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The Best Little Money Book

Tip of the Month

Credit Repair

There are a lot of companies that claim they can repair your credit and many require an upfront fee. No company can get negative information removed from a person’s credit report. Information stays on a credit report for seven years except for bankruptcies which stay on a credit report for 10 years. Accurate negative information on a credit report cannot be removed until these time periods are up.

The rules that credit repair companies must follow are in the Credit Repair Organization Act that is governed by the Federal Trade Commission. When working with a credit repair company, you must be given a copy of Consumer Credit File Rights. This act states the following:

  • Companies cannot demand advance payment.
  • The company must give you a written contract that gives the terms of service. The terms detail the services they will provide, your total costs for their help and how long it should take to get you the results they say they can achieve.   
  • The contract must include the company’s name and business address.

Be aware of credit repair scams. If the company does not handle your case as explained above, you should not believe them when they say they can erase your bad credit or remove negative information like judgments, bankruptcies, etc.

It takes time to remove information from your credit report. If you pay your bills on time and make a plan to pay off bad debts and stick with it, eventually your credit score will go up. If the information on your report is wrong, you can dispute this. Anything a legitimate credit repair company can do, you can do yourself without the expense of paying someone to do it for you. Instead, use this money to pay down some of you debt.

Next month we will discuss how to dispute the information on your credit report.