While many believe that credit repair is a simple process, it is rather hard to pull off. You might think that all you have to do is file for bankruptcy, and your credit score will go up, but you should know that it doesn’t work like that. Credit repair takes time and energy to make sure you don’t make any mistakes.
However, credit repair and restoration services can help you regain strength in your credit score. But with so many options out there, how do you find the best credit repair agency and avoid frauds and scams? Read on for advice on how to evaluate a credit repair company online and find one that’s right for you.
Identify Your Credit Problem
Before looking for a credit repair company, you need to know how big your problem is. If it’s too big, you could spend thousands of dollars on a credit repair company that isn’t worth the plastic their business cards are printed on. It’s vital to get your hands on your credit report before choosing the best company for the job.
In case of a loan denial, the lender must provide you with a statement of reasons (although they don’t need to tell you what they are). I recommend checking your credit report at least once per year; if any information is incorrect or incomplete, you can dispute it by writing to the credit agency and asking them to correct it.
Read Online Reviews
It is vital to know how past customers feel about the credit repair company you are considering using. Customers will provide helpful feedback on whether they were satisfied with the services they received and whether this company met their needs.
While it may be essential to read positive reviews on a company’s website, it is also advisable to look at the service’s rating with the Better Business Bureau or ConsumerAffairs.com.
Additionally, word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family with similar experiences help find a reputable company.
Evaluate the Fees Beforehand
Even if your credit report is deep in the red, don’t pay for high-priced solutions that will not work. Compare the fees of different credit repair companies before making a final decision. Choose one that offers reasonable prices; because reputable companies are interested in helping you rebuild your score, they should willingly provide you with services without charging excessive fees.
The best way to do this is by providing free consultation and examination of your credit report, from which you can make an informed decision about whether or not you choose to work with them.
In addition, ensure the company is forthright about what they charge for their services so that you don’t get hit with any hidden or unexpected costs.
Give Customer Service a Test Run.
Contact them with any inquiries about their services, like the cost or specific details, and make sure you like their response time. Alternatively, take a look at their website and social media profiles. Does it seem like they’re also good listeners? Or do their social profiles scream ‘one-way conversation’?
Such information should give you a pretty decent read on how much of an effort the company will put into helping you once you’ve signed up.
Watch Out for Scammers
In any industry, you’re going to find a few bad apples. In the credit repair field, companies will take advantage of people denied credit in the past. It would help if you didn’t have to pay until the company fixes your report and you’ve been accepted for a loan or a credit card.
Also, avoid ‘guaranteed’ credit repair services. No company can guarantee that their clients will undergo a significant improvement to their credit scores, so caveat emptor should be your watchword.
And while not all credit repair companies are scammers, take note that companies that can’t or won’t show you results are trying their best to rip you off. So ask for the facts, and see what you get in return.
Learn How Credit Bureaus Operate
Whether your credit score is in the dumps, or you want to be prepared for life’s surprises, having an understanding of how credit bureaus work will put you ahead of the game. Credit issues aren’t always easy to deal with, so it helps if you know what you’re getting into. As a result, your experience can be much more positive than negative.
Your credit score may not be what you want it to be (that’s okay — we’re all human, and nobody has a perfect score). But if you’re using a loan application to buy a car or a home, your poor credit history could be holding you back. If that sounds like you, don’t worry! Seattlepi.com ranked the best credit repair firms that are happy to help you get back on your feet.