believe us. My husbad has almost the identical name as his father, and creditors will not believe that is truly a different person because mom has used my husbabd's SS#. I am at my wits end with what to do!!!
By Lynn Terry,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:30
To have a late payment removed you can try calling the creditor, they can send a correction to the bureau if they chose to. If there was a hardship / illness / etc, (or other hardship story) during the time of the late payment, and you haven't been late before, they may take it off. When you call the creditor, escalate the issue to a supervisor. Don't take no for an answer from a representative - supervisors have more freedom to make adjustments. Won't work every time - but it's worth a try.
By April Kell,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:31
Wow, first few comments - these tips may be "nothing new" to those of us who are and have been knowledgeable and financially responsible our whole lives. However, for those who are attempting to fix their credit, first-time homebuyers, or just young or naive people in general - it never hurts to reiterate good advice .
By mendez.robert1967,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:36
Again, paying old debts will not drop a credit score, that is a fact. There is one, I repeat ONE scenario where that is possible.

If you renegotiate a past due loan or credit line with the original creditor. Then yes it can appear as a new loan. If however you are talking about paying off your run of the mill collection, it will not drop your credit score - I guarantee it
By Faye Gladden,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:37
Did anyone see the 60 Minutes program re: CREDIT REPORTS AND CREDIT REPORTING COMPANIES. Well according to the story there is no way to fix anything on those reports. They never fix anything and the 3 companies are regulated by no one. So maybe we should start an online petiiton to have some regulations on the big three. No talking lets just make this happen. Go online and see that 60 Minutes report.
By Pwood1,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:38
Excellent report---good work, particular this day and time, when errors are so time consumming to make correct. How do you order written reports, from all three agencey, when the site, just always state, not available or sometning close to this?

