Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Credit "Repair"? Not Likely.

NPR did a great little piece this morning on how many Americans are being sucked in by various credit repair advertisements.

Most of these firms promise to raise your credit score by hundreds of points in a just a few days or weeks. They claim to do this by disputing the incorrect information on your credit report. Many of them even dispute information on your report that you (and they) know for a fact is true. These credit repair "experts" claim that they'll continually question everything on your report, and eventually the credit reporting agencies will "just get tired of dealing with it and remove the information from your report," thus raising your score.

You can listen to the NPR audio here. (Click on the little "listen now" icon at the top left, near the headline)

The highlights of the NPR audio:

  • These firms don't do anything you can't do yourself

  • No one can raise your credit score by hundreds of points in mere weeks

  • It's illegal to ask you to pay an up-front fee to "fix" your credit

  • If the information on your credit report is factual, it cannot and will not be removed

As I've written before, these firms are almost always a sham and a scam.

Instead of falling for credit repair scams, consumers worried about their credit report and score should consult a nonprofit credit counseling service through the AICCCA (Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies). Find a credit counseling service near you.

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