If your credit is dangling between fair and disastrous, you may be desperate for a quick solution to repairing it. Millions of others are in the same situation, and there are plenty of scam artists who are ready to take advantage of that desperation. If you want to repair your credit with the assistance of credit repair specialists, beware.
Not every credit repair specialist wants to help you – many are simply out to make a quick buck. So before you fork out big money to engage the help of a an outsider, keep in mind:
- You have the ability to repair your own credit. The only difference between you and a credit repair specialist is they get paid to repair your credit.
- If the specialist asks for money upfront, run away as fast as you can. If you give money before he actually starts working, you’re facing a good possibility that you’ll never see him again. Never pay a credit repair specialist, if you engage ones services, until after hes started working.
- If a credit repair specialist promises he can get negative information wiped off your credit report quickly (it generally takes a minimum of 90 days), again run the other way. He may well be able to get negative information taken off quickly. However, in order to do so, hes going to use methods that are not ethical or legal. Furthermore, that negative information may be wiped off for a brief period, but it will appear again.
- Even if you’ve paid off outstanding debts, you’ll still find its listed on your credit report for seven years. If someone promises he can get such information taken off your credit report, hes lying.
Such information cannot be removed until seven years have passed.
- If you’ve received a telemarketing phone call from a credit repair specialist offering you his services and you accept, you are protected by law. According to the Federal Trade Commissions Telemarketing Sales Rule, the credit repair specialist is forbidden to contact you regarding payment after rendering their services until six months have passed. If you receive demand for payment before the six months are up, report them to the FTC.
Many legal and credit experts recommend not engaging the services of an independent credit repair specialist. You can easily repair your own credit report – for free. At the most, you may have to pay $10 or less for a copy of your credit report. If you do feel better using an outside company, do your homework to avoid being scammed.
In summary, (as advised by Department of Financial Institutions) if you decide to respond to a credit repair offer, beware of companies that:
- Want you to pay for credit repair services before any services are provided;
- Do not tell you your legal rights and what you can do-yourself-for free;
- Recommend that you not contact a credit bureau directly;
- Suggest that you try to invent a “new” credit report by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security Number;
- or Advise you to dispute all information in your credit report or take any action that seems illegal, such as creating a new credit identity.