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.
You're also entitled to a free credit report if you've been turned down for credit because of something on your credit report, if you're currently receiving government assistance, if you're unemployed and plan to look for a job soon, or if you think you've been a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft. Some states even have laws that let you get an additional free credit report each year. All these free credit reports should be ordered directly through the credit bureaus.
"I had virtually had nowhere to turn as I tried to reconstruct this area of my life until I began to search the net for solutions. I spoke with a representative of CreditRepair.com and was immediately assured that this was the safest and legal approach to resolving my credit issues. What I really like is the daily update and the activity being reported."
On the other hand, we found that their client reviews were not all positive. You pay a lot for this service, so you expect to have measurable results and competent customer service, but many of the complaints we found said that the attention received after signing on the dotted line was very different from the sales pitch beforehand. Company reps seemed to respond almost exclusively to compliments online, but we didn't see the same attention given to address problems or complaints.
Digging around a little more, though, we were left with some question marks. First, several places on the site refer to a 6-month, prepaid package plan that comes with a 6-month guarantee but this isn't listed on the Pricing page. Then, we were happy to see lots of informative articles on the Credit Resource Section - but disappointed to find that the Regulations page was totally blank.
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.
If you find information that is incorrect, you can file a dispute. Remember too, that items on your credit report that you don't recognize could also be potential signs of fraudulent activity — someone working to secure credit in your name for their own use. Make sure you're clear on items that could potentially be fraudulent, versus those that may simply be inaccurate.