Getting straight information about how to fix my credit
Getting accurate information about credit repair can be both confusing and frustrating. There are two drastically opposed positions on credit repair, and research on the subject can leave you feeling like you know less than when you started. It's important to know that neither view is completely accurate. They both neglect the full story and miss the middle ground entirely -- which is legal credit repair. For people wondering "how to fix my credit?" it's important to understand why there's so much conflicting information about credit repair.
Credit repair scams: "We can fix any bad credit"
Fly-by-night credit repair clinics offering quick fixes to credit problems have tarnished the reputation of legitimate credit repair companies. At best, they promise results they can't live up to, and at worst, they employ illegal methods. In short, these businesses scammed millions of dollars from consumers who wanted to improve their credit scores before the government took steps to shut them down. It is these credit repair scams that are in large part responsible for the negative association many people have with the term "credit repair." Not every undesirable item can be removed from a credit report, and you should stay away from any business making this claim.
The FTC and credit bureaus: "Fixing bad credit isn't possible"
The unethical and sometimes illegal behavior of some companies has given credit repair a bad name, not only with consumers but also with the Federal Trade Commission, creditors and credit bureaus. The federal government has gone to great lengths to stop these illegal practices, but in the process has put legitimate credit repair companies in the same category as the bad ones. Government agencies and credit bureaus alike toe the line implying that consumers shouldn't try to fix bad credit, because it simply can't be done. This leaves consumers with one option: sit back, wait, and wait some more until the negative listings reach the maximum time they can be on a credit report, eventually falling off on their own.
The middle ground: "There are legal ways to fix your credit."
Run the risk of being scammed or wait years for your credit to fix itself. Neither sounds like a good option. Luckily, if you need to fix your credit there's a third route: legal credit repair. Your right to fix your credit is legally protected under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other federal legislation. Among other things, these laws entitle you to free or reasonably priced copies of your credit report; they set a maximum time that negative items can remain in your files; and probably most importantly, set strict guidelines for credit bureaus when it comes to handling disputes.
Credit bureaus are legally obligated to verify disputed items, and if you feel that a negative item on your credit report is inaccurate and shouldn't be there, you have the right to request verification. If the item cannot be verified with the creditor who placed it there, it has to be removed. This is one of the most powerful tools in legal credit repair, and an option that may be available to you.
When you need to fix your credit, it's important to remember two things: 1) Disreputable companies promising quick fixes still abound, so be on the alert for scams. 2) The statement that it's impossible to repair your credit is FALSE. With this in mind, remember that there are other options to simply waiting for your credit to fix itself. The law protects your right as a consumer to dispute negative items on your credit report, and if they are inaccurate or unverifiable, have them corrected or removed.
Credit Repair is challenging, so if you're not sure where to start, Lexington Law may be able to help. Lexington Law's credit repair services have assisted clients with the removal of millions of questionable negative items from their credit reports. To learn more about credit repair and whether or not it may be right for you, Lexington Law offers a free credit consultation.