Credit repair involves removing inaccurate, misleading or outdated information from your credit report. Credit repair services are sometimes able to help you, when you cannot achieve results on your own. Choosing a credit repair service may involve a little investigative work on your part, but it is well worth the trouble.
An internet search for credit repair services will yield thousands of results. You may not know where to begin. First, you must decide what type of help you actually need. If you are having trouble paying your bills and feel you are close to bankruptcy, a new law requires that you receive credit counseling before you can declare bankruptcy. A credit counseling service and a credit repair service are not actually the same thing, though they may be listed side by side in a directory.
Credit counseling services help consumers create budgets and negotiate repayment plans with lenders. They attempt to remove late payment fees and lower interest rates. There are many “for profit” credit counseling services, but most states have non-profit services.
Credit repair services help consumers who are being denied credit or do not qualify for the best interest rates, because of negative information on their credit reports. If you have been denied credit or have been told that you do not qualify for the best interest rates being offered because of your “credit score”, then you are looking for a credit repair service.
Before you engage a credit repair service, obtain copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. Another recently enacted law has made it easier for you to do this. You only need to visit one website; The Federal Trade Commission advises that you spell it correctly or you may end up at an impostor site. You are only entitled to one free copy per year, unless you have been denied credit because of information on your report.
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This applies to most people searching for credit repair services.
The number of items on your credit report may help you choose a credit repair service. If you have multiple items that need to be removed, it makes sense to choose a credit repair service that charges a monthly rate, rather than a per item fee. It is also a good idea to look for a company that guarantees results and spells that guarantee out for you, before you sign up for their services.
Some credit repair services are operated by “financial professionals” or “credit experts” who may or may not be able to help you resolve any legal issue that comes up while you are going through this process. You can avoid these credit repair services by choosing a law firm that specializes in credit repair. You may think that a law firm will be more expensive than another credit repair service, but often this is not the case.