Myths of Credit Repair
Myth #1: Credit repair is not legal, or one of the credit reporting agencies told me there is nothing that can
be done to help me.
First, to understand why this is definitely a myth perpetrated by the credit reporting agencies, you need to understand exactly what the credit reporting agencies are. The three major credit-reporting agencies, also called Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) are NOT government agencies. They are for profit, multi-million dollar corporations that gather and sell your private information to creditors, insurers, employers, landlords and companies that solicit you for credit and insurance offers. They also sell your information to telemarketing and mailing companies without your permission and in most cases without your knowledge.
These credit-reporting agencies admit that errors occur on consumer reports, but they do nothing to correct them. If they really cared what they reported, they could send everyone a copy of his or her credit report once a year and ASK if everything is right. Instead, they just report whatever they want and make the consumer “prove” that the report is inaccurate.
Why do CRA’s not like credit repair companies? Because the CRA’s lose money! A person with “bad credit” has 70% more inquiries on their file than a person with “good credit”. Think about that for a minute…Every time a credit file is pulled; the CRA’s make money—three to five dollars for each report. So, why should they want to fix your credit?
Thankfully, we live in democracy where everyone is entitled to a fair defense. A courtroom would never stand for a prosecuting attorney to point his finger at you, yell “guilty” then not prove his case…So, why would we stand for the credit reporting agencies to do this?
We agree with the lawmakers and Congress: credit reporting agencies must back up what they report about you. The real issue here is not always whether the information is accurate or not, but whether or not the reporting agency is able and willing to prove it. If your defense is properly presented, it is usually more trouble for the credit reporting agencies to verify the information on your report than it is for them to simply delete it. You can appeal to the three reporting agencies yourself, or you have the right to hire someone to do it for you. The choice is up to you.
Myth #2: Whatever you do, do not pay your bills.
This is not necessarily true. Even if a credit repair company removes a negative item like a collection, for
example, you still owe that money. Just because it’s no longer reflected on your credit report, does not
mean that the company does not have the right to collect the money. In many cases, it’s actually best to
settle most collections. A great credit repair company will advise you if a settlement is in your best
Myth #3: The cheapest price is whom I should go with.
This is not necessarily true. In credit repair, like other service businesses, you get what you pay for. Everyone wants a good value but at what cost? Make sure that the credit repair company you choose is not simply one of those “credit repair mills” that you see on-line. Often, these companies work on credit reports and consumers as if they’re herding cattle. They have simple computer programs that do the
work for them and a staff of sales people. Not attorneys, paralegals, or certified counselors.
It’s important that you make certain you are not entrusting your most valuable asset—your credit file—to a team of marketers. Many of these companies are owned by entrepreneurs that saw the credit repair industry growing at a very rapid rate and decided to get their share of the market, and even though they boast years in the industry, most of these on-line companies did not begin doing business until very recently.
These “mills” simply draft one standard dispute letter and send it to the credit reporting agencies every 30 to 60 days—something you could easily do yourself. They charge a minimal fee. Some companies charge less than you’d pay for cable television. But, do you really believe their team of lawyers or specialists is going to draft original documents to the credit reporting agencies, FTC, creditors, collection agencies and courthouses on your behalf, for around $1.25 a day? I don’t think so.
It’s much more realistic that a computer program is going to spit out a form letter disputing the negative accounts on your credit report, then about 60 days later do it again and again for as long as you’re willing to pay the monthly fees or until for 12 months if you signed a one-year contract.
What all this means to you is if you want to pay low fees, expect minimal results. And there’s something else to consider: When hiring an attorney, are you really looking for one that charges only $35 a month? How much work is any reputable attorney going to do for $35?
Please don’t misunderstand our intentions to make you aware of these facts. We’re not trying to discredit the services of other companies. We just want you to understand that although their services are sometimes effective, it’s not a quick or long lasting repair to negative credit. It’s more like using an aerosol sealant to temporarily inflate a flat tire.
Myth #4: A Consumer Counseling service is the only program that offers “real” credit repair.
Nothing could be further from the truth. We have all seen countless ads for non-profit Consumer Counseling agencies, but how can a non-profit organization pay for so much advertising? And, if you don’t pay for their services, then who does?
Surely, all those people can’t work for free? Does the phone company provide them free 800 numbers? Do TV stations give them free air-time? How do they do it?
Could it possibly be that they are “sponsored” by major banks and lending institutions, and the way they keep their sponsorship is by collecting money for the sponsors? Though they may say that they work for you, in the end, they truly work for whomever they collect your money for…which means they’re nothing more than collection agencies, sponsored by lenders and creditors.
They also don’t tell you that they’re going to ruin your credit when you enter their program. All of your accounts will be charged off and settled for less than the full amount and this will be entered on your credit reports. Your credit reports will also be noted that you are enrolled in their program.
On the other hand, really good credit repair agencies are very different from credit counselors. They work for you and not your creditor. Depending on the age of your debts, these agencies can either remove debts from your credit reports without you paying them or settle your debts with a deal that’s in your favor, not the lenders. The choice is up to you.
Myth #5: It takes a year or more to repair credit.
This is absolutely not true. One of the reasons this myth persists is because many credit repair companies charge a monthly fee. If they get paid month by month, there’s a good incentive for them to take their time.
A great credit improvement service usually has set prices and flexible payment options that anyone can afford.
We hope that you have found this information helpful. Our goal is to help you make an intelligent, informed decision when choosing a credit repair company so you can get your life and finances on the right track.
We wish you the best of luck.