Friday, May 29, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Credit Repair Companies - Can You Trust Them?
Credit Repair Companies, in general, have gotten a "bad rap" and for good reason! A lot of scammers have posed as credit repair experts, promising to help relieve their clients of their problem credit. But at the end of the day, all they have "relieved" them of is their savings!
But not all credit repair professionals are crooks! There are a great many ethical credit repair companies that provide a valuable and much needed service to the consumer.
Poor credit can dig deep into your pockets and drain away your hard-earned money on appallingly high interest rates. At the same time, credit repair is a long drawn out process, which requires close follow-up and often specialized and customized appeals to delete inaccurate negative data from your credit report.
You are undoubtedly aware that there are a great many credit repair companies and credit repair lawyers ready to offer their services, but you're unsure of which one to choose. You may have heard too many stories of people being ripped off, and for that reason, you are undecided.
Here are five factors that you should consider:
1. Professionalism - is the company you are considering professional? Check out their web site carefully and see whether you are comfortable with what you find there.
- Is the website easily easy to navigate?
- Does it have a page with FAQs that can help guide you?
- Do they have a live chat or fast-response email service to address your questions?
- Is there counseling offered free by the companies?
- Does it make extraordinary claims? (Beware!)
Check carefully every aspect, and trust both your logic and your gut feelings.
2. Ethical - it is very important that the credit repair companies you choose behaves ethically. Do not be taken in by agencies that claim they can remove all your negative accounts, whether they are being accurately reported or not. You should expect to remove only those accounts that are erroneous.
Do not be persuaded to use illegal means to increase your score. You might be inviting more trouble than you could handle. Search the Web for reviews or feedback on the credit repair companies you're considering. Be on the lookout for any negative reports. Check whether the agency is listed with any reputed organizations such as the ECRA (Ethical Credit Repair Alliance) or the BBB (Better Business Bureau) which will require that they adhere to strict codes of conduct.
3. 24/7 monitoring - credit repair goes beyond just "credit repair." It means education, counseling, awareness, and monitoring among other things. Regular monitoring and immediate intervention when negative remarks find their way into your credit report are far more effective in maintaining a good credit score that just repairing it. Are the credit repair companies offering you more? Do they offer these additional services on their menu?
4. Reasonable - it is true that credit repair companies are in business to generate revenue. However, this should not be at the cost of their clients. The best business relationships, ones that survives time and changes in technology, are often associated with the offer of value-for-money by companies. You must feel happy about the price and services offered. Research these aspects well enough to be empowered to negotiate the best rate. Do not be afraid to negotiate.
5. Offer solutions - you need solutions. The best credit repair companies are those that strive to draw you out and learn about your problems in detail, so that they can design a customized solution for your personal situation. This is especially important since no two financial problems will be identical, and what works fine for one person may not be the best solution for another. Look for a credit repair agency whose goal is offering solutions - solutions that are "tailor made" for YOU!