Consumers should expect the highest level of personalization when choosing a credit repair service provider. In fact, credit repair services should guarantee individualized support since the purpose of credit repair is to advocate on the behalf of the consumer’s interest. However, most providers fail in this aspect because they leave out a huge piece of the credit repair puzzle – the creditors.
Know your consumer rights
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the centerpiece of all credit repair strategy. This piece of federal legislation protects the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information held by the credit bureaus. Many credit repair services exercise the rights ensured by the FCRA on a consumer’s behalf and stop there — much to the consumer’s detriment.
You might be surprised to know that credit repair is much more than disputing just the credit bureaus. Other federal statutes, such as the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), can tip the scales of credit repair in favor of the consumer even more. Credit repair services that integrate these additional federal statutes offer a more thorough solution by addressing credit issues from several angles in a much more effective, holistic approach.
Ask creditors the tough questions
There is a misconception that the credit bureaus are the ultimate authority over consumer reports, but this is not the case. Credit bureaus are privately owned and compile your credit information from various reporting sources, such as creditors and public records. Then they use the compiled information to assign a credit score — in other words, credit bureaus report credit information, they do not create it. Therefore, if you only target credit bureaus to repair credit, you do not get to the root of the problem. Any serious credit repair initiative must start at the source: the creditors.
Credit information can technically be accurate, but still unfairly reported by creditors. Whether its usury APRs, exploitative late fees, inexplicable surcharges, unethical debt collection practices, etc., consumers have a right to challenge creditors. Look for credit repair services with legal expertise that offer creditor interventions, which ask creditors tough questions about their practices. This process offers consumers the best chance of restoring their credit reports and increasing chances of approval for future credit.
Factors for approaching creditor interventions
Credit repair service providers will approach creditor interventions differently depending on several factors. These factors may include:
- Type — what type of credit accounts are on the report? A thorough snapshot of the accounts will help uncover discrepancies.
- Examples: auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, bank loans, etc.
- Severity — what negative items are bringing your credit score down; is the degree to which these items affect your score fair?
- Identity theft — this is a leading cause of credit report errors. Over 17 million Americans are affected by identity theft each year, but fraudulent activity can be removed. The process may be expedited with the help of legal credit repair professionals.
- Life situation — life circumstances can negatively impact credit, and it’s not always your fault. Major or unexpected life changes can cause late or missed payments. While these things cannot always be removed from a credit report, they should be part of the conversation when it comes to repairing your credit.
- Examples: Divorce, military service, illness, etc.
- Mishandled student loans — Student loan servicers have recently received criticism for fraud, filing mistakes, flawed processing, and other activities that have caused consumer credit scores to tank. In some cases, these lender errors can be remedied by a credit repair service.
How to pick the right credit repair service
The credit reporting industry is very complex. So while consumers can dispute credit discrepancies on their own, professional credit repair services are designed to offer a high level of expertise to ensure credit reports are fair, accurate and substantiated. A reputable credit repair service will offer the most personalized solution possible and will help you approach the credit bureaus as well as your creditors.
Lexington Law Firm is a leading credit repair service provider that asks creditors the tough questions and approaches every case with a level of expertise unparalleled by any other provider. Lexington understands how to leverage consumer protection statutes effectively, legally, and ethically. On average, clients see 10.2 negative items (24%) removed from their reports within four months (results vary). The attorneys at Lexington Law believe creditors should prove the items on consumers’ credit reports are not only accurate, but fair and fully substantiated. Explore Lexington’s service levels to find the right credit repair solution to fit your needs, and leave the rest to the legal experts at Lexington Law Firm. You can also carry on the conversation on our social media platforms. Like and follow us on Facebook and leave us a tweet on Twitter.