Will Credit Repair Work For You?
You took a long slide into debt and the problem isn’t going away. In fact, what with high interest rates, it’s worsening. You’ve lost the handle and now you need to do something about it. Now, do you need professional help or will credit repair work for you? Let’s look at what you can and should do on your own.
While there’s no fast way to repair your credit, you can take steps to improve it. However, you need time, patience, and a commitment to seeing the process all the way through.
By the way, pay no attention to those breathless claims that you may get in the mail or in robocalls from what are likely scam companies about how they can remove bankruptcies and such from your credit reports or even erase all your negative info. You know what they say: if it sounds too good to be true …
If you DO enlist the help of a credit repair agency, be sure to get it to disclose in writing what it will do to help you, how long it will take to get results, and how much everything will cost. Note that any company that tries to get you to pay up front – which is against the law – is hoping to rip you off.
If you pay a credit repair company and it screws you over, you can sue it in federal court, seek punitive damages, or participate in a class-action lawsuit. You can also contact your state’s attorney general.
Understand Your Rights
Did you know that you’re owed a free credit report if a company, say, denies a credit application? Well, you are. You just must request the report within 60 days of receipt of notice of whatever “adverse action” is taken.
Also, if you request it, all three of the major credit reporting agencies must give you, for free, a copy of your credit report every year.
It’s good to scour your credit report every so often to see if there are mistakes or old items that are due for removal. If there are, you can see a serious boost in your score post remediation. There are firms that can assist you with this. Check out Lexington Law reviews to see whether that firm can be of help here.
How to Handle Credit Repair Yourself
If something’s inaccurate, you should write to the credit-reporting company and say so. Certified mail is a good idea, and you should maintain copies of your dispute letter and any subsequent correspondences. These companies have 30 days to get back with you. If the finding is that, yes, you are right, then the credit-reporting companies must be notified by the information provider so that corrections are made to your file.
Upon request, the credit company must also send an accurate copy of your report to anyone who received a copy during the past 24 months for employment purposes.
If your dispute goes unresolved, you can request that a statement outlining the dispute be put in your file.
What if the Info on my Report is Accurate?
Unfortunately, you can’t “will” your way to good credit. Only time will help you. Accurate negative credit data can live on your credit report for seven years; 10, if you filed bankruptcy.
If there’s an unsatisfied judgment against you, that, too, can hang out on your report for seven years or until the statute of limitation expires, whichever comes first. Criminal convictions have no time limit when it comes to credit report disclosure.
So, will credit repair work for you? It depends on a lot of factors, including your time, your patience and knowledge of your rights. Perhaps other options such as debt settlement are better. Just take a clear-eyed look at your situation … and make the moves that are best for you.