Credit Repair Clinics
Every day, companies nationwide appeal to consumers with poor credit histories. They promise, for a fee, to clean up your credit report so you can get a car loan, a home mortgage, insurance, or even a job. The truth, according to the Federal Trade Commission, is that they can't deliver. After you pay them hundreds of dollars in up-front fees, these companies do nothing to improve your credit report; many simply vanish with your money.
The Warning Signs
If you decide to respond to a credit repair offer, beware of companies that:
- Want you to pay for credit repair services before any services are provided.
- Do not tell you your legal rights and what you can do – yourself – for free.
- Recommend that you not contact a credit bureau directly.
- Suggest that you try to "invent" a new credit report by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security Number.
- Advise you to dispute all information in your credit report or take any action that seems illegal, such as creating a new credit identity. If you follow illegal advice and commit fraud, you may be subject to prosecution.
No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. But the law does allow you to request a reinvestigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. There is no charge for this. Everything a credit repair clinic can do for you legally, you can do for yourself at little or no cost.
- Step-by-step instructions on Disputing Your Credit Report.
To visit with a Village financial counselor about your credit report, call 1-800-450-4019 or contact us online.