The brand image that is shared by the public in the USA is that credit repair companies are comparable to vultures. They enjoy seeing the misfortunes of others since their business “takes off” when a person is faced with the direst of financial problems.
Fortunately, this is mostly untrue. While there are some scammers in the industry, the vast majority of these agencies are rather offering a “safety net” to a population that is moving towards complete financial chaos. Most people never think or believe they are in serious financial trouble until they are refused a loan due to a bad credit score or a below par credit report.
Improving your credit – knowing how to do it and actually doing it are two different things!
Yes, it is true that you could repair bad credit without any external help. It’s also true that you can gain all the information you need from the Net and use it to successfully improve your credit report.
However, you need to understand and accept the fact that correcting one’s credit score takes immense effort and involves close follow up and focused correspondence with all the concerned parties. The credit repair companies play a vital role here in saving time and providing convenience.
You can compare this service with just about any task you can outsource like, for instance, cutting your grass! It’s not that you don’t know to cut your grass, or that you’re unable to do so; but when you hire a person to do this task for you, you leverage on the time saved and the convenience it offers you.
The credit repair companies are experts in this field and therefore can ensure that you regain you financial balance much faster and easier than you could do it on your own. Just how easy would you think it is – when you’re learning about credit report matters “from scratch” – in conparison to these specialized agencies who hire and work with highly qualified and experienced personnel in all financial related matter. These agencies not only guide you out of bad debt situations, but also provide a helpline to you so you would never see bad days again.
One of the most critical service credit repair companies offer is debt management counseling. Everything is possible when you apply yourself to it; you could reverse a bad credit report and increase your over score. However, unless you learn the art of managing money, you will never be totally free from worry caused by your finances. These habits will always surface and be ready to create trouble when you least expect it.
Yes, we DO need credit repair companies!
It’s therefore easy to appreciate the reason why such businesses are flourishing in spite of the not-so-positive image in the minds of the public. They do deliver a very vital service without which, the percentage of bankruptcies and bad credit would have multiplied unchecked. It’s due to these credit repair companies that many people today are making efforts to live within their means and manage their finances in a more responsible manner.
Credit Repair Companies – How to Choose the Right One
Be very careful when evaluating a credit repair agency
Credit Repair Companies, generally speaking, have gotten a lot of negative press and not without good reason! Lots of crooks have posed as credit repair professionals, promising to help relieve their clients of their bad credit. But in the end, all they have “relieved” them of is their money!
But not all credit repair firms are scammers! There are a great many honest credit repair companies that provide a desperately needed service to the consumer.
A poor credit score can dig deep into your pockets and deplete your hard-earned savings on appallingly high interest rates. At the same time, repairing your credit is a time-consuming process, which requires close follow-up and often specialized and customized appeals for removing adverse and incorrect trade lines from your credit report.
You are probably aware that there are numerous credit repair companies and credit repair lawyers ready to offer their services, but you’re unsure of which one to choose. You may have heard too many stories of people being scammed, and for that reason, you are undecided.
Here are five factors that will help you reach an intelligent and informed decision:
Professionalism – is the company you are considering professional? Check out their web site carefully and see whether you are comfortable with what you find there.
- Is the website easily easy to navigate?
- Does it have a page with FAQs that can help guide you?
- Do they have a live chat or fast-response email service to address your questions?
- Is there counseling offered free by the companies?
- Does it make extraordinary claims? (Beware!)
Check carefully every aspect, and trust both your logic and your gut feelings.
Ethical – it is critical that the credit repair companies you choose behaves ethically. Do not fooled by agencies that claim to be able to remove all your negative accounts, whether they are being accurately reported or not. You should expect to be able to delete only those accounts that are erroneous.
Do not be tempted to avail of illegal means to increase your score. You might be inviting more trouble than you could handle. Search on Google for reviews or feedback on the credit repair companies in question. Be on the lookout for any reports of scams. Check whether the firm is a member of any reputed organizations such as the ECRA (Ethical Credit Repair Alliance) or the BBB (Better Business Bureau) which will require that they abide by strict ethical standards.
24/7 monitoring – credit repair goes beyond just “credit repair.” It means education, counseling, awareness, and monitoring among other things. Regular monitoring and immediate intervention when negative remarks find their way into your credit report are more important in maintaining a good credit score that just repairing it. Are the credit repair companies offering you more? Do they provide these additional services on their menu?
Reasonable – it is true that credit repair companies are in business to generate revenue. But, this should not be to the detriment of their clients. The best business relationships, ones that survives time and changes in technology, are often associated with the offer of value-for-money by companies. You must feel happy about the price and services offered. Research these aspects well enough to be empowered to negotiate the best rate. Do not be afraid to negotiate.
Offer solutions – you need solutions. The best credit repair companies are those that will draw you out and address your problems in detail, so that they can work out a customized solution for your personal situation. This is very important due to the fact that no two financial problems will be alike, and what works fine for one individual may not be the best solution for another. Find a credit repair agency that is geared toward offering solutions – solutions tailored for YOUR needs!
Credit Repair Company – What it Can and Cannot Do
Just what is a “credit repair company” and what can it do for YOU?
A credit repair company by definition is an organization that helps to improve your credit report by different techniques like contacting the credit bureaus to verify the accuracy of your credit report, settling any credit report dispute as it arises, repairing credit in the wake of bad debts and so on. In other words, it’s a firm that helps you to manage your finances better.
What can a credit repair company do for you?
There are many who advocate the “do it yourself” credit report repair method instead of availing the services of a credit repair company. Is that better? That will be your decision.
This is what a good credit repair company should offer you:
- checking the accuracy of the remarks entered in your credit report as per each major credit Bureau (there are three major bureaus in the USA – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax)
- initiated a trade lines dispute when inaccuracies are discovered; following it up until they are completely removed from the report
- advising you on the best course of action to repair your credit report as quickly as feasible
- counseling you regarding the best ways to manage your finances so you will not fall into debt traps again.
- facilitating avenues that will enable you to earn your livelihood again
- keeping a close eye on the credit report that each major credit Bureau maintains, to prevent any fault that could erode your credit score
- showing you the way to maintain a good credit to income ratio that will reflect well on your credit report
What you cannot expect from a credit repair company.
There are many people who approach credit repair companies like they would a genie in a magic lamp. Here are some things a credit repair professional can not do for you:
- settle any trade lines dispute in a very short time – it takes at least 60 days
- repair credit history overnight – it takes at least 6 months
- wipe away adverse debts – it takes at least 6 months
- change facts listed in your report – it will remove only those trade lines which are genuinely inaccurate
- wipe out a history of bankruptcy – it can only help your credit score, since a bankruptcy stays on your credit report for at least 7 years
- improve your credit report overnight – this is a gradual process that requires at least 3-6 months
3 Red Flags That Point To a Less-Than-Trustworthy Credit Repair Company
It’s true that there are a lot of less-than-reputable companies out there who rely on the gullibility and helplessness of indebted people to make a fast buck. Here are three warning signs that serve as “wake up call” that a credit repair company is not trustworthy:
- it asks for their fees in full upfront
- it promises you immediate results
- it introduces you to illegal ways of raising your credit score
Avoid any such credit repair company like the plague! Remember, even bankruptcy is not the end of the world. But using illegitimate tactics to fix poor credit can backfire on you pretty badly. Never be tempted into accepting such “help” because these organizations are not trustworthy and will lead you into desperation.