There are many companies out there that claim they can repair your credit report and get you a high credit score quickly. Unfortunately, many of these companies are scam artists trying to steal your money. Find out how to spot the credit repair scam so you can protect your money and your identity.
Signs that a credit repair company is a scam
- It promises to remove negative information from your credit report.
FACT: No one can legally remove negative information from a credit report that is accurate. Most negative information generally stays on your report for seven years while bankruptcy information can remain on the report for ten years.
TIP: You're entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, so visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get yours today and review it to ensure the information is accurate and up to date. The copy of your credit report will include information about how to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information.
- It requires an upfront fee before any type of credit repair is performed.
FACT: Under federal law, credit repair companies can’t require you to pay until they’ve completed the services they’ve promised.
TIP: To get free help with improving your credit, visit the City's Financial Empowerment Center
- It offers to create a new 'credit identity' for you with different identification (such as another Social Security number or business tax ID number).
FACT: It is illegal to commit identity fraud or misrepresent Social Security or business tax ID numbers under false pretenses.
TIP: To report this credit repair company scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- It asks you to sign blank forms and provide personal information so the company can act on your behalf to help with credit problems.
FACT: Signing blank paperwork and giving out personal identity information can lead to identity theft.
TIP: Never sign blank paperwork and don't give out personal information without knowing the reason and with whom you are dealing. There are no overnight solutions to fix your credit history. Consider speaking with a Financial Empowerment Center counselor to find ways to repair your credit and manage your debt safely and for free.