The Complete Guide to Credit Repair

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Fixing your credit is something you can do yourself. You just need the right resources. Our comprehensive collection of credit repair articles can help, full of free credit repair information. Rather not try and fix your credit yourself? Check out our articles on credit repair and business credit companies and how credit repair services work. Either way, there is no reason to delay fixing your credit reports and getting the better credit you deserve. Whether you pay someone to do it, or do it yourself, credit repair can start today.

Credit Repair Information

The Basics

Credit Repair FAQs — Do you know how repairing your credit report works? Do you know how long it takes? How much it costs? How to DIY? Get the facts and start repairing your credit today.

Credit Repair Myths — There’s a lot of advice out there on fixing credit. Unfortunately, much of it is misinformation. To avoid missed opportunities or mistakes, make sure you can separate myth from fact.

Glossary of Credit Repair Vocabulary — You’ve heard these terms before, but do you know what they mean? This glossary of terms is worth a review now and bookmarking for reference later.

Credit Repair Quiz — Think you are ready for DIY credit repair? Your best chance of success is to be sure you know your stuff. Take this quiz before you delve in.

Credit Monitoring FAQs — Do you know how credit monitoring services work? Do you know which credit monitoring service is best? Do you know what’s free and what’s not? Get the facts about this important step in the credit repair process.

How the National Consumer Assistance Plan Helps Your Credit — Find out how the National Consumer Assistance Plan changed the rules about reporting negative information, handling disputes, and sorting out ID theft and mixed files.

What Hurts Your Credit

Common Mistakes That Ruin Your Credit — Think it’s a good idea to apply for new credit? Negotiate a lower interest rate? Close a credit card account? The right answers may surprise you.

How a Short Sale Can Hurt Your Credit — Is a short sale going to hurt your credit as much as a foreclosure would? Just how much can you expect your credit score to fall? And will a short sale prevent you from buying another house afterward? Find out.

How an Auto Accident Can Hurt Your Credit — Though auto accidents are not reported to credit bureaus, it’s the debt associated with auto accidents that could hurt your credit. Get the facts about potential complications with the coordination of benefits process.

How a Checking Account Can Hurt Your Credit — Have you bounced checks? Failed to pay overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees? Had checking accounts closed and charged off? Consumer reporting agencies like ChexSystems keep track of negative activity like that. Find out how it works and how to fix it.

The Impact of Bad Credit

How Poor Credit Can Negatively Impact Your Life — You already know bad credit can prevent you from getting new credit. But the impact doesn’t end there. Our credit scores influence our lives in countless ways. Read about some of the real, practical problems.

The Cost of Bad Credit — Bad credit costs you more in the form of higher interest rates. But just how much money could you save with a better credit score? We break it down with examples.

How Bad Credit Costs You More In Living Expenses — If you have bad credit, there are some basic living expenses that you can expect to be higher. Get the facts about how fixing your credit report could lower the cost of your rent, mortgage, and insurance.

When a Good Job May Depend on Good Credit — Some jobs require good credit, with employers pulling credit reports as part of the job interview process. See a list of jobs that typically require a credit check, how the credit check is initiated, what employers are looking for, and more.

How Bad Credit Can Affect Employment — It’s not just potential employers who can pull your credit reports. It’s existing employers, too. Get the facts about how both existing and potential employers could use bad credit against you.


DIY Credit Repair How-To’s

How to Repair Your Credit on Your Own — Our easy-to-follow steps will walk you through the DIY credit repair process — from ordering and analyzing your credit reports to mailing credit dispute letters to the credit bureaus.

How to Fix Your Credit After a Late Payment — Just one late payment can knock 100 points off your credit score. So it’s well worth looking into how to fix your credit after making a late payment to a creditor.

How to Repair Your Credit After Bankruptcy — Yes, it can be done. Get tips on how to rebuild your credit after filing for bankruptcy, including how to apply for new credit, use your credit, monitor your credit, and more.

How to Repair Your Credit After a Repo — If you have had a car repossessed, it could knock anywhere from 60 to 240 points off your credit score. Coming back from that won’t be easy, but with these three steps, it can be done.

How to Fix Your Credit as a Couple — Though you don’t share the same credit report, there are plenty of things you can do as a couple to improve your credit individually.

How to Protect Your Credit During a Divorce — Divorce in and of itself won’t hurt your credit, but how you handle joint accounts could. Get tips on closing joint credit card accounts, refinancing joint installment agreements, and more. We have more articles on how divorce can hurt your credit.

How to Break the Cycle of Bad Credit — Having bad credit can be a vicious cycle and one that is hard to break. Fortunately, you can break the chains of bad credit and get your financial life back. Find out how.

How to Keep Your Credit in Good Shape — After you have repaired your credit, your next priority should be keeping it that way. Get tips on using credit, monitoring credit, and more.

How to Keep Your Credit in Check on Vacation — Failing to plan responsibly for a vacation can not only hurt your bank account but also your credit score. Get tips on budgeting, using (and not using) your credit cards, international transaction fees, and more.

Common Credit Repair Questions

Ask Your Questions in Our Credit Repair Forum — Do you have a question you cannot find the answer to anywhere else? Our active forum community can help, answering your questions about repairing credit, removing errors from your credit reports, and more.

