Expert Debt Management
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Consumer Beware:  Watch Out for Credit Repair Companies

     Many consumers who want to repair their credit will hire an attorney or hire a credit repair service to help them out.  This is not something that you should take lightly because a lot of creditors will actually look at this is a frivolous action, that you are trying to dispute claims that you are responsible for.  In fact, you need to be very careful as a lot of creditors will actually red tag your account.  Instead of running the risk of the creditor not dismissing the charges, you need to let them know that you have truly found a mistake on your credit report that you need to have repaired.

     Most people assume that repairing their credit will be easy, but most credit bureaus do not make this a simple task.  In fact, you can have proof that the debt is not yours or that it has been paid off, and the creditor or credit bureau may not be willing to remove the debt information until you go after them again and again until they finally cannot handle talking to you anymore.

     If you have disputed an item and then you look into the item again it may state that it has been verified.  Don't settle for this.  Instead ask them for proof of you verification on paper so that you can be sure that they have just looked into their computer files.  You should even ask to see your signature to be sure that there is really proof that the debt belongs to you.  When you do this you may find that a creditor or the credit bureau is more likely to discharge the debt just to be done with it.

     If you choose to hire a credit repair company you should be very careful about whom you hire.  There are a lot of companies out there that boast their capabilities but are really not able to do much; in fact they may impede your efforts.  You should steer clear of the companies that:

1.Ask you to pay for their services other than a start up fee
2.Do not discuss your rights with you or let you know that you can do on your own
3.Advise against contacting the credit bureaus yourself
4.Suggest creating a new credit report with an employee identification number
5.Advise creating a new identity
6.Advise disputing all of the information on your credit report
7.Advise you to commit any type of fraud

     As you can see, there are a lot of things that you need to avoid when you are working with credit repair companies.  Many people assume that the credit repair company has their best interests at heart but it may turn out that they have their best interests, which are their money making capabilities.  Just make sure to stop and think before taking action because if you break the law in accordance with what you are told you are still liable and can be prosecuted.

     Monitoring Your Credit Report

     Many people know that they should monitor their credit report but they are not sure how often they should monitor it and how.  You should monitor your credit report at least twice a year.  The key is not to pull your report from just one credit bureau but from all three every time.  This will allow you to be able to follow any trends that are in your credit report.  Pulling your credit report twice a year will also allow you to stay up to date on what sort of things are being reported and also allow you to see who is accessing your credit report, to see if they are authorized to do so.

     The best way to monitor your credit twice annually is to rotate your credit report purchases from the credit bureaus.  The way you should do this is that every three months you can ask to view your credit report from a different bureau.  For instance, one time you can order your report from Experian, three months later you can order from Equifax, and then three months after that you can order your report from Trans Union.  Just do this every three months and look for inconsistencies.  This will also give you time between pulling different reports to dispute inaccuracies to have them verified or removed from your credit report altogether.

Disclaimer: This site is not , nor should it be taken to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. It merely provides a generalized guidance and generalized information only. Consult a financial advisor or an attorney to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit and debt decisions.
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