Advertisements are everywhere these days selling books, systems and secrets to help you improve your credit. Most of these programs have claims which read like the covers of supermarket tabloids:
"In three hours my credit score went from 580 to 676!"
"Eradicate bad credit and annihilate your debts with just 2 Magic Letters!"
Are these types of claims ALWAYS too good to be true? The answer is Yes and no.
There are many people would love for you to think that the only thing that can rehabilitate bad credit is time, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, time is only one of any number of factors which can fix any given credit report, but it's far from being the only factor. How can I say this? Easy.
Under a consumer protection law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (aka the FCRA), the only negative information which can be left on your credit report is not what is accurate, but only negative information that can be proved as accurate under the FCRA. What in the world does this mean to you?
It means any unflattering item on your credit report can only remain there if it is actually accurate and CAN BE PROVED AS SUCH under the guidelines of the FCRA. This undisputable fact presents consumers like you with both good news and bad news. The good news is that, through the FCRA, your credit score can most likely be improved dramatically in a very short period of time with only a modest amount of effort on your part.
The bad news is that while the actual "work" will take very little of your time, it is essential that you have good information on how to go about it. Believe it or not, 9 out of 10 courses on credit rehabilitation will do nothing more than lead you astray because they will provide you with what the industry refers to as "Boiler Plate" dispute letters. These letters are nothing more than form letters and, quite frankly, the Credit Bureaus and Creditors will laugh at you if you try to use them.
While I agree with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that there are things that a credit repair clinic can take care of for you legally that you can do for yourself with little or no cost, what makes the credit repair clinics successful is access to the inside tactics and techniques. This involves strategies such as "Proof of Contract", "Constructive Notice", "Challenge of Procedure" or "Restrictive Endorsement" and many others.
The question you have to answer will be what are you trying to accomplish and how much time will it take you if you do it yourself? Remember, you get what you pay for. If you pay little or nothing, expect little or nothing in terms of your results. If you've got more time than money, do it yourself, but make sure you have the right kind of information. If you have more money than time, have someone else handle this for you.
All of this could "sound" impressive, yet really is quite simple. When all is said and done, it is nothing more than a method of communication which exercises your rights of consumer protection, gets the results you want, and raises your credit score simultaneously. Once you learn how simple this can be by doing it for yourself, you will realize there is a fortune to be made doing it for others! Maybe even be on your way to a new career, who knows? No matter what, it all starts by requesting a free copy of your credit report here: http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
In a future article in this series, we'll answer the question: "Is Your Credit Score Costing You A Fortune?"
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