The Guerrilla Guide to Credit Repair is a short, sweet little book on seizing control of your own credit report.
It lives up to it’s name too – It includes numerous sample letters, tactics, and spot-on advice about credit reports, credit scores, and removing negative information.
The first section of the book gives specific examples of what your credit report will look like, and how to decipher the “code” it contains. It’s a large section too – the authors really covered all the bases. Sample reports from all three major credit bureaus are featured, and each one has an explanation and breakdown by company.
I’ve read several books on credit repair, and this is the first book Ive seen that actually did a good job of explaining all three credit reports in an easy to understand way. You can look at the sample, look at your own credit report, and read the author’s notations.
The second section of the book covers repairing your credit. Basic and advanced tactics are listed.
Basic credit repair tactics:
- Verify your information with your lenders as well as the credit bureaus – This is also something I’ve not seen suggested elsewhere, but it makes perfect sense. If there is incorrect information on your credit report, and you challenge it through the credit bureaus, that’s good. But, if your lender got the information wrong in the first place, they can simply verify it incorrectly, and it will remain on your report. You could also dispute, get the item removed, and then see it pop back up at a later date because your lender had the wrong notation on the account. So it’s very good advice to contact all three credit bureaus, plus the original lender.
- The dispute system is automated, and persistence will win out - Refusing to let an issue go, and continuing to press your point can take your report out of the automated slush pile, and into the hands of a human being. Step by step tactics are given several times within this section.
- Know your rights - They are all here in this book, clearly listed, and already inserted into appropriate letters of dispute. I don’t think it gets any easier than that.
Playing Hardball: Advanced Credit Repair Tactics
This section is dedicated to helping you negotiate with the credit bureaus and your creditors.
Know your enemy:
Sometimes you have to take the incorrect information up with the people who put it there in the first place. The Guerrilla Guide to Credit Repair gives specific negotiation plans for all of the following:
- Specific tips for negotiating with Retail Stores - Start your negotiations with the customer service department. Specific sample letters cover your various degrees of leverage. Things like what to say if you are up to date on your payments, all the way to making settlement offers for seriously past due accounts.
- Negotiating with Banks and Mortgage Lenders - The authors suggest that these types of disputes are better handled through the credit bureaus than with the original lenders. The book includes a multi-step strategy for overcoming the negative bank or mortgage information on your credit report. It also gives letters that should be sent as follow-ups to your disputes.
- Bank Issued Credit Cards - Direct negotiations with your credit card companies work best when you are past due, and have some amount of money that you can pay them that day. They are usually willing to erase quite a bit of information from your credit report in exchange for a payment.
- Auto Loans – Dispute negative information about your auto loans through the credit bureaus, not the original lender.
- Student Loans – Try disputing through the credit bureaus first. Otherwise, if the account is in collections you can follow the plan for dealing with collection agencies.
- Medical Debt – Tips for dealing with your doctors to get them to mark the debt as paid, as well as how to deal with medical collection companies.
- Collection Agencies – You can agree to a lump sum payment in exchange for the removal of the item from your credit report. You can also question the validity of the debt, which may end up getting it written off completely.
- Public Records – You can try to negotiate with the creditor, or creditor’s attorney. Steps to help you “Vacate” a judgment.
The last section of the book contains complete copies of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
These two pieces of legislation are boring, but necessary since they are the laws that protect you and your credit history. They govern what the lenders, collections agencies, and credit bureaus can and cannot do.
The good news is, there’s really no reason to have to sit and read either of these acts if you don’t want to. The necessary references have already been included in the sample letters when and where they were needed. So, having this book is like having 50 percent of the work already completed for you.
The Guerrilla Guide to Credit Repair gives you the step by step plans you need, all the tools to make the plans work, and makes it easy enough that cleaning up your credit report should never stress you to death.
I really was amazed by this little book, and I don’t say that lightly. If you have derogatory information on your credit report, and you want THE resource that will tell you how to remove it, yes. This book is the one you want.
There is only one problem with the book, and it’s not the fault of the book itself. I believe that some of the contact information for the three credit bureaus is out of date. Since the three bureaus regularly change their contact information (phone, address, P.O. Boxes, etc.) it’s impossible for any single edition of a book to remain correct for very long.
So, if you do this book, or check it out from the library, follow the action plans exactly. Just make sure you jump online and double check the addresses before you send any correspondence off.
To sum up the Guerrilla Guide to Credit Repair in a single sentence: Having a well thought out plan of attack, with specific instructions is priceless.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has mistakes or bad information in their credit report. I cannot say enough good about it. If you take action using the plans in this book, and you are persistent about it, I believe you could have most anything removed from your credit report. Definitely do not waste hundreds of dollars paying someone else to clean up your credit report for you. The Guerrilla Guide to Credit Repair lays everything out so simply that it’s easy to get the results you need for the cost of the book and a few certified / registered letters.
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