5 Ways Credit Repair Sites Can Scam You

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated February 21, 2020

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November 17, 2016

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Credit repair sites have a reputation for being a bit scammy, although not all credit repair companies are looking to rip you off. If you know what to look for, you can avoid credit repair services that are trying to rip you off. Before you commit to any credit repair agencies, here are a few red flags that you should look out for:

Does it seem like it is taking forever to fix your credit score? There’s a reason. Most credit repair sites, like top site Sky Blue Credit Repair, charge by the month, so the longer it takes them to fix your credit, the more money they can charge you. While they may not be able to fix everything at once, contesting items on your credit report should only take a month and a half at tops, since the law says credit bureaus only have a month to review contested items. If it’s been several months and nothing is happening, it might be a good idea to cut and run.

The most scammy of the credit repair sites will do this. Truth is there is no way any credit repair site can guarantee to raise your credit score. Every credit report is different, and many of the methods that credit repair sites use to raise credit scores don’t work on certain credit reports. If you have no mistakes on your credit report and your lenders are unwilling to negotiate, you might be stuck with the score you have. Don’t go in thinking that credit repair sites are miracle workers, and don’t be fooled by the ones that claim to be.

Some credit repair sites will ask you to pay a lump sum up front to cover the cost of your credit repair. Do not trust these sites. The law says that credit repair services can not charge in advance for work that they have not completed yet. Many credit repair services will charge an initial fee, which is legal, but then you only pay each month once they’ve completed the work that you agree on. If a credit repair service is asking you for a full payment up front, you might want to look for a different service. Services like CreditRepair.com won’t make you pay until they have finished the month’s services that you agreed on.

The law also requires that credit repair services offer their users a convenient cancellation policy. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should be able to cancel at a moments notice. However, it does mean that the credit repair service should allow you to cancel in a reasonable amount of time. Most credit repair services, like Credit Saint, have month-to-month billing, so you can cancel without a long-term commitment. Before you agree to any credit repair service, make sure that you have an easy out if they are not doing their job or you just want to cancel the service.

This is actually uncommon for credit repair sites to offer, but is still a good sign that you are dealing with a credible credit repair sites. Many of the top sites will offer a cash back guarantee in certain situations. Sky Blue, one of the top credit repair services, actually offers a free refund within the first 90 days if you are not satisfied in any way. Lexington Law only requires that you pay for work that has already been completed. Just remember that a guarantee does not mean that a credit repair service guarantees to raise your credit score.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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