Thank you.
By Kristine.go,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:43
I paid off a debt that went into collection 4 years ago, mostly due to the fact that I live abroad and was having difficulty keeping in contact with the credit card company. The collector demanded I pay immediately and it was settled for less than the full balance. Besides this, my credit is fine. However, this detail in my report is what prevents me from getting approved by the better, beneficial credit cards. Is there any way to fix this or do I have to wait 7 years for this to disappear?
By Tonia,  Thu May 2 2013, 13:58
"Rose" and "Faye Gladden": Then 60 minutes was full of crap because I disputed a few things on my credit report AND my mother's credit report a couple years ago and some of them DID get removed.
By Deb Anderson,  Thu May 2 2013, 14:22
It is not hard to dispute something and get it taken off. However, what this report was emphasizing was that a lender can do a "line item update" within a couple of days for the loan to go through. My point is that you need to review your own reports for accuracy, because the mortgage lender doesn't know that it is not accurate. They just go with what they see. If you work with your lender, they will give you good advice as far as what needs to be handled and what doesn't.
By Shane Harter,  Thu May 2 2013, 14:31
People who are interested in learning more about fixing mistakes on their credit file could benefit by joining the community at CreditBoards.com It's a fantastic resource.
By Myra J. Cochran,  Thu May 2 2013, 14:41
What is old to some of us is new to others! This is good advice regardless!
By Tara-Nicholle Nelson,  Thu May 2 2013, 14:59
The great thing about credit clean-up is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel to get ready to buy a home. But you do need to ACT. Some buyers can benefit from a clear, concise list of action steps and reminders to nudge themselves into motion and get started tackling this project - this post is the start of that list. But if you have your own story or insights to add, others can benefit from those, too - I invite you to share away!
By John Fall,  Thu May 2 2013, 15:22
For serious issues on a credit report, the best and most effective way to remove them is to
do your dispute directly with the alleged creditor. I say "alleged" because every dispute I have managed over the years has revealed that the "alleged' creditor was NOT the holder in due course at
the time they did the derogatory reporting! That is fraud. And from what I have seen, they all do it.
So what happened? - They sold the alleged evidence of debt ... and therefore had no right to report against you! This gets much deeper. Just know this (and check for yourself): Title 15 USC 1692g(a)4 and (b) requires the alleged debt collector to provide you "VERIFICATION" of the debt within 30 days of you disputing it. The legal meaning of the term "VERIFICATION" is defined in Black's law dictionary as " ... by oath, affidavit or deposition" . . . in other words, sworn under penalty of perjury. After you document your dispute with the alleged creditor, using a notary to witness the mailings and sign an affidavit, then you can show the credit bureaus your 3rd party evidence that the alleged creditor was unable to provide the "verification" required by federal law. You also now have evidence to file a civil suit if you want (remember to state a claim for damages or the case will be dismissed). There is NO LAW that requires a credit bureau to report anything negative, especially fraudulent reporting. The End.
By Mike Bowman,  Thu May 2 2013, 15:30
I'm recently in the process of doing this and have been for a few months now. In less than one month I was about to boost my score on all 3 agencies by 100 points. I used Equifax's program and I'm sure each agencies program is the same. I handled all inaccuracies first. Next I tackled the negative factors. This one is tough, but with a couple phone calls and time you can remove negative factors that affect your credit. For ex. I was 30 days late on my PayPal card. This was due to sending in a payoff payment and before it got processed...they tacked on another month of interest. So this $5.00 interest turned into a late fee of $29.00. I simply called the number on the credit report, explained I'm showing late 1 time in 7 years, and asked for a "one time credit report forgiveness". (My own made up phrase). The woman said write a letter stating my case and send it to this address. I did and within 3 weeks it now shows not being late and removed from my negative factor on my credit report. Now the only factor hurting my credit is not having enough credit cards. I think I can deal with that :) Hope this helps!
By Vondelle,  Thu May 2 2013, 15:59
Hi I am hoping someone can answer my question. I was part of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement. In addition to a cash payment , they also removed the (pre foreclosure)mortgage off my credit report entirely. Does that mean I can apply for a mortgage now?
By Kimberly Crail,  Thu May 2 2013, 16:11
This is general information. And your annual credit report does not give you your scores. If you want to get your scores and improve your credit scores in 60 days, please visit my website at http://www.myfes.net/kcrail. They have been doing this for 30 years, and they dispute everything on your credit report that is negative. If the creditor cannot provide PROOF the item will have to be removed. The service provides for 6 cycles of such report disputing.
By larkinator98,  Thu May 2 2013, 16:30
My husbands ex somehow attached her address to our credit report and even though we have tried to remove it, it has been very cumbersome. After he left her, (never living at her address or receiving mail there) he has been developing exceptional credit yet some of her financial problems have landed on our report nearly 8 years after he left. Does anyone know how to remove her address from our personal financial information?
By Neal Blaise Salogar,  Thu May 2 2013, 16:32
I declared bankruptcy several years ago. I chose to exclude my mortgage obligation from this, and have been perfect, start to finish (condo has been sold for a profit), never late on a payment. However, I notice a notation of "derogatory,' due to the bankruptcy, attached to my home loan. Is this correct, and what does it mean?
Thank you, Neal.
By Camille,  Thu May 2 2013, 16:37
Great information. Thank You for sharing. How do you become a featured agent on Trulia? This is great

Thank You
By scotty4026,  Thu May 2 2013, 17:00
First, before doing anything to your credit, go to myfico.com and search the discussions in their community forum. If you can't find an answer, create a free username and post your question. There is tons of valuable advice there.

Sure, ask your mortgage professional as well, but sadly, most of them do not know what they are talking about when it comes to credit beyond some basics. There is too much misinformation floating around out there, and often mortgage professionals repeat it as well.

For example, this article states that an ideal credit utilization is 30%. That is not correct. That number gets floated around a lot, but I do not know where it came from. Your credit utilization is considered on an overall and an individual basis. You will typically see the best possible score if you have a balance of $0 on all credit cards except one, and a balance of 9% or less of the CL for the one card that you let report a balance. Most cards report the balance that is stated on your bill, so you can control what gets reported by paying your cards down to whatever you want before your bill is generated.

Some posters above stated that paying old debt cannot hurt your score. That is not true. Paying old debt, such as a collection, should not hurt your score. This is because collections are scored the same whether paid or not. However, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that paying a collection can hurt your score because the CA sometimes updates the activity on the account causing a score drop. If you cannot negotiate an agreement with the CA to delete an account in exchange for payment, I would ask your lender if you can pay the collection at closing. That way you don't have to worry that paying the collection will cause your score to plummet and disqualify you for the loan.
By scotty4026,  Thu May 2 2013, 17:06
Also, be careful about filing a lot of disputes before you plan to apply for a mortgage. Typically, you cannot clear automated underwriting with active disputes. This is because a dispute causes certain aspects of your account to be ignored for FICO scoring purposes. Thus, you can artificially inflate your score for a brief period by disputing negative account information.

