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Jorge Said:How can i repair my bad credit fast?
We Answered:Contrary to popular myth, legitimate credit repair DOES exist. However, there are more scam credit repair companies out there than there are legitimate ones, so do your due dilligence. Below is an article I wrote some time ago about how to tell the difference. Please read it.
The TRUTH about Credit Repair: Aren't They All Scams or Illegal?
This topic is a really hot one right now. People are falling victim to so many scam artists out there who are taking people's money and offering false hope.
What is credit restoration? It is a means by which one can have negative information removed from one's credit file by using the more than 300 different laws contained in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you know how to use and manipulate those laws, you can successfully remove any information from your credit report, even if it is legitimate. This is possible because of many factors, but chief amongst these is that there is no law in any jurisdiction in the United States which REQUIRES information about you be reported for seven minutes, much less seven years. The truth is that anyone can write to the credit bureaus to have negative information removed from their file. But, like fixing your car's engine, it is usually better to have a professional do it for you. If you don't know what you are doing, you can end up doing more harm than good.
That is easier said than done. Currently in the United States, there are ONLY A FEW legitimate credit restoration companies. Each has their strengths and their flaws, but they are professionals with many years of experience backing them up. Unfortunately, this cannot be said about most people in the country who are performing credit repair. What has happened in many cases that I have investigated is a person bought a do-it-yourself kit over the internet and had some success with their own credit file. Problem is, now they think they can repair anyone's credit. This is what worries me most. An untrained, unlicensed, un-bonded and uninsured person handling other people's credit files. There is absolutely NO accountability if, or rather, when this person screws things up.
It is up to you to do the research. You should ask a lot of questions and perform your due dilligence. If you can't do the bare minimum to protect yourself, then don't come crying to me if you are taken for all of your money. But, to help you determine the scams from the legits, I have compiled 10 tips on how to tell the difference:
1: If they advertise that they will repair your credit in anything less than 18 months, you are not dealing with a legal company. The LAW requires that any credit restoration agency cannot advertise or represent that they can restore or repair your credit in less than 18 months. (Remember this number, it is going to come up again later.)
2: Check on how long the company has been in business. If they have been around for more than 10 years, you are probably dealing with a reputable company.
3: Do your due dilligence. Check with the BBB. The BBB will provide an unbiased report of how many complaints have been filed against the company in the previous three years. There are two things that you want to consider here. First, if there are more than a dozen complaints over the previous three year period, then this company has serious issues and you should be concerned. Also, if the BBB has no file at all on the business, just walk away from the business. Anyone who is hiding from the BBB should be looked upon with suspicion.
4: Ask for pricing when talking to one of their reps. If they hem and haw about what they charge, or say that it depends on how much they have to remove from your report, they are hiding something from you. A good rule of thumb, if the rep is unwilling to answer any question of yours up front and with honesty, you are not dealing with a legitimate company. This does not mean that if the rep states that they will answer the question in a moment, that they are hiding something. It just means that they are getting there and just need to lay a little groundwork first. Remember, reps are all salespersons. They are there to sell you their service. This is good, believe it or not. This encourages competition in the business and keeps costs down. (Which reminds me: DON'T PAY MORE THAN $1200 PER PERSON FOR THE SERVICE.)
5: Ask if the company is licensed, bonded and insurred. Ask for proof. If they will not provide you with their bond information, (which they MUST have in order to obtain their license and insurance) this should raise alarm bells.
6: Ask for examples of successes the company has had. A legitimate company will have copies of investigation results (with personal information blacked out of course) that will show you how successful they can be.
7: How long are they going to work for you? Yes, that's right, remember that these companies work FOR you. If they are just going to maintain a business relationship with you for the length of time it takes to repair your credit, beware. What often happens in these cases is that after the company has cleared negative information from your credit report they sever their relationship with you and a couple of months later the information returns to your credit report. Now what are you going to do? Your options are to leave the negative information and suffer for 7-10 years or hire someone, again, to remove the information, again. A reputable company will stay with you for the FULL 18 months (I told you this number would come up again). This allows them to continuously monitor your credit reports and remove any negative information that may re-insert itself after the initial sanitizing.
8: What other services do they offer? If they are a legitimate company, they will have rescources that will help you to re-establish yourself in the financial world. Things like the ability to help obtain a debit card even if you can't open a checking or savings account. (Yes, believe it or not, it can be done!) Can you call their credit advisors any time for advice? Is legal representation available if you have to go to court against the credit reporting agencies? ASK! If the company is letgitimate, they will have a team of lawyers that will handle these kinds of legal matters for the duration of your contract.
9: Does their contract advise you of your rights? If not, why? Because they don't know the laws! And if they don't know the laws that are designed to protect you, how can you expect them to know the complexities of the Fair Credit Reporting Act which has over 300 laws?
10: Is there a money back guarantee? In this business refunds are usually prorated. In other words, if you have 50 negative things on your reports and they can only have 30 removed, you are refunded 40% of your money since they were able to get 60% of the information removed. If there is no money back offer, run away! A company that has faith in their services will offer to refund the money if they can't do the work.
I hope this information helps people out there who are confused about credit restoration programs. In a future article I will discuss who should and should not use credit restoration.
If you have any further questions you may contact me at email@example.com
Donald Said:How do I repair my credit fast for immediate loan approval?
We Answered:No. This is bogus. "Repairing" your credit is not a fast, overnight thing that can be done by paying a fee to someone. Don't do it. I have done this sort of thing and it does work, but depending on what the negative items are in your credit report and which credit reporting agency it is it could take up to two years (maybe even longer) and there is no guarantee it will work at all.
The process involves taking advantage of a part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act which says if a customer disputes an item on a credit report the credit reporting agency has 30 days to investigate the claim and verify the accuracy of the item in question. If the agency cannot verify the accuracy within the time period then that item must be removed. The way credit repair works is that disputed items, even if they are legitimate, are constantly disputed using HANDWRITTEN dispute letters ("This is not mine, it does not belong to me, take it off") that are sent to the credit bureau for each item disputed. The credit bureau then has 30 days, so you must wait for their results. If they verify it and do not take it off, send in another dispute letter the following month. Keep doing this until someone, somewhere along the line, slips up and does not verify the information in time. This method works with legitimate bad items as well as real mistakes. It just takes time, over a period of many months, so a year is not an unreasonable amount of time to expect something like this to take. it is NOT fast, and it is NOT immediate. But it does work if your work at it. You can do this yourself and paying someone a fee will not improve your chances at all. Anyone who says they can instantly repair your credit is just plain lying.
Negative credit items will remain on your credit report for 7 years, and a bankruptcy 10 years. These items will only be removed by the credit bureaus if they are unable to verify the accuracy of the information within 30 days of a dispute.
You need to check with the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. You would be sending almost identical dispute letters to all three.