How to Avoid Credit Repair Scams
Credit repair has been a very hot topic of discussion here in St. Louis over the past few years, and for good reason- Your credit score doesn’t simply affect your ability to borrow money, as is commonly believed, but can affect everything from your ability to find a job to whether or not a landlord will rent to you.
Your credit score has become an important factor in the quality of modern living, and keeping it at an acceptable level is more important than ever. There are companies looking to monetize this need and not all of them can be trusted. According to the Federal Trade Commission, here’s what you need to avoid when choosing a credit repair service:
- The company insists that you pay in advance. According to the Credit Repair Organizations Act, a credit repair company is legally prohibited from charging a fee until they have provided all of the services they have promised.
- The company charges a fee to provide information about your legal rights or outright refuses to provide the information at all. Companies are legally required to provide you with a copy of the “Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law” before you sign any contracts with them. They are also required to provide you with a written contract that explicitly states your rights and duties involved with the process.
- The company advises against contacting any of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
- The company claims to be able to purge your credit report of any negative information that is current and accurate.
- The company advises applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to use in the place of your Social Security Number (SSN) to create a new credit identity. It is considered a federal crime to obtain an EIN under fraudulent pretenses.
- The company recommends disputing all of the information contained in your report, even if it is accurate and current. Before signing any contracts, be sure to read them and make sure they contain detailed information about the following items:
- The terms of payment for services the services they will provide. This information should specify the final overall cost of the services.
- An accurate and detailed description of the services the company will be providing. Remember that a credit company cannot make fraudulent claims about the services they can provide.
- Information about how long it will take to perform the services promised by the company.
- Guarantees the company offers
- The name of the company and its business address.
There are many reputable companies that offer credit repair services in St. Louis, and all across the country. With a little bit of leg-work and a cautious attitude, you should have no trouble finding a reputable credit repair service that wont take your money and give you back nothing in return. Rebuilding your credit can be a long process, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Good luck and I hope this article made it a little easier for you.