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Credit and Finance Advice
- Know your rights before you pay a credit repair company
- Be familiar with the Credit Repair Organizations Act
- Understand your credit report
- Make sure you are not a victim of credit fraud
- Improve your credit
Know Your Rights Before You Pay a Credit Repair Company
There isn’t anything that a credit repair service is able to legally do for you — even removing wrong information — that you can’t do for yourself for little or no expense. The cost of using a credit repair company can be considerable, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. You have the right to work directly with a credit reporting agency to challenge any inaccurate or incomplete information in your credit report.
Be Familiar with the Credit Repair Organizations Act
A federal law that became effective on April 1, 1997, was created in response to the number of consumers who have suffered from a credit repair scam.
Under the act, credit repair service companies:
- Are prohibited from taking consumers’ money until they fully complete the services they promise.
- Are required to provide consumers with a written contract stating all the services to be provided and the terms and conditions of payment. Under the law, consumers have three days to withdraw from the contract.
- Are forbidden to ask or suggest that you mislead credit reporting companies about your credit accounts or alter your identity to change your credit history.
- Cannot knowingly make deceptive or false claims concerning the services they are capable of offering.
- Cannot ask you to sign anything that states that you are forfeiting your rights under the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Any waiver that you sign cannot be enforced.
Understand Your Credit Report
Find out what makes up your credit report and how to read it.
Don't Be a Victim of Fraud
Learn how to prevent credit fraud and what actions to take to restore your good credit if you become a victim.
Improve Your Credit
You can legitimately fix a bad credit history, but you need to know the factors that gave you a low score in the first place.