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  1. You nailed it. That is an issue here. I have a few different strategies that work very effectively and I share them. And a few regulars always seem ready to go to war with me over it. Heck, I don't even share my most aggressive tactics here because it would freak out the regulars. I am in my tame credit mode with most of the advice I provide to newbies here.
  2. Pam, I get it. You are an admin here and post a great number of times here. I can confirm for you that post count and ownership of a domain name do not always correlate to expertise on a subject. I read some of the stuff here and I can assure you that many of you have enough knowledge to be dangerous. If you feel like banning me for disagreeing with you sometimes on the best way to handle credit issues for people posting here, that is fine. It would be sort of a juvenile response and an abuse of the admin tools. But it is your website. If you want to ban the people who v
  3. No problem. Excel is your friend. Staying organized in this process is critical, especially with 6 credit bureaus out there now that you need to sort of keep an eye on. The big 3 get all of the attention, but Innovis, Sagestream and ChexSystems are also regularly checked by your banks and creditors.
  4. Yeah, I know it hurts. You will get over it.
  5. Using 3rd party free sources is perfectly fine for getting started on disputes. RocketGoBoom is right. You're not, but your opinion is also duly noted. 🙂 What I find cute about the attitudes of the people on this website is that you all have this group think that there is only one way to do things. Example, "get paper reports". That is silly. The online reports provide enough info to prepare any written disputes. The 3rd party providers of data provide enough info 99% of the time. Only a very hyper detailed dispute, which will likely be misread/ignored by the minim
  6. You need to make this a project and become diligent about it. It won't happen on accident. I would suggest starting an Excel spreadsheet to track your efforts. Just make it a point each weekend to update your spreadsheet and generate new written (forget online) disputes to renew your attacks on everything. Based on whatever updates happen that week, start a new round of disputes. Rinse, repeat. Those do help long term. Just keep them active. Use them each for at least one transaction charge every 6 months. They will start really helping you once they are 1-2 years old. It
  7. We will have to agree to disagree. The OP stated he was having trouble getting an Equifax report. Using a 3rd party to get the Equifax data to get started is a viable alternative in his situation, as I stated above. In response to any dispute filed based on the 3rd party report, the OP will eventually receive a paper copy from Equifax so it is all moot. The 3rd party data provides plenty of accurate info for anyone to get started.
  8. And all of that is information overload for most first timers. The Equifax paper reports are very poorly organized and it is likely intentionally done that way by Equifax to try to reduce consumer interest in filing disputes. Whereas the Experian paper reports places all negative items in the front section and clearly marks (in red if I recall) those items as negatives to be addressed. Equifax instead mixes everything together requiring someone to go line by line looking for anything that is negative. And you have to look for the key code of R1-R9 (example) to fig
  9. You can safely request your free credit file from the credit bureaus in writing. Don't worry about it. CreditKarma.com also has Equifax data along with TransUnion data for free. Check to see if you can pass their authentication questions.
  10. I have seen those alerts also, but the account is always still there. That is basically meaningless. The data is still there and accurate for the purpose of filing a dispute. I have been following all of the most popular free services for a long time now. CreditKarma, Credit Sesame, Wallethub, Experian Creditworks for all 3 reports, and a few others. The bottom line is that the data is all pulled from the same source databases at Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. The only difference is the presentation layer. In fact, I would say that Credit Karm
  11. If we were talking about something likely to end up in court, then I would agree with you. Total exactness is a good idea and establishing you received the report from the target of your lawsuit is important. However 99.9% of people disputing stuff will never be ending up in court. If the limit of their dispute is just going after it from the standpoint of "not mine" or "I was never late" then the data from reliable sources such as Credit Karma or Wallethub is solid. I have yet to see any difference in terms of balances, accounts, reported late payments, etc. The
  12. Probably not after so long. Most collection agencies resist pay for delete. I think it is mostly a waste of time. And I would not believe them if they promised to delete after you pay. You would need to get it in writing and I doubt they will put it in writing beforehand. Old collection are relatively easy to get deleted. Just focus directly on the credit bureaus and go for deletion.
  13. Nobody needs to actually pay for a report. If you are writing a letter to Equifax (or any credit bureau) just state that you want your annual free copy. Or state that you are the recipient of public welfare assistance and you get an unlimited number of free copies of your credit reports. Everyone in the USA qualifies ... because we all receive some form of public welfare assistance. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/how-do-i-get-a-copy-of-my-credit-reports-en-5/ You can get additional free reports if any of the following apply to you:
  14. Why exactly does someone need the paper report? I have found the data from online to be accurate. Even the online data from Equifax when it is provided by a 3rd party such as Credit Karma or Experian, it is still the same. The only thing extra that the paper report provides is the soft inquiries. Otherwise, at least in my experience, the online data is accurate when provided by a 3rd party.
  15. Another cool feature on Experian Creditworks when you do the Premium upgrade for 7 days ($1 or $0) is that you get all of the FICO scores. This is only available during the Premium upgrade, then you lose it when you downgrade back to Basic. FICO 8 FICO Score 2 (Mortgage) FICO Auto Score 2 FICO Auto Score 8 FICO Bankcard Score 2 FICO Score 3 FICO Bankcard Score 8
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