If after disputing a negative credit listing with a credit bureau, you disagree with the outcome of the bureau’s investigation, your options are somewhat limited. You may:
- Record a 100 word statement, to be incorporated into your credit file, that explains your side of the story. This can be self-defeating because the included statement tends to confirm the credit report, hindering any future credit repair effort. Let’s say you’ve explained how an illness or layoff caused your late payments. You have now confirmed the late payments, and the fact that you didn’t maintain contingency funds. Therefore, you’re a bad credit risk.
- You may deal directly with the reporting creditor.
Negotiating the resolution is ethical. Your basis for negotiating with the creditor depends on the financial resources at your disposal, whether or not the debt is secured, and the strength of the documentation of the issue.
This creates a win-win situation where the creditor gets a good chunk of the principle back, and you get an improved reporting of the debt in your file, plus a reduced settlement in many cases. You must negotiate directly with whoever’s name is on your file. They are the only one that can change the reported status of the account. Negotiations take cash to accomplish, but it is a permanent fix.