How To Choose The Best Credit Repair Companies
If you’re struggling with bad credit, you may have heard about credit repair service companies. But you might not know exactly what they do. Or, you might have heard that credit repair companies can be scams and you decided not to try one. The tricky thing is that some organizations pose as legitimate credit repair services to take advantage of others. Anytime you give someone access to your financial information, you have to be careful.
That’s why we’re going to talk about how you can tell if a credit repair service is legitimate or not. There are certain things you should avoid when looking for the best credit repair companies, and there are things you should search for to find the goods ones. There are laws in place to protect you and regulate the industry, so you can have confidence in legitimate businesses. But first, we’ll talk about what errors are and how they affect your score.
Credit repair refers to a few things, but a big part is disputing errors that are on your credit report. Often, information on your credit report has been entered by a person reading a handwritten application or form. It’s not a perfect system. There can be errors of personal identity like phone numbers, names, and addresses, or there can be more grievous errors like incorrect account balances.
If you have the time and means, it’s possible for you to dispute these errors yourself. Remember, you’ll have to file paperwork with each of the three credit bureaus and stay on top of it. At The Credit Agents, we are able to fix the maximum amount of errors and continue to give you credit building support, so you can save time and effort.
Is Credit Repair Legal?
Credit repair is fully legal. Without the opportunity to fix errors and delete inconsistencies on a credit report, the credit rating process wouldn’t be fair. You have the legal right to a 100% accurate, fair, and substantiated credit report, and that’s what the best credit repair companies help you get.
Credit repair services are also regulated under the law, so as long as a company is being transparent about what services they offer and at what prices, you’ll know you’re dealing with a legitimate business. Credit repair is a federally protected right, and it’s protected by two laws. The first law is called the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Under this law, you are legally entitled to a fully accurate credit report. The law also designates who is allowed to view your credit report, and under what circumstances.
The second law is the Credit Repair Organizations Act. This law was passed in 1996 and acknowledged legitimate businesses who help consumers repair their credit. Under this law, you have the right to hire a service to help repair your credit so you can avoid the time, effort, and aggravation of repairing your credit yourself. This act also set regulations to fight against scams and illegitimate businesses. Under the law, credit repair services aren’t allowed to make exact promises about how much they can improve your score. They also can’t change your identity or influence you to change your identity to hide negative items on your report.
How Your Credit Score Affects Purchasing a Home
When you go to purchase a home, your credit score can mean the difference between being in the neighborhood you want or the one you swore you’d never be in. If it’s low enough, it can even disqualify you from getting a standard loan altogether. At that point, your only option would be to get a sub-par loan and end up paying thousands more in interest and monthly loan-insurance payments.
It can be discouraging if you’re disqualified from buying the home of your dreams. A home isn’t like an apartment, where any that meets your budget will do. With a home, you want to find a place that you can stay in for a while and feel proud of. Maybe you have children, and you want to feel that they’re safe when they play outside. At that point, it can feel like your credit score is controlling your life.
Your credit score can affect many things, so it’s a good idea to stay on top of it. But have you checked your full credit report? Checking your score is one thing, but that doesn’t tell you if there are issues with your report. About a quarter of Americans have never even checked their report. It can be intimidating to read through your whole report, but finding errors or inconsistencies can lead to a better score.
How Errors Affect Your Credit Score
Theoretically, your credit score should reflect the ability you have to pay back a loan. The lower the score, the riskier you look to lenders. But it’s not always that simple. Sometimes, your credit score can be lower than it would be if everything on it were correct.
For example, you might have one outstanding debt that has changed hands between collectors three times. You only have one debt amount, but it has been reported three times and can be three separate items on your credit report. Your score would be lower than it should be because of this.
Another type of error occurs when you have a joint account, but you’re listed as the sole account owner on your report. In that scenario, your credit is tied to what that other person does. There are also clerical errors. Since the information that makes up your report is entered by people and machines, there is always the possibility for error.
A closed account listed as open could be another error. This could change the amount of credit you have available and can affect your credit-utilization ratio. Credit-utilization is the amount of available credit you’ve used compared to the amount you have available. Lenders like to see that number be 30% or below, but an incorrect ratio can lead to problems down the road.
