Consumers looking to have their credit reports repaired from
damaging marks can find an overwhelming number of companies that
are willing to help them in the process. But do these
companies actually help you and do they accomplish what you
need? The first step is to determine whether the company you
are considering is a legitimate company truly designed to assist in
repairing your credit or whether it is a money making scam.
In fact, the Federal Trade Commission offers certain important
guidelines to how to determine that the credit repair scams are
scams. Here are the guidelines according to FTC to determine
whether the companies are up to no-good.
- The company asks you to make an upfront payment even before
they have done anything to repair your credit card ratings. Under
the Credit Repair Organizations Act, no credit repair company can
ask you to pay unless they have offered their services to repair
your credit score.
- The company is silent about your rights and what can you get
through them for free.
- The company recommends that you do not cause any communication
with any of the three major national credit reporting companies
directly. The scam company promises to do it itself.
- The company straightaway claims that it can clear all negative
information on your credit card, even if that information is recent
- The company suggests you dispute all the data on your credit
report, regardless of its accuracy and the time when the report was
- Finally, the company suggests that you invent a new credit
identity and a new credit report successively by applying for an
Employer Identification Number instead of your social security
You yourself can take the necessary steps to fix inaccuracies on
your credit report. If the items on your credit report are
accurate – that is, they are really your debts and the status of
them are being reported correctly, you should not expect much from
disputing your credit report no matter who you pay or how
much. There is no obligation on the part of the credit
bureaus to remove correctly reported information.
However, if the item is inaccurate you have rights, and you can
take the steps yourself, without going into your pocket for much
more than a copy cost or stamps. According to the Fair Credit
Reporting Act or FCRA, a credit reporting agency has an
obligation to conduct a reasonable investigation into the claims of
inaccuracies on your credit report. In order to kick off this
investigation, the credit bureaus must get a dispute from
you. This can come in the form of a letter, a phone call, or
through the credit bureaus’ on-line dispute systems. We
highly recommend that the dispute be done in writing through
regular mail. For advice on how to make the most effective
dispute, see our
website for how to dispute your credit report.