Before you hire a credit repair company, you should know some things. EINs are a legitimate identification number for businesses to report financial information, but obtaining an EIN from the IRS under false pretenses is a federal \crime. Lying on a loan or credit application can also be a federal crime. Some companies sell Social Security numbers to phishers and use them for identity theft. Luckily, there are many ways to fix your credit without paying a cent. You can get a free credit report from the three national bureaus, and then take the necessary steps to fix it.
First, always read the contract and understand how the services are going to be performed. Ask what guarantees you get and how long the process will take. You should also ask if there are any hidden fees or charges that may be tacked onto the final bill. Always check if a credit repair company has these rules before signing a contract. Look for red flags, such as payment that is demanded upfront and results that sound too good to be true. Consumers should also read reviews of credit repair companies from Google, the Better Business Bureau, or Yelp.
If you’re worried about your credit score, you should get a free credit report from each of the three bureaus. Everyone is entitled to one per year. It’s helpful to stagger this process so that you’ll get a new report every four months. Then, you should take positive steps to repair your credit report by applying for new credit and repaying it on time. Try a secured credit card, which will provide you with extra incentive to pay on time.
Legitimate credit repair companies should offer a money-back guarantee. In fact, you have the right to cancel your contract if you are not satisfied with the results. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) makes it illegal for credit repair companies to mislead consumers and provide false services. If you believe you’ve been ripped off by a credit repair company, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In addition to removing inaccurate information from credit reports, you can also use credit repair services to dispute items on your report. These services will file disputes with the major credit bureaus on your behalf, and the credit bureaus must respond within 30 days. Most correct items will appear back on your credit report within two or three months, so it’s important to use caution when working with a credit repair company. A credit repair company is likely to use excessive numbers of disputes and you’re better off finding the information yourself.
A reputable credit repair service will coach you on how to handle your credit and not lie. You should never feel pressured to lie or make up information on your credit reports. However, a reputable service will check your credit reports for errors and dispute them. For instance, misspellings may mix up negative and positive entries. By using a credit repair service, you can rest assured that your credit score will be higher than it was before.
A credit repair service will provide you with a free copy of your credit report after reviewing it. Most companies charge a monthly fee, ranging from $50 to $100. However, a few exceptions exist. A credit repair company may require legal or financial expertise, and may need to intervene on your behalf. But it’s worth considering that these services can take several months to fix your credit report and improve your credit score. But the benefits far outweigh the cons.
One important thing to keep in mind when using a credit repair company is that they can do nothing better than you can do yourself. They may charge you hundreds of dollars for services you can do yourself. And the worst thing about them is that they can’t do much better than you. Even if they do remove negative information from your credit report, it’s still in your credit report for seven or ten years. So, before hiring a credit repair company, make sure you do your own research.