If you need fast credit repair, you need to be particularly watchful of agencies or organizations that offer “quick fix”, “instant credit repair” or “remove ALL negative information” to people
* I updated this article to cover 2 of the biggest credit repair scams of 2017
Credit repair companies are one of the most watched over and scrutinized by the government. Why? It’s just so easy to scam unsuspecting people out of their hard earned money! Run to the hills if your credit repair professional promises you “GUARANTEED RESULTS”. There is no such thing! Everyone’s credit is different. And the creditors will differ. Just because a friend of a friend got something removed doesn’t mean it will automatically work the same for you.
This article talks about the signs of credit repair fraud and how you can find a reliable credit counseling service.
Can You Repair Bad Credit?
It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as an “instant credit repair” or “guaranteed removal”. No credit repair agency can instantly erase negative information or unpaid accounts on your credit report unless those remarks or accounts have been proven to be false. There is no letter you can mail to the credit reporting agencies that points out its ILLEGAL to have the negative information on your credit report and it must be removed!
If the negative information or unpaid accounts are accurate, there is no way you can delete them from your credit report.
Fast Credit Repair Results?
There are instances where you can indeed have things removed from your credit report. BUT there are several reasons why this may have happened.
- The creditor couldn’t verify the debt. Perhaps the information they have is inaccurate and there is a question in THEIR minds as to the validity of the debt.
- The debt was old and about to fall off your credit report so the creditor didn’t bother to dispute it after you filed a dispute letter.
- They had the debt listed incorrectly. But be aware the debt can be put back on with the corrected information.
It may seem like the credit repair company is doing “something” but these are all things you could have done for yourself for FREE, by just filing a few dispute letters. I always recommend that you first do the basics of credit repair before you contact a professional company.
When Should You Hire A Company Offering Fast Credit Repair?
The only times you should just hire a credit repair pro from the beginning is if:
- You have no time to keep up with all the “back and forth” required in Do it yourself credit repair
- Maybe you are not a native English speaker and your letters are hard to understand. The dispute department may not put as much effort into your dispute, or they may just not understand what your point is. Its always best to have a friend check your letter before you send it, or hire a professional from the start.
- You are not a very organized person. You will need to keep track of your disputes and the responses not just from the credit reporting agencies, but from the creditors and collection agencies you will need to deal with.
Common “Fast Credit Repair” Scams
“Pay only on removal ” fast credit repair offers
Sounds good at first, but this company promises fast credit repair and you only pay if they get something removed. Thus the promise GUARANTEED results or you dont’ pay. So what they do is they dispute EVERYTHING on your credit report. They dispute saying:
- it’s not yours,
- or that’s not the correct spelling of your name, For instance, your name is “Kats” but its listed “Cats”
- or that is the not
- you never lived at that address (report says 123 Main Street, you lived at 124 Main Street)
Pro: You have no upfront fees. You only pay if the negative item is removed
Con: They bill you and you pay. Happy to see the item removed but it comes back after a few months when the creditor files the correct info. Some companies will dispute it one more time if it falls within a 30 day window. But most will make you pay again to have the item removed.
CPN numbers – Fast credit repair – Not really!
2017 has seen a resurgence in the CPN (credit privacy number) credit repair scam We did an article on CPN numbers last year (see above link) CPN’s are not illegal. But scammers are using them in an illegal way!
CPN were meant to protect celebrities and high government officials to protect their real SSN numbers from fans or stalkers. Credit repair scammers have started to offer CPNs as a “fast credit repair” method. They charge OUTRAGEOUS fees to give their client a new “credit identity” That is so illegal! If a credit repair company advises you to:
- Change your name
- Slightly change your social security number
- Use your childs SSN as your own
Know that you are working with a scammer. All of the above is illegal. And because CPN numbers are legal, these scammers try to convince you that the way they set up your CPN is 100% legal and you can start your credit file over. You can get a CPN for a small fee if you go about it the legal way. What the scammers offer to do is not only set you up with a CPN but they allow you to rent tradelines from them.
What is renting a tradeline.
Well, its when someone with good credit is offered money on a monthly basis to add you as a signer on their account. Who in their right mind would do that for a stranger? Well, they are told that the person renting the trade line will never get an actual card so they are safe. But that’s not what always happens. If someone approaches you with such a scheme remember you may be a party to fraud! And unfortunately, again it’s the elderly that really get the worse of this scam. Elderly people, usually in nursing homes or some sort of care. Who are not using their credit and these scammers can use their credit for years without being caught!
Stop being a target for credit repair scammers
There are legitimate credit repair companies. We list 3 here on the site. Understand that no one can repair your credit overnight. If you legitimately owe a debt and the creditor has verified it. No one can make that debt disappear. You need to negotiate with the creditor to get it removed or to get a better status listed.
Check the Better Business Bureau if there has been any record of the complaint filed against the credit counseling agency you’re considering. See to it that the terms and conditions of the agency are in compliance with the terms set by the Credit Reporting Organizations Act.