Shopping for credit repair services can be tricky. The industry is rife with thieves, charlatans, and con artists. Yet, there are also some very legitimate players as well. So how can you tell a legit credit repair company from a non-legit one? Follow these rules, and you will be able to find a decent one:
Credit repair companies, by law, are not allowed to charge you any upfront money for their services. In fact, under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, they are not allowed to charge you anything until they have provided you with all of the services that they have promised and proved that they provided those services by giving you a credit report that is dated at least 6 months after they have completed the services. Neither the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) nor the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) trusts credit repair companies. Hence, the FTC has enacted this Telemarketing Sales Rule which is designed to push credit repair companies out of business more than regulate them. As I have been doing credit repair litigation for many years now, I can understand their position, but not to this extent. Still, the law is the law, and you want to be sure that whoever you do business with, follows the law.
A good credit repair company in Florida will offer you a written contract
Another law that governed credit repair companies is the Credit Repair Organization Act (“CROA”). It’s a federal statute that requires credit repair companies to do certain things and to avoid doing others. Here are some highlights of what that contract must contain:
- A description of the services that the credit repair company promises to provide;
- How the credit repair company will charge its fees;
- The length of time that the contract will last and the anticipated amount of fees that the agreement will cost you;
- May does not promise you any specific result;
- You have the right to terminate the agreement in 3 business days, from the date that you signed the agreement;
Disclosures about what they can and cannot do for you. The credit repair company must explicitly explain to you that it cannot remove correctly, albeit negatively reporting information from your credit reports. It must also disclose to you that you can dispute negative information yourself with the credit bureaus and do not necessarily need the services of a credit repair company.
No legitimate credit repair company will false promises of results.
This should be the first thing you look for in a credit repair company. If they promise you any specific increase in your credit score, they are lying to you. You should know that credit scores as fluid and change daily depending on your outstanding balances on your credit lines, timely made payments, and the different kinds of credit that you have. There is no way to predict whether a particular dispute will be effective at removing a tradeline and even if effective, what effect it will have on your credit score.
Here are some examples of FALSE promises made by credit repair companies that we have seen:
- We will get your credit score into the high 700s within 90 days;
- We can get any bankruptcies removed from your credit report;
- Stop paying on any judgments, we can get those fixed for you.
- We have proprietary dispute letters that make the credit bureaus delete what we tell them to;
- You will no longer have to pay your student loans as we will get those removed from your credit reports;
Many credit repair companies get into trouble for making these false claims. Sadly, not all of them get caught as many of them fly under the radar. They may be too small or too fly by night to get caught. It’s up to you to protect yourself.
Check out Google and Better Business Bureau reviews before you hire a credit repair company
Look for a credit repair company that has a track record of proven results. Google reviews and Better Business Bureau reviews are great places to start your research. You should also google the name of the credit repair company that you are considering to see if they are in or have ever been in trouble with the FTC or CFPB. If so, find out what happened.
If you are trying to legitimately clean up your credit report from inaccurately reporting information, you should see a Credit Repair Law firm. Come visit us at The Identity Theft Law Group or call us at (404) 591-6680or email us at Gary@crlam.com We are happy to look at your credit reports for free and give you our opinion as to how we can help.
Join our 3 for Free program and we will send out up to 3 dispute letters for you for free. You can also join our Auto Pilot program and we will pull your credit reports for free every two months to make sure that they stay free of inaccurately reporting information. Call us today.