Everywhere you look credit seems to be an essential part of our daily lives, it is used if we want to buy a house or rent an apartment, buy a new car, or even go shopping for large item merchandise. With credit being such an important factor in our lives, the number of consumers that have poor to bad credit is astounding, but these people can rebuild their credit to a good or excellent status if they develop a strategy to improve their credit.
Developing a credit rebuilding strategy is not as complicated as it may seem, but it can be time consuming and the process can be frustrating. Dealing with consumer reporting agencies, the agencies responsible for maintaining the credit files of consumers, requires that you know the laws that govern these agencies and how to use them to your benefit. The Federal Trade Commission has developed a set of laws that protects the consumer, and the most important of these laws is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, this law gives the consumer the right to make sure their credit report is accurate and up-to-date.
Before any strategy can be developed, a firm understanding of what tools are available to assist in the implementation of the developed strategy is essential, and the most important of these tools is the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Before you can start developing a strategy you have to know what the F.C.R.A. entitles the consumer to do about their credit report, and what is covered under this act:
You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report. The copy of your report must contain all of the information in your file at the time of your request.
You have the right to a free copy of your credit report when your application is denied because of information supplied by a consumer reporting agency. Your request must be made within 60 days of receiving your denial notice.
If you contest the completeness or accuracy of information in your report, you should file a dispute with the consumer reporting agency, and with the company that furnished the information to the consumer reporting agency. Both the consumer reporting agency, and the furnisher of information are legally obligated to reinvestigate your dispute within (30) days.
You have a right to add a summary explanation to your credit report if your dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction.
This is just a summary of the laws that pertain to the consumer contained in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, for the complete text go to the FTC?s website located at http://www.ftc.gov.
The first step in developing a plan of action is to know what is contained in your credit file, and how to read the file. We suggest that you have a complete credit analysis performed and the results sent to you. Millennium Credit Service provides a Credit Analysis Program that can analyze your credit report and give the consumer a guide to what needs to be corrected to improve their credit rating, to find out more about this service and other services offered by Millennium Credit Service visit their website at http://www.millennium-credit.com.
Now that you have a firm understanding of what information is contained on your credit report, and if you had an analysis performed you have a general idea of how to start rebuilding better credit, it is time to start developing your strategy:
First, go through the report and ensure that all of the personal information is correct, this includes social security number, address, employment, and name. This information should match information provided on any future credit applications.
Verify all accounts contained on the credit file, make sure they are all of your accounts and if there are any entries that are not yours list them as items to be disputed. Items that are not yours can be disputed and the agency has (30) day to correct any inaccurate entries.
Check the date of last activity on all negative accounts because they can only be reported for up to (7) years on your report and bankruptcies up to (10) years. If any items are older than the time listed you have the right to have them removed from your file, but the time limit starts from the date of last activity.
These are the first steps needed to be taken to start rebuilding your credit, if you need any assistance or feel that the task is a bit much, you can always hire a professional credit repair company like Millennium Credit Service to do the work for you. Just remember there is nothing a credit repair company can do for you that you can?t do yourself, the only difference is that these companies deal with consumer reporting agencies all the time, and they provide an objective professional attitude when repairing their clients credit. This is important because it relieves the consumer of the headaches and frustrations of deal with consumer reporting agencies, but be sure to hire a company that gets paid for services performed and does not require up-front payment.