The first thing you should look out for when in need of good credit repair services is the affiliations of the firm you are considering. All ethical credit repair businesses will be eager to provide you with their references on request. These are some important issues you should check out in order to steer clear of deceitful credit repair companies.
1. The agency you’re considering should have membership in the Ethical Credit Repair Alliance (ECRA) or a similar regulatory organization. You are often advised to choose businesses that are subscribed to the BBB (Better Business Bureau) when you are looking for any type of service. When you’re searching for good credit repair organizations, companies who are ECRA members are an excellent choice.
This body has its own stringent codes of conduct and any business that gets their approval will give you their best services. The members of this organization are required to maintain the highest ethical standards in dealing with their clients. This helps to protect you, the consumer, from any type of unethical and sub-standard practices.
2. Before looking for help, educate yourself as to what credit repair is all about. Most people who are cheated out of their hard earned money while they are seeking ways out of a financial jam, do not know anything about what repair of credit involves. You need to learn what these services can do for you and what they cannot do.
You can identify agencies who offer false promises only when you clearly understand this difference. For example, no one can remove negative remarks entered on your credit report if these can be verified. You will find many such credit repair companies telling you that they can give you a clean credit report within a month or less. Think carefully; is this legally possible? If not – and it clearly is not – would you still want to pursue such unethical methods?
3. Avoid unsolicited offers you receive through email. It’s not fate that sent you an email offering to repair your credit at a time when you are desperately looking for help. These are fraudulent companies who obtain your email address through various unethical methods, and are sending out millions of spam emails in the hope that they will “catch” some needy soul whom they can milk dry!
Beware of such emails. In 99.9 percent of cases these are fraudulent companies looking for their next victim. Proper credit repair companies will send their offers through newsletters or emails only after you have opted in to receive them.
4. It is illegal to create a “new identity”.” This is one huge fallacy that many people choose to believe, mainly because it would seem to solve all their problems. This belief is due primarily to a lack of knowledge about credit repair. However, this practice – called “File segregation” – is illegal!
Your credit score is a reflection of your entire financial history up to the present time. How is it possible to acquire a “new” credit history? And if you do, would you not have some questions about legality? Do you realize now that the credit repair companies that offer you such a way out of your problems are fraudulent?
5. Demanding complete payment upfront should raise a “red flag.” According to Federal Law, you need to have a detailed written contract from the agency beforehand and the payment is to be after services have been completed. In addition you have the right to cancel within three days.
There are agencies that do charge an initial fee for a credit analysis, and thereafter charge monthly fees as they continue the job of following up with disputes regarding erroneous information in your credit report. But if a company demands their entire fee be paid in advance, they are likely doing so because they realize you will not be inclined to pay later when you discover that they cannot deliver on their promises. Such companies are fraudulent and you would do well to avoid them!