Know Your Rights

Are Credit Repair Companies Worth Your Dime?

Today, you cannot avoid the bombardment of ads for credit repair companies, promising to boost your credit score and do away with your bad credit forever.  Despite the fact such offers are obviously appealing, consumers should beware there is no quick fix and such claims are likely the sign of a scam you are better off avoiding. 

The harsh reality is, there is no immediate solution to repair your credit and the only sure fire way to fix your score is with a little patience and a lot of time.  Legitimately improving your credit score takes knowledge and commitment to coming up with a plan to pay off your debt and continuing to make payment of all of your bills in a timely manner.  A credit repair company cannot usually make good on the promises they offer as accurate negative information cannot be removed from your report, so forking over money to a company to dispute information that is rightfully reporting is more than likely a waste of money you could be using to pay off your debt.

The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") put together a list of conduct consumers should be weary of in an effort to protect you being taken advantage of.

  1. Never pay a credit repair company up front.  Make sure the company does the work before you hand over your hard earned money.
  2. Make sure the company does not charge you for free information.  Credit repair companies should not just recite you the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") and send you on your way.  These companies must actually do the disputing for you and follow up for the results.
  3. Avoid a credit repair company that advises you to cease all communication with the credit reporting agencies and that advises you it can remove accurate derogatory information from your report.   
  4. A legitimate credit repair organization should never advise you to dispute information that is up to date and accurate despite it being negative. 
  5. Accurate negative information cannot legally be removed from your credit report so a promise to do so can be viewed as a violation of the law.  The "FCRA" allows you to dispute inaccurate information from your credit report at no cost so anything a credit repair company can do, you can also do on your own behalf free of charge.  Before agreeing to start the services with a credit repair company know that it cannot falsely represent their services and cannot charge you until completing their promised services. 

If you are having issues with your credit report and need the advice or assistance of counsel, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a  free case review.

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