Choosing a Credit Repair Company

By: Anne Hammel

Selecting a credit repair company to help you improve your credit score is a big decision. A typical credit repair service will cost you a few hundred dollars and will take up to a year to complete their service. Choosing the wrong credit repair company can end up wasting money and perhaps more importantly, your time. Choosing the right credit repair company, however, may be one of the best things you can possibly do for your financial future.

What do you need a credit repair company to do for you?

A good place to start when determining which credit repair company is best for you is to figure out what needs to be done to improve your credit. The process of repairing your credit can involve much more than simply disputing your credit with the credit bureaus. You should make sure to use a credit repair company that can fulfill all of your credit needs.

When most people think of credit repair they think of a process that has become known as credit report repair. When working to repair your credit using credit report repair, a credit repair company is using your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to dispute certain items in your credit reports directly with the credit bureaus. This element of credit repair has helped many people with erroneous, incomplete, or unverifiable information on their credit reports improve their credit scores.

While credit report repair is a good start, many people find that it is not enough. Many leading credit repair companies will also work directly with your creditors using a variety of tactics to get them to stop reporting the negative accounts to the credit bureaus. They may also work with collections agencies and others to get them to stop reporting negative accounts or change they way the accounts are reported. A credit repair company may even go so far as to challenge the legitimacy of a reported debt.

Depending on your current credit situation, you may be best served by a credit repair company specializing solely in credit report repair or one that can also provide a full catalog of credit repair services.

How can I tell if a credit repair company should be trusted?

Unfortunately, credit repair is an industry that has received a bad reputation because of the publicity afforded to credit repair scams. While fraudulent credit repair firms tend to be shut down quickly, it is still in your best interest to learn how to identify the differences between a legitimate credit repair service and a credit repair scam.

An easy way to do this is to know a few of the laws that govern credit repair companies. These laws as defined in the Credit Repair Organizations Act were designed to protect you from credit repair scams while also protecting your right to get help with repairing your credit reports.

Another way you can find out about a specific credit repair company is to look up their BBB (Better Business Bureau) reports. The BBB keeps notes on complaints made against companies. If the BBB report for a credit repair company lists multiple unresolved complaints or an overall low rating, you should be wary of the company. In addition, beware of any credit repair company that does not list credit repair services as one of their offerings in their BBB filing. The BBB has very strict standards for credit repair companies so many fraudulent companies will not report to the BBB that they offer credit repair.

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

» More on Credit Matters