Credit Repair Companies
"Bad credit? We can help," or "We can erase your bad credit - 100% guaranteed," are common claims made by credit repair companies
who state they can erase negative information on your credit report. The truth is only time—not miracle cures or exorbitant fees—can heal bad
Unscrupulous firms often rely on a portion of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act which requires a credit bureau to omit some information on a
credit report while an investigation is being conducted after a challenge is filed by a consumer.
As a result, credit repair firms flood credit bureaus with multiple, frivolous disputes. Fees paid by consumers who are desperate to clean
up their credit can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, but the legitimate negative information is never permanently erased by anything
Bringing your accounts current, making payments on time, and waiting for the federal debt reporting limits to pass are the only ways to improve your
Federal law mandates the time periods that accurate, negative information remains on a credit report. Delinquent payments are eliminated from
credit reports after seven years and personal bankruptcies after ten years. Information concerning a lawsuit or judgment can be reported for seven
years or, if it is unpaid, until the statue of limitations runs out.
Credit reporting company officials estimate that about 30 percent of their workload is wasted on credit repair companies which intentionally abuse
laws and policies established to protect consumers.
You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once every 12 months. Additionally,
you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you have been denied credit within the last 60 days, or if you are currently unemployed and
plan to apply for work within the next 60 days. You can also obtain a copy of your credit report from one of the major credit bureaus at any time
for a small fee. Please visit the link below for more information.
Free Annual Credit Report - www.annualcreditreport.com
Consumers should be aware of the following facts:
- Virtually every service a credit repair firm does can legally be done by consumers themselves for free, or at minimum cost.
- No one can legally remove accurate information from a credit report. The only way to get negative information off a credit report is to pay
off the debt, or wait for it to expire.
- Any consumer can dispute inaccurate information at no charge. Inaccurate information will be changed or deleted free of charge. Credit
reports contain an easy-to-complete dispute form to help consumers who disagree with the information.
- There are no miracle cures for bad credit.
Remember that lenders are in business to lend money and they want to say "yes." However, their livelihood depends on extending
credit only to consumers who repay their debts.
If you want more information or believe you have been victimized by a fraudulent credit repair scheme, please contact:
Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, DC 20580
For additional information concerning credit and reporting, visit the Federal Trade Commission at: