Learn enough to understand and dispute yours so that it presents the best interpretation of your credit history.
Or hire someone to help you. It’s cheaper to do it yourself, but there are advantages to hiring a credit restoration company.
CREDIT REPORT FAQ's
How much do I have to know before I start?
Take a breath and relax, you don’t have to know it all.
Laugh, friends, laugh. There is no way to learn everything about Credit Reports in ten pages! And relax, because you don’t need to. When the initial relief of bankruptcy begins to fade, when they discover there is a stigma of bankruptcy, most “bankrupts” (ordinary people who seek protection from the bankruptcy courts) begin looking for ways to change their circumstances. Some think they need to investigate the entire “Credit Reporting Process.” This might be how you ended up at AfterBankrtupcyOnline.com. If so, you are in luck.
Will this site save me time?
We hope so – that’s why it’s here!
There are a great many state and federal government agencies that make and enforce rules and regulations that impact your credit report. If anything, there are far too many rules and regulations and far too many agencies overseeing them. On top of that, there are piles of formulas, business models, internal rules, and secret recipes of the Credit Reporting Agencies and their customers, the Furnishers and the Users of Credit Information. At some point the overload begins to work against consumers. If you are living with negative information like Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 Bankruptcy you want to push through the noise, find some help, and get to work on your fresh start.
You can save a lot of time and frustration by learning the basics here, and learning the basics is all you need to get started.
More than anyone else, you are the one in charge of your Life After Bankruptcy. Of course there are obstacles, and no you can’t control them all. Fortunately, your Life After Bankruptcy can be vastly improved if you spend a few minutes each day working on financial goals. Recovering from bankruptcy is more about persistence, taking small steps each day, than it is about long nights learning how the credit reporting industry works. Did you have to know how to build a car before you learned to drive? No, and you did not have to design a clock before you learned to tell time. You don’t need to understand all of the nuances of Credit Reports before you take action about yours. Get familiar with the basics. Formulate some reasonable goals. Start taking daily action.
What is a credit report?
Answer: A credit report is a record about you and your credit history that includes information about: your identity, you existing credit, your past credit transactions, and your public record. Identity: full name, as well as any aliases and nicknames you have used; current address and past addresses; Social Security number, full or partial; date of birth; and employment information. Existing credit: a list of each type of account- credit cards, retail store cards, mortgages, car loans, student loans and any other credit accounts. Past credit: list of accounts/loans you have had in the past, paid off or in default. Use of your credit: details for each account- what credit is available to you, how much of it you have used, late payments, how much you owe your creditors, and when you opened your accounts Public record: Information about any court judgments against you, any tax liens against your property, or whether you have filed for bankruptcy. Inquiries: A list of companies or persons who recently requested a copy of your report.
Why is a credit report important?
Answer: Your credit report is important because other people use it to make decisions about your character and whether or not they should lend you money. If you have filed bankruptcy it is especially important for you to show that it was due to a unique circumstance and not likely to ever happen again.
- Lenders use credit reports to measure risk and decide whether you get a loan and the terms you get. How long will they stretch out your loan? What interest rate should they charge? How much down payment? What kind of collateral?
- Insurance companies are permitted to use credit reports to decide whether to offer you insurance, and if the answer is yes, to set the rates you pay.
- Employers may use your credit report, if you agree to let them see it, to decide whether to hire you or give you a promotion. And if you don’t let them see it, to consider that when making employment decisions about you.
- Telephone and utility companies may use information in your credit report to decide whether to provide services to you.
- Landlords may use the information to determine whether they want to rent property to you.
Who is allowed to see my Credit Report?
A: Credit Reports are filled with sensitive personal information. For this reason access to them is restricted by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other state and federal laws. Other than you, credit bureaus can provide your credit report and other history only to the following categories of Users:
- Prospective Lenders to whom you apply for loans and credit accounts;
- Lenders who have already extended credit to you;
- Telephone, cell phone, and utility companies that provide services to you;
- Insurance companies that have issued or may issue an insurance policy for you;
- Employers and prospective employers, but only if you agree;
- Government agencies reviewing your financial status for government benefits; and
- Others with a legitimate business purpose for the information. Legitimate business purpose is a legal term defined by federal statute. It would include a potential landlord and banks where you apply to open an account.
- Credit bureaus also furnish reports when required by court orders.
- Finally, you may give written direction to any CRA and direct it to provide your report to a third party.
How long does negative information, such as late payments, stay on my credit report?
Answer: Generally, negative credit information stays on your credit report for seven years. If you have filed for personal bankruptcy, that fact stays on your report for ten years. Information about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. Information about criminal convictions may stay on your credit report indefinitely.
What happens if I am denied credit, insurance, or employment because of something in my credit report?
(Also, what if I have to pay more, make a deposit, or make a bigger down payment than other consumers because of something in my credit report?) Answer: You are entitled to receive notice any time a User of your report takes an adverse action against because of the data in your credit report. An adverse action occurs any time you are denied credit, insurance, or employment because of your report. Adverse action also includes lowering the credit limit on your credit card account or raising your interest rate. The User, which is the lender, insurance company, or employer who ordered your report must notify you and provide you with the name, address, and phone number of the CRA that provided the credit report used to make the decision. You are entitled to get a free credit report from this credit bureau if you request it within sixty days after receiving notice. This free report is in addition to the free report you are entitled to each year. If you receive one of these notices, it’s a good idea to get your free credit report and review the information in it right away.
What can I do about unsolicited credit offers?
Answer: Credit bureaus may legally sell the names and addresses of consumers who meet specific credit criteria to creditors or insurers. Those who purchase such information must make an offer of credit or insurance. For example, a creditor could request the names and addresses of consumers who have a credit score of 650 or higher from a credit bureau, and it would then be obligated to offer credit to those consumers. If you wish to remove your name and address removed from such offering you can Opt Out. In order to opt-out you may call 888-5-OPTOUT (888-567-8688) or go to the website www.optoutprescreen.com. There you provide certain information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. You may opt out for five years or permanently. This and other options and instructions will be given to you during the opt out process.
You Need to Get Your Credit Report. Don’t Freak!
Don’t get enraged. Don’t get depressed.
(1) Understand what a report is.
(2) Discover what yours says.
(3) Learn how to make disputes and clean it up.
Then you’ll be ready to Take Action.
“People told me that most credit reports had mistakes and other ‘trash’ in them. I wouldn’t have believed the credit bureaus could mess up this much if I hadn’t looked for myself.”Almost everyone who looks