Credit card consolidation - is it right for you? If you're carrying a high interest rate across multiple cards, you may benefit from such services. With more and more Americans facing large medical bills, job loss, and other financial setbacks, credit card debt is higher than ever. And, with interest rates and late fees, it's not unusual for people to get in over their heads. Credit card consolidation helps consumers to better manage their debt and get back on solid financial footing once more.
The services provided by The Credit People are as you'd expect with a credit repair service: disputes, inquiries, interventions and validations. We like that they focus their results not just on removing negative items from your credit history, but also specifically on improving your credit score - so that you can more easily qualify for a loan or be selected as a tenant for a rental. We also appreciate that their approach to working with their clients is "How can we help?" with situations like trying to get interest rates lowered or to get a referral letter, going above and beyond the issues associated with your credit report.
Unfortunately, Credit Repair has lost some credibility within the industry. Why? According to the Better Business Bureau, the company was asked to prove their claims that the average customer sees progress every month while using their services - even seeing improvements in the neighborhood of 7% of questionable credit report negatives being taken off their credit reports every 30 days. As of the date of our review, the BBB was still reporting that they had not received proof of those advertising claims. Those claims are still prominently featured on the Credit Repair website.
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If the company's credit repair specialists identify errors on your credit reports, they dispute those errors on your behalf. A credit repair company handles everything from drafting letters to managing correspondence with credit reporting agencies, creditors and debt collectors. You might need to supply documentation to support disputes. Some credit repair companies also offer credit counseling and debt management to help clients improve and maintain credit standing.
"I started CreditRepair.com a couple of months ago and since then my credit score has gone up. I love this service and how they take off the negative items on my report. I would recommend this service if you are looking to repair your credit and get the bad things off your report!! When I get finished with mine my boyfriend is going to sign up and we are going to work on repairing his and taking off any negatives he may have. He too is excited to get his started after seeing the results from mine!!"
One major difference between the two plans Ovation offers: you'll be in charge of submitting disputes on their lower-priced package. They'll guide you through the process of determining what to send and to whom, but you'll be responsible for making it happen. If you prefer that your credit repair service submit those dispute letters on your behalf, you'll want to choose the Essentials Plus package.
Fixing your credit history can seem like a tall order, especially given the number of creditors and credit bureaus you might have to deal with to get your credit issues fully squared away. Fortunately, credit repair services make this process an easy one. Below is a summary of our trusted services, along with basic facts and ratings for each. To get a consultation for your credit situation, click the name of the repair service you prefer to visit its confidential online signup.
eCreditAttorney's pricing is simple: $29 per month. For that fee, your credit repair service should include addressing late payments, collections, bankruptcies, tax liens, repossessions, judgments, foreclosures, charge-offs, garnishment, even identity theft/fraud. You're expected to provide a current copy of your most recent, updated credit report; it's not included with the fees that you pay. Side note: the link provided by eCreditAttorney for their "preferred credit score provider" took us to an invalid page - not very encouraging.
Credit restoration specialists have the experience and expertise to navigate even the most complicated credit situations. For example, a credit repair agency can help victims of identity theft remove derogatory marks on their credit reports that resulted from fraud. However, a legitimate credit repair company can’t remove accurate marks just because they are negative.
Credit repair companies can help when debt collectors attempt to collect an expired debt you no longer legally owe. Most credit repair companies employ lawyers to assist with these processes. The company’s employees send official cease-and-desist letters to get these collectors to stop contacting you. Negotiating with creditors may help remove inaccurate or out-of-date marks from credit reports, improve credit histories and increase credit scores.
"Since I reached adult hood my credit has been poor due to having a serious medical condition and being raised in a struggling family without proper medical insurance. Even though I've worked hard my whole life I could never get a handle on my credit situation and never had the opportunity to prove my credit worthiness. Desperate to have good credit I've been taken by scams promising to clean my credit up and after thousands of dollars I've seen no change. Reluctantly I allowed CreditRepair.com to help me with their promise to clean my credit up and they are doing just that! In just a couple months they've proven they stand by their word! My credit score has jumped from the very weak 400's to 620 and they're not done yet! Finally I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you, CreditRepair.com!"
Getting negative and inaccurate information off of your credit reports is one of the fastest ways to improve your score. Since credit bureaus have to respond and resolve a dispute within 30 days—a few exceptions can extend this to 45 days—it’s a short timeline. The timeline is particulary important when consumers want to buy a house, get a new car or open up a new credit card and don’t have time to wait to build good credit organically.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information, however all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on an offer you will be directed to the credit card issuer’s web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your offer.
Once you have your credit reports, read through them completely. If you have a long credit history, your credit reports might be several pages long. Try not to get overwhelmed by all the information you're reading. It's a lot to digest, especially if you're checking your credit report for the first time. Take your time and review your credit report over several days if you need to.
"I tried buying a new car a few months ago but I could barely get approved for a loan and if I did get approved the interest rate was above 20%. I decided to give CreditRepair.com a few months to work on my credit. I re-visited the dealerships this week and thanks to CreditRepair.com my score drastically improved and I was able to qualify for a very reasonable rate. Thank you CreditRepair.com, you literally improved my way of life."
After you download your credit reports, it takes several hours to review them for errors. Then, you must gather documentation and draft dispute letters, which could take up to a week or more if you aren’t already familiar with your records. Depending on the item and the reason it's in your credit history, this could involve writing a short letter or performing significant amounts of research.
Credit bureaus must send a notice of any corrections made to your report. Sometimes, a deleted dispute can reappear on your credit reports if the lender proves its claim is valid. If you find a derogatory mark reinserted on your credit reports, you can dispute it again. If you believe a credit reporting agency or one of your creditors has violated the FCRA, you should submit a consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
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“A good credit repair company will scrub questionable credit report items against other laws—like the Fair Credit Billing Act, which regulates original creditors; the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which oversees collection agencies; and others that address medical illness, military service, student status and other life events,” Padawer said.