Month: January 2013

Credit Repair Scams, Learn the Facts

When searching the internet one will find a lot of misinformation about credit repair and scary warnings about credit repair scams. A lot of this is based on half truths and comes from people that seem to only want to appear as experts on the topic but haven’t done their homework on the credit repair industry. I would like to clear up some of this and give people the full truth.

credit repair scams

Can a Company Charge Fees Before They Remove Items From A Credit Report?

The quick answer is “no”. According to the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) only 501(c)3 non-profit companies, banks, credit unions and attorneys may charge fees before performing service. However, a nominal account set up fee may be charged to a client by any company. The recommendation here is to check out the company you are about to do business with. How long have they been in business? Are they accredited and rated by the Better Business Bureau? Are they certified by the National Association of Credit Services Organizations (NACSO)? Do local real estate, mortgage companies and banks use them to help their clients?

Can Accurate, Non-Obsolete Items Be Deleted Before 7 years?

Another credit repair scams warning is that items that within a 7 year time frame of the date of the last activity on the account and are accurate cannot be deleted. The credit bureau must remove accurate, negative information from your report only if it is over 7 years old. Bankruptcy information can be reported for 10 years. However, if the creditor cannot or chooses not to verify the information they previously reported on a consumer credit report federal law forces the credit bureaus to remove it.

If the creditor cannot or chooses not to verify the information contained in a consumer credit report within 30 days it must be deleted. The provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that says that an item may stay on a consumer credit report for 7 years or 10 years is there to protect the consumer, not punish them. This prevents a late credit card payment or even bankruptcy from hurting a person for the rest of their life. It doesn’t state that it must stay on there under any circumstances. Many creditors choose not to verify an item on a credit report for a multitude of reasons. It is the right of the consumer to ask that the creditor verify these items.

How to Avoid Credit Repair Scams

In review, companies that charge for their services in advance of delivering them are not necessarily bad companies or credit repair scams if they are, in fact, nonprofit. It is important for the consumer to look into the track record of a company (for profit or nonprofit) through the Better Business Bureau and the National Association of Credit Services Organizations (NACSO). Obviously if a company has a poor rating or no rating from the BBB, or is not certified by NACSO then they shouldn’t do business with them.

And, items on a credit report, even though they are accurate, may be deleted from the report if the creditor cannot or chooses not to verify them. A consumer should exercise the rights under federal law to inquire about all items on their credit report that are adversely affecting their credit score and ability to get credit, sometimes get a job, and force them to pay higher interest payments and fees on their purchases.

Call Us to Learn More

This is what we do. We’re dedicated to this business. We are accredited and rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. We are certified by the National Association of Credit Services Organizations. We have been in business since 2004. We are able to conduct business in all 50 states.

Further, we provide a no obligation, no cost consultation on your specific situation. Take 20 minutes and listen to what we have to say and what we can do to help you. If it makes sense let’s work together.

San Diego Office 619-492-3040
Clearwater, FL office 727-222-0120

Tips on Choosing a Credit Repair Company

You may already know that attempting to clear derogatory items from your credit report is not only possible, but it’s your right as a consumer through the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Erroneous, inaccurate and outdated items can cause your credit score to plummet which can keep you from getting a home loan, car loan or even a credit card. Even items that are more recent and are accurate can be removed if the creditor does not respond to your dispute. But how do you choose a credit repair company to help you?

choose a credit repair company

Consumer Disputes Have Very Low Success Rates

In theory a consumer can dispute these items without any assistance from a credit repair company. The chances of success are very low however. There are several reasons why. You must know the process, know what to put in the letter, know the correct dispute code, and know what to do if the creditor and credit bureau responds stating there will be no change on your credit report. Most often an individual doesn’t have the time to learn the process and continue it through to a successful conclusion.

That is why it’s important to choose a credit repair company that is reputable. They will draft letters on your behalf with the correct dispute code and continue the dispute process for up to a year. They have the expertise and experience to overcome difficulties a creditor may present in the process. And, they will follow through on the process as they have professionals overseeing your account.

How to Choose a Credit Repair Company

However, because of the number of people in need of credit repair a myriad of companies have popped up in the last year or two. Some of these companies may have the ability to successfully help a client but some are run by individuals who have purchased a software program and are suddenly in the credit repair business. There are also stories of consumers getting charged a significant fee only to never hear from the company again.

If you are looking to choose a credit repair company, follow these simple tips. And remember, success leaves clues. If the company of individual you are talking to doesn’t seem legitimate follow your instinct.

  • The company should be in business for 2 to 3 years or longer. If not, that could mean they just recently started in order to take advantage of the need in the marketplace.
  • They should have a Better Business Bureau rating. And that rating should be at least an A.
  • They should have accreditation from a third party national credit services organization. One such agency is the National Association of Credit Services Organizations.
  • The person selling you the service shouldn’t be the person handling the dispute process. If they are that means they are a very small, perhaps one woman/man operation and your account may get buried if they get busy. Also, there is no accountability if something happens to this person.
  • The fee should be reasonable. You should not have to pay more than $500 for a thorough credit repair service from a reputable company. Note- some services seem reasonable because they charge a low fee to remove each derogatory item. However, won’t they may not tell you is that each item must be removed from each of the 3 major credit bureaus. So, if someone has 6 derogatory items on each of the 3 credit bureau reports, and the company is charging $50 per item, that’s going to cost $900.
  • The company should offer a customer satisfaction guarantee.
  • The individual or company should explain that some items, most in fact, will not be deleted from your credit report on the first dispute. In some cases it takes several attempts. They should commit to at least 3 attempts. 5 is optimum.
  • The individual or company should be able to show you examples of success they have had with other clients.
  • There should be a way for you to monitor the progress of your credit repair process online.
  • The individual or company should draft the dispute letters on your behalf but the letters should be sent to the credit bureau by you. You are the one that needs to dispute your items. It becomes far less effective if the letters are not signed by, and sent by you.

If You are Going to Choose a Credit Repair Company
We Hope You Choose Us!
Click to Learn About ERA Credit Services