DO-IT-YOURSELF CREDIT REPAIR PRIMER

Credit Repair Companies

Some credit repair firms are easy to spot; others can be more difficult to identify because they may market themselves as financial counseling and advice companies. To help prevent you from getting duped, here are some sure signs of a credit repair company:

The company's advertising and literature make impossibly extravagant promises such as: 'We can wipe out bankruptcies and other negative information in your credit record.' Or, ' We can get you credit no matter how bad your credit history.'

The company says it will use 'little known loopholes' in the FCRA to rid your credit record of negative information.

The company claims that it can get you a major bankcard despite your credit record.

Credit repair firms use a wide variety of techniques to market their services to consumers. These techniques can include fliers distributed in parking lots and posted on telephone poles, television advertising, direct mail and telemarketing. Credit repair firms that use direct mail or telemarketing techniques often develop their target lists of consumers from court records of people who have filed for bankruptcy.

Regardless of the specific technique a credit repair firm uses to interest a consumer in its services, its goal is to get that consumer either to call a telephone number to learn more about its services or to schedule an appointment with a representative of the firm. Despite their claims and promises, credit repair companies cannot do anything you can't do yourself for little or no cost under the terms of the FCRA. That law gives you the right to have inaccurate or outdated information deleted from your credit records as well as the right to have inaccuracies corrected. Although patience and persistence are often required when dealing with a slow-to-respond credit bureau, an expenditure of your time to resolve credit record problems is far preferable to paying a credit repair firm a lot of money to accomplish little or nothing.