Credit Repair Companies – What they Can and Can't Do
By Julian Thronton
If you are currently struggling with the consequences of bad credit, chances are you are really hungry for a solution to your money problems. The telephone calls from collections agencies, the demands of payment in your mailbox, the constant living on the smell of an oily rag, the bank account continuously going into the red…it makes for a stressful way of life, and you deserve better. You turn the television on and the second commercial you see is for a company that promises to repair your credit file. Sounds great right? After all, you've lost track of the defaults you've accrued, and bankruptcy…that's something you're beginning to think is inevitable.
You've seen the Ads, so what is a Credit Repair Company?
It's fairly self-explanatory really. A credit repair company is a firm that works with you to improve your bad credit situation. Such companies can do the following for you:
• Identify mistakes on your Credit File: It is possible that some entries on your Credit File were made in error, or as the result of fraudulent activity (e.g. if somebody stole your wallet, with your ID and applied for a loan under your name). Credit repair companies can identify such errors and bring them to your attention. You can then approach Baycorp Advantage – the company who looks after Credit Files – and put forward your case proving the error and asking for the removal of the entry. Only you are authorised to put forward such a case.
• Negotiate your Debt Down: Credit repair companies can act on your behalf to negotiate with your creditors, in an effort to reduce your debt. They can do this by proposing an informal agreement with your creditors, or a formal debt agreement (also known as a part IX or X).
• Work with you to Consolidate Debt: Such companies may secure loans for their clients that allow you to combine all of your debts into one loan, which can free up extra money for you each month.
• Arrange Mortgage Refinancing: If you are in debt, these companies may be able to propose a refinance option for you. By refinancing, you use the equity in your home to pay off the more urgent (i.e. higher interest) debts. This method can also allow you to consolidate your debts into one easy monthly payment, which can help you become a better money manager.
• Advise you of when Bankruptcy is Best: Bankruptcy should only ever be viewed as a last resort, and these companies can assess your situation to determine if bankruptcy is your only option.
What a Credit Repair Company Cannot Do
As you may already have guessed, there are some things that credit repair companies cannot do. A credit repair company cannot:
• Remove items from your Credit File that are Legitimate: If you have defaults, judgements or writs that are legitimately on your Credit File, a credit repair company cannot remove them. These items are on your Credit File for a reason, and cannot be removed by anybody.
When Should I see a Credit Repair Company?
If you are struggling with financial issues, or feeling like you have lost control of your financial situation, you need to speak to a credit repair specialist. Find a good, reputable company that specialises in credit repair, and find out how you can turn your bad credit situation around. The path to a good credit, financially independent future is only a phone call away, so don't wait another minute!
© Julian Thornton, Designer Mortgage Solutions Pty Ltd, 2006.
About the Author
Julian Thornton is a Melbourne-based mortgage specialist who owns and operates the highly successful Designer Mortgage Solutions Pty Ltd. Although specializing in the field of bad credit mortgages and debt elimination, Julian can help anybody into their own home and prepare them for financial success.
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