Credit Repair - Where to Start?

by : Paul Johnson

So you've got some credit that's broken? You need credit repair. Whether your problems stem from mismanagement of money or the theft of your precious identity, you probably wouldn't be reading this if your credit was in a state you felt comfortable with. It can seem mind-numbing to get started and it can feel like you're up against a monolithic and uncaring system. Well, you're pretty much right, so you better know what you're doing to get the job done! Let's start with giving you some very valuable information about the credit reporting bureaus you'll be dealing with.

The three credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Yep, these are those monolithic and uncaring entities we talked about before. No, not everyone that works there is uncaring, but credit repair really isn't exactly a user friendly system. Don't worry, it'll turn out just fine. Ok, here's the contact information for our new friends:

Equifax Information Services
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013

Trans Union
P.O. Box 34012
Fullerton, CA 92834

These are the folks you need to write to so you can start your credit repair. At this point we're guessing you want to do this yourself with as little cost as possible. Aren't we all? Often you can get the results you're looking for with just your own efforts. A well written, professional, and complete letter with all of your contact information and the nature of the discrepancy would be the appropriate contents of your letters. Writing angry things isn't going to do you any good. The person getting your letter had nothing to do with the problem. Treat them more like a friend and they'll work harder to help you.

What you really need to do is take action, now. Don't wait. Sit down on your computer and type out at least a rough draft of the issues. You don't have to word everything perfectly, just get your point across of what you'd like them to fix at your credit report. This is more important than anything else. What good does it do you to know where to send the letters to get started on your credit repair if you don't do anything about it?

If you have severe credit problems you may want to go with a legit credit repair company. There are some excellent professionals out there that can help you do it right. Or if you have more money than time or just don't want to worry about all of the minor details, using a credit repair agency may be the best path for you. As with anything else, don't go with the cheapest, because this is one area that you get what you pay for.

Why would you want to do credit repair anyway? Wouldn't it just be easier to let things fall off your credit report a few years from now? Not a good choice. You never know when you'll need the buying power to purchase a home, a car, or even be considered for an apartment. You don't want to be sweating over credit when it becomes an emergency. It is much better to have everything taken care of before you can't do without it.

Remember that establishing new credit can take time and is part of your credit repair goal. Creditors look for stability in your income and regularity in your payments. You need to focus and get your payment habits in gear. Here's an odd way of doing it, but it worked for my brother! Every time he went to the mailbox he immediately went through his mail before he sat down. Anything he recognized as a bill he took out his check book, wrote the check, put it in the envelope, and the placed the stamp right where it goes! Odd, I know, but he never had any late payments that way. You could also just pick the day and hour of your bill paying habit.

In general you have to keep in mind what you're going to do to change whatever caused the problem in the first place. Change bad habits, develop good ones, or take the steps necessary to better protect your confidential information. I like to think of it like how you would care for a baby. With your life! The grief and damage caused by improper handling could be devastating for a long time. None of us need to have any more stress and guilt than life tends to bring to us naturally.

Whatever you do, you do need to get started right now, today. Don't hesitate. For many people this is what started in the first place. If you were the victim of identity theft of some kind of fraud you'll feel better when everything gets back to normal and you can put it all behind you. Isn't it time to stop worrying and move on? Don't you want to be able to get that car you've been wanting when the right time comes? I thought so. You can do it. So start.