15 Questions to Answer When Fixing Your Credit — Are you checking your credit reports? Are you disputing errors? Are you requesting validation of old debt? Do you know the statute of limitations in your state? The answer should be yes, to these and other important credit repair questions.

How Long Does It Take to Fix a Credit Report? — Fixing your credit cannot be done in any guaranteed length of time. It takes as long as it takes. What you can do, though, is put yourself on a schedule. Try this month-to-month timeline for the best results.

Can Paying Rent Help Your Credit? — Rent reporting services collect and report timely rent payments which can help increase your credit score. It’s not automatic though. Find out how rent reporting works and how to set it up.

Should You Close Your Credit Card Account? — If you’re worried about maxing out a credit card, closing the account may seem like a smart decision. Before you do that, learn all you can about how to close your unused credit card accounts with as little negative impact on your credit score as possible.

Dealing with Credit Bureaus, Original Creditors, and Collection Agencies

Credit Disputes

How Errors Get on Your Credit Report — In the U.S., 1 in 5 consumers has a mistake on their credit reports. Learn where inaccurate information comes from and how to remove it.

What is a Credit Dispute? — When you find incorrect information on your credit reports, you need to file a credit dispute. Find out the type of errors to look for, where to send your dispute, and what to do if the dispute doesn’t work.

What if a Credit Bureau Refuses to Investigate? — The credit bureaus are required by law to investigate your dispute, but there are circumstances in which they may refuse to do so. Here’s what to do if this happens to you.

What if the Credit Bureau is Slow to Respond? — The credit bureaus have between 30 and 45 days to investigate and respond to your dispute. If you haven’t heard from them by then, here’s what you should do.

How to Document Credit Disputes — We cannot stress enough how important it is to document everything during the credit repair process. This includes proof of when you sent the dispute and when it was received. Learn how to document these dates.

How to Question the Method of Verification — Even if a credit bureau tells you that a disputed listing has been verified, you’re not done. The next step is writing a Method of Verification letter. Here’s what to say.

Dealing with Original Creditors and Collection Agencies

How to File a Credit Dispute with the Original Creditor — If the credit bureau’s investigation fails to correct a mistake, dispute the item with the original creditor.

How to Find a Creditor or Collector’s Contact Information — Not sure where to send your credit repair letters? Get tips on finding contact information — in your credit report, online, through the BBB, and more.

Tips for Handling Debt Collectors — It’s stressful enough owing debt you cannot pay. Add to that the stress of creditors or collection agencies hounding you all the time and it can turn into an absolute nightmare. Get tips on keeping stress (and collectors) at bay.

Dealing with Credit Repair Problems

Where to Send Complaints — If a creditor is treating you unfairly, you don’t have to sit back and take it. Find out who to complain to depending on which type of creditor you’re dealing with.

How to File a Complaint with the CFPB — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversees the financial industry. So if you’re having a problem with credit reporting, debt collection, or any type of financial product or service, the CFPB wants to hear about it.

How to Contact Your State Attorney General’s Office — If you believe your rights have been violated by a credit bureau, creditor, or collector, you may want to consider legal action. Your local AG office is a great place to start.

Suing Credit Bureaus, Creditors, and Collectors — Get the facts about who you can sue for what, applicable laws, and associated fines.

Remove Credit Inquiries, Remove Collections from Credit Reports, and More

How to Remove Credit Inquiries — Soft credit inquiries don’t affect your credit, but hard inquiries do, especially if you have several over a short period of time. Get the facts about how you may be able to remove hard inquiries from your credit reports.

How to Remove Charge-Offs — Get the facts about pay-for-delete, an approach that could work with your original creditor to have a charge-off removed from your credit reports.

How to Remove Collections — Get the facts about how debt validation, credit disputes, or pay-for-delete could remove collections from your credit reports.

How to Remove Judgments — There are three ways to deal with a judgment, one of which is removed from your credit reports. Here’s how that works.

How to Remove Disputes — As important as it is to dispute erroneous items on your credit reports, the “Dispute Status” that shows up during an investigation can be a red flag to lenders. Find out how to handle this if you’re applying for credit before the dispute is resolved.

Re-Aging Accounts – This is where a collection agency or an original creditor changes the date of last activity or charge-off so that an item stays on your credit report longer than it should. The length of something that can stay on your credit report or how the date of last activity is calculated is defined in the FCRA.

How to Keep Medical Collection Off Your Credit Report — Can you negotiate medical bills with hospitals or doctors? When is medical debt turned over to a collection agency? Answers to these questions (and more) can help you keep medical debt off your credit reports.

Credit Repair Companies and Credit Repair Services

Advantages of Using a Credit Repair Company — DIY credit repair is ideal.

How to Find a Good Credit Repair Company? — If you’re considering credit repair companies, it’s crucial that you know how to find a reputable one. Here’s what to look for and what to avoid when hiring a credit repair company to fix your credit.

How to Avoid Bad Credit Repair Companies — Do they make outrageous claims? Credit repair companies that sound too good to be true probably are. So do your homework first or you could be throwing your money away and actually making things worse.

Dealing with the Rise of Credit Repair Company Complaints — Get the facts about a BBB survey of complaints about credit repair companies, how the FTC is protecting you, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Credit Counseling Services — Before you pay a credit repair company, see if credit counseling services can help you fix your credit for free.

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