When it comes to managing your finances, thoroughly researching any company you work with is of the utmost importance. This couldn’t be truer than with credit repair companies.
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), credit repair scams are incredibly common. There have been several recorded cases of criminals setting up false credit repair schemes designed to steal Social Security numbers, and some completely legitimate companies have been accused of violating consumer rights by charging illegal fees and making false promises to customers. Even those with a clean record often face high volumes of consumer complaints for a variety of reasons, such as overpriced services and failure to deliver results.
The Federal Trade Commision makes it clear that no credit repair company is authorized to perform any action you can’t do on your own for free.Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’re legally entitled to access your credit report for free once per year or if you’ve been the victim of identity theft. Additionally, the law dictates that you can dispute inaccuracies on your report and have negative information removed after a certain number of years. The FTC offers a clear, step-by-step guide on how to do this without paying a credit repair company.
At the end of the day, many people still choose to work with a credit repair company because they feel overwhelmed by the dispute process and are willing to pay for expert help. There are a number of ways in which credit repair companies can provide value, such as spotting errors on your report that you might otherwise miss. The FTC advises that reputable companies will also help you achieve long-term financial success that goes beyond your credit report by providing budgeting help and free educational materials.
Credit repair is a complex service that involves many moving parts. What’s more, no two credit repair companies offer the exact same approach.
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