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Avoid These Credit Repair Mistakes

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Credit repair involves removing or correcting inaccurate information from your credit report to provide a fair and complete picture of your finances, taking steps to boost your credit score, and resolving to avoid credit problems in the future. You can do this yourself or hire a company that specializes in credit repair to do it for you. Either path can present opportunities for error. Be sure you know your rights and avoid the 16 mistakes listed below.

Key Takeaways

  • Know your rights under applicable credit laws.
  • Obtain and read your credit reports once a year and look for errors.
  • Only dispute information that you believe is wrong.
  • Keep records of everything and get everything in writing.
  • Avoid disreputable credit repair companies.

Know Your Rights

Several laws protect consumers when it comes to credit. These include the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA); the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003; and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) of 2010. Among other things, these laws stipulate that:

  • You must have free access to your credit reports once a year.
  • You may dispute errors on your credit reports, and credit agencies must correct them if proved.
  • You must be informed when your credit report has been used to, for example, deny you a loan.
  • You must give permission for your credit information to be provided to someone else.
  • The amount of time negative information remains on your reports is regulated.
  • Creditors must follow rules when it comes to contacting you about debt, including staying within certain hours and not making threats or informing family members about your debt.
  • Credit repair agencies cannot lie to your creditors or encourage you to lie, alter your identity, or misrepresent their services. They also must provide you with a contract and a three-day cooling off period. If a firm doesn’t adhere to any of these standards, then there’s a chance you’re dealing with a scammer, instead of one of the best credit repair companies.

Knowing your rights is only part of the picture. You must also avoid making mistakes along the way. Here is what to watch for.

Mistake #1: Failing to Check Credit Reports

Step one in repairing your credit involves knowing what your credit reports say. If you have never requested your reports, or it has been at least 12 months since you last looked them over, you can check your reports by going to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Free Credit Reports page and following directions. Other websites sell access to credit reports and a few even offer select reports for free, but the FTC gateway ensures you get the reports guaranteed by the FCRA. Read all three reports carefully, looking for information you believe to be false or inaccurate.

Mistake #2: Procrastinating

Don’t put off credit repair. If you discover negative information on any of your credit reports and believe it to be wrong, you should try to correct the record as soon as possible. Although most negative information comes off after seven years, that’s a long time to live with an inaccurate credit report.

Mistake #3: Avoiding Credit Education

Whether you are attempting to remove or correct bad information on your credit reports or simply trying to reduce debt and forge a new financial path forward, the more you know, the better. This includes knowing how to dispute wrong information in your credit report as well as knowing you probably need to pay down high-interest credit card debt before installment loans.

Mistake #4: Not Keeping Documentation

Complete and accurate documentation regarding all debt is essential to disputing wrong information, protecting your rights, and keeping spending within parameters that make sense for you. You should know the penalties for missing a payment as well as the optimum conditions for requesting a credit increase. Be able to show payments were made on time and always be prepared to back up your claims with paperwork.

Mistake #5: Disputing Too Much

Obviously, you should only dispute things you honestly believe are inaccurate. Some credit repair companies like to dispute everything in the hope that one or two things “stick.” The problem is that credit bureaus are not likely to take such an approach seriously. Even if they do, you could end up removing positive information that helps your credit score. It’s also important to take your dispute to the right entity. In most cases that will be the credit agency, not the creditor.

Mistake #6: Disputing Online

All three credit agencies provide online dispute systems, but critics say using those systems may rob you of some of your rights under FCRA. The online systems allow credit agencies to avoid doing things—for example, forwarding your information to creditors, providing you with written responses to your disputes, and providing you with the “method of verification” of the item you disputed. Instead, you should file your dispute using paper “hard copies” and certified snail mail, critics say.

Mistake #7: Disputing with Boilerplate Language

Along with not disputing “everything” it’s also wise to individualize the language in your dispute filing to avoid having the credit agency “red flag” your paperwork for being repetitive. Instead, use the template as a guide and make sure the words are your own.

Mistake #8: Sending Uncertified Mail

Any paperwork you send to a credit agency, collection agency, or creditor should be sent certified mail with return receipt requested. This provides you with the documentation mentioned above as well as proof the agency received your letter. The same “proof” rule applies to any communication to you from any of the above entities. Do not verbally agree to anything unless it is also in writing. That way you will know what the agency has agreed to and, more important, will have written proof.

Mistake #9: Falsifying Documents

Offering false and misleading statements or written communication isn’t just illegal for creditors and credit agencies. If you lie, chances are you will be prosecuted. Documentation you provide as part of a dispute or question about an issue of credit must be accurate. You need not elaborate, but what you say must be true.

