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Beware of Credit ‘Repair’ Companies, Consumer Watchdogs Say

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People struggling with loan payments and falling credit scores may be tempted to seek a quick fix. But they should be wary of so-called credit repair companies that promise to scrub credit files and improve credit scores for a fee, consumer watchdogs say.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed suit this month against Lexington Law and CreditRepair.com, two of the largest credit repair brands, and a related network of interconnected businesses.

The suit alleges that the companies illegally charged customers upfront for credit repair services in violation of the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule. Under that rule, companies can charge fees for credit repair services sold through telemarketers only after documenting that their promised results have been delivered.

The complaint also alleges that several of the companies, referred to collectively as Progrexion, used deceptive marketing to lure clients, in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

The complaint, filed on May 2 in Federal District Court in Utah, said people paid the credit repair companies hundreds of dollars in fees, seeking to improve their credit scores and get better access to loans on improved terms.

But the businesses used misleading methods, including false advertising, as “bait” to attract credit repair clients, the complaint said. Progrexion, for example, paid an affiliate that advertised nonexistent home loans with down payments as low as zero percent, even to borrowers with “bad” credit. Interested consumers were then required to enroll in credit repair services, through Lexington Law. “In reality,” the complaint said, “the affiliate did not provide any loans at all.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau didn’t respond to a request for comment on its suit.

Eric M. Kamerath, a spokesman for Lexington Law and Progrexion, which includes CreditRepair.com, emailed a statement in response to a request for comment on the lawsuit: “Lexington and Progrexion have helped millions of consumers ensure their credit reports are fair, accurate and substantiated. We take the trust and confidence consumers place in us very seriously, we disagree with the allegations in the complaint, and we will vigorously defend ourselves and the valued services we provide.”

According to an analysis of the consumer bureau’s complaint database published this week by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, complaints about credit reporting, credit repair services and other “personal consumer reports” made up 43 percent of total complaints in 2018, up from about a quarter of complaints in 2016.

Andrew Pizor, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center, said he welcomed the bureau’s lawsuit and warned that paying for credit repair was a waste of money.

“Avoid it completely,” Mr. Pizor said. Anything a credit repair company can do, he said — including disputing inaccurate information found on your credit report — people can do themselves, at no cost.

If negative information listed on your credit report is correct — for example, you have stopped making payments on a loan or credit card balance — there’s little you can do to remove it quickly, the consumer bureau says on its website. Negative information typically remains on your credit report for at least seven years.

“Beware of anyone who claims that they can remove information from your credit report that’s accurate, current and negative,” the bureau says. “No one can do that.”

Consumers can try negotiating with lenders on their own, Mr. Pizor said, perhaps by offering to make a full or partial payment on a bad debt in exchange for an agreement by the lender to stop reporting the delinquent account to the credit bureau. It may not work. But it won’t cost you anything. If you reach an agreement, he said, “get it in writing” before making the payment.

An alternative is to seek help from a reliable, nonprofit credit counseling organization, the bureau says. Credit counselors provide advice on how to manage your money, and can help you develop an affordable plan to pay down your debt. Some counselors offer advice at no or low cost.

Here are some questions and answers about improving your credit:

How can I find a reputable credit counselor?

Michelle Grajales, a lawyer with the Federal Trade Commission, recommends finding a counselor who can meet you in person. A good place to start looking is on the Department of Justice’s website. (The site lists agencies approved to counsel consumers who are considering filing for bankruptcy, but you don’t have to be contemplating bankruptcy to use them.)

Other potential sources are the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Financial Counseling Association of America.

After you identify counselors near you, Ms. Grajales said, check with your state attorney general’s office to see if any complaints have been filed against them and get a quote — in writing — about any fees charged, before signing up for services.

How can I check my credit report for errors?

You can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) every 12 months. Credit advisers often suggest staggering the requests, and getting a report from a different bureau every four months.

