Real Estate Investing and Your Credit: Credit Repair Part 1

by Ronnie Adams

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Many beginning real estate investors shy away from getting started because of the condition of their credit. They all want an answer to the question: “How do I repair my credit so I can pursue my real estate investing business?” It will be extremely difficult to get financing if your credit is not in order. In this blog post, I’m going help you get moving in the right direction and repair your credit.

The first step is to get a copy of your credit report. There are several websites that offer a free credit report once a year. It’s best to request one from each of the three main credit bureaus: Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.
Next, compare the credit account entries listed on the three reports. Sometimes the different reporting agencies show different or contradicting information. If you find any discrepancies, contact the individual creditor to dispute the information or make arrangements to settle the account. Often the creditor will allow you to settle the account that day and agree to a lower payoff amount. If the creditor does agree to a settlement, but the amount is too high for you to pay off entirely at one time, try to setup payment arrangements. A payment arrangement will immediately stop the negative reporting on your account and subsequently be updated on your credit report.

After you’ve negotiated a settlement or payment arrangement, make sure you have it documented in writing from the creditor. When you pay off an account, request a letter stating the account is paid in full or the debt has been satisfied. You may need to provide verification of payment for the credit bureaus if the creditors do not pass this information on in a timely manner. The creditor should contact the credit bureau, but sometimes they don’t so you may have to follow up. In general, your credit report should be updated within 30 days or so.

The information in this post should give you enough information to start repairing your credit right now. The sooner you begin, the sooner you can start making money through real estate investing. Our next credit repair post will focus on the process for setting up payment arrangements for an outstanding debt.

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