Incorrect balances, incorrect payment dates, and more can all be hiding in a credit report. It could take months to go through all the potential errors on your own. If you’re looking to purchase a home in the near future, it could be a good idea to team up with a credit repair service in Houston to raise your score quickly.
The best credit repair companies will go through your report and help identify any discrepancies or errors. They then file paperwork with each of the three credit bureaus to dispute any errors and delete items from your account. They also have resources to keep your credit score moving in the right direction after fixing errors.
How To Determine A Legitimate Credit Repair Service Provider
A quick search in Google for “best credit repair companies” reveals pages of results, so how do you tell if a business is legitimate or not?
One place to start is their reviews. But don’t just be impressed by five-star reviews. A legitimate business will have helped a number of people, and some of them may not leave the best reviews. A healthy 4.5 or 4-star average rating is actually a better sign of the health of a business than a 5.0 average. If everyone gives 5 stars, something must be up.
Once you’re on a business website, see if they have any educational material related to raising a credit score. They should have your best interest in mind, even before you’re a customer. On that note, the best credit repair companies should be comfortable letting you know that you’re able to dispute errors on your own. They retain customers by providing convenience, peace of mind, and achieving better results in a shorter length of time than going it alone.
Best Credit Repair Companies and What To Avoid
Before you settle on one of the best credit repair companies, it helps to be on the lookout for certain things. It’s like anything else you shop for. There can be businesses that play by the rules and provide quality services, and there can be businesses that choose to take advantage of their customers for their own gain. Fortunately, there are a few things you can be on the watch for. These are giveaways that tell you to move on to another provider.
The first thing to watch out for is if the credit repair service provider won’t do any kind of consultation or work without upfront payment. Credit services organizations are prohibited from charging you for credit-improving actions before the action is taken. An example of this is if a credit repair service asks you to pay for deletions before the deletion has gone through.
Another thing to watch out for is over-the-top promises. If a company says it can raise your score by 200 points in one month, it’s probably a scam. Or, if a company promises to delete things that actually are part of your history or your credit situation, watch out. A genuine late payment or account balance can’t be tampered with.
Related to this is the offer of a new identity. If a credit repair company offers to create an Employer Identification Number or a Credit Privacy Number for you, RUN. Or if a lender offers to pull a clean history if you use this number instead of your Social Security number. This seems like a good thing, but it’s actually very illegal.
Best Credit Repair Companies’ Qualities To Look For
The best credit repair companies are not scams and can actually help you improve your credit. There are certain qualities that set a good credit repair service apart.
Transparency is a big issue with credit repair services. Try to find one that is transparent about what you’re paying, when you’ll pay, and exactly what is being done on your behalf. Illigitemate organizations have a tendency to hide behind fine print and big promises, and not take the time to explain the details.
Another thing you should look for is if they are genuinely interested in helping you. The best credit repair companies take the time to get to know you to find out what your goals are. They also should want to know your particular history and what led to your credit score being where it is.
The best credit repair companies will also go the extra mile and help you to improve your credit long term, through education on bill paying, delinquencies, collections, and other aspects of your credit report. You have the ability to improve your credit through smart choices, and a good company will help you learn to make those decisions.
We Can Accomplish In Months What Others Do In Years
We pride ourselves in the ability to work with you and take your score to where you’ve dreamed it can be. With us, you’ll always know what you can expect. You only have to pay for negative items deleted from your file, and we don’t have monthly fees. We are transparent with you, and you can always check the status of a dispute anytime. But deleting negative items is only part of what we do. We provide ongoing credit mentoring so you can reach your goals. Our team is happy to counsel you on the purchase of a new home or another asset; our goal is to get you to your goals.
Choosing a partner to work with and help you rebuild your credit can be a good decision. The process of disputing claims on your credit report can be lengthy and frustrating. It can also be hard to navigate all requirements and paperwork from each of the three credit bureaus. Remember, if you get something deleted off of one account, you still have to deal with the other two to make sure your full report is accurate.
We’re proud to be licensed and bonded in the state of Texas to bring you the simplest, fastest credit repair in Houston. We even have a team dedicated to getting you in the home of your dreams through mortgage counseling. You don’t have to settle for a poor credit score or take no for an answer anymore. We strive to every single day to be one of the best credit repair companies around.