A few days ago when I sent all of my students those credit templates with strict instructions on how to fill them out while reiterating the importance of sending your personal credit disputes during the Thanksgiving holiday season, I looked in my email inbox the next day and had over 100 emails from students. Mostly a lot of "thank yous," "you're the greatest," stuff like that.
There were a few asking for particulars on things such as: "Should I really lie and say that an account isn't mine if I know it really is?" (If a collection agency has the account, technically you never started a financial commitment with them and therefore the account isn't really yours.
Otherwise you can change the lingo and say something like: "This account information is inaccurate and needs to be investigated. All reported credit information must be 100% accurate as per the FCRA otherwise it must be removed. Therefore, since this account is inaccurate, please remove it from my credit report.")
But one particular email from a student of mine stood out. This is part because I know this student's history. He's been a student of mine for the past 2 1/2 years or so, probably longer. And I know he's been working on his credit.
I also know he's a bit stubborn so when I do (and have) mentioned some of my advanced strategies on how to fix personal credit, it seems that it's falling on deaf ears. (I know, not my fault but...what can you do if someone isn't hearing you?)
For those of you who are my troopers or warriors and did your disputes the day before Thanksgiving, kudos to you. You're freaking awesome!
Something you should know though.
Certain disputes, after several attempts and letters, won't get anywhere. Sometimes the credit bureaus will simply stop investigating even though they are legally required to do a full investigation with each request (even if they've done it before) as per federal law.
So...what happens when you get "the letter" from the credit bureau(s) that state they will no longer investigate your dispute because it's already been investigated and has been determined that the information is accurate and that it is, in fact, your account?
For me, this is where the fun begins. In fact, this is the part where it actually gets easy because you are no longer stuck in the bureaucratic red tape of the inner workings of each credit bureau (where your paperwork gets shifted around month after money). Instead you take it outside of the credit bureau and push it onto a different level.
And this is where you get results. This is where stuff gets removed...and fast!
By filing your disputes during this time of the year, you still have an opportunity to take advantage of this "holiday glut" period in the credit bureaus where they are basically understaffed, sleeping on the job, and not really interested in processing disputes because they get up to 30% more disputes during this period. (People are onto them.)
We have another 2 major holidays: Christmas and New Year's. Yet the credit bureaus have to investigate and get back to you in 30 days, regardless of the holidays in play.
Furthermore, when the credit bureaus do an investigation, they have to send a letter out to the collection agency or creditor you are disputing and they have to respond with proof of your account within this very short window.
And who is really working or sending anything back on time during the holidays. Even if they are, there are mail delays due to the holidays in place.
It's not too late to use this short period of time to your advantage by having negative accounts removed from your credit reports so you can start 2014 fresh.
After all, you do need credit if you are going to build business credit or buy real estate. You can get a head start on the New Year by doing a little bit of work in the next couple of weeks.
See you at the top!