Consumers are often looking for ways to repair and improve their credit scores, and many seek the assistance of a credit repair company to handle the process. As the number of consumers looking for help increases, so does the number of fraudulent companies looking to take advantage of vulnerable individuals. In order to make sure that you only deal with a trusted and reputable company please take the following into consideration:
Common Sense Due Diligence: Just because a company has a website does not automatically make them a legitimate business. Many of these companies offering credit repair help are not even real businesses. Do a simple “who is” check on their website domain. If they are a legitimate company it will notate that the company owns the domain, and provide full contact information for the business including a phone number, email address and business address. Make sure that the information presented matches the information on the website. If the domain search reveals that the domain is registered private and there is no information available it is a huge red flag that you are not dealing with a real company. If the company were operating legally then why would they hide their information? Do you think companies such as Best Buy or Target hide their website registration information? Of course not! Why wouldn’t a company want potential customers to be able to track them down, unless of course they were hiding something?
This brings us back to the contact information; check the website for a contact page, and if it does not include a phone number as well as a physical office address then another light bulb should go off in your head and common sense should tell you to avoid this company. When a contact phone number is available, another simple and quick test is to research the number on the Yellow Pages (www.yp.com) website. This online directory lists business phone numbers that have been verified, and if the phone number does not show up it is an additional red flag. Again, what company wouldn’t want the free advertising provided by yp.com? These quick checks take minutes yet can weed out bad companies right away, and ultimately save you money.
Outrageous Claims: There are advertisements all over the internet claiming removal of all negative information from accounts in 15 days, 30 days, etc. This is pure nonsense and if you see such claims you need to stay far away from those companies. First, credit repair is not an overnight process; it takes time to achieve results. Second, no credit repair company can guarantee a specific outcome in relation to results or time it takes to complete. The law prohibits any company from doing so in order to protect the consumer from unethical companies. Make sure you avoid any of these companies that claim to have inside secrets or have an inside connection. Those are blatant lies used in an attempt to get your money. In order to achieve results it takes a company with several years of experience combined with exceptional knowledge of the entire credit industry.
Creating A New Identity: Several companies will encourage clients to create a new identity with the use of an EIN (Employee Identification Number), CPN (Credit Profile Number), or SCN (Secondary Credit Number). The manner in which they suggest you use these numbers is not legal. Stay away from any company claiming they can create a new identity for you, as it can have severe consequences down the road.
Setting Unrealistic Expectations: There is no magic light switch to flip that makes all bad credit disappear, and there are certainly no magic credit dispute letters that do the same. Regardless of what you hear, credit repair takes time. Every person has a completely different and unique situation and will require a different approach. The credit repair process is not a cookie cutter solution; what will be effective for one person might not work as well for the next client. It is important that the company that you sign up with understands this and gives each file personal attention and customized service that is dependent on several factors.
Know What Is On Your Reports: It is very important that you know exactly what is being reported on each credit report from Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax. Everyone is entitled to one credit report per year at no cost from each of these bureaus. This is referred to as the annual credit report. Looking over and understanding your credit reports prior to the credit repair process will help you understand everything much more clearly.
Having good credit is important, and, if you are looking for credit repair services, you are already looking for a positive financial change. By keeping in mind these few things, you can protect yourself from fraudulent offers and be confident that you are headed in the right direction!
This post comes from our friends at Credit Restore USA, a Miami Beach, FL based company that offers affordable and effective credit repair services for anyone who is looking to make a positive financial change.