Learn How To Avoid Credit Repair Scams!
By Vincent Dail
Watch out for companies that say they'll "fix" bad credit for a fee often substantial, usually payable in advance. So-called credit repair clinics say they will arrange to have negative credit information removed from your record including information about bankruptcies and default judgments.
The Consumer Reporting Act provides rules regarding how long this information may appear in a consumer report. No credit repair clinic has the authority to have negative information removed from a consumer report unless it is inaccurate, or the rule in the act requires that the information be removed
Stay away from a credit repair firm that does any of the following:
1. Promises you the moon. Most negative information stays on your credit report for seven years; judgments and lawsuits are reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out; bankruptcy remain for up to 10 years.
2. Offers to help you get a new credit identity. The company tells you to apply for an Employer Identification Number or EIN number. Which has the same number of digits as a Social Security number. Then they instruct you to apply for credit using this and a different address. This practice, known as file segregation, is a federal and state felony.
3. Advises you to dispute all negative information in your credit report. The company will flood the top 3 credit bureaus with letters disputing both inaccurate and accurate information. The theory being that most creditors will fail to respond within 30 days and that item will be permanently deleted.
4. Asks you to pay for credit repair before services are provided. This is a direct violation of the Credit Repair Organizations Act, which states that credit repair companies can't charge you fees until after they have completed the promised services.
Be wary of advertisements promising to "fix" bad credit. Credit repair companies may claim to improve consumers' poor credit ratings, but, in reality, no credit repairer has the power to change or erase accurate information in a consumer's file.
The Credit Repair Organizations Act:
By law, credit repair organizations must give you a copy of the "Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law" before you sign a contract. They also must give you a written contract that spells out your rights and obligations. Read these documents before signing the contract.
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