Being in stuck in bad credit can be a stressful situation for anyone. In the hopes to get out of bad credit quickly, a person can be vulnerable to the tricks and tactics of scammers that offer instant debt relief. Yet, grabbing the wrong kind of help can only lead to a bigger problem. Instead of being free, you may find yourself stuck in worse.
When in need of repair, what are the things you should be aware of? How can you avoid being victimized by scammers? How can you protect yourself from fraudulent credit repair organizations and where can you find a real solution?
The Promise of Instant Credit Fix
The advertisements may seem attractive. After all, who would not want to be free from bad credit at the soonest time? But can you instantly fix credit? You may see a number of agencies offering quick debt relief services in exchange for a fee. It may be tempting to sign up for the offer, pay the upfront cost and watch as it goes away. But are these promises for real?
The fact is that no agency can magically turn your bad credit into good credit without requiring some effort on your part. If the negative information in your report is accurate, then it can never be deleted, unless seven years or ten years has passed.
For example, if you have a record of foreclosure which happens more than seven years ago, then you can request the credit bureau to take the negative remark off from your report. If you find unauthorized transactions in your report, then you can send a dispute letter to the credit bureau so that an investigation can be conducted. If your dispute is valid, then the necessary corrections will be made.
Nonetheless, you can not pay money to make it magically disappear. If you really are responsible for those debts, then the only way you can improve your credit score is to pay your creditors.
If you a certain credit repair agency promises to set you free from bad credit without paying anything or doing anything, then chances are that you are dealing with a scammer.
Watch Out for the Credit Repair Trap!
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) warns consumers against fraudulent credit repair or credit counseling agencies. Even if the agency claims to be a non-profit organization, you should not sign up for help unless you've checked the agency's background and reputation.
What are the red flags of a credit repair scam? Check out this list:
- Demands for an upfront fee before any service is rendered.
- Prevents or discourages you from checking your own report from three credit bureaus.
- Provides assurance that derogatory remarks in your credit report can be erased either they are correct or not.
- Encourage you to dispute charges in your credit report even if they are correct.
- Encourage you to use an Employer Identification Number in your loan or credit application to conceal your personal credit.
For more information, visit the FTC's fact sheet online.