Legal Credit Repair Services


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Legal Credit Repair Services

  1. 1. Credit repair: Self-help may be best The Warning Signs You see the advertisements in debt repayment plan will newspapers, on TV, and on the improve your credit report. Internet. You hear them on the If you decide to respond to a radio. You get fliers in the mail. This brochure explains how you credit repair offer, beware of You may even get calls from can improve your credit worthi- companies that: telemarketers offering credit ness and lists legitimate • repair services. They all make resources for low or no-cost Want you to pay for credit the same claims: help. repair services before any services are provided; • • The Scam “Credit problems? No Do not tell you your legal problem!” rights and what you can do • “We can erase your bad Everyday, companies nation- yourselffor free; • credit100% guaranteed.” wide appeal to consumers with Recommend that you not • “Create a new credit poor credit histories. They contact a credit bureau identitylegally.” promise, for a fee, to clean up directly; or • • “We can remove bankrupt- your credit report so you can get Advise you to dispute all cies, judgments, liens, and a car loan, a home mortgage, information in your credit bad loans from your credit insurance, or even a job. The report or take any action that file forever!” truth is, they can't deliver. After seems illegal, such as creat- you pay them hundreds or thou- ing a new credit identity. If Do yourself a favor and save sands of dollars in upfront fees, you follow illegal advice and some money, too. Don't believe these companies do nothing to commit fraud you may be these statements. Only time, a improve your credit report; many subject to prosecution. conscious effort, and a personal simply vanish with your money. (over) $ Fast Facts $ • Accurate and timely information cannot be removed from your credit report. • Credit repair clinics can't do anything to improve your credit report that you can't do for yourself, at little or no cost. • Avoid companies that want you to pay for credit repair services before they provide any services. • It’s illegal for telemarketers who offer credit repair services to request payment until six months after they've delivered the services.
  2. 2. You could be charged and the credit reporting agency cost to consumers. You can find prosecuted for mail or wire fraud for a dispute form or submit the office nearest you by check- if you use the mail or telephone your dispute in writing, along ing the yellow pages of your to apply for credit and provide with any supporting telephone directory. false information. It's a federal documentation. In addition, nonprofit counseling crime to make false statements programs sometimes are oper- on a loan or credit application, to Clearly identify each item in your ated by universities, military misrepresent your Social Secu- report that you dispute, explain bases, credit unions, and rity Number, and to obtain an why you dispute the information, housing authorities. They're also Employer Identification Number and request a reinvestigation. If likely to charge little or nothing from the Internal Revenue the new investigation reveals an for their services. Or, you can Service under false pretenses. error, you may ask that a cor- check with your local bank to rected version of the report be see if it has a list of reputable, Thanks to the new Telemar- sent to anyone who received low-cost financial counseling keting Sales Rule, it's also a your report within the past six services. crime for telemarketers who months. Job applicants can offer credit repair services to have corrected reports sent to Do-It-Yourself Check-Up require you to pay until six anyone who received a report For Free months after they've delivered for employment purposes during Even if you don't have a poor the services. the past two years. credit history, it's a good idea to The Truth Need Help? Don't Despair conduct your own credit check- up, especially if you're planning a major purchase, such as a No one can legally remove Just because you have a poor home or car. Checking in accurate and timely negative credit report doesn't mean you advance on the accuracy of the information from a credit report. won't be able to get credit. information in your credit report But the law does allow you to Creditors set their own credit- could speed the credit-granting request a reinvestigation of granting standards and not all of process. information in your file that you them look at your credit history dispute as inaccurate or incom- the same way. Some may look Credit bureaus usually are listed plete. There is no charge for only at more recent years to in the yellow pages of your this. Everything a credit repair evaluate you for credit, and they telephone book under “credit clinic can do for you legally, you may grant credit if your bill- reporting agencies.” You may can do for yourself at little or no paying history has improved. It want to contact each of them for cost. According to the Fair may be worthwhile to contact a copy of your report. Credit Reporting Act: creditors informally to discuss their credit standards. For more information, or to file a • You are entitled to a free complaint, contact the Bureau of copy of your credit report if If you can't resolve your credit Consumer Protection at: you've been denied credit problems yourself or you need (800) 422-7128 within the last 30 days. If additional help, you may want to your application for credit, contact a credit counseling FAX: (608) 224-4939 insurance, or employment is service. There are nonprofit denied because of informa- organizations in every state that TTY: (608) 224-5058 tion supplied by a credit counsel consumers in debt. E-MAIL: bureau, the company you Counselors try to arrange repay- applied to must provide you ment plans that are acceptable WEBSITE: with that credit bureau's to you and creditors. They also name and address. can help you set up a realistic • You can dispute mistakes or budget. These counseling ser- (Produced in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission) outdated items for free. Ask vices are offered at little or no i:cpcicfactscrdrp122 2/00