A low status in the FICO system makes borrowing impossible or expensive. The official credit score affects other aspects of life, too. Lenders, insurers, employers, and even landlords use it to evaluate and compare applicants. There are many reasons to boost the total, and repair companies can do it on your behalf. But how long does it take?
Today, there are two ways to fix a poor score. You could do it on your own or delegate the task to a team of professionals. If you are focused on quick results, the second option is preferable. Check credit repair reviews and guides on RapidCreditFix to find the best provider in your state. Note that professionals speed up the process, but repair does not happen overnight.
How Long It Takes
Generally, the process takes between 1 and 6 months, depending on the case. It involves the collection, analysis, and disputing of data from bureaus. Here are the basics.
Why Scores Deteriorate
Your credit score is calculated based on a set of factors. Two of the most popular systems are FICO and VantageScore, which use similar parameters. Whatever the case, your history of payments is extremely influential. It makes up over a third (35%) of the FICO status. Missed or late payments may stay on your records for 7 years. Other components include:
- Total debt (30%),
- The age of your history (15%),
- A mix of credit products (10%),
- New accounts (10%).
The data used for calculation comes from three major agencies — Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. If the reports contain derogatories like missed or late payments, bankruptcies, evictions, etc., — the total falls. These entries are not always accurate, and there may be duplicates. You may even find that you are a victim of identity theft — i.e., somebody else has taken out loans in your name. In all these cases, credit repair will help you erase damaging errors.
Every citizen of the United States may check their credit records free of charge. Every year, you may download a free copy from each of the agencies via www.annualcreditreport.com. Now and until April 2022, this service is available weekly due to the pandemic.
Getting this data online is the quickest way. Alternatively, call the organization or send a written request by mail. A credit repair company will also collect all the reports for you.
Key Stages in the Process
The simplest cases, when there are only a couple of items to disprove, may be resolved in a month. Generally, though, most consumers need between three and six months to have their scores repaired. So, what makes this process lengthy?
After collecting the reports, you need to scrutinize them line by line. Repair professionals identify the most damaging derogatories and suggest ways to deal with them. Next, they will collect evidence and send formal dispute letters to bureaus. By law, every agency has 30 days to respond. It either accepts the changes or requests more evidence.
Professional Vs. DIY
The disputing process is quite complex, and it has many intricacies a regular consumer is unaware of. Professional services save time. Experts know what information to look for, what evidence they should collect, and how.
Even though the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sample dispute letters on its website, doing everything yourself could be confusing and time-consuming. The correspondence is not limited to dispute letters. Besides, the company will send:
- Goodwill letters,
- Debt validation letters, and
- Cease and desist letters.
The first type asks the lender to remove certain entries from the data shared with bureaus. They may or may not comply. Debt validation letters demand evidence that you owe the amount specified in the reports — this could be incorrect as well. Finally, if you are being bothered by collection efforts, cease and desist letters stop them.
Accuracy is paramount. If the bureaus are not convinced by your evidence, they will demand more proof. As a result, the repair will be drawn out. That is why credit repair is such a large industry in the United States.
When There Is Nothing to Fix
If your score is low but fair, there is nothing you can do to erase the information. The solution is to rebuild history by borrowing responsibly. You could also adjust your credit utilization ratio — the proportion of your balances against the total available credit. This is done by opening your credit cards or extending the limits on existing wants. Another option is to add utility bills and cell phone payments through Experian Boost. These are only some ways — a repair firm also provides a special line of credit to help you achieve the goal faster.