How to repair my credit score to buy a house

Credit score report card

In the United States, credit is a way of life. Bad credit can prevent you from financing a home, obtaining a credit card and possibly deny you a job. Because of all these reasons, it is important to maintain a good credit rating and credit score. If you discover legitimate errors on your credit report, you have the right under the Fair Credit Reporting Law to challenge any credit entries that you believe are inaccurate.

The dispute procedure to repair your credit is relatively simple. Here are the steps to contest legitimate errors on your credit report:

Inform the credit bureaus, in a letter, what information you believe is inaccurate.  Provide the credit agencies with your full name and address. Identify the item(s) that you believe are inaccurate in your dispute letter. Explain why you are disputing the information and request that the negative credit entries be corrected or removed. Send a copy of your credit report and circle or highlight the disputed items. Send your dispute letter and any supporting information by certified mail. Make copies of all information that you send to the credit agencies

By law, the credit reporting companies are required to investigate your disputed item(s) within 30 days. The credit agencies also must provide the creditor(s) with all the relevant data you provide about the inaccuracy of the credit listing. After the creditor receives notice of a dispute from the credit reporting company, the creditor must investigate your dispute, and report to the credit reporting company the result of their investigation. If the creditor finds that the disputed information is inaccurate, the creditor is required to notify all three of the largest credit reporting companies to correct the consumer’s information in their file.

Is your dispute legitimate?

If not, the law allows the credit reporting agencies to ignore frivolous claims.

The credit bureau must provide you, in writing, the result of the investigation and provide you with a free copy of your report if your dispute results in a change.

If the investigation does not resolve your dispute with the creditor, you can ask that a 100 word statement be included on your on your reports.

Sounds simple right?

In reality, you may find that the credit reporting companies are not the independent arbiter and advocate that you think they are. You may find that the credit bureaus will comply with the law and forward your dispute claim to the creditor(s). The creditor(s) usually answers your dispute with a quick and certain answer that the derogative credit is accurate and that the negative credit listings should remain on your credit report. If you firmly believe that you are in the right, you should consider professional representation to correct any inaccuracy.

How can I tell a credit repair scam from a reputable credit counselor?


There are counselors who can help you with your credit report, and others who take your money but don't help you. Warning signs for credit repair scams include companies that ask you to pay before providing services. The company may claim that it can guarantee a specific increase in your credit score or get rid of negative credit information in your credit report, even though the information is accurate and current. Recognizing a credit repair scam Warning signs for credit repair scams include companies that ask you to pay before providing services. The company may tell you it can guarantee a specific increase in your credit score or get rid of negative credit information in your credit report, even though the information is accurate and current. If you see ads or receive offers to repair or fix your credit, it could be a warning sign if the company:

Pressures you to pay up-front fees.

Promises to remove negative information from your credit report.

Refuses or avoids explaining your rights to you.

Tells you to not contact credit reporting companies.


Credit repair companies are subject to numerous federal laws, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act and often the Telemarketing Sales Rule, both of which forbid credit repair organizations from using deceptive practices and from accepting up-front fees. These laws prohibit many deceptive practices by credit repair organizations. You may have a right to sue a credit repair organization using these laws. How do I find a reputable credit counselor? Most credit counselors offer services through local offices, online, or on the telephone. You can find a list of approved credit counselors online.


SOURCE: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)