Unfortunately, there are many fraudulent credit repair companies that scam customers and make promises they can't keep. Legitimate credit repair companies can ensure that inaccurate information is removed from your credit reports so that it doesn't hurt your credit rating. However, they can't do anything for you that you can't do for you if you're willing to put in the time and effort. A fraudulent credit repair company, for example, may claim that it can help you hide negative account information or bankruptcy.
After you pay the company, they may provide you with a nine-digit number that looks like a Social Security number, calling it a credit profile number or credit privacy number. They may also direct you to request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. Credit repair companies are organizations that claim to help consumers improve their credit in exchange for a fee. They work with credit bureaus and creditors on your behalf to eliminate errors from your credit report.
While many of these companies are scams, there are legitimate credit repair companies. CROA sets clear directives that legitimate credit repair agencies must follow, and it is important to ensure that the company you choose complies with every step of the process. One of the agencies that oversees the industry is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal organization that protects consumers from fraudulent or abusive practices by banks, lenders or any type of financial institution, including credit repair companies. The website operates on the principle that credit bureaus should be able to verify harmful elements in your credit history.
When looking for the right credit repair company for you, it's a good idea to review the CFPB's complaint database and check how many, if any, complaints have been filed against you. Lexington Law is well known in the credit repair industry, with over 17 years in business and available almost all over the country (all states except Oregon). Credit Saint also gives you access to a credit rating tracker and monitors changes to your Experian report. The company's free consultation is available in English and Spanish, something that is not common in the credit repair industry.
It is worth noting that even the most reputable and reliable credit repair services cannot legally do anything that you cannot do yourself. That said, you can do everything credit repair companies do on your own and avoid paying costly monthly fees. Unlike a personal credit report, if you agree with a creditor to pay off a debt for less than the outstanding balance, you can have it removed from your business credit report. If the information is accurate, there is little that anyone, even a professional credit repair company, can do little to change it.
Accredited credit repair companies will clearly publish their prices and services, so that consumers can select the right package for their needs. The best credit repair companies will track the progress of your disputes and inform you frequently about the status of each disputed item. Not only will this help you improve your payment history, but it will also improve your credit utilization rate, which is one of the most important factors in determining your credit score.