People always seem to be looking for shortcuts to getting what they want. While it’s certainly true that there are more effective and efficient ways of accomplishing something as well as less efficient and less effective methods, easy shortcuts typically don’t produce what most people hope they would.

This principle applies to the 609 Dispute Letter that is often being sold as a quick way to fix your credit with credit bureaus like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

In short, a the 609 Dispute Letter shortcut for repairing your credit simply doesn’t work. If you’ve gotten behind on payments, allowed yourself to accumulate excessive debt, or otherwise done things that hurt your credit, you’re going to need to address those negative factors that are weighing down your credit score and get them fixed, either by yourself or with help from a credit repair service.

What is a 609 Dispute Letter?

The term “609 Dispute Letter” comes from the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which governs the interaction between credit reporting agencies, the consumers who’s financial credibility information they collect, and the lenders and other potential creditors who are the credit agencies’ customers.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed in 1970 as a way to protect consumers from negligence on the part of the credit agencies in reporting credit history. In order to report negative information on your profile to banks and other clients, credit agencies are required to have and make available to a consumer complete and accurate information regarding what’s placed on their report

Section 609 of the FCRA simply lays out a consumer’s rights to request credit reports from the credit reporting bureaus along with any information that factors into their credit reports and the associated credit scores. Section 609 doesn’t govern the way that credit report information is disputed. It’s actually Section 611 of the FCRA law that provides a way for consumers to dispute what’s found on their credit reports.

Buying a Section 609 Dispute Letter template (many of which are available for sale online) is, based on this context, not a good idea.

How to Clean Up Your Credit?

If you have bad credit, and you’d like to clean it up, you’re definitely on the right track. Doing so helps you get better terms on loans from mortgage and other lenders. It also might mean the difference between being able to rent a home or even to get a job. Credit scores and credit report information is used to gauge how reliable you are in regards to financial matters and your ability to keep commitments.

To clean up your credit and improve your score, you need to address each of the items that affect your FICO score, including improving your credit history, reducing the overall amount of debt you owe, limiting how many credit requests you make, and removing anything that is currently being reported on your credit report that is inaccurate.

To begin cleaning up your credit, you’ll first want to get a copy of your credit report so that you can review it and check for anything that might be negatively impacting you and your FICO score. You can get a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, which gives you access to all three of the major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

After looking over the report, you can fill out a dispute form for each of the negative items on each of your reports. If something negative shows up on all three reports from all three credit reporting agencies, you’ll need to dispute those individually. For instance, Experian’s dispute form (found here) allows you to identify yourself by your name, date of birth, and social security number, then dispute up to four different negative items listed on your credit report.

Experian Credit Report Dispute Form

You’ll have to mail in the form to the respective credit reporting agencies, who can take up to 30 days after they receive your dispute to update your credit report accordingly. The entire process of taking off bad elements of your credit report and improving your score typically takes about six months, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. If you’re interested in getting a mortgage or other type of credit with good terms, you should start working on repairing your credit well before you need the credit.

You Could Also Hire Someone to Repair Your Credit

Rather than doing it on their own, some people choose to use a credit repair agency to help them through the process. Prosperopedia.com has an affiliate relationship with CreditRepair.com. If you don’t feel comfortable working through the process of cleaning up your credit on your own, you might give them a try. Because credit repair is their entire business, they can get you through the process efficiently, and they typically take less time than doing it on your own.

To get started using CreditRepair.com, simply click on the banner below.