Getting started with repairing your credit is one of the very best things you can do for your financial well being. At the hands of the credit system, you are being abused in the form of inaccurate reporting and an unfair credit scoring model. Through credit repair, you can do your part to make sure you get the credit score you deserve – a credit score that is truly indicative of your credit worthiness.
Choosing the right credit repair company to help you achieve your credit goals is pivotal. What follows are tips and things you should look for when choosing the best credit repair company for you.
1) Look for a credit repair company with experience
An experienced credit repair company will have taken the time to learn what tactics work best for each type of dispute. Having a large number of clients and a track record of removing many items means that a credit repair company has enough information to know what works and what does not.
2) Look for a credit repair company that has been in business for a while
Credit repair, like many other industries, has it’s fair share of scammers. Preying on desperate people who long for a better credit score, fraudulent “credit repair” companies promise amazing results but the only thing they manage to do is take off with your money.
Fortunately, these companies never last very long. They are either run out of town or shut down by the FTC or local law enforcement. What this means for you is that you can usually trust a credit repair company that has been in business for a number of years.
3) Check out the company’s BBB report
To start with, look for the BBB’s rating of the company and their explanation of this rating. For example, the BBB report for the credit repair company Credit Bureau Experts shows the company as having an unsatisfactory rating because of unsubstantiated advertising claims made on their site.
Also look at the number of unresolved complaints to see if the company has been responsive to their customer’s problems. Almost all companies will have some complaints, and the larger the company the more complaints it will have, but it is how they deal with these complaints that is important. Look for a company that addresses the concerns of its clients as opposed to a company like Credit Fix Now (see BBB report) who has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB for not responding to to complaints.
4) Get the details on the company’s payment policy
A common tactic of fraudulent credit repair companies is to charge you a large fee upfront and then either disappear with your money or otherwise not perform the agreed upon work. Many of the companies have been known to charge several hundred or even thousands of dollars before they will do any credit repair work.
Even though the practice of charging large upfront fees is illegal, there are still a number of smaller credit repair companies that try to get away with it. For example, the companies Credit Clean and Today’s Credit Solutions are perfectly content to charge you one time fees of $1223 and $499.99 respectively for a year’s worth of credit repair service. Granted, these companies may offer money back warranties, but that will be of little use to you if the company goes out of business or otherwise disappears.
5) Watch out for companies that guarantee to raise your credit score
To help protect you against credit repair companies who make impossible claims, the Credit Repair Organizations Act also forbids any credit repair organization from making guarantees about the results of their service when it pertains the the effect it will have on your credit reports.
While searching for a credit repair company, take note of any claims to “increase your credit score by 100 points”, “lower your interest rates”, or “remove all negative items from your credit reports”. No company can legally make these claims and any company who implies they can should be avoided.