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June 9, 2015

Credit Repair Services vs. Repairing Your Own Credit

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Repairing your credit can be an uphill battle, but with the right strategy, it’s possible to improve your credit health over time. The big question is whether you want to use a good credit repair service to accomplish your credit repair goal or take this project on yourself. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but with the right facts in hand, you can make an informed decision that offers you the best personal option towards making your credit sound again.

There are a number of advantages to credit repair services that you should take into consideration. However, you should also be aware that many of these advantages are either overstated or falsely advertised. In the worst-case scenarios, credit repair services can actually turn out to be a scam that cost you money with little results.

However, there are established and reputable credit repair services out there. Credit unions, universities, non-profit credit counseling services, and consumer protection agencies may be able to offer credit repair services as well. These types of services can do the following for you:

  • The law requires that credit bureaus must be able to verify everything on your credit report. A credit repair service can help improve your credit score by removing negative aspects of your credit score if they can’t actually be verified.
  • Credit repair services have ample experience dealing with lenders, which means they may be able to negotiate with lenders to offer a better deal on repayments.
  • Credit repair services work well when you actually have an error on your credit report, such as if you suffered from identity theft that negatively impacted your credit score.

Remember that the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) is there to protect you when dealing with a credit repair service. For example, a credit repair service is legally prohibited from lying to you about the services they can provide and they’re not permitted to charge you until they’ve completed their job. The repair service must also provide in writing how much their services will cost you in total and how long the company will need to deliver results. You can check out our credit repair reviews like our The Credit People review to see which services are best for you.

You can accomplish most of the things that credit repair services do on your own for little to no money. For example, you’re entitled to a free credit report from the major credit bureaus, which include Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, on an annual basis. You’re also eligible for a free credit report if you’re unemployed and have plans to search for a job within a period of 60 days or if you were subject to identity theft.

You can also dispute any errors found on your credit report. Credit bureaus and the entity that originally reported the credit information are responsible for fixing these errors once you point them out.

To get this process started, you should send a written notification explaining the errors and copies of any documentation you have proving your claim. You should also think about listing or circling the specific errors within your credit report that should be investigated or corrected.

Credit bureaus are required under law to investigate your claims within 30 days, and then send you a written notification about the results of their investigation. If they rule in your favor, this will be reflected in your credit report.

It’s important to understand that there are limits to what you can do to repair your credit. For example, if you have negative information that’s accurate, it will remain on your record for seven years, while any bankruptcy data will remain for 10 years.

Ultimately, the biggest disadvantage of repairing your own credit is the fact that you have to put a certain amount of effort into the process. However, the savings are often worth it for many people.

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