Fixing your damaged credit is no easy task, but it can be done with the help of the right credit repair company. Since so many people deal with credit issues daily, numerous providers exist and they all claim to be the best. Discovering which credit repair company is right for you requires some knowledge about the field of finances, using the top 10 most frequent asked questions that follow.
- What Services Are Included in Your Basic Credit Repair Package?
Many credit repair companies are similar, but none of them are the exact same. Each broker will have a different set of rules, regulations, and business practices. On top of that, each service package is likely to vary in cost. In general, credit repair services provide things like credit counseling and help with budgeting, but more personalized service packages are available almost everywhere.
- How Long Does the Process Take on Average?
Since each individual case is different, credit repair services typically have no fixed timeline to start. After the initial plan is laid out, however, a more detailed outline can and usually will begin to emerge. There are some credit repair companies that make deadlines and promises, but consumers should tread lightly there. Always expect delays and disappointments along the way. After all, adequate credit repair is a process reserved for the diligent.
- What Information Will I Need?
Although each credit repair company is bound to be unique, FICO works the same no matter where you go. However, some companies are privy to special advantages which make it easy for consumers to improve their credit without having to submit mountains of paperwork. To be safe, gather as much personal or business-related information as possible before contacting any credit repair company. Documents you might need include:
- Identification (such as government-issued photo ID or passport)
- Current address
- Employment Information
- Bank Account Numbers
- Bank and Credit Card Balances
- List of Debts
- List of Assets
- Contact Information
- Social Security Number
- EIN (especially if you own a business)
- Bankruptcy Paperwork
- Divorce Decrees
NOTE: The documentation you are asked to render will vary widely based on the credit repair company you choose as well as the services you need.
- What Factors Contribute to My Credit Score?
It is hard to tell whether you’ve discovered the right credit repair company if you don’t know enough about credit to tell if the job is being done right. In other words, ask about the contributing factors to a modern-day credit rating, inquiring about things such as debt-to-income ratio, inquiries, and the age of your accounts. A good credit repair company will not only be well-versed in those matters, but they will also know how to fix them.
- What Is the Difference Between a Hard and Soft Inquiry?
The effects of hard inquiries on credit reports often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Did you know: having just 6 hard inquiries on your account over the course of only 6 months can drastically reduce your credit score, even if you pay your bills on time and maintain low balances on your credit cards? Ask each credit repair company what they know about this, and be sure to find out what their service packages offer in terms of deleting hard inquiries.
- How Can I Delete Hard Inquiries?
The best way to delete a hard inquiry from your credit report is to get involved with a good credit repair company that can send disputes to creditors and FICO on your behalf. If done correctly and aggressively, the process can take as little as 6 to 8 weeks. If the credit repair company you’re considering doesn’t offer this service, it may be best to keep searching.
- What Credit Score Should I Expect After the Repair Is Complete?
Ask your credit counselor about the realistic expectations you should have after the services are complete. This should give you some idea as to whether you’re spending your money wisely. Do not fall for false claims and lofty promises, though. Repairing credit by yourself takes months – even years – to complete, but a well-equipped credit repair company can accomplish the same thing in months. This doesn’t mean you have the right to be impatient, however. Take whatever you’re told and add about three months to it (just to save yourself a little disappointment).
- Where Can I Find Objective Reviews from Your Former Customers?
A credit repair company can tell you about their amazing services and competitive deals all day, but you would be best served to find out for yourself. Regardless of all the questions you’ve asked, the only way to truly tell if a company is worthy of your money is to check annuls of the Better Business Bureau. It wouldn’t hurt to peruse through other reliable websites to find unbiased points-of-view on the company and their employees. Everyone is nice when they’re trying to get your money, but how does t
he company treat those who have already paid?
- Are You Bonded and Insured?
It’s important to get in touch with a credit repair company that is fully bonded, licensed, and insured. Otherwise, you could be in for a whole heap of trouble should you run into problems. Legitimate credit repair companies will be more than happy to show you their credentials.
- How Can I Contact You If I Have Questions, Comments, or Concerns?
The quality of customer service speaks volumes about a company. Ask the company the following questions to determine how they measure up to the competition:
- Does the business give me the ability to maintain an open line of communication with my appointed counselor?
- Are there hours of operation or will I be able to call in with questions as they arise?
- What are my rights and responsibilities throughout the credit repair process?
- Are there any penalties for changing my mind?
- What happens if I end up not being pleased with the outcome of my credit repair service package?
Be sure to make your own list of questions or concerns you have, and do it prior to signing up for any services.
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