Even after the dispute is concluded, some creditors will enter a comment in the remarks section that the account information was disputed. Most mortgage lenders will make you clear those remarks before approving the loan. Sometimes that is an easy phone call, but some of the CRAs can be a major pain to deal with in getting those dispute comments removed.

All of that is to say that if you are going to dispute something, leave yourself sufficient time. Don't file frivolous disputes, and be wary of companies that try to sell you on the fact that they can clear up everything by filing disputes. It could leave you with more of a mess to clean up.
By Ronald Kaplan,  Thu May 2 2013, 17:59
excellent advice but also realize you can write a nice letter to a landlord if you renting explaining the situation and where you are now ..with nice photo things happen and life goes on. As real estate agent in South Florida have had tenants do this and sometimes it helps.. and can show bank statements, pay stubbs. Do not get down just do the best you can if buying a house etc get a great mortgage person ..things can happen. good luck all
By Ronald Romero,  Thu May 2 2013, 20:20
Ask about augmenting your report with non-traditional “tradelines,” if needed. A far as I know, the new reporting can include, rent-but when have you seen Car Insurance, which is mandatory, be reported-or Rental Furniture, or Child Care? Some of these things are only reported when not paid.
As far as "tradelines" are concerned, they are probably illegal, but can be purchased, but really, don't they make you feel guilty? Because even if proven legal, it is still not an honest report. Think about it. The idea that one can purchase tradelines , that will zoom your credit score to out of this world, but in reality have no bearing on the individual, that's dishonest. Perhaps the people that sell them are undercover anyway-watch out!-because w/all the mediocrity of our system, and rising white collar crime-there may be many looking for a "Quick" way to improve their credit capabilities.
Really, they've turned the market into a syndromic game, based on elementary grading-I call it the Credit Card Syndrome.
By Jmbunn1972,  Thu May 2 2013, 20:26
@wayne: ecredible....they are a website you can use to track your payment history with nontraditional creditors, such as utilities, rent, phone (even mobile carriers) , etc. The way it works is you register with them and create an account and YOU log in your creditors and amounts. When it comes time that you need to use that information to prove credit worthy you authorize them to verify your payment history with each various creditor-and they will , yes for a minimal fee- and any lending institution BY FEDERAL LAW, MUST consider this information when deciding on extending you a loan. It's the law peeps. Make it work FOR YOU for a change. The fee is really minimal when you figure in how screwed you get with credit bureaus while you are actually controlling your own money instead of government and lending institutions. This gets you right around all the IN-considerations of red tape. Minor mistakes...especially old ones....do not have to haunt you for life. It's your money, take control of it. Happy reporting!!!
By Sharon,  Thu May 2 2013, 22:30
Has any one heard of Michigan consumer credit lawyers? go online check them out . They are accredited by the better business bureau. They are working for me as we speak. They send out dispute letters to all 3 credit agencys, if and when they respond usually 30 45 days. If still not removed off your report, they send out secondary letters to each again, if still no action, they take them to court and sue for punitive damamages and all court costs. Cost me nothing, but my time so far. IT'S A START, BETTER THAN WHERE I GOT WITH ANY OF THEM, TRY IT, WHAT DO YOU GOT TO LOSE, YOU'RE ALREADY AT THE MERCY OF THE BIG 3.
By Jon Miller,  Fri May 3 2013, 04:46
these three credit bureus are holding this country back with their nonsense,we started into a mortgage and we used two different wells fargo offices because the first one did not want to deal with us because our loan was so low,both checked our credit scores,now that has drove them so low,that we can,t even go back to our own bank for a loan,it,s rediculus and should be illegal for your rate to go down just from them checking your score!!!
By Lorie Woodruff,  Fri May 3 2013, 11:03
I have been a Realtor for the past 12 years and I've seen my share of clients looking to rent a home, buy a home, or transition from a short sale or foreclosure. Credit is king! I've affiliated with a 10 year old, A+ rated Credit Restoration company go help my business. They have helped thousand improve their credit scores by leveraging the Fair Credit Reporting Act. I invite you to visit my site, http://Www.thewsuite.com , to get more info to help your clients or yourself. Or you can call me on (301) 880-0931 to get more info. My score was raised 118 points in 4 MONTHS! This can be a blessing to many!
By julies1669,  Fri May 3 2013, 13:05
I can assure you that your credit score will drop if you pay a collection account off. I suggest you send a pay for delete letter to the collection agency if the lender is requiring you to pay off a collection. If the collection agencies will not accept a pay for delete I would pay the collection off at the closing table as most lenders pull credit right before closing again and if your score dropped it could cost you the loan. Keep in mind that when you do pay a collection off it will now stay on your credit for another 7 years from the date you paid it as that will now be the date of last activity. If you need help re-establishing your credit go to: http://www.youCANownahome.com for FREE credit re-establishment.
By Gerard Kinney,  Fri May 3 2013, 15:21
Basically your hoping that their might be some untrue charge on your report. All though sometimes there will be one. Even that will not do much to raise your score. Lets be honest people, you know if you have good credit or not. This advice is no better than useless and does nothing to improve your score. It doesn't really matter any way. with Barry Huesin Obama in the white house. All you need is a 620 credit score to get a 3.5% mortgage. With only 3.5% down. If you can't achieve those lowly levels, you have no business trying to get a mortgage any way.
By Jason Ling,  Fri May 3 2013, 19:23
Thanks for the info!
By Rod Hug,  Fri May 3 2013, 21:08
I just was denighed a home loan because I have never used credit cards. So I have no FICA score. I have always purchased with cash, including cars. I bought several properties during my life time. This FICA business, having to be so careful about your credit score, is complicated and time consuming. It amounts to an infringement on our freedom by the banks.
By Tisha Rambo,  Sat May 4 2013, 09:07
By Tisha Rambo,  Sat May 4 2013, 09:07
By cblackdiamond22,  Sun May 5 2013, 04:43
hello Tara I have checked my report and it has a lot of old medical bill far back as 2004 I contact the company's who put me in the system and also contacted my insurance company I been with my insurance with my job almost 9 years they pull my history of medical from day one never reported to my insurance company so who the charge it to late to charge the insurance company so I'm stuck I have turn in my ( I BO'S )which is my medical reports to all that put me in credit berue in the first how do i get my scores up from here the only debt on my report . Please help
By cblackdiamond22,  Sun May 5 2013, 04:43
By cblackdiamond22,  Sun May 5 2013, 04:44
By Sherry,  Sun May 5 2013, 09:32
@cblackdiamond22, Are you saying that the medical claims were never paid by your insurance company? And the medical bills were sent to a debt collector for non-payment from you? If so, you need to find out why the insurance company didn't pay the claim; and submit the bill(s) to them for payment.
By Bob Nielson,  Mon May 6 2013, 15:30
Very informative
By Chris DeSelm,  Tue May 7 2013, 12:07
good to know!
By Ron Cheney,  Wed May 8 2013, 09:15
Gotta protect that credit Rating!
By Mark Acantilado,  Thu May 9 2013, 01:21
One of the best ways to avoid credit crunch is to make sure that you are able to pay your credits in time. Make sure that you allot enough resources to pay for your bills and avoid earning interest. Always remember that prevention is better than cure, and that goes the same for your credit history.

