A low credit score is more damaging than you may think. Aside from borrowing, it may affect your employment and rent. Landlords, insurers, recruiters, and lenders evaluate applicants based on their FICO status. There are many reasons to improve your total. But how can you do it, and how long does it take? The good news is that fixing the score is feasible. On the downside, this process is quite lengthy. On average, consumers need between 1 and 6 months to resolve their issues. Why So Long? The length depends on how many derogatories you want to remove and how solid your evidence is. You can speed up the process by hiring one of the best credit repair companies in your state. Professionals will gather information from the bureaus, find disputable entries, and communicate with the agencies in writing to ensure quicker removal. The law also allows consumers to manage their repairs on their own. However, DIY credit repair includes many challenges. While collecting your reports is easy, gathering the appropriate evidence and communicating with bureaus are demanding tasks. Here is how the process works and why you should not expect results in less than a month. How Soon Can You Get Your Reports? It is crucial to obtain information from all major bureaus in the United States. Fortunately, you do not need to request data from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax individually. Instead, visit www.annualcreditreport.com. This website allows you to download a free copy from each of the sources. Before the pandemic, this service was provided once a year. Now, you can get it weekly until April 20, 2022. Besides, your score is accessible through special apps like Credit Sesame, and you may also find it on www.myfico.com. Downloading the records is the easiest and fastest way to get them. Alternatively, you may contact the organization by phone (1-877-322-8228) or send a request by mail. In both cases, the data will be provided by mail within 15 days. Tips for Analysis Mistakes on reports range from wrong spelling to false information. You may even discover that you are a victim of identity theft. Fraudsters may have taken out loans in your name, which is why your score has fallen. Consumers may find evictions, bankruptcies, judgments, or late payments that never existed. Any inaccuracies may be disputed. However, if you correct the spelling of your street, this won’t have any influence on your FICO total. On the other hand, missed or late payments affect over a third of the score — 35%. If you want quick results, prioritize the errors based on importance. Professionals will collect the reports for you and find the most damaging inaccuracies. They will suggest a plan of action based on your service package. As a rule, the cheapest plans allow you to have a particular number of disputes per month — e.g., 5 per bureau. Gather Evidence You cannot request deletion without proof. Collect bank statements and other information (e.g., emails from the lender) showing that the entries are false. Repair companies often send debt validation letters. Your lender needs to prove that you owe the amount specified in the records. It is essential to collect convincing evidence. By law, a bureau has 30 days to respond to any dispute letter. If it asks for additional proof, the repair will take longer. Experts know all the ins and outs of this process so they can speed it up. Open Disputes To contact reporting agencies, you need to compose dispute letters. If you are doing everything yourself, you may find useful templates online. A credit fixing firm will handle all formal correspondence on your behalf. It will submit customized letters with the necessary evidence. If the reporting bureau grants your request, the derogatories will vanish from the records. You will receive a free copy of your corrected report. Alternatively, the agency may decide that your evidence is inconclusive and request an additional proof. Repair Takes Months As you can see, the first results should appear on your records in a month or so. As the bureaus respond within 30 days to each request, the length depends on the number of derogatories and the quality of evidence. While fixing the score is possible, it is far from simple. This explains why professional repair services are in high demand.