Credit Repair Near Me: What to Look for in a Local Company
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Your credit score is important when you want to get a mortgage to buy a home, get an auto loan for a new car, and sometimes when you apply for a new job. Not only do you need to do what you can to keep your score where you need it, but you also need to check your credit report for any inaccurate information. In fact, many people are surprised when they find that they have items on their credit report that shouldn’t be there. Credit repair can help you remove these items.
What Is a Credit Repair Company?
A credit repair company is a company that helps you remove inaccurate items from your credit report. There are different kinds of items that might be inaccurate, including the following:
- Duplicate accounts
- Inaccurate accounts
- Accounts that don’t belong to you
- Incorrect inquiries
- Inaccurate address or name
- Employment history
They will go over your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus and look for anything that is incorrect. They can dispute these items for you with the credit bureaus. Credit repair companies have a lot of experience and know the laws and regulations, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This law gives you the right to know what is in your credit report, the right to dispute inaccuracies, and more.
Credit repair companies cannot help you with items that are legitimate, such as late payments, missed payments, or charged off accounts. Those will stay on your credit report for seven years in most cases. However, they can help you with anything that should not be on your credit report.
What to Look for in a Credit Repair Company
If you are considering a credit repair company, it is important to find one that is reputable and has experience. There are certain red flags to look out for; take a look at the following:
- They are not allowed to ask for payment in advance or services.
- They must provide a written contract.
- They should not tell you that it is a quick process.
- They should not guarantee a certain score increase.
- They should not promise that they can remove items.
- They should not have complaints against them.
- They should not tell you that they can remove anything that is valid.
- They should never ask you to be dishonest.
- They should never recommend that you create another identity with an EIN.
- They should tell you that you can dispute these items yourself.
When Should You Contact a Credit Repair Company?
You can determine whether you should call a credit repair company by checking your credit report regularly. You have the right to a free credit report every year, and you should check it thoroughly. Look for any duplicate accounts or items that may not belong to you, among other things. If you find anything, you can call a credit repair company.
You can always dispute any mistakes you find on your own, but you will need to be prepared to provide additional information if the credit bureaus request it. People often choose to use a credit repair company because they do not want to spend the time doing it themselves.
What to Look for in a Good Credit Repair Company
First and foremost, you should only consider credit repair companies that adhere to the Credit Repair Organizations Act. The best companies should have the following characteristics as well:
- They should offer a free consultation.
- They should have been in business for at least five years without any violations.
- They should tell you what your options are.
- They should offer a performance warranty, which says they won’t charge you if they can’t remove items.
- They should follow all of the local laws.
- They should tell you that you can dispute these items on your own.
There are plenty of good credit repair companies out there, but it is important that you make sure that the company you are considering is one of them. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
Can a Credit Repair Company Help with Legitimate Debt?
There isn’t anything that a credit repair company can do to help you with legitimate debt or valid derogatory marks on your credit report. If any company tells you otherwise, they are not a company you should work with.
Most derogatory marks remain on your credit report for seven years, including the following:
- Late payments
- Short sales
- Charge offs
- Tax liens (from the date of the payment)
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Collection accounts stay on your credit report for seven years plus an additional 180 days. In addition, bankruptcy that is not Chapter 13 will stay on your credit report for 10 years from the date of filing. After the time runs out, these items will fall off of your credit report.
The important thing to understand is that a credit repair cannot have any of these valid items removed from your credit report. There are other types of companies that work with you on debt reduction or credit counseling, and this may help you manage your debt, but it can come at a cost to your credit score.
How Is Your Credit Score Determined?
When you first look at your credit report, you will notice that there are different sections. The first section contains your personal information, including your name, other names you may have used, your address, your phone number, employment, and more. You should check this section to make sure it is correct. Sometimes people find that someone else with a similar name is found in the name section. It is just as important to correct these items as it is your account information.
The next section has information about anything that has legal impact on your credit report, including any liens, judgments, wage garnishments, or bankruptcies. This should also be accurate.
When you get to the next section, you will find the information about your creditors. You will find your credit cards, as well as any mortgages, auto loans, or other loans. You can get information about each account, such as when it was opened, if it is still open, your credit line, your payment history, and any missed payments. If you have any charged off accounts, they will appear here as well.
Your credit score is determined by looking at five different categories of information from your credit report, including the following:
- Your payment history (35% of score)
- Your credit usage (30% of score)
- The length of your credit history (15% of your score)
- The type of credit you have (10% of your score)
- Credit inquiries (10% of your score)
It is important to note that 65% of your score is based on your credit usage and payment history. It is very important to make sure that you make your payments on time. If you are late, you will need to rebuild your on time payment history over the following six months.
They want to see your credit usage under 30% of your available credit, so you should pay off any balances that you can. If you are not able to pay your balances down, you should consider opening a new account to increase your available credit. If you have bad credit, you may be able to do so through a secure credit card, where you make a deposit and your credit limit will be the equivalent of your deposit. This is lower risk to creditors, so they are more likely to approve it.
Local Credit Repair
Whether you are using a local credit repair company or finding one online, you will want to hold them to the same standards listed above. Every credit repair company should follow the same guidelines and have a good track record. If you are suspicious at all, you should move on to the next company.
If you notice that you have incorrect information on your credit report, we can help you dispute it. We have years of experience in working with credit bureaus to dispute inaccurate information. You can dispute these items yourself, but you can also hire a credit repair company to file these disputes on your behalf. Many people choose to do this because they don’t have the time or they want professionals who understand all of the rules and regulations to do this.
When you call a credit repair company, you can tell them what is inaccurate on your report. They will not be able to remove valid items, but they can dispute inaccuracies on your behalf. They will know what additional proof you need for these disputes, and they will handle contact with the credit bureaus as well as any follow-up.
Your credit score is important for many things in life, and it should always be accurate. If it isn’t, you need to file disputes. If you have legitimate derogatory marks, you need to do what you can to improve your credit, and you can rebuild it by making on time payments and paying off your debt.
Ready to take your Credit to the
Ready to take your Credit to the