If you are having credit problems, you have enough challenges without being fooled by fraudulent credit repair offers. They say they can help you, but can they? And what about that up-front fee they require? The BBB has some tips to share for repairing your credit.
1. What credit repair offers should consumers watch out for?
The following should raise a red flag:
2. Well then, how can a consumer repair a bad credit report?
- They can create a new credit file or report.
- They can erase your bad credit information.
- They want to charge an up-front fee to help restore your credit rating. (After you pay them hundreds of dollars in fees, these companies do nothing to improve your credit report; most simply vanish with your money.)
In general, time is the only thing that can “fix” accurate negative information on your credit report. Information can only be changed if items are actually wrong, or beyond the 7 (or 10) year reporting period, required under federal law. Everything a credit repair clinic can do for you legally, you can do for yourself at little or no cost.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you're entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies, which can be done at www.annualcreditreport.com. Once you obtain your report, you can tell the consumer reporting company in writing what information is inaccurate. More information on how to repair a bad credit report can be found here: http://southeasttexas.bbb.org/FTC-Consumer-Articles/Credit-Reports/
3. Are there measures to improve your chances of receiving credit in the future?
- Pay your bills on time.
- If having difficulties, contact creditors and request a reduced payment plan.
- Contact a reputable credit counseling organization. Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service operate nonprofit credit counseling programs. Your financial institution, local consumer protection agency, and friends and family also may be good sources of information and referrals.
If you would like more information on what you can do, click here
For More information: contact the Better Business Bureau 24 hours a day at (409) 835-5348 or (800) 685-7650 or www.bbb.org.