Truth: It is practically impossible to restore
your credit without somehow satisfying your
outstanding debts.  However, the act of
paying off a debt actually hurts your credit.  
Negative credit is allowed to stay on the
credit report for a maximum of seven years,
except for bankruptcy which may remain up
to ten years.  This seven year clock begins
ticking on the “date of last activity,” or, in
other words, when the last action took place
on the account.  By paying an outstanding,
delinquent debt you will change the account
status to “paid collection,” “paid was late,” or
“paid was charged off” – which will stand out
as a very negative listing.  Furthermore, you
will create a new date of last activity on the
day you settle the account.  The seven year
clock will reset and begin all over again.  
When you have outstanding debt, it is almost
always prudent to seek professional aid so
that you may settle your debts without further
debts.

Myth #2
If I succeed in deleting a negative item, it will
just come right back on my credit report.  
Truth: The credit bureaus have very cleverly
spread this myth through the news media
and even government regulators.  In truth,
the credit bureaus will often temporarily
delete a negative listing if they haven’t heard
back from the credit grantor after
approximately thirty days.  If the credit
grantor reports in late; say after six weeks
and verifies the negative listing, the credit
bureau will often reinsert the negative listing
on the credit report.  This is often known as
the “soft delete.”  Eventually, though, the
creditor simply fails to respond and the
negative listing is permanently deleted.  If the
item is verified by the credit grantor, either
before thirty days or after, the account may
still be challenged again at some future time.

Myth #3
There are some types of negative listings,
such as bankruptcies and foreclosures that
are impossible to remove from the credit
report.  
Truth: There is no type of negative listing
that hasn’t been removed from a credit report
a thousand times.  Some types of negative
listings, such as a bankruptcy or unpaid
debts, are certainly more difficult to remove
from the credit report, but this has more to do
with operational systems of the credit
bureaus than it have to do with the severity
of the bad credit item.  (Example: judgments
and tax liens are severely negative listings;
yet are easier negative listings to remove.)
Myth #4
Disputing the credit report is easy and
any consumer can do it himself for the
price of a few postage stamps.
Truth: Disputing the credit report is
easy.  Getting results from the credit
bureaus is amazingly difficult, complex,
and infuriating.  It isn’t a coincidence
that the Federal Trade Commission
receives more complaints against credit
bureaus than any other type of
business.  Remember, the credit
bureaus are primarily interested in
protecting their profits.  Investigating
your challenge consumes these profits.  
Short of sparking mass
numbers of lawsuits, the credit bureaus
will do everything in power to
discourage consumers from making
progress with their credit restoration.  
Restoring your own credit is like
repairing your own transmission or
representing yourself in court; it’s
probably more prudent to engage a
professional rather than trying to do it
yourself.

Myth #5
If I declare bankruptcy, I can begin my
credit report all over with a clean slate.  
Truth:  Many bankruptcy attorneys do
not adequately understand or explain
the effects of bankruptcy to their
clients.  Stated simply, bankruptcy is to
the credit rating what the nuclear bomb
is to war.  When you file for bankruptcy,
every credit account that you decide to
include in bankruptcy will become an
“included in bankruptcy” account.  
Additionally, a bankruptcy filing and
bankruptcy discharge listing will appear
in the court records section of your
credit report.  Because so many
negative items are attached to the
bankruptcy, it becomes very difficult to
remove all trace of the bad credit.  If at
all possible, you should avoid
bankruptcy.

Myth #6
If you are not satisfied with the results
of your credit bureau challenge, you
may file a “100 word statement” on your
credit report explaining your side of the
story.
Truth:  Creditors will read your
statement and will take it into
consideration; however, our experience
indicates that not too may creditors
consider information given in a 100
word statement.  The statement only
serves to shed some light on the very
negative listings on the credit report.