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Top 10 Misconceptions

After paying off a past-due account (i.e. charge off, collection, etc.) it is no
longer considered negative.
The simple fact that an account had to go to collection is the negative item your credit score will suffer from. By nature, you are expected to pay your bills on time. Collections only happen to late bills, so whether you pay this or not does not "heal" your credit. It merely will show the account "paid in full" but you were in collection prior to that.

This is an indicator that you are not a timely payer.

On the other hand, if you feel that your account went to collection erroneously, then you definitely want to dispute that to have the collection removed as it was not your fault. Collections get sold too often and create more than one collection on your report. Only one company can collect, so you should determine who that is and have the others removed.

If you owe money to a creditor, they are not just going to forget about it. Typically you will have to pay them something. Many people with collection accounts can negotiate a payoff figure appealing to both parties.
When I have a negative item deleted, it will return on a future credit report
Sounds good, but isn't true. When you have an item verified and deleted, it stays off. With the exception to the rule that if you a creditor does not respond in 30 days, the bureau removes it temporarily until the investigation is done. If your account is verified as inaccurate, erroneous or obsolete, it will be removed permanently. If after the 30 day time frame the creditor comes back with solid proof of the procedures used to report your credit were in fact followed and accurate, then the creditor can put the item back on your report as it was.

Now there are other instances where an account may be sold to a new creditor and show up under a new name on your report. This scenario is almost impossible to avoid. You never know which bank is buying which bank and what they are selling behind the scenes. So an old item you thought went away simply was sold at the time you requested your dispute and was unverifiable with "the old" creditor.

Our humble advise...check your credit annually like the government suggests and review it closely! Stop problems before they get too big and too distant.
It's impossible to remove negative listings, such as bankruptcies and
foreclosures, from a credit report
Every type of negative listing has been successfully removed from thousands of consumers credit reports. These negative items (bankruptcy, foreclose, etc) require a different approach during the dispute & investigation so they can be more difficult to remove from the credit report, but they do come off. Easier items such as judgments and Federal & State tax liens are just as severe as a bankruptcy based on the scoring model, yet these are easier to remove.

A mistake can be made so easily. Many people have filed for bankruptcy and had accounts listed incorrectly in bankruptcy when they were not supposed to be. There can be many reasons how the error got there, but if you feel the item is not a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or repossession item, you should certainly exercise your consumer right to have the account verified.
Any consumer can dispute items on their own credit report easily
Well, Yes and No on this one. Disputing something takes no effort at all, but actually going through the process and not wanting to ever use another credit card again just because you are dealing with bureaucrats who don't respond to you request (don't forget...Credit Bureaus are a bureaucracy! The name is not just a coincidence.) This comes down to how organized, professional, determined, knowledgeable, persistent and persuasive you can be. Credit bureaus are not a call center, nor are there any customer service hotlines. You have to be ready to do some work. By that we mean typing, tracking, calling, writing, mailing, logging, follow up, verifying, digging up history, or whatever your credit report needs based on the errors you have. Sometimes hiring a qualified professional to spend the time to review your credit with you is invaluable. Most credit consultants, after spending the time with you to go over your credit, can recommend the best solution for you. They typically offer to send out dispute letters for you since they are now abreast of your profile and have most of the letters in a ready to go format. Results can be tough if you are not prepared. The worst is if you attempt to fix without being prepared, you may not be able to hire a professional if you have done any further damage. Saying the wrong thing in a letter can move you backwards in your process to investing errors.
If I declare bankruptcy, I can start over fresh
Basically, declaring bankruptcy is the WORST possible thing you can do. A credit report is based upon your ability to manage your credit and repay your debts. Once you declare bankruptcy, you are saying that you are unable to manage your debts and have resorted to the "easy way out". A filing date and discharge date will appear negatively under the public records section of the credit report. In addition, each credit item that is included in the bankruptcy will also report negatively on your credit report. Trying to remove these items after the fact is virtually impossible. However, if you notice errors on the accounts that were included in your bankruptcy, those are still eligible for dispute.

Our advice, is avoid declaring bankruptcy. Seek a Credit Consultant, Credit Coach, or Account Negotiator before declaring bankruptcy at all costs.
By filing a "100-word statement" if I am not satisfied with the results,
will force the creditors to read my statement and take it into consideration.
News flash...no creditor will consider the information in a 100-word statement. You are lucky if they even read it. This is a waste of time and should not even be bothered with. These statements only provide the creditor with validation that you are admitting to the negative statements on your credit report and have some kind of an excuse for them.
I can have a new credit file under my name if I change my social security or
use an EIN tax number
First and foremost, this is illegal and could result in fines or imprisonment. This is also highly risky and as you know, lying about your personal information on your credit application is a criminal offense.
I can use my good credit to offset my bad credit thus canceling them out
It does not matter how much good credit you have. If you have anything negative on your report, it could impact you adversely and could result in a denial for a mortgage or other personal lines of credit. Most often, the interest rate that you are approved at for the lines of credit are directly related to your credit worthiness on your credit report. One negative item could increase those rates tremendously or have you denied completely.

You cannot tell your car insurance company that you "only got in three accidents over the past 3 years, and all those other days I didn't get in any accidents!" can you? Just like when driving a car you are expected to be in control, with credit you are expected to be in control and manage your credit. Most of all, you are expected to pay your bills. On pretty much all loans and credit cards, there is an agreement to pay on time. If you do not pay on time, then you have "not paid as agreed" and this will lower your score.

If you gauge your spending and repayment habits on a regular basis, you will avoid most credit accidents that happen.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service can help me pay my bills and restore
my credit
Consumer Credit Counseling Service (or CCCS) will help you manage your debts but will NOT help you restore your credit.

These Consumer Credit Counseling Services are debt counseling organizations that work closely with the credit grantors and the credit bureaus. They are not able to recreate the rules or change your past. They simply exist to help individuals negotiate terms of repayment for those individuals who are having difficulties in repaying their debts due to a loss of employment, increased medical expenses, family tragedy, unmanageable debt balances, etc...

In most cases when you work with a CCCS it will be reported on your credit report. This is NOT a positive event. Most creditors will not grant you additional credit such as a mortgage or auto loan if you are using any type of service to manage your debts. They see it as you not being able to manage your debts and having to resort to someone else managing them for you. You may want to explore other options prior to having your debts managed by a Credit Counseling Service.

Some options are*: Refinance your Mortgage Loan to include your debts
Transfer all debts into a single balance and pay that bill
Try to defer student loans for a year so that you can pay off other loans
Borrow money from a relative to pay debts down to a reasonable level
*These options all assume that the overall payment is lowered.
I was told that it is illegal for a creditor to remove an accurate negative listing
from my report and it has to remain there for a minimum of seven to ten years
You will probably hear this multiple times from multiple different credit grantors, etc., however, the law states that a negative listing must appear on your credit report for no more than seven years and sometimes ten years. This means that a creditor has the option of removing that negative listing at any time within those seven years. Your job is to persuade them to do so as soon as possible.

Remember, attempting to restore your own credit can be very time consuming and demanding. There can be a lot of paperwork involved and you need to be organized. Before attempting to do so, make sure you are dedicated, have the right resources and are going to follow through. Make the time in your schedule to do so. If not, you can further damage your credit and make it impossible for anyone to restore it in the future.


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