Disputing Credit Bureau Entries, Part 1

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When removing adverse accurate information from a credit report, you have three tactics available to you: (1) get the credit bureau to remove the entry, (2) get the furnisher/creditor to remove/change it using effective negotiating strategies, or (3) in cases where money isn't owed, use the courts.
Personally, I don't like using credit bureau disputes-a method that credit repair agencies use exclusively.
Few disputes ever work on accurate information, and when they do work, they most often do so on one or two of the Big Three, often leaving the overall credit reporting picture spotty.
And although the method may be successful in raising a score on one or two reports, mortgage and most auto lenders pull all three reports and may deny anyway, depending on the offending entries.
Moreover, care must be taken when removing adverse tradelines, as FICO scoring components (such as age of the credit entry and overall file age) may be helping more than the adverse entry is hurting.
Negotiating with a creditor permits targeted removal of adverse entries, while retaining the most favorable parts.
Bureau disputes are more like a broadsword and can sometimes have undesirable consequences.
On the other hand, when doing an auto loan, some credit unions will often pull only the credit report from the bureau to which they subscribe.
If a dispute happens to work on that particular bureau, then some benefit may be gained from such a tactic.
In addition, if the venerable middle score can be raised by causing an adverse entry to be removed using a credit bureau dispute, then it often doesn't matter if the offending remark is left on one or the other two bureaus.
If it's a paid entry, then it's no big deal.
If unpaid, then the lender will simply require the debt to be satisfied at or before closing the loan.
If the score was raised and a better interest rate obtained using bureau dispute, then surely it can be worth the effort.
Having said all this, I much prefer going to the creditor to resolve bad credit entries, even if that means I have to deal with people I probably won't like and will have to pay-in some way-to get the creditor to come around.
After all, if the bad credit is accurate, then it's because I was the one who screwed up.
Understand also that there's a certain amount of satisfaction and pride that comes with getting on the same page with a creditor.
And knowing a debt is satisfied is priceless.
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