A Quick Guide to Credit Repair Letters

Why bother with credit repair letters?

Each of the credit bureaus provides a form for submitting your disputes online, so why bother with writing credit repair letters?

The simple fact is that it is generally more effective to work to repair your credit the old fashion way. Forcing the credit bureaus to handle a physical letter tends to make them more responsive to your needs and when you send a letter using certified mail, you have the documentation you'll need if things get nasty.
After ordering your credit reports and researching the tools you have available for cleaning up your credit reports, if you are planning to repair you credit yourself you are going to sit down and compose what will probably be the first of many credit repair letters.

For some, this comes as a surprise. After searching around for information about credit repair, they have found more than a few resources that make credit repair out to be a simple process. One where you find that perfect credit repair letter, mail it off to the credit bureaus, wait 30 days, and your credit is fixed. For a lucky few, removing negative information from their credit reports really ends up being that simple. But for the rest of us, it's better to plan on being in this for the long haul.

There is no perfect credit repair letter, a letter that works for all people in all situations. Instead, you will probably end up writing a variety of types of letters in your efforts to clean up your credit.

Types of Credit Repair Letters

Below are some of the types of credit letters you may be required to write as you work to fix your credit report. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and is merely used to show the variety of letters that you may come across.

Initial Credit Bureau Dispute

This is the letter that gets things started. The credit bureau dispute letter is essentially you contacting the credit bureau to let them know they are listing something on your credit report you feel is questionable. You are asking them to contact the information furnisher behind the listing in order to verify the listing is correct.
Tips When Writing Credit Repair Letters to the Credit Bureaus:

1. Write your letters in a professional and courteous tone.

2. Avoid threatening the credit bureau.

3. Clearly state which accounts you are disputing.

4. Clearly state why you are disputing each account using terms such as inaccurate, outdated, or misleading.

5. Avoid trying to explain the circumstances behind any negative listings. You will not receive sympathy from the bureau and you may end up accidentally verifying the negative item yourself.

6. Include your Social Security Number as this is the best way for the bureau to match you with your credit report.

Credit Bureau Dispute Follow-up (No Response)

Just because the credit bureau has received your initial dispute and is required by law to respond within 30 days, don’t be surprised if they don't. A consumer working to clean up their credit reports is a nuisance and if they ignore you, maybe you'll go away. This follow-up letter lets them know you are serious about cleaning up your credit by reminding them that you are aware of your rights.

Goodwill Creditor Letter

If your credit bureau disputes fail to produce the desired result (ie. get the negative item removed from your credit report) or the negative items are 100% accurate, then you may need to go directly to the source. The creditors who add negative information to your credit reports also have the ability to remove it at any time. With a goodwill letter, you are basically asking nicely for them to do so.

Debt Validation Letter

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a collection company must follow specific protocol when a debtor requests that they validate, or prove, that a specific debt exists. If they do not follow this protocol, then they are no longer able to report the debt on your credit reports. A debt validation letter is your way of seeing if they will jump through the hoops.