What is credit repair? Credit repair is a service by which people or companies need help to make arrangements to pay off their debts over some time or helped to improve their credit rating.
Repairing credit standing may be as simple as disputing wrong information with the credit agencies. Identity theft and the damage incurred may require extensive credit repair work.
Another form of credit repair is to deal with financial issues, such as budgeting, and begin to address legitimate concerns on the part of lenders.
How Credit Repair Works
Though numerous companies claim they can clean up bad credit reports, correcting erroneous information that may appear on credit reports takes time and effort. The information that is on the credit report cannot be wipe-off by a third party. Preferably the details, if misrepresented or inaccurate, can be disputed. Credit repair companies may check such information, but so can the individual the report is assessing. Individuals are entitled to free credit reports every 12 months from credit reporting agencies, as well as when an adverse action is taken against them, such as being denied credit based on information in the report.
Disputes may be filed when incomplete or inaccurate information appears on their credit reports. Aside from correcting such information, or catching fraudulent transactions on one’s credit, rebuilding and repairing credit can rest more heavily on credit usage and credit activity.
The payment history of the individual can be a significant factor in their credit standing. Taking steps to make sure payments are up to date or improve the payment schedule for outstanding credit can beneficially affect their credit score. Furthermore, the amount of credit used by the individual can also play a role. For instance, if an individual is actively using large portions of the credit available to them, even if they are maintaining minimum payments on time, the size of the debt they are carrying can negatively affect their credit rating. The issue is that their liquidity may be pressured by the overall debt against them. By taking measures to reduce their overall debt load, they may see improvements to their credit profile.
Credit Repair Services
Several businesses claiming to do credit repair have sprung up over time, and while some may provide services that can assist consumers, the actual results of their efforts may be questioned. In some cases, credit repair may require legal as well as financial expertise. Depending on the extent of the problem, it may require simply cleaning up misunderstandings, while in other cases professional intervention is needed.
The fees a credit repair company charges can vary. Typically, there are two types of fees: an initial setup fee and a monthly service fee. The initial fee can range from $10 to $100, while the monthly fee typically runs between $30 and $100 a month, although some companies do charge more.
When considering the fees, it’s important to weigh what you’re getting in return. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), credit repair firms can’t legally do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself. You just have to be willing to spend the time reviewing your credit reports for negative or inaccurate information, reaching out to the credit bureaus to dispute that information, and following up on those disputes to make sure they’re being investigated. If you’re unable or unwilling to spend that time, then do your research to ensure you’ll be working with one of the best credit repair companies.
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