Friday, December 26, 2008

Credit After Bankruptcy

By Matt Douglas

With a bankruptcy mark on your report your score will be lowered considerably. However there is hope, you can remove this mark and by building some positive credit you can create a good score.

There is a lot of inaccurate information that claims a bankruptcy will be on your report for 10 years. This is not true you can remove it without waiting 10 long years. We suggest that you:

1. Dispute the listing with the bureaus directly.

This is done by sending a dispute letter to the bureau; you can do this yourself or hire a service to do it on your behalf. The bureau will then conduct an investigation into the listing. However bureaus do not check public records when they investigate a dispute, thus the listing will not be verified.

Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act and this says that the bureaus must remove any item on your report that can not be verified. People frequently ask if credit repair is legal. It is not only legal but this act explicitly says any mark you do not feel is accurate can be disputed. There will never be any legal ramifications for filing a dispute with the bureaus.

Before you dispute the bankruptcy it is a good idea to make sure that all other negative marks read "included in bankruptcy." The reason is once the initial bankruptcy mark is removed you will dispute all the other negative items because you do not have a bankruptcy mark on your report. There are rumors that it is much easier to remove this mark after two years.

2. Dispute each negative item.

This can be done because no where on your credit report does it say you have filed a bankruptcy so how can these negative items be included? Upon an investigation the marks should be erased and this will provide you with a clean report.

3. Build positive credit. This will help the most if you have a new revolving line of credit such as a credit card.

When you make your on time monthly payments you will create a positive payment history on your report. Additionally this will help your utilization ratio, this is how the bureaus decide if you are in over you head financially. It is measured by the amount of available credit you have versus how much debt you have. These are the two biggest factors when your score is calculated.

It might not be the most ethical to dispute items you know are accurate on your report. However is it ethical for lender to charge you 30% interest rate for missing a payment, no matter how long you have been a model customer?

In sum you don't just have to live with bad credit. You can remove the items and you can do it today. You can create a high score for yourself by removing the bad items and building positive marks. This will save you; on interest rates, embarrassment from a low score, and give you the purchasing power you deserve.

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