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After declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy about 14 months ago, I find myself in a position where my best option for finding a home is to purchase one (rather then rent an apartment, which is simply not an option for me in this market). My mortgage broker asked me to review my credit report for anything that can be disputed to try to get my score above the FHA 580 FICO threshold. We only need to move it 4 points. I pulled my reports last night and they seem fairly accurate I only found a couple small things:

  • Even though my student loan was not included in the bankruptcy, there is a remark on the account mentioning (but not including) the bankruptcy on that account. Due to the bankruptcy, that account was closed and "permanently transferred to the government," even though I was making payments.
  • One of my other revolving accounts that was included in the bankruptcy--and subsequently closed by the creditor--is not being reported as closed.

Does anyone know if successfully disputing the remark on my closed student loan account, or the open/closed status of the other revolving account would help to improve my FICO score?

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    Yes, getting records changed on your credit report can most definitely influence your credit scores, although not necessarily in the direction you expect. – dg99 Sep 16 '16 at 15:33
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Disputing the remark seems unlikely to move your score, since it is just that -- a remark. It's hard to say whether the scoring models can/do read the remarks and incorporate them (somehow) into the scoring metric itself.

Disputing the revolving account that should be reported as closed is a different matter. The question there would be what the status of that account is/was. In other words, is it showing as an open collection or some other status which would indicate the creditor still has a pending claim? If so, disputing it might have some effect, although nobody would be able to tell you for certain or even how much your score might be affected.

If, as you say, that account should have been part of the bankruptcy package then getting that corrected could be important enough to achieve what you're looking for. You can try it and see, but even if the effect is minor, you still want your credit report to be a true reflection of the facts.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

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A few points:

The reason your lender is asking you to be above 580 is because that is the magic number for an FHA loan where your down payment would be only 3.5% (the US Government effectively subsidizes the rest of your down pmt). If you had a score lower than that (but still above 500), you will need to put 10% down which is still less than the typical 20% down pmt that many of us make. It's not that you can't get a loan with a score < 580. It's that you don't qualify for the "maximum financing" thru FHA. You should do some research and decide if you even want an FHA loan. And keep in mind, you will throw away some money every month towards PMI (mortgage insurance) if you do FHA. Many insist on 20% down pmt to avoid that.

How exactly these two items will effect your score is another question. It's possible that having accounts added back as revolving accounts could negatively / not positively effect it. It will likely effect it in some way and I'm not 100% which way or if it would be very significant.

You may want to dispute both of those items regardless if you can't afford anything but an FHA loan. If that's the case, then you may have nothing to lose. You might also want to shop around for mortgage lenders. And look for a "portfolio lender." These type of lenders general have more flexibility in who they can lend to and the type of loans.

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