Mark | http://www.agentcampus.com/
By talksocks,  Thu May 9 2013, 10:42
to Mark Acantilado...Sounds nice to be able to plan ahead...what about the mortgage paid on time for 10 years...then lost our jobs and been foreclosed on! How could I see that I'd be unemployed and surviving on food stamps ten years down the line!
By Voices Member,  Mon May 13 2013, 13:39
Brush the dust off that credit report and it will make your live just a little bit easier!

David, http://www.cunninghampiano.com
By Jeff Runken,  Mon May 13 2013, 18:05
Great information!
By Richie Lopus,  Tue May 14 2013, 06:07
By tabernaclehomes,  Thu May 30 2013, 12:13
This is defiantly a must when looking for or building your dream home. Online pricing available, check out http://www.tabernaclehomes.com
By Roy Bush,  Sun Jul 14 2013, 09:03
I had a buyer that wanted to buy a home in Arizona, but he had a Chapter 7 bankruptcy 7 months ago. I introduced a loan program at http://www.cfsflex.com, they allow a mortgage after a foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy. There is only a six month waiting period. This is perfect for individuals looking to become homeowners again.
By Craig Web,  Fri Nov 29 2013, 01:23
Payment history makes up 35% of the total score that's why it is crucial that you pay your bills on time. One late payment can significantly dent your credit score. i found more helpful tips here http://www.myfreecreditreportx.com/how-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast
By gorzcore,  Wed Apr 2 2014, 02:19
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By Sandra Kay Lamothe,  Thu Jun 12 2014, 15:01

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