Before applying: Back to basics

Beginning Credit Repair

Before applying for a mortgage you must begin the process of analyzing your credit report for mistakes.  Removing bad information is the first step towards improving your credit score.  Here’s how to begin if you are beginning credit repair and enhancement process.  Don’t be intimidated about beginning credit repair.  It’s actually quite interesting.  A calm and methodical approach to learning and doing will take you a long way towards getting and keeping the credit score that will change your financial life.

Beginning credit repair

Back 2 Basics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take a Look…It’s Free!!!

There are 3 major credit reporting agencies.  They are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  The information may be different in each one so you are going to need all three.  For a mortgage your bank will look at what is called a “Tri-merge” report with information from all of them so you can’t ignore any report.  Auto dealers and credit card lenders generally look at just one credit report.

Before making a formal request for your annual free copy as provided by federal law you can go to one of the free sites available on line. This doesn’t count against your free annual request.  This first look will give you a preview of what’s in store.  There may be things on there that don’t belong there.  You may be pleasantly surprised to find that something you thought would be on isn’t there.  You can look at the information reported by TransUnion and Equifax at a site called  There are no tricks to get your money here.  They are able to do it for free because of credit card advertisements.  They will even give you a free monitoring service and reminders to pay your bills if you want that.  Likewise you can get a free “credit report card” from Experian with advice on how to improve it at or

Beware of FAKO Scores When Beginning credit repair

These on line credit reports will give you a score for educational purposes.  Although fine for beginning credit repair this is not your FICO score which is used by the vast majority of banks.  Don’t be fooled by this FAKO score as credit professionals refer to them.  After you have examined these reports you will have learned enough to get started for real.

Free Copies of Your Credit Reports:

You are entitled to free copies of your credit reports once a year.  Obtain these from either on line, in writing or over the phone.  Most people get them instantly on line.  Many times the request is denied for online access because of some minor discrepancy in the information.  They are extremely cautious about this for your own protection.  If that happens do it the old fashioned way in writing by mail.  You are also entitled to a free credit report when:

  • You are denied credit, insurance or employment if you request them within 60 days of denial.
  • If you are unemployed and planning to look for work within the next 60 days.
  • If you are on welfare or the victim of identity theft.
  • If a bank or credit card issuer charges you higher interest rates or fees and their decision was based on your credit score.
  • If there was a negative change in your credit limit or a collection agency tells you that they have reported adverse information to a credit bureau.
Before Applying for credit Make Sure That….

1. Make sure credit reports are error free.
2. Always make at least the minimum payment on time and reduce your monthly balances for a month or two before applying.
3. Pay bills down as far as you can just before the reporting date as shown on your credit report for the month you apply.

Now that you have started beginning credit repair it gets more interesting.  Check my other Essays or the book or videos for advanced improvement.


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After practicing law for 37 years Edward F. St. Onge, Sr. now devotes all his time to helping consumers achieve a high credit score with amazing speed. Learn the counter-intuitive secrets to credit scoring through his down to earth instructions backed by extensive knowledge of the laws and trends. All of the latest tricks and techniques that they don't want you to know now at your disposal. At last a level playing field for the consumer!

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