So here’s the million dollar question; How much is YOUR time worth?
See a related article from the Federal Trade Commission.
If you are willing to invest an hour or so, most of what they will do for you for a fee, you can do for free. Especially now that the Internet has become so prevalent in our lives! Below I have outlined the process for disputing credit items. By law, it is incumbent to the REPORTER of the credit item to prove or “validate” the accuracy of the line item, not the consumers! (See the Fair Credit Reporting Act) However, if the consumer has irrefutable proof, then that makes the dispute all the more legitimate. Either way, most old derogatory, especially third party collection agencies will not spend the required time and money to drag files out of cold storage to validate an account that is years old!
Recently I obtained my own credit reports for free by visiting Annual Credit Report.com this is the ONLY FREE site that DOES NOT REQUIRE PAYMENT! This is not to say they wont offer you credit monitoring services, etc, but you will not have to enter a credit card number in order to obtain your credit report. In fact, if you are asked for a credit card number, you have probably navigated away from this site. This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
I was amazed at how easy it was for me to obtain my credit reports righton the screen in from of me. I successfully answered a few challenge questions, assumable that only I would know and “whala” there was my credit report. Keep in mind the free report does not include my “credit score” see my earlier posts on that. but at the end of the day I am more concerned with the accuracy of the content of my report, not the score since the score is an overall rating of the content.