Has bad credit been a big part of your past? When you think about it your credit allows you to do all sorts of things from get loans for a house, a car, credit cards, apply for student loans and whole lot more.
Without good credit almost all of these options are not possible. I say almost because in the small chance that you do qualify you would likely be paying huge interest rates which never a good deal.
This is when people become desperate and look for quick fix ways to repair their credit. To be completely truthful you can repair your credit, the problem is their is a right way to do it and a wrong way, and in this article will cover both with you.
So if you are looking for a way to improve your credit the right way and avoid all the scams waiting to rip you off out there read on.
Do Credit Repair Companies Really Work
To answer this question simply, NO!
If you haven’t seen these companies with their slick advertising campaigns and jargon claiming that all you have to do is buy their secret software and they will magically fix your credit keep dreaming.
Like the old saying goes, if it’s to good to be true it probably is.
More than that these companies can charge you big fees which can hurt your financial situation even more.
Now I should mention their are companies that are out there that are legit companies but I strongly recommend you do your homework and verify that they don’t hit any of the warning signs I’ve listed below.
However, my question is why not do it yourself. If you have inaccurate information on your credit report why not remove it yourself. It’s actually not that hard, it just takes a little time and effort.
Later in this article I will show you exactly how to do this.
6 Warning Signs To Look Out For
To help you avoid these scammers here are a few warning signs you can look for.
- They Claim They Can Remove Legitimate Bad Credit Issues. One of the biggest warning signs to look out for is if they claim to be able to remove actual legitimate bad credit issues you’ve had such as bankruptcy, missing payments, or even criminal information.
- Companies Want You To Pay Up Front. Another warning sign is if they want you to pay huge up front fees. These are usually bogus companies and should be avoided.
- They Must Disclose Your Legal Rights. One thing that must happen when you are working with a credit repair company is they must tell you what your legal rights are upfront. If they don’t do this stay away.
- If They Tell You To Create A New Create Identity. I hope I don’t even have to explain why this is just a bad idea and illegal as heck.
- Avoid Talking With The Credit Bureaus. In order to improve your credit you will need to get in contact with the credit bureaus in order to dispute things on your credit report, but if a credit repair company is telling you otherwise don’t do it.
- Doing Anything Illegal. Finally, if these companies ask you to do anything illegal stay away from it.
How To Repair Your Credit The Right Way
The first thing I want to mention before I get into how to remove bad items off of your credit report I just want to mention again that actual legit issues with your credit cannot just be removed from your credit report.
In most cases many of these things can take several years to get off your credit, below are just a few.
- Basic negative issues will stay on your credit for 7 years.
- Tax liens will stay on your credit permanently until it’s paid off and then they will stay on for another 7 years.
- Bankruptcies will stay on your record for 10 years from the date of discharge.
So how do you go about getting false items off of your credit report? Below are the necessary steps you need to take.
#1 Print Out Your Credit Reports
The first step is to get a copy of your current credit reports from the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Transunion, and Equifax.
You can get all three of them free at AnnualCreditReport.com. This the only legit place to get your free credit reports, however if you want to receive you scores you will have to pay an extra fee.
#2 Review Your Reports For Any Errors
Once you have your credit reports take time to review each one in detail to make sure everything is correct. Here are a few things to look for.
- Loans that you did not have.
- False missed payments.
- Bankruptcy reported wrong.
- Debts labeled wrong.
- Anything that is not verified.
#3 Contact The Credit Bureaus
If you do find an error with your credit you need to file a dispute with the credit bureau to have it removed. Below are a list of links you can follow to help you start the dispute process for each of the 3 credit bureaus.
On average it takes right around 30 days to dispute your credit report and determine an answer and whether the error should or should not be removed.
My personal stance is to avoid credit repair companies altogether and do the work yourself, however if you don’t feel comfortable doing this make sure you take the time to do your due diligence and avoid the warning signs I shared above.
The last thing you want to do is fall for one of these scams and do more damage than you’ve already done and like I mentioned earlier you can’t undo the legitimate damage to your credit report, only time can fix that.
So what are your thoughts. Have you been considering the idea of using a credit repair company or have you used one and had a bad experience?
Feel free to share your thoughts an comments below.