Mistake #10: Transferring Credit Card Balances

Transferring a balance from one credit card to another is not a good credit repair tactic. You will still owe the same amount and in most cases the balance transfer fees will outweigh whatever interest advantage you may get. The same applies to consolidating debt onto a single credit card, especially if you close the other cards, thereby losing any available credit they would show.

Mistake #11: Missing Payments

Another credit repair mistake some people make happens when they miss payments on some accounts to make payments—or larger payments—on others. The only exception might be if the account in question has either already been charged off or gone to collections. If choosing between paying a collection account and one that is current, always pay the current account to keep it that way.

Mistake #12: Canceling Credit Card Accounts

Since 35% of your credit score is based on your credit history, it’s seldom a good idea to close a credit account. It may be much better to keep a small balance and pay it off monthly instead of canceling the account or cutting up the card. It will take discipline to keep from going into debt, but your credit score will be higher for the effort.

Mistake #13: Applying for New Credit

If you’re trying to repair your credit, the chances of being approved for additional credit, especially unsecured credit, is not great. You could be wasting a hard inquiry that ends up lowering your credit score right at the time you’re trying to raise it. It’s best to save applying for new credit for later—after your credit has been repaired.

Mistake #14: Paying Debt Collectors

It may sound counterintuitive, but paying a debt collector can cause unforeseen damage. If, for example, you have old debt that has outlived the statute of limitations, making a payment on that debt could update the debt. If you are unsure about the validity or status of the debt, it’s important not to pay until and unless the debt collector proves the debt is legit and current. It’s important to remember that debt collectors are expert at trying to frighten you into paying up. Don’t pay based on anything verbal. Written communication is the only acceptable form of communication.

Mistake #15: Hiring a Shady Credit Repair Company

Some people don’t feel they have the time or expertise to do their own credit repair. For those people, hiring a credit repair company can be beneficial and convenient although the convenience comes at a price. According to Credit Karma, the cost of professional credit repair services could include a flat fee or “per deletion” charge of $35 or more. Total cost could go up to $750 or more. Some companies charge a monthly fee ranging from $50 to $130 or more. Only you can decide if the cost of paying someone else to repair your credit is worth it. It’s worth noting that credit repair companies in general don’t have a great reputation, so review your rights above and as spelled out in the CROA.

Mistake #16: Filing for Bankruptcy

Some people think they need a fresh start and decide to “repair” their credit by filing for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, bankruptcy will not improve your credit rating, it will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, and even when it’s gone, many lenders will ask if you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy as part of the loan application process and use that as a reason for not approving a loan.

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Credit Repair Companies

What is a Credit Repair Organization?

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A credit repair organization is a company that offers to repair your credit for a fee. These companies boost your credit score by cleaning up your credit reports by asking the bureaus to fix errors and remove erroneous charges. But, is a credit repair company essential for your credit’s health? Read on to find out.

Tips for Using a Credit Repair Organization

If you plan on using a company to help you clean up your credit reports, make sure to put some safety measures in place and find a reputable company such as Lexington Law.

Credit repair companies often get a bad reputation, but that doesn’t make all of them bad or unscrupulous. If you decide a credit repair company can help, there are a few things you should check out before you take the plunge:

  • Don’t sign a contract until you review it – You should always get a copy of the contract in writing before you sign. Review the fees the credit repair organization charges, look carefully at what they say they can do for you, and make sure you’re not locked into a long-term contract. If a company doesn’t let you have an agreement in writing or let you out of the agreement you’re not happy with, you should reconsider.
  • Research the company with the BBB – It’s a best practice to always look at Better Business Bureau reviews, and pay attention to consumer reviews as well. If the company has too many complaints, you should proceed with caution. Also, beware of organizations that don’t have any negative reviews. When researching, a good tip is to look at all of the middle-of-the-road comments first. You can also ask the company for information about satisfied customers.
  • Make sure the company is bonded – A bonded company has posted money to protect its customers from fraud, or in the event they go out of business. Some states require credit repair organizations to be bonded. Using a bonded company is no guarantee, but it gives you an added layer of protection should something happen.

Protecting You Through Law

Because of the reputation of these organizations, and the tendency of some services to use fraudulent methods including scamming consumers, the government put the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) in place. The CROA is designed to protect consumers from dishonest companies. This law helps consumers be aware of their rights when using a credit repair company.

Under the CROA, a credit repair organization can’t legally:

  • Alter your identity, or advise you to do so – this includes applying for/using an employer identification number (EIN) to get a clean slate on your credit history.
  • Tell you to lie about your credit history, or lie on your behalf – this goes for both current and future creditors.
  • Lie about the services they can provide.
  • Ask you to pay for any service before it’s completed.

