Should I Use a Credit Repair Service?

By: Stephen Ashton

There are some benefits to using a credit repair company and there are some real disadvantages too. The first thing to think about is why you want to use a credit repair service? Is it because you have bad credit that you want to fix but simply don't know how? If this is true then try reading a bit of information about how to fix bad credit to see if you think this is something you can do.

If you don't have time to sit down, write letters and go through the credit reports to see what you can dispute, then a credit repair company is probably for you. A credit repair company will take care of all the tedious tasks that are involved in disputing bad credit marks on your credit report. You should however make sure that you use a company that knows the law so that they can properly understand your needs.

To fix bad credit yourself, all you have to do is request your credit report, read what's on it when it arrives, and write a letter to dispute the bad credit that you believe is unfair or untrue. At this point you can also write to your creditors to try and negotiate a reasonable pay off plan in return for removing the debt from your credit history. When you pay a credit repair service, this is practically all they do. Firstly they request your credit report or reports, if they are requesting more than one report from the three big credit bureaus.

When not to use a credit repair company

A good credit repair service will be upfront and honest about what they can and can't do. They will be clear about how much they charge and clear about what you will get from the service.

A bad credit repair service will probably do some the following:

* Try to confuse you with financial jargon so you don't understand what they are doing
* Don't tell you what your legal rights are
* Tell you not to contact one of the credit bureaus directly yourself
* Suggest that you try to invent a new credit identity and then apply for a new credit report. This can be done by applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to use instead of your Social Security number.
* Tell you to try and remove all your bad credit regardless of whether it is true or not. If you do this and are found to be committing fraud, you may be held responsible yourself.

So if you are thinking about using a credit repair company you should remember three things:

* Only inaccurate information on your credit report can be removed. So if a credit repair service says they can repair you credit 'guaranteed', this simply isn't true. Credit repair companies have actually been successfully sued for claiming they can remove bad credit when in fact they can't.

* Credit repair companies can charge high prices for doing something that is pretty routine, so don't pay big prices because it probably isn't worth it.

* When a credit repair organization requests your credit report, the credit companies won't accept any disputes unless it is accompanied by a notarized power of attorney that authorizes a licensed attorney or if the power of attorney is unlimited and irrevocable. Alternatively you or a family member can do it on your behalf.

Using a credit repair service can greatly help you to start to repair your credit score quickly as they can quickly identify where the problems lie in your credit report and highlight any errors that may have been made.

Credit Matters
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Credit Matters