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Bad Credit

Does Credit Repair work?

What is credit repair?

What is credit repair and does credit repair work? Credit repair, debt dispute, or Debt validation are different names for the same thing; a powerful tool you can use fight back against abusive debt collectors. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act sec. g 15 U.S.C. §1692g (FDCPA) and Fair Credit Credit Reporting Act you have the right to proof that the debt is valid.[1]

Related: Your Rights under the FDCPA

In other words you have the right to ask the creditor to prove that the debt is actually yours. If they can’t/won’t the debt has to go away! Yes that’s it!

Well not really; it’s a little bit more complicated than that. You see most people will just try to call and do a dispute themselves. That may not be a good idea. If you do it over the phone by law they are not required to stop collection procedures.

You must go through several procedures to ensure the debt isn’t validated and it goes a way.

Does credit repair work?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) you have about a 50/50 chance of the debt not being validated and you getting off the hook.[2]

Unless you have a great deal of skill and legal knowledge it is advised that you not try this yourself.  You can imagine how much debt collectors love letting people off the hook.

Therefore they won’t make it easy if you try to do it yourself. You’ll be a lot more successful if you get a reputable credit repair company to help you. A reputable company will know all the tricks of the trade and can keep your dispute on course whenever the debt collector tries to swerve the wheel.

What do credit repair companies do?

A good credit repair company will  first pull your credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies to pinpoint your credit issues. This is because the three credit bureaus get their info from different people and thus have slightly different information on them

Once the errors have been identified the company will dispute the line items. It’s particularly helpful if you have documentation to prove that the debt isn’t actually yours but if not they can dispute it anyway.

A reputable credit repair company will scrub questionable credit report items against other laws — like the Fair Credit Billing Act, which regulates original creditors; the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a law that can cover collection agencies; and other statutes that address medical problems, military service or deployments, change in student status and other life events.

How much does credit repair cost?

Credit repair companies will typically charge an initial work fee. This fee is between $100-$200 and it is meant to cover the costs of pulling your credit reports and other incidentals.

After that expect to pay between $59-$100 per month while they are working on your case.

The process usually takes 3-6 months meaning it would cost between $277-$500 for an entire credit repair.

More and more companies are beginning to offer money back guarantees. Namely if they are unable to get the negative blemishes off your credit that they say they can you will receive a refund. That being said most of those guarantees are typically worded very carefully.

Frankly, since according to the available data[1] credit repair works 50% of the time I would have a very difficult time believing any credit repair company that promised to remove all the blemishes from my credit report. Especially those that are legitimate and valid.

What does a reputable credit repair company look like?

A reputable credit repair company is totally transparent. This means their fees are clear  and its easy to understand exactly what you will get for your fees.

A reputable credit repair company does not exaggerate its possible results and should never guarantee the removal of valid & legitimate negative reports. What credit repair companies hope for is that the original creditor or their third party collector doesn’t have the proper documentation or the will/time to fight the dispute.

While it is possible to get legitimate blemishes removed in no way should it be implied that it is guaranteed.

A reputable company is registered with the Better Business Bureau and  has independent sites where customers can write unaltered/filtered reviews

Best Credit Repair Company-Credit Saint

In 2009 my auntie was looking to buy a house since the market was at historic lows. She found a beautiful Tudor style home but the bank wouldn’t give her an affordable interest rate because of some negative items on her credit report. I suggested to her credit repair and looked into several company including  The Credit Pros, Credit Assistance Network, and Lexington Law.  Thanks to Credit Saint she’s now a home owner.

 

Side Note:Lexington Law is usually rated top on many websites. There were some strong positives that I liked about the company namely their length of service and their use of actual legal professionals. That being said there were quite a few complaints registered against them with the Better Business Bureau [4] and for that reason I don’t feel comfortable recommending them

 It’s important to choose a company with a solid reputation that has weathered many storms. While there may be cheaper options credit is an extremely important, if not essential, asset to have in American society.

 

 

Other Reputable Credit Companies

Lexington Law
CreditFirm.net

 

What should you ask?

When contacting a credit repair company there are some things you should ask them. Most unhappy customers are the result of misunderstandings of what is being offered.

  1. How long does the process take?
  2. What is your relationship with the three credit bureaus?
  3. What are the factors that make up my credit score?
  4. Do you offer any sort of money back guarantee?
  5. What is your Better Business Bureau rating?
  6. Do you guarantee removal of legitimate negative items?
    1. If they say yes walk away!

 In short: does credit repair work? Yes it does!

References:

1. Cornell School of Law-Federal Debt Collections Practices Act

2. Federal Trade Commission-The Structure and Practices of the Debt Buying Industry

3. Better Business Bureau (BBB)-Rating for CreditSaint LLC

4. Better Business Bureau (BBB)-Lexington Law Review/Complaints 

5. Better Business Bureau (BBB)-CreditFirm.net Profile

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Hey there! I'm a world traveler, a loving partner, and most of all a debt dumper! I'm so grateful you took the time to read my material on how to dump your debt forever. Please leave a comment to let me know if you found it useful or not!