Cover image for The credit repair kit
The credit repair kit
Ventura, John.
Personal Author:
Fourth edition.
Publication Information:
Chicago, IL : Dearborn Trade Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 257 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HG3751.7 .V46 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HG3751.7 .V46 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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A bad credit record can make it tough to get a loan or adequate insurance, find a good job or rent an apartment. Yet nearly half of all credit records contain serious errors. the information they need to order a copy of their credit record, understand what their records say about them, and deal with any problems they may find in those records. John Ventura also educates readers about their legal rights under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. error in a credit record; rebuild credit after financial difficulties; avoid becoming the victim of identity theft and credit-rebuilding scams; and interpret a credit score. With indentity theft on the rise, consumers are advised about what measures to take to preserve the privacy of their personal and financial information. Practical tips, sample credit reports, checklists and information about helpful Web sites and organizations are also included.

Author Notes

John Ventura is a bankruptcy attorney and a national authority on consumer and small business financial and legal issues. He is the author of twelve books. He also writes a column for a small business journal, and hosts a weekly radio program

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
1. How Credit Bureaus Can Affect Your Lifep. 1
What Are Credit Bureaus?p. 3
What's in Your Credit Record?p. 4
How Can Your Credit Record Affect Your Life?p. 5
Who Can See Your Credit Report Information?p. 6
The Evolution of the Consumer Credit Industryp. 14
Other Credit Bureau Products and Services Marketed to Creditorsp. 20
Criticism of Credit Reporting Agenciesp. 22
Penalties for Violating Your Federal Credit Record Rightsp. 23
2. Credit Records and Credit Scores: How to Find Out about Yoursp. 27
Order Your Report from All Three National Credit Bureausp. 28
How to Request a Copy of Your Credit Report from Each of the Big Threep. 29
What's in a Credit Report?p. 37
The Scoop on Credit Scoresp. 44
3. How to Read Credit Reports from the Three National Credit Bureausp. 49
Systems for Reporting Consumer Informationp. 50
The Equifax Credit Reportp. 50
The Experian Credit Reportp. 58
The TransUnion Credit Reportp. 62
4. Resolving Credit Record Problems through Investigations, Lawsuits, and Morep. 69
Credit Record Problemsp. 70
FACTA Helps Consumers Monitor the Information in Their Credit Recordsp. 72
Correcting Problems in Your Credit Recordp. 73
Frivolous or Irrelevant Investigationsp. 76
FCRA Requirements for Investigationsp. 76
Problems with Credit Bureau Investigationsp. 77
At the End of a Credit Bureau Investigationp. 78
If Your Credit Record Gets Correctedp. 79
If Errors Reappear in Your Credit Reportp. 80
When a Credit Bureau Investigation Does Not Correct a Problem in Your Credit Recordp. 80
Written Statementsp. 81
Another Option for Resolving Problems in Your Credit Recordp. 84
Formal Complaintsp. 86
Lawsuitsp. 88
Negative but Accurate Account Informationp. 96
Adding Information to Your Credit Recordp. 98
Negotiating with a Taxing Authorityp. 100
5. Rebuilding Your Creditp. 103
A Creditwise Philosophyp. 104
Credit Is Necessary in Today's Worldp. 106
A Sound Approach to Credit Rebuildingp. 106
When to Start Rebuildingp. 106
Rebuild Your Credit Step-by-Stepp. 108
Getting a Bank Loanp. 109
Getting a Second Loanp. 112
Shopping for a National Bank Cardp. 113
Alternative Ways to Buy on Creditp. 117
6. Avoiding Credit Repair Rip-Offsp. 121
What Is a Credit Repair Firm?p. 122
How to Spot a Disreputable Credit Repair Firmp. 123
Credit Repair Firm Products and Servicesp. 126
Credit Repair Techniquesp. 126
The Credit Repair Organizations Actp. 128
How to Find a Reputable Firm to Help You Rebuild Your Creditp. 131
What to Do If You Are Ripped Offp. 132
7. Women and Creditp. 135
Why Many Women Have Problems with Creditp. 136
Learning about Credit and Money Managementp. 137
The Significance of Account-User Status Designationsp. 138
Women Living in Community Property Statesp. 139
Women and Credit in Separate Property Statesp. 140
The Advantage of Individual Creditp. 141
How to Build Your Own Credit Historyp. 142
The Equal Credit Opportunity Actp. 147
Advice for Women Who Have Credit in Their Own Names and Are Getting Marriedp. 151
Advice for Women Who Were Married before the ECOA Was Enactedp. 152
Widows and Creditp. 153
8. Creating Divorce-Proof Creditp. 157
Planning for a Divorcep. 158
Avoiding Trouble with Joint or Shared Accountsp. 159
Debts That Your Spouse Agrees to Pay as Part of Your Divorce Settlementp. 161
Other Credit Problems Divorce Can Createp. 162
If Your Former Spouse Files for Bankruptcyp. 164
Property Settlement and Hold Harmless Obligationsp. 166
Other Aspects of Bankruptcy Law That May Affect You If You Are Divorcedp. 167
Special Concerns for Divorced People in Community Property Statesp. 168
9. Privacy Issues in a High-Tech Worldp. 171
Privacy in the Information Agep. 173
Unauthorized Access to Your Credit Record Informationp. 174
Federal Privacy Lawsp. 175
Privacy in the Credit Industryp. 179
Special Products and Servicesp. 180
The Privacy of Your Medical Informationp. 187
Employers and Privacyp. 192
Online Technologyp. 194
10. How to Protect Yourself from the Crime of Identity Theftp. 195
What Is Identity Theft?p. 196
How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theftp. 200
Another Step to Take, Just in Casep. 205
What to Do If You Think You Are a Victim of Identity Theftp. 206
Other Steps You Should Take If You Believe That You Are the Victim of Identity Theftp. 216
Other Actions You May Need to Takep. 221
Good Recordkeeping Is Essentialp. 223
11. Now That You Have Itp. 225
Strategies for Keeping Bad Habits at Bayp. 226
How Much Credit Is Enough Creditp. 228
How Much Credit Is Too Much?p. 229
Creditors Care about the Three Csp. 230
Types of Credit Accountsp. 231
Evaluating Credit Offersp. 233
Credit Card Trapsp. 235
Take the Offensivep. 236
Cash Advances Are Expensivep. 237
Do You Need Credit Life Insurance?p. 238
Debit Cardsp. 238
Federal Laws You Should Know Aboutp. 241
Appendix Federal Trade Commission Headquarters and Regional Officesp. 247
Indexp. 251