If you find an error on your report — it’s not uncommon — you should dispute the item in writing by contacting both the credit bureau and the lender. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers tips for doing so on its website.

How can I improve my credit score?

The best way to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time and keep credit card balances low relative to the amount you are authorized to borrow, said Joanne Gaskin, vice president for scores and analytics at Fair Isaac Corporation, creator of the widely used FICO credit score. “Work to get current, and try to stay current,” she said.

This year, FICO representatives are visiting communities across the country and holding free sessions about building and managing credit, in partnership with local credit counseling agencies. Information about coming dates is available on FICO’s website.

FICO also recently began testing a new type of credit score called UltraFICO, which factors in the balances in a borrower’s bank account and his or her cash management practices as a supplement to a traditional credit score, which mostly factors in your record of paying loans and credit card debt.

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Credit Repair Companies

How to Get Help with My Credit?

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A low credit score does not only make loans costly or inaccessible. It may affect your employment, and even prevent you from renting the best apartment. As an indicator of creditworthiness, it is checked by lenders, insurers, employers, and landlords. If the total is far from perfect, there are several ways to fix it. The best repair companies will do it on your behalf. 

Why Scores Go Down

In the US, the most popular scoring systems are FICO and VantageScore. They use a similar combination of factors to assess data on credit reports. Three major bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — document your payments and all events related to borrowing. For example, the three most important elements for FICO are:

From this, you can deduce the conditions for the best scores. You need to have an impeccable record without missed or late payments, and the total amount of debt should be as low as possible. The longer your history — the better. You may also raise the score by using more credit products (credit mix accounts for 10%) and opening new accounts (10%).

Do You Need Repair? 

This term refers to the correction of official records. Today, affordable credit repair services help you clean the reports fast. These measures are not always necessary. The accuracy of the records determines whether you need repair. You may need to rebuild your history, not fix it. For example, you will see the credit score go up after paying debt

Every year, you may request a copy of your reports. There is no need to contact the agencies individually. Until April 20, 2022, www.annualcreditreport.com allows you to get them for free once a week.

If the documents are accurate, there is nothing to fix. However, you may still raise the score by rebuilding your credit history. There are several ways to do this, such as:

  1. Increasing limits on credit cards or paying off the balances (this lowers the credit utilization ratio);
  2. Getting a new credit card (to bring down the same indicator);
  3. Taking out new loans and paying back diligently;
  4. Adding more data to your reports through Experian Boost, and more. 

How Repair Works

Mistakes on official reports are not uncommon. You may find errors in spelling or completely false entries, such as judgments, evictions, or bankruptcies. These derogatories will tarnish your records for a long time. Most negative entries affect the score for 7 years, and some bankruptcies influence it for a decade, depending on the chapter.

Every consumer has a right to dispute such errors on their own. This is a challenging and lengthy process. Not only should you navigate consumer credit laws. It is necessary to liaise with bureaus, lenders, and collectors. Communication involves formal letters of specific formats. If you lack the expertise, a credit repair company is your best bet.

Professional Services

Overview of Professional Services

These providers have teams of weathered experts. They will collect your data, identify the most damaging mistakes and have them removed. This process involves four key stages and takes several months on average. The company will:

  • collect your reports from all major bureaus;
  • scrutinize the documents to identify inaccuracies;
  • develop a strategy to fix the score as quickly as possible;
  • collect evidence to prove that the items are false;
  • send formal dispute letters to credit bureaus to have the mistakes deleted. 

Most providers offer different tiers of services. The cheapest packages include five disputes per billing cycle on average. The core services are analysis and disputes. In addition, you may access score monitoring tools, personal budgeting apps, identity theft protection, and other extras.

On average, repair takes between 2 and 6 months. This depends on the number of mistakes you want to eradicate. The more derogatories — the longer you (or your hired experts) need to collect the evidence and initiate the disputes.

