DO CREDIT REPAIR COMPANIES REALLY WORK?
YES! They do work for many people. There are tons of credible credit repair companies that follow the law and deliver great results. My Credit Bridge being one of them. However, there are other companies that do not get results for their clients, and there are others that get results but do it illegally. The later companies are much more dangerous of the two. It’s better to only lose some money, rather than losing your freedom.
What Can a Credit Repair Company Do for You?
A lot! Credit repair companies are doing all of the things you either don’t know to do or don’t want to do. I will cover some of the critical services they provide such as:
- Credit Report Audit and Analysis
- Credit Education
- Dispute Process
- Validation of Debt
- When to Sue
- Debt Negotiation
It would be tough to cover everything credit repair companies do but I feel these are some of the most crucial services they provide. To get a better understanding of them I will unpack their significance.
Credit Report Analysis
Credit repair companies perform credit report audits and analysis, which is very crucial for the plan of action. Repairing credit isn’t as simple as you may think. Don’t believe me, just think about all of the items in a credit report that may need repairing.
Literally any piece of information can be critical to removing an item from your credit report. Some of us are talented and masterful at paying attention to detail, however a considerable number of us are not.
Credit Repair companies audit credit reports daily and are trained to see mistakes and identify harmful accounts or information.
Credit Education is Priceless
Knowledge is power! Credit education is to me the most powerful aspect of the service. Without my clients are lost, heck, I was lost. Credit repair companies, if they are good, will give you an abundance of information regarding laws that govern credit reporting, debt collection, disputes, public records, building new and current credit, approval for mortgage loans, etc.
Once you have this knowledge you are truly empowered. Credit repair is only one aspect of credit restoration. Credit repair companies also teach you how to build credit, how to extend current credit, and how to consolidate debt the correct way.
Debt Consolidation companies damage your credit by settling debts for you and making your creditors take a loss. Credit repair organizations can show you how to use a loan to consolidate credit card debt and save hundreds or even thousands on interest.
Disputing Process Expertise
Disputing inaccurate information on your credit report can be complex at times. Credit repair companies help you navigate that terrain. I tell my clients from the beginning, “We are like your defense attorney, we use the law to defend you”.
This is so true, in order to repair credit legally and successfully, knowledge of the legislation surrounding credit is a major key. Most people only know how to make an initial dispute, but what do you do when there is no change to your credit report.
Many just resend the same dispute letter over and over again. That is not the correct way to dispute. A credit repair company will use a dispute strategy that can have anywhere from 6 to 8 letters. You can get lucky and remove items or have them corrected on the first try, but if not you may need a pro.
Validation of Debt
Some may already have heard this phrase, but for those that have not, this is a procedure credit repair companies use with collection agencies to force them to prove a debt is actually yours. This dispute would go directly to the collection company.
Suing Bureaus and Creditors
Sometimes credit bureaus and creditors do not respect the law and do not execute their duties. For example, a credit repair company has initiated and gone through their letter dispute process to force a collection company to validate your debt.
Which means that have to provide more than a few items of proof to prove a debt is actually yours. If they fail to do so but continue to report a debt, they are doing so illegally. It is your right to receive proof of the debt they claim you owe.
The same is true for credit bureaus, if they refuse to remove items that have lack of evidence of what’s being reported they can be sued successfully. Credit repair companies have experience with this, some use in-house lawyers to assist you with it.
Collection Debt Negotiation
The ability to negotiate debt can come in handy when you have smaller debts or debts that you need to get resolved in hurry. Credit repair companies can definitely help in this area. Clients of mine have paid collections off to increase their credit scores, however paying a collection alone will not raise your scores.
Collections affect your payment history, not your credit utilization, also known as debt owed. Only credit cards affect your credit utilization. When credit repair companies negotiate collection debt payments we aim to get a deletion letter. Better known as a “pay-to-delete-letter”. This letter is very important, it’s your golden ticket to a deletion.
Credit repair companies negotiate a payment that the collection agency will accept to settle the debt in exchange for a deletion letter. Companies make sure their client never admit ownership of the debt. Afterall, if the debt hasn’t been validated properly how are you to really know it’s yours.
If it is yours, they usually have one or two details incorrect on it. That is illegal and by law they have to remove that item, but if time is of the essence and you need to get this resolved ASAP you can just agree to pay x amount of dollars.
Professional credit repair companies provide many resources for their clients. Here are some of the resources they may give you:
- Student loan debt relief programs
- Credit Repair lawyer recommendations
- Credit reporting and debt collection legislation information
- Information on how to apply for a home loan
- Recommendations for companies that report your rental payments to your credit report
- Recommendations for credit cards you may qualify for to help build your credit
- Recommendations for loans you may qualify for to assist with building your credit
- First-time home buyer programs
- Reputable Real Estate Agents/Realtors
- Recommendations for car loan and mortgage companies
- And much more!
Be sure to use any and all resources these companies provide you. They have the potential to save you hundreds and thousands of dollars on major purchases like a car or home. However, some credit repair companies are only out to get your money.
Not So Good Credit Repair Companies
Unfortunately there are credit repair companies you have to watch out for and make sure you do not fall victim. There are two types in general you want to be able to identify. One, the credit repair company that is just out for your money and have no intentions on working your credit file.
Second, are the companies that do work your credit file, but do it illegally. They can land you in jail or have you paying a hefty fine. Either way you should steer clear of them.
To help you identify these types of companies please look at the list below for tell signs of bad credit repair companies.
SIGNS YOU ARE DEALING WITH A BAD
CREDIT REPAIR COMPANY
- No website representation, any reputable credit repair company should have a legit website that presents their benefits and services.
- Insane claims; if you see guarantees like, “All negative items removed in 30 days or less” or, “Your credit score will be at a 720 in 30 days”, chances are they are scammers or doing something illegal to get those results. Also, the law prohibits any guarantees be made by a credit repair company.
- No money back guarantees. It is law that a credit repair organization offer money back guarantees, and you have 3 days to cancel a contract after you sign up. The law requires a 3-Day money back cancellation statement be in your contract or else it is deemed not in compliance with regulations.
- No free credit consultation; this is important. In order for a credit repair company to service you they must first identify that they can help you. The first order of business is a free credit consultation to determine if you need services, and if so, explain how their service can help you achieve your goals.
- Upfront costs; if a company is asking you to pay before any services are rendered then they are not in compliance with the law. This doesn’t mean that you have to have results, meaning your score went up or that you got items removed. However, it does mean they have to show you the disputes they are sending out for you, or perform a credit analysis for you before you pay for it.
Hopefully the tell-tell signs I provided you will keep you protected from bad credit repair companies.
Credit repair companies usually get a bad rap due to bad companies, but I think that a larger issue are clients with outrageous expectations. Credit repair is not easy, it takes time and it can really try your patients. Legislation around credit repair can be complicated which is why it is a good idea to use a credit repair company.
There are so many great credit repair companies right now, you should use them. I know we have changed so many people’s lives over the years and it is such a great sight to see. The joy when you can get the things you want in life is priceless. The power of credit is real and companies can help you gain that power. Just make sure you watch out for the bad ones.