In this article we discuss something that almost everybody will need going forward: credit repair. This is a relatively new focus for our site because it steps away a little bit from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and focuses more on the other side of debt trouble – what it does to you in the long run financially. Of course everybody reading these words knows how much anxiety and trouble being sued can make for you, but the longer term effects may not be quite so much in your face right now.
Still, the price of bad credit information is big, and it adds up over time in ways that matter. A bad credit report may not scare you as much as a lawsuit, but it drains your hope and adds costs to everything you do.
So what, exactly, is your credit report? It isn’t one thing, actually. There are lots of credit reports out there – the “big three” obviously (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, but also others like Lexus/Nexus. And within these reports are important subsets. For example, most people think that information on their credit reports “expires” after 7 or 10 years, but did you know that this information never expires for certain people? That is, if you are seeking a job with a salary likely to exceed $75,000 or insurance with a face value beyond $250,000, there is no expiry date for any information? You may not think that wrong information is hurting you now or will ever hurt you – but you could be wrong.
You would expect your credit report to include your use of credit. But rather than think of it as a “credit report,” you should probably think of it as a “credit-worthiness” report because it includes much more than just your uses of credit. The reports are not designed to keep an “impartial” record of your use of credit, in other words, they are designed to help businesses make judgments about you: whether to give you credit, yes, but also whether to give you a job, let you rent one of their apartments, give you insurance and at what cost, let you rent a car, or do anything else that companies are always asking for credit reports for these days. It affects you almost every day in unseen ways.
So what is in your credit report? Obviously it includes information from your credit-involving transactions. But it also includes “lifestyle” information like judgments or liens, arrest and conviction records, and even job investigations under some circumstances. Actually, very little is safe from the reports.
Let’s be blunt here. There is a lot of wrong or expired information out there on most people’s credit reports, but there is also a lot of true information that might be hurting you. We are not concerned here with whether the information is true – our only goal is to help you remove bad information. Like debt law, the businesses and systems that control the process are set up to handle people in mass – this gives you an opportunity to remove harmful information. We think this is both moral
We think you should use every tool at your disposal to repair your credit report. Our materials are designed to guide you through the process, showing you what information to attack and how to do it. In some cases there are things you should not do if you want to increase your chances of winning, and we show you those things and discuss them as well.
We show you how the credit reporting system works and how to make your report be as good as possible within the rules.
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