Credit Repair Scam Tips

There are credit counseling services that are free of charge. Check into those.

Check with the Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau for complaints filed on company.

If you are asked to sign a contract, Make sure you read and understand before you sign; there could be hidden charges, etc.

Check with your creditors to make sure that the creditors will work with this agency.

Be leery of companies that promise to repair your credit. These companies can not do anything that you can’t do yourself to repair your credit.

Check with the company to make sure that you will have access to payment records for payments made on your behalf.

There are several ways these credit repair scams claim they can help. For a fee they will offer to:

Clean up your credit record. Only you can do this, and it takes time, patience and a personal repayment plan. No one else can speed up the process or do it for you.

Offer you a Visa or Master Card even if you’ve been turned down by banks. Sometimes you must call a 900 number at a cost of $25 to $50, and you still may not receive a credit card.

Show you how to apply for credit with a new tax ID number, usually an EIN. (Employer Identification Number, used by businesses to report financial information to the government.) This is called file segregation (creating a new credit file separate from your old not-so-good credit report.) Not only is it illegal to apply for an EIN under false pretenses, if you obtain the new number through the U.S. mail or by telephone, you may be charged with mail or wire fraud and face fines and/or jail.

Ways to improve your own credit rating:

Obtain a “secured” credit card from a major bank and make the payments on time every time.

Make sure any mistakes on your credit report are corrected. The credit bureau can tell you how, at no cost to you. However, there is nothing anyone can do about negative information that is accurate. It cannot be “erased.” Only timely payments for an extended period will help.

Contact a non-profit credit counseling service in your area.

If you realize you can’t pay your monthly bills, contact your creditors immediately and arrange a payment plan.

Remember, there is nothing a credit repair service can do for you that you cannot do for yourself for free. It just takes time.