How to Find a Reliable Provider

In the United States, credit repair is a big industry. Dozens of companies offer to raise your total quickly, but choosing the right one is tricky. Pay attention to the following:

  • reputation and BBB rating;
  • range of services;
  • pricing;
  • support;
  • money-back guarantee.

Your provider may or may not be accredited with the Better Business Bureau. Still, this platform offers crucial insights (e.g., the number of complaints in the past 3 years and any pending lawsuits). Feedback is also available on sites like www.consumeraffairs.com and TrustPilot. In addition, check expert reviews from reputable sources like Investopedia. 

In terms of pricing, learn about the ‘first work fee’, or ‘setup fee’. It is paid upfront. Subsequently, the company will charge you every month as long as you need its services. On average, you may pay between $79 and $129 per cycle.

Pay close attention to the refund policy. Some companies will not return your money even if they fail to delete a single item from the records. At the same time, there are unconditional policies. These allow you to get a refund for any reason within the first 90 days.

You need convenient access to progress tracking. Most providers allow you to check the status of your case on their web portal. The biggest companies have proprietary apps. You may reach their office by phone on any weekday, and support is also available during shorter weekend hours. 

Final Words

If you need help with repair, choose trusted providers in your area. Check their reputation, legal status, and feedback from customers. Beware of scammers. With professional assistance, you may see the first results in just over a month.  









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Credit Repair Companies

La Reyna Del Credito Helping People Defeat the Financial System by Improving Their Credit Scores

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La Reyna Del Credito Helping People Defeat the Financial System by Improving Their Credit Scores

Financial freedom is somewhat an alien word where Ivonne Arvizu comes from, and she made a solemn promise to make it happen for herself and as many others as possible. With a work rate that has cut across different clients with varying professions such as medicine, entertainment, business, legal, real estate, financial professionals, police officers, and thousands of other people who needed credit report at one time or the other, Ivonne Arvizu has created a strong impression about La Reyna Del Credito. Ivonne acquired her credit repair knowledge a long time before she established her credit repair company, and she started helping people fix their credit while she worked at a bank. The bank was against her offering such services due to a conflict of interest. Ivonne, not willing to let herself get tied down in some banking bureaucracy she didn’t agree with, resigned from the bank and made her company into a full-fledged, official credit repair business.

Ivonne Arvizu has always been about excellence and flying the flag high all her life. Despite coming from a humble background and a poor family that never fulfilled the American dream, Ivonne set out to make a difference. She became a homeowner at the age of 20 and has dedicated more than 18 years of her life helping the Latino community elevate its financial status. Ivonne has been featured in Spanish programs on television networks like Telemundo, Univision, Radio Nueva Vida, Radio Inspiracion, and other broadcast services educating the public about financial freedom. Through La Reyna Del Credito, Ivonne is changing lives and shaking things up in the financial world.

La Reyna Del Credito was established on the premise of “Life happens, and anyone can get into a bad credit situation.” In Ivonne’s words, “Nobody ever hopes to have bad credit. It just happens, and it does not discriminate. There are so many variables that cause people to have bad credit and fortunately for them, ‘La Reyna del Credito’ exists.” Beyond fixing bad credit scores, La Reyna Del Credito helps people get their mortgage credit within days so they can buy their dream homes without stress. The company established a FICO program that ensures this guarantee, and it has boosted La Reyna Del Credito’s credibility in the Latino community.

La Reyna Del Credito has proven to be a game-changer for the Latino community and has pushed its members to focus on becoming more financially stable in their retirement age.  With more than 1,087 real estate deals closed in 2018 alone and a money-back guarantee on all credit fixes if the company does not deliver the score, La Reyna Del Credito has given people more confidence in its services as it continues to deliver excellent results. The bulk of the company’s clients are Spanish-speaking Latinos who migrated to the United States without knowledge of how credit scores work, and they need guidance. Ivonne Arvizu has built something outstanding, and she’s willing to see it through till she has fixed the finances of hundreds of thousands of people.

