Credit Rehabilitation or not?

I am going to address a lot of “MIS-INFORMATION” about the credit industry in this article. The mis-information campaign is still in high gear and has been since 1970! The government is intimately involved and the FTC and States Attorney General have been eyeballs deep in litigation against the three major credit bureaus from day one! I have successfully tutored over 280,000 cases since 1998. Most of these people came to me from Debt Settlement companies….some long gone….some shut down and others that survived the banking nightmare that happened just a few years ago now. NONE of them knew much of anything about the credit bureaus….the credit bureaus algorithms for score calculation….factoring codes….types and how many of what kinds of accounts do you need to MAXIMIZE the credit profile. I TEACH EDUCATION. Were YOU taught it? I can answer that one for you…..NO you were not. I will type my answers in a color other than black so you can see it.

General thinking of the banking industry: Credit repair or not?

The answer is maybe -- but they can't do anything that you couldn't do yourself, for free. Anything on your report that's bringing down your credit score is going to stay on, if it's accurate information. 

(The answer is YES, not with credit repair, but with the section 609 dispute system based on federal law, anything can be permanently deleted if it is found unverifiable, outdated, mis-leading or obsolete…..YOUR account or not! If verifiable proof doesn’t exist is the account real? NOPE!)

So if a credit repair company promises to remove negative information such as a bankruptcy or judgment, and they want money up front to do it -- run. Credit experts say that only time, effort and a solid plan for repaying your debts will improve your credit-worthiness. (That is the only way the bureaus teach…..in reality I have created at least a dozen ways to raise a credit score…what the bureaus DON’T teach you! You can raise credit scores 120+ points in as little as 90 days.)

There are plenty of unsavory operators out there, so be careful. Many consumers have lost hundreds if not thousands of dollars to scammers who take their money and do nothing to improve their credit. Here are some warning signs, according to the Federal Trade Commission:

The company wants you to pay up front for credit repair service before they do any work. (This is CORRECT……we are not a credit repair company. We are a Credit Education & Rehabilitation company with a primary focus on teaching correct principles about the credit report and allow the client to witness and increase the credit score themselves….we sell an education program. Our dispute against the bureaus is NOT FOR SALE….we allow our customers to use it for up to 2 years FREE)

 They do not disclose your legal rights. (Everyone signs a purchase agreement for our product. We allow a 3 day right to rescind and a 5 day right to rescind and spell out in detail their rights. They MUST initial agreeing with the contract.)

 They recommend that you don't contact the credit bureau directly. (WE demand you deal directly with the credit bureaus, NOT the creditor. We are not looking to invalidate the debt….we simply want the bureaus to comply with Federal Law and produce proof of the account they report. IN FACT….we actually get the client involved with the FTC and AG’s Office when the bureaus fail to remedy their challenge.)

 They advise you to take action that seems illegal, such as creating a new credit identity or disputing all the information in your credit report, even info that is correct. (You can be charged with mail or wire fraud if you apply for credit and give false information.) (We DO NOT endorse creating new identity or anything of this kind….this IS illegal! Credit repair companies force the client into lying about the status of their account in a dispute….not my account, not my bankruptcy, etc. Straight up lying.)

Under the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies need to provide a detailed written contract about the services they'll perform, include a three-day right to cancel without charge, state how long it will take to see results, disclose the total cost to you and outline any guarantees. It's illegal for them to charge you up front. (This is CORRECT……we are not a credit repair company. We are a Credit Education & Rehabilitation company with a primary focus on teaching correct principles about the credit report and allow the client to witness and increase the credit score themselves….we sell an education program. Our dispute against the bureaus is NOT FOR SALE….we allow our customers to use it for up to 2 years FREE)

Before you hire anyone, remember this: The sad truth is that accurate negative information stays on your report for seven years. Bankruptcies are reported for 10 years. Criminal info can stay on forever. (MORE rhetoric from the bureaus and the banking industry in general……jail term for losing a job, going through a divorce, death and so on…..7-10 years? ONLY if the BUREAUS provide a copy of original documentation proving the actual account IS yours. In 18 years and 280,000+ cases……a copy of original documentation has NEVER been sent back to a single client. THEY don’t have it! It is unverifiable and illegal for THEM to report it!)

No credit repair company can get rid of that. (See above answer)

If there's incorrect information on your report, however, that's another story – and you can fix that yourself. All consumers are entitled to a free copy of their reports with the three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com. And if you've been denied credit, insurance or employment due to a lousy credit report within the last 30 days, you also are entitled to a free copy of your report.

Look for mistakes or outdated items. You can dispute these for free through the credit reporting bureaus. Explain why you're disputing it, provide copies of documents and request an investigation.

Tip: Include a copy of the credit report with the questionable items circled. Send it by certified mail, return receipt requested. The credit reporting bureau must investigate within 30 days. You also should contact the company that provided the inaccurate information so they can correct it. (PLEASE re-read this statement slowly, carefully. Explain why you are disputing it,   provide copies of documents….blah, blah, blah. The industry would have you innocently sending the verifiable proof the bureaus need…..verifying the account(s) they have no right to report without the documentation….do you see the deception!)

If you win your dispute, the credit reporting bureau will have to correct your report. You may also request that they send the corrected version to anyone who received your report in the past six months (or two years for reports that went to prospective employers).

If you don't win, you can ask that your report includes a statement with your version of the dispute.
Whatever the state of your credit report, don't lose heart. Some creditors are willing to look at your more recent credit history, so as long as you keep showing improvement, a past problem might not set you back. If you're still struggling, consider using a non-profit credit counseling service to get back on track. If you go this route, ask your local consumer agency, financial institution, military base or other trusted source for a recommendation, or check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, www.nfcc.org, the country's largest non-profit credit counseling service, with 90 member agencies nationwide. (If you are a Loan Officer reading this did you just cringe when the words credit counseling service came up? I know you did….this is one of the WORST things an underwriter can see on a credit report. YES the client is trying to negotiate the debt….but after it has been negotiated….they make monthly payment plans…..already late…and even when the account is paid in full….it still remains a negative….paid or unpaid….the score does not change for up to 2 years! NEVER go this route unless you plan to not use credit for a long time.)

Stop this madness…..do your due diligence on my company, my educational products, my national endorsements…..btw – WHO endorses company helping people with their credit in any way? NOONE! Why would I get endorsements from the industry? Because I actually do what I say without promising people their lives will change in 30, 60 or 90 days because of some magical fairy dust I sprinkled on them through words! If you want to raise your scores and take control of your credit report….YES….YOURS…..call me 207-620-3930. I realize some of you have had limited success using other systems……try the Credit Score Academy and you will never go back.