In today’s society many people are struggling with an ever-increasing burden of debt. This in turn can lead to a poor credit rating which causes further problems by making it difficult, impossible, or more expensive to obtain further credit.
To overcome this problem, some people with poor credit ratings may be tempted to try a credit repair service.
However, the simple truth is that no-one can legally remove information from a credit report which has been legally and accurately added. The law does allow for reinvestigation of information held on file if it is believed to incomplete, inaccurate or just plain wrong. You can ask for such an investigation without paying any kind of fee.
The same goes for most of the services offered by credit repair clinics and services – there is a fairly limited amount that they can do, and most of it you can do yourself, at little to no cost.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
You are already allowed to request a free credit report once per year from each of the major agencies.
This is highly recommended to everyone as it can be a useful tool for spotting anomalies caused by credit card fraud and identity theft. Additionally, you can also obtain a free report if you have had a request for credit denied within the last 30 days.
If this highlights any issues which you believe are inaccurate or out of date then you can dispute them, free of charge, by requesting a dispute form from the credit reporting agency.
Credit repair scams
Whilst it is not a scam, or in anyway illegal, to charge for a credit repair service, it may not be worth spending your money on using one. As stated above, most of the services that they offer, that are likely to be of benefit, can be undertaken yourself at little to no cost.
Some signs that a credit repair service may be operating a scam are –
- They advise you not to make contact with a credit bureau yourself
- They do not advise you of your legal rights, or charge for the privilege
- They suggest changing your social security number or using a federal employer identification number instead
- They ask for payment before undertaking any services on your behalf
Remember, with a little research, you can obtain the same results as a credit repair service does, and probably at far less cost to yourself. Furthermore, you should also note that making false statements on credit applications, or falsifying your social security number, is fraud and a federal offence.