Things to Know About Credit Repair Shams

April 17, 2012 by  Filed under: Credit 

Your credit score determines a lot of different things. Depending on your score, you may not be able to get a home or car loan, you may not be able to buy something that is high priced like a bedroom suite, it might even prevent you from getting a job. If you have a low score, you may need to do some credit repair before applying for a loan or anything else that is based primarily on your credit score. However, while you are trying to find ways to raise your number, watch out for shams that claim to help you with credit repair.

The first thing you should know is that all credit repair organizations must abide to the Credit Repair Organizations Act which makes many of the practices sham artists use illegal. Legitimate companies and organizations should inform you of your rights and give you a copy of your rights as well. If they do not review your rights with you that should be your first red flag that you may be getting shammed. You can check with the Better Business Bureau, BBB, to find out if there are any complaints against the company you are working with.

If the person or company says that they can remove any bad credit you may have, then you are probably being shammed. No one can remove that type of information from your report. In order to fix any damage, it is better to go the traditional route of rebuilding your credit. Information normally stays on your report for 7 years, except for a bankruptcy which will stay on your report for 10 years. There are things you can do to improve your score while you wait the 7 or 10 years for the information to no longer show up on your report. This may mean you stop using credit cards as much, or come up with a better system for paying bills on time. Any company that promises to remove your credit history is surely out to take you for a ride, and an expensive one at that.

A huge sign that you may be a target for one of these credit shams is if they demand a very high payment upfront. You should be aware of your rights and know that no company can demand payment before any services have been completed. If a company does ask for payments before services even start, then chances are they will keep charging you and never finish, or they will just take your money without even starting to help you out.

Another huge sign is if you are told to just start over with a completely new social security number and identity. This is a major issue since it is illegal to lie on loan applications, or any other federal document about your identity. Many sham artists will suggest that it would be best to get an Employer Identification Number and use that instead of your social security number, which it is also illegal to apply, under false pretenses, for an Employer Identification Number.

If you are having troubles with your credit score, you should talk to either a trusted legal adviser or a consultant who can help you decide how you will go about repairing your score. Remember that you do have rights as a consumer and you should be informed of them before entering into any agreement. Also, you are allowed to get your credit reports for free from all 3 credit bureaus annually. So, before you agree to any assistance program or sign on with a company, do your homework or check with the BBB and make sure they are a legitimate business.

Robin Wood
Experian Credit Report
Handle Credit Report Errors

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