What You Should Know About Credit Report Repair Services
When errors show up on your credit report, it can negatively affect your credit score. Credit repair companies help you remove incorrect information from your reports by filing official complaints with the credit bureaus and creditors on your behalf, often sending letters to dispute inaccurate or outdated information.
The best credit repair services will track your disputes’ progress and update you frequently with their results, along with updated copies of your reports. They should also have a clear policy explaining your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and not charge any fees upfront, advise you to break up your identity or make other fraudulent statements, or ask you to waive your right to sue for damages.
Most companies will start you off with a free consultation and review your credit reports from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Based on that, they’ll devise a strategy to work with the credit bureaus and creditors on your file to resolve the issues and dispute them as needed. In addition to disputing errors with the credit bureaus, they might also negotiate with creditors to remove negative items from your report, such as bankruptcies, tax liens, foreclosures or charge-offs.
Many credit repair agencies also offer to do the research for you and provide a list of all the mistakes they find on your reports, which can save you time. Some may even have an automated system that helps you challenge those errors, while others will charge a fee for that service.
In general, the primary goal of most credit repair agencies is to have the error-ridden information removed from your report, which can then lead to an improved credit score. However, it’s important to remember that removing the errors doesn’t necessarily mean your score will automatically increase. In fact, your credit score typically only improves if you have more recent positive information on your report than older negative items.
Some companies don’t focus on removing credit report errors but instead promote themselves as credit counseling agencies, offering budgeting and money management advice. These are more likely to be scams than reputable credit repair services, which are more likely to be focused on helping you clean up your credit report.
Consumers have the right to cancel any contract within three business days, so be wary of any credit repair company that demands payment upfront or makes promises that sound too good to be true. The CFPB has more tips on how to spot red flags and avoid being misled by a credit repair company.
A reputable credit repair company should be registered with the Better Business Bureau and have a good rating. It should also have a transparent pricing model and a 90-day refund guarantee. Some companies will go a step further and allow you to pause your subscription without paying any monthly fees and resume it when you’re ready, which can save you money on startup costs. credit report repair services