When you enter into business with a credit repair company, the CROA states that they must provide you with a contract and provide a three-day cancellation window. Only after this window passes can the company start the process.

Credit repair services are also not allowed to insist you sign any form which would waive your legal rights. If any organization disobeys these rules, you have the right to protect yourself by taking the company to court. This right extends for five years, either from the date the wrong occurred or the date you find out about it.

Save Money by Doing These Tasks Yourself

What is a Credit Repair Organization?It doesn’t take a credit repair organization to repair your credit. If you’re considering doing some of the same things they can, all it’s going to cost you is time.

For example, you can monitor your credit reports for free, check for problems, and write to the credit bureaus to fix these errors, or let them know if some of the items on your credit reports aren’t yours. You can also create a better credit profile by paying all your bills on time each month, and by not carrying high credit card balances.

One downfall to the process of doing this yourself is that you have to regularly follow-up with the credit bureaus to ensure your reports get fixed, and that can be very time consuming. Also, you may not have the expertise that a trained credit counselor has, which could be a disadvantage.

Are You Ready to Take the Plunge?

If your credit needs repairing, you should know that it’s something you can do yourself. In addition to fixing negative marks that show up on your credit reports, you can also improve your credit history by getting a car loan. This is an excellent way to make a positive impact on your credit.

Not only does an auto loan add a new line of installment credit to diversify your credit profile, making all your payments on time also helps to build a positive payment history. Payment history is the largest factor that contributes to your credit score.

If you fear you’re not eligible for a car loan because you’re looking into credit repair, think again. There are special finance dealerships across the country that have lenders ready to work with people who suffer from bad credit, no credit, and even bankruptcy. At Auto Credit Express, we can help point you in the right direction by matching you with a local dealer. Get the process started today by filling out our easy auto loan request form now.

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Credit Repair Companies

Latin Lawyer – Three firms in Mexican credit repair acquisition

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Garrigues (Mexico) has helped US finance companies Vulcan Capital and Freedom Financial Network purchase a minority stake in Mexican credit repair company Grupo Resuelve tu Deuda from Crédito Real.

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Free credit repair consultation for people in credit distress – Press Release

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Free credit repair consultation for people in credit distress

At a time when the number of people with negative credit listing has increased, Intel Credit Consultants is coming to the aid of the credit distressed individuals and business through offering free credit repair consultation.

With the rate of credit default reaching new levels, a credit repair company is offering individuals and business a free consultation. While announcing this credit repair assistance, the lead consultant at Intel Credit Consultants said this is meant to help individuals and businesses make informed credit decisions. “We are aware of the situation  occasioned by the pandemic and we would like people as well as businesses to come out strong , remove their negative information and improve their chances of getting credit to finance their activities,” said the company representative while urging those in need of credit repair services to register for free consultation.

Intel Credit Consultants relies in a pool of experienced credit repair professionals to help its clients. The team is reputed for its experience and high skills as well as dedication to provide assistance quickly and effectively. The company representative says that the team goes out of the way to ensure customer satisfaction and delivering the desired results.  He observes that the free consultation is a step towards providing a path that will streamline a customer credit path and open avenues where they can live comfortably without being bogged down by issues of negative listing.

“The importance of credit repair cannot be overemphasized, it can open many doors for you especially if you are considering buying a house, a new car, furnish your house, taking a loan among other financial decision. We are providing assistance that will help improve your credit score,” said the lead consultant while adding that they are a reputable firm, a choice of many people looking to repair their credit fast and at affordable rates.

While explaining how they operate, the company spokesperson said the first step is becoming a member through signing up. The new member is supposed to choose a plan where they analyze the available options. The credit repair company has a variety of programs that a member can choose from. Once a customer provides all the necessary information and documents, the company representative says they can now sit and see the progress. “On average our clients see an 85 point increase in their credit score in a period of one month,” said the representative while adding that they have received numerous testimonials from customers who are happy with their services. “We are happy to hear positive feedback from our customers, we are pleased to learn that we made a difference in their lives, providing an avenue where they can improve their financial standing. This is who we are, a credit repair company that makes a difference in people’s lives,” said the representative while reacting on the positive testimonial from the customers.

Intel Credit Consultants promises to continue offering credit repair assistance, encouraging those who are looking for services to take advantage of their free consultation through booking an appointment through their website: https://intelcreditconsultants.com/

About Intel Credit Consultants

Intel Credit Consultants is a US based black owned credit Repair Company. The company that puts its clients needs first making sure they are educated and well informed on every credit decision.

Media Contact
Company Name: Intel Credit Consultants
Contact Person: Media Relations
Email: Send Email
Phone: 866.990.7175
Country: United States
Website: https://intelcreditconsultants.com/



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