How to Choose the Best Credit Repair Company

By: Michael DeMarkks

It is rare to come across a person without some sort of debt. Student loans, mortgages, car payments, and credit card balances have become a way of life for those of us living beyond our means. The long record of debts and their payment history become your credit history, something most people don't worry about until they are buried deep in debt. Suddenly, your credit history begins to influence your life in ways you never imagined. With a low credit score, renting a car, obtaining a loan, or getting a new credit card all become much more difficult. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to repair your credit if you find yourself in this situation.

Poor credit can feel like a heavy burden. In this situation, it may seem appealing to take advantage of companies that promise to "fix" bad credit for a fee. It's possible that some of these companies are helpful, but not likely. In general, they should be avoided while you explore other options.

Most credit repair companies that charge a fee don't do anything for you that you can't do on your own, and for less money. Don't be fooled by their promises. Although these companies may try to convince you they're accomplishing things for you that would be impossible on your own, this is not the case most of the time.

Most credit repair companies begin by requesting your credit report so that they can challenge any negative items. If the credit agency doesn't respond within 30 days, (and they often don't, especially when there are multiple items in question) they are legally obligated to remove the items being challenged from your report, even if they are not mistakes.

This strategy may seem clever at first, but you should know that once the credit agency finds the documentation they need, there is nothing to stop them from putting any items they removed from your report right back on. Though they might not have been able to come up with the proper documentation within 30 days, they can easily find it with a continued search to confirm the negative items and restore them to your credit report.

In general, these companies are somewhat shady because they are attempting to sell you a service easily performed on your own and a solution that doesn't tend to work. When in doubt, it's safe to assume most of these companies are scams. You should know that legally, these companies must outline in detail the services they provide, the exact fees they are charging, and do everything they promise in writing before they take payment from you. Never use one of these services without thoroughly examining the fine print and all the paperwork provided in detail.

A credit repair company is rarely necessary in most situations. Unless the company is providing services you truly believe you don't have time for or are unable to perform on your own, credit repair companies should be avoided whenever possible.

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