“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.
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Become familiar with the information contained in each of your credit reports. They'll all look very similar, even if you've ordered them from different bureaus. Each credit report contains your personal identifying information, detailed history for each of your accounts, any items that have been listed in public record like a bankruptcy, and the inquiries that have been made to your credit report.
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 Negotiating with creditors may help remove inaccurate or out-of-date marks from credit reports, improve credit histories and increase credit scores.
Using a reputable credit repair company puts you back in control of your financial reputation. These services work on your behalf to reduce or eliminate any negative factors in your credit history, working directly with collection agencies, creditors, and even with the three primary credit bureaus. With the help of a credit repair company, you can improve your score and even put a stop to negative information being reported on your accounts. Most services take several months before you see measurable results on your credit report, so adjust your expectations accordingly.
Scoring models consider how much you owe and across how many different accounts. If you have debt across a large number of accounts, it may be beneficial to pay off some of the accounts, if you can. Paying down your debt is the goal of many who've accrued debt in the past, but even after you pay the balance down to zero, consider keeping that account open. Keeping paid-off accounts open can be a plus in your overall credit mix since they're aged accounts in good (paid-off) standing. You may also consider debt consolidation.