Learn more about La Reyna Del Credito on the company’s official website.

Media Contact
Company Name: La Reyna Del Credito
Contact Person: Ivonne Arvizu
Email: Send Email
Phone: (213) 434-9873
Country: United States
Website: http://www.lareynadelcredito.com

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Improve Your Credit Score with a Credit Repair Company

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Securing a loan for your home or business investment can turn out to be quite overwhelming for individuals and businesses out there. People with poor credit scores often struggle with their loan applications, as it gets a bit challenging to have your loan application approved at a low interest. In fact, a credit score happens to be the first thing a bank or a financial institution is likely to notice when reviewing your loan application.

Sometimes, simple things such as late payments and irregular bill payments can lower your credit score significantly. Even if you manage to find a private lender who’s willing to approve your loan application, there is a good chance they will charge you a high interest for the loan.

Why Do I Need to Hire a Credit Repair Company?

It isn’t always your utility bills or debt payments that lower your credit rankings, but sometimes, you might end up with a bad credit score because of a small error on your credit report. Regardless of the complexity of the issue you are facing, you can’t deal with the problem on your own. It is important that you seek help from a credit repair company to look into the matter and fix the issue quickly. As the name suggests, the credit repair company is in charge of fixing the errors in your credit report and removing the items that might be lowering your credit score. This includes charge-offs, late payments, liens, debt collections, and so on.

With a large number of credit repairing companies claiming to offer high-quality and cost-effective services, the decision of choosing the most reliable company could be a little overwhelming. Each company offers a set of unique services that are designed to improve your credit score in different ways. You might have to apply for a loan to finance emergency health requirements, your dream home, a startup, business capital, child’s education, and other requirements. Here are a few other reasons why you must hire a credit repair company:

·      Fix Inaccuracies on Your Credit Reports

Research shows that more than half the population of the United States report inaccuracies and unnecessary errors in their credit reports every year. These errors occur due to the miscalculation is wrong information. As mentioned earlier, it isn’t always your debts and late payments that affect your credit rankings.

Sometimes, small errors in the report could have a profound impact on your credit score. It is, therefore, important for businesses and individuals to get their credit reports reviewed once in a while. Only a credit repair company has the expertise and skills it requires for reviewing the credit reports thoroughly and fixing the errors. The sooner you get these errors fixed, the faster you will be able to apply for a home loan.

·      Job Opportunities

Many reputable companies ask applicants to attach a copy of their credit reports with the job application so that they know their staff is trustworthy. A good credit score increases your chances of getting hired by a reputable company.

·      Insurance Policies

You can’t secure the best and low-priced insurance policy with a bad credit score. It’s important to work on your credit score to get the best deals on insurance policies. That’s because a majority of insurance providers offer insurance plans based on your credit reports. A reliable credit repair company will help fix your credit score, saving you a significant amount of money on an insurance policy.

Best Credit Repair Companies

There is no denying that good credit repair companies can help improve your credit reports by erasing the negative items and fixing the inaccuracies. Here are a few popular credit repair companies you can count on for premium services.

·      Credit Saint: With more than 10 years of experience in this industry, Credit Saint tops our list of the best credit repair company. The Better Business Bureau has rated it A+ for the variety of services it offers. The company has undoubtedly improved the credit rating of a large number of customers successfully over the past few years. It reviews your FICO credit score, evaluates the negative items, and fixes the damaged credit score.

·      Sky Blue Credit: If the price and quality of the services are your main concerns, Sky Blue Credit is your best bet. The company has kept a fixed price, which is $79 a month, for an extensive range of credit repair services.

·      The Credit Pros: With over 200,000 customers based across different parts of the world, The Credit Pros is a 12-year old company that has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. You can enroll in its monthly plan that costs a flat fee of $49 or choose the prosperity package – whatever fits your preference and budget.

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