Choosing the right credit repair company involves avoiding credit scams, frauds, illegal practices and rip-offs. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! Here are the top 10 things to consider when choosing a reputable credit repair company:
1) Know your rights!
The Credit Repair Organizations Act ("CROA") is Title IV of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. ... It intends to protect the public from unfair or deceptive advertising and business practices by credit repair organizations. Just a quick glance at this Act to educate yourself on what a credit repair company can or cannot do, will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars and unnecessary frustration when trying to find a legitimate company to help you get your credit back on the right track. You should know that the process of credit repair is something that a person can embark upon themselves and get a certain amount of results. No different than a person getting a manual and putting an alternator on his or her car themselves. However, there will be many occasions when you will want to just leave it to the experts, as the task may become more daunting than expected. Know your rights so you don't blindly go into a company and be easily taken advantage of with hopes of a quick fix and broken promises.
The first thing that a consumer should look for is whether the company displays Integrity. When reading through a company’s website, (hopefully we’re doing this thoroughly) look for languages and badges of integrity. Languages of Integrity are statements of certain certifications and qualifications that not only separate them from other companies, but also give them validity in what they do, while badges of Integrity are logos of other reputable companies, organizations, or associations whom a company is affiliated with or endorsed by such as BBB, a particular Chamber, or something of that magnitude. The badges are displayed somewhere, or in various places throughout the company website. Reputable companies that represent moral uprightness, have nothing to hide and are open for consumer questioning and most importantly affiliate with other reputable companies.
3) Is it Risk-Free?
When choosing the right company for your credit needs, you shouldn’t have to feel at risk of losing the money you’ve worked so hard for to something that you are unsure of. Make sure the company can stand behind their work by offering you something in return other than a "promise to deliver”. Under the CROA It is unlawful for a credit repair company to take fees from you up front for services that has not been rendered. That's the Integrity 1st difference! Our I1p3 credit restoration process is second to none and yes it is Risk-Free! If it isn't removed from your credit profile, you don’t pay for it! What are you waiting for….call today for details.
4) Internet-based vs. Walk-in Service Centers
Most credit repair services that are solely internet-based don’t offer the convenience of allowing a consumer to walk into a facility to meet the staff or individuals that will be assisting them with their credit needs. Something as confidential, personal, and important as your personal information, in addition to the scams, frauds, and lies that surround the industry requires a more personable face to face approach that allows the consumer to see the people, passion, care, and concern, we display with every client. This gives them the ease and peace of mind of putting a name with the face of the individuals they are entrusting to handle something so delicate and important as their credit that not only effect their lives, but also the lives of their loved ones.
Beware of companies that promise overnight success or quick results with certain catch phrases such as "wipe your credit clean in 30 days," or get a 700 credit score in 90 days, as such claims cannot realistically be made. Additionally, watch out for companies that boast that they can "quickly" boost your credit scores, with such methods such as adding what they call "primaries”, or "AU’s" which stand for Authorized Users. These are accounts that some claim can be added to your personal profile to make it appear as if you have certain account types to boost your credit scores. The difference between a primary and AU is simple. A primary account is a trade line(s) such as credit cards, houses, cars, loans, etc. that "YOU" authorized and signed an agreement to repay, in essence making them "YOUR" actual accounts. These accounts report payment history to the credit bureaus and are what helps to build your credit history.
5) No Quick Fixes!
AU's are typically done with credit card accounts that are "NOT YOURS" but someone else’s. Certain credit card companies will allow a person that has a credit card with their company to add someone else on their card as an Authorized User. By doing this, the credit history for that account is attached to your credit profile. In essence, you are "piggy backing" off the credit of someone else or the primary account holder which is perfectly legal. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES! If it sounds too good to be true, it is. While AU’s are completely legal they only offer temporary relief so you to have to do your homework and be careful before going that route. Primaries on the other hand are not legal and should be avoided. If you see credit companies offering to do this, run the other way you are more than likely being set up for a great disappointment!
6) Education is KEY!
Look for companies that try to educate the consumer. Companies that offer to educate consumers display a care to not just profit but make sure the client understands what’s going on with their situation. Make no mistake there is a level of engaging in the process that the consumer should be prepared to do. At Integrity 1st we are concerned about the education of our consumers to make sure they don’t become repeat offenders. Knowledge is indeed power, and each client that we allow to enter our program has a mandatory educational requirement that must be met in order to ensure that they receive the maximum benefit of what they are seeking.
The experience level of a company is obviously very important when considering them for your credit needs. Our staff at Integrity 1st has a combined experience of over 15 years in the credit industry. Our knowledge and comprehension far surpass credit in and of itself, but extends to surrounding lending arenas, and the utilization of credit in those arenas. Our knowledge and expertise overflow and extend to the areas of real estate, mortgages, automotive sales, personal, and business lending. So we offer a more holistic approach to our client’s individual circumstance or need, and are able to approach each person’s credit restoration according to their specific area of interest, making for a more tactful and personalized approach, enabling us to direct you in the best possible direction.
8) You Have Rights
When all else fails, understand that credit restoration is a process that can be done by the consumer. You do have rights. There are federal consumer statutes that outline procedures and guidelines that creditors must adhere to in order to report information on your credit profile. While there are those consumers that have enough of an understanding to dispute items on their credit report themselves, it is however a tedious undertaking that requires a specific skill level and understanding of the various laws that protect you. For more information contact a consultant today!