Credit Repair Methods
better understand what legal credit repair is, it would be helpful to
understand a few types of illegal credit
Changing your social security number to
obtain a clean bill of credit.
If any company should suggest this type
of credit repair, report them to the authorities.
Disputing every item on your credit report,
regardless of nature.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act specifically
states that only items that are unverifiable,
inaccurate or misleading should be disputed.
Items that are clearly yours, and reflect
your credit history should not be disputed.
Charging for services that have not yet
This is to protect the consumer from fraudulent
companies that charge for services that
never get completed (charging to "repair
your credit", then hitting the road...)
So, what exactly
is Legal Credit Repair?
Repair consists of removing the negative
items on a credit report. There are a few
different methods of going about this, the
most common and effective are:
Negotiation Negotiating directly with creditors
and asking them to "please" remove
negative items from your credit reports
is a viable method of credit repair for
mild late-pay accounts. There are no laws
that require that negative items stay on
your reports for any amount of time, and
creditors have the ability to simply remove
these items if they see that it could somehow
work to their benefit, even if that simply
means a pleased customer.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you
the right to contact credit bureaus directly
and dispute items on your credit reports.
Just as in a court of law, you have the
right to plead "not guilty" to
negative information on your credit reports,
and leave the burden of proof to the credit
bureaus. You can dispute any and all items
on your credit reports that you feel classify
as inaccurate, unverifiable, or misleading.
If the bureaus can not verify that the information
on your reports is indeed correct, then
those items must be deleted.
Does the CCCS help
consumers restore credit?
Counseling Service or CCCS is a nonprofit
debt counseling service that assists consumers
who are over their heads in debt. CCCS is
funded and controlled by the credit grantors
and the credit bureaus. Often, CCCS provides
a beneficial service to the consumer. Because
of the obvious allegiance between CCCS and
the credit bureaus, you cannot reasonably
expect CCCS to do anything that the credit
bureaus would frown upon, such as help you
restore your credit. In fact, if you decide
to leave CCCS before you have finished their
program, they can list your failure to complete
the process as a negative listing on your
credit report. When you participate in the
CCCS program, your creditors will sometimes
(though rarely) note it on your credit report.
The fact that you resorted to a debt counseling
program is a huge red flag for prospective
credit grantors. Remember, paying off your
debts is a step in the right direction,
but it does not restore your credit.
Can credit repair
companies be trusted?
repair" companies claim to remove negative
credit with the flick of a wrist. Their
advertisements make bold assertions and
money-back guarantees: "Bankruptcy,
tax liens, judgments... no problem!! One
hundred percent guaranteed!! Credit report
100% cleared in 30 days!!" Can they
really make such sweeping guarantees?
While some credit
repair companies are outright frauds, others
are not fraudulent and they use the dispute
process to obtain impressive results. In
fact, they delete thousands of negative
credit listings every day.
it is risky to trust anyone to help you
restore your credit. It is estimated that
fraudulent credit repair companies have
bilked Americans out of more than fifty
million dollars. The majority of credit
repair companies were started by entrepreneurs
with a penchant for marketing. Consumers
have flocked to these "credit doctors"
only to discover that their advertisements
proved far more impressive than their results.
Hiring a credit repair company is like playing
Russian roulette. Many of them are effective
and legitimate, but it is difficult to tell
a rip-off from the real article.
So, can credit repair
companies guarantee results?
Not a chance!
No credit repair company is so good that
it can guarantee a specific outcome. It
would be like a defense lawyer guaranteeing
that the jury will find his client innocent.
Guarantees are a sure sign of credit repair
fraud. A warranty, where the credit repair
company promises a refund if certain results
don't occur, is a better, more realistic
the credit bureaus have declared war against
the credit repair companies and those selling
instruction on how to do-it-yourself. The
bureaus lambaste credit repair companies
in the media and send anti-credit repair
literature to anyone whom they suspect of
using credit repair services. The bureaus
unflinchingly deny that accurate information
can be removed from a credit report.
The simple truth
is that you do not have to endure bad credit
for seven to ten years as long as you feel
comfortable challenging the accuracy or
verifiability of your credit listings. If
so, it is possible to restore creditworthiness
within a much shorter time.
However you decide
to address your credit challenges, realize
that regardless of what you may hear in
the news media, thousands before you have
sought help and restored their credit. They
can show you their homes, cars, and credit
cards. Despite the newspaper articles, TV
reports, and other credit bureau propaganda
to the contrary, the simple truth remains:
you can restore your credit.