How to find a legitimate credit repair service
Advertisements on various types of credit repair services can be found everywhere. The fact that a lot of people need help or advice in rebuilding their credit history and credit score has brought about the emergence of companies or agencies offering credit repair services.
Unfortunately, not all credit help available today are legitimate. Some companies that offer fast credit repair help are actually fraudulent and are out to make money at the expense of people suffering from bad credit. How can you protect yourself against such companies? Consider these reminders:
Claims they can remove trade lines from your credit report even though they are being reported accurately
Don’t believe false promises. You may come across credit repair agencies claiming to magically fix bad credit by removing negative items from your report.
But the truth is, no person or agency can remove derogatory information from your credit reports unless it is outdated. For instance, if you have a record of bankruptcy, delinquent payments, tax liens, and other court judgements, these will remain in your report for at least seven years.
What these companies do is send in dispute letter after dispute letter hoping that at some point the credit bureau won’t respond in time and then be forced to remove the negative item.
That used to work, but now that a lot of items can be updated electronically these disputes are quickly proven and the negative item remains on your credit report.
Fraudlent Credit Repair Services Advise You To Create a New Credit File
If a credit repair service advices you to create a different identity and other illegal tactics, you should cut ties with them right away. For instance, there are people who use an Employer Identification Number in place of their Social Security Number to cover up their poor score. Or the agency advises them to change their social security number by 1 or 2 numbers. The worse sort of company will tell you to use your underage childs social security number in place of your own. What that does is create possible problems for your child once they turn 18 if you run up bad debt in their name.
However, be warned that if you resort to these methods to obtain credit, you are putting yourself at a greater risk. When I was a bill collector I would look on a consumers report and see a “Hawk Alert” it would detail other “possible” identities. Its extremely difficult to keep a new profile from merging with an old. And once an alert like that is placed all lending institutions will be wary of working with you.
Also keep in mind the above actions are crimes! No matter how they try to make it seem like aren’t doing anything wrong. You are and some creditors have taken a hard stance against people who use this tactic to obtain a loan or credit line through them. The lenders immediately close the credit line and some will file a law suit against you.
What to do before you hire a service
Get in the habit of pulling your credit report regularly. If you want to improve your credit score, there are some things you can do on your own. For example, you can begin by checking your personal credit report. Order a copy of your annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion).
See to it that there are no errors or outdated information in your report. Remember that errors can negatively affect your credit score. However, you can ask the credit bureaus to do the necessary corrections by sending a credit dispute letter.
Be patient. Repairing bad credit takes time. Remember that no credit repair service can help you regain good credit overnight. You will need to work at improving your credit and forming good credit habits. It can take anywhere from a year to a few years, depending on your present credit standing.
Its like trying to lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks. It took you longer than 2 weeks to put on the weight, and it will take time and dedication to take off the weight. There are no special pills or secrets to speed up the process.
Be informed. Do your own research. You can actually find a lot legitimate companies and organizations accredited by the government. These companies offer credit counseling services so you can be given correct and specific advice on how you can rebuild bad credit.
Check the US Department of Justice website (http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm) for a list of approved credit counseling agencies. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling of NFCC (www.nfcc.org/) is another resource where you can find agencies that offer financial counseling and education.
Keep in mind, the only REAL way you can improve your credit score is by paying your debts on time, reducing your debt load by paying off high interest debt first, and creating a budget that you can live with.
About the Author:
Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website EZCreditRepairSolutions.com. She has been providing consumers with tips and wise information about credit repair as well as helping you out more with your bad credit loans. Copyright © 2016
- How Credit Repair Services Work and Improve Your Credit
- How to Correct Wrong Details in Your Credit Report
- How To Write A Credit Dispute Letter that Works
- How To Fix Credit Report Disputes