Legitimate Credit Repair does exist

The fact is that most credit repair services are scams and can't deliver what they promise. However, there are a few LEGITIMATE companies out there doing a legal business. So here are 10 tips for
people who are looking to use this type of service.
1: If they advertise that they will repair your credit in anything less than 18 months, you are not dealing with a legal company. The LAW requires that any credit restoration agency cannot advertise or represent that they can restore or repair your credit in less than 18 months. (Remember this number, it is going to come up again later.)
2: Check on how long the company has been in business. If they have been around for more than 10 years, you are probably dealing with a reputable company. (Honestly, there are really only three that are recognised as legitimate in the United States.)
3: Do your due dilligence. Check with the BBB. The BBB will provide an unbiased report of how many complaints have been filed against the company in the previous three years. There are two things that you want to consider here. First, if there are more than a dozen complaints over the previous three year period, then this company has serious issues and you should be concerned. Also, if the BBB has no file at all on the business, just walk away from the business. Anyone who is hiding from the BBB should be looked upon with suspicion.
4: Ask for pricing when talking to one of their reps. If they hem and haw about what they charge, or say that it depends on how much they have to remove from your report, they are hiding something from you. A good rule of thumb, if the rep is unwilling to answer any question of yours up front and with honesty, you are not dealing with a legitimate company. This does not mean that if the rep states that they will answer the question in a moment, that they are hiding something. It just means that they are getting there and just need to lay a little groundwork first. Remember, reps are all salespersons. They are there to sell you their service. This is good, believe it or not. This encourages competition in the business and keeps costs down. (Which reminds me: DON'T PAY MORE THAN $1000 PER PERSON FOR THE SERVICE.)
5: Ask if the company is licensed, bonded and insurred. Ask for proof. If they will not show you their business license (which can only be obtained AFTER they have purchased their bond and insurance) this should raise alarm bells.
6: Ask for examples of successes the company has had. A legitimate company will have copies of investigation results (with personal information blacked out of course) that will show you how successful they can be.
7: How long are they going to work for you? Yes, that's right, remember that these companies work FOR you. If they are just going to maintain a business relationship with you for the length of time it takes to repair your credit, beware. What often happens in these cases is that after the company has cleared negative information from your credit report they sever their relationship with you and a couple of months later the information returns to your credit report. Now what are you going to do? Your options are to leave the negative information and suffer for 7-10 years or hire someone, again, to remove the information, again. A reputable company will stay with you for the FULL 18 months. This allows them to continuously monitor your credit reports and remove any negative that should re-insert itself after the initial sanitizing.
8: What other services do they offer? If they are a legitimate company, they will have rescources that will help you to re-establish yourself in the financial world. Things like the ability to help obtain a debit card even if you can't open a checking or savings account. (Yes, believe it or not, it can be done!) Can you call their credit advisors any time for advice? Is legal representation available if you have to go to court against the credit reporting agencies? ASK! If the company is letgitimate, they will have a team of lawyers that will handle these kinds of legal matters for the duration of your contract.
9: Does their contract advise you of your rights? If not, why? Because they don't know the laws! And if they don't know the laws that are designed to protect you, how can you expect them to know the complexities of the Fair Credit Reporting Act which has 340 different laws?
10: Is there a money back guarantee? In this business refunds are usually prorated. In other words, if you have 50 negative things on your reports and they can only have 30 removed, you are refunded 40% of your money since they were able to get 60% of the information removed. If there is no money back offer, run away! A company that has faith in their services will offer to refund the money if they can't do the work.
I hope this information helps people out there who are confused about credit restoration programs.
Robert Rowe
email me any questions or comments to snipped-for-privacy@msn.com
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Robert,
I appreciate your post, it helps me a lot. I was having trouble with the email address so I will take you up on your offer to answer questions here.
Now that my divorce is final I've been paying off bad debt. I have one big one left involving dental work my ex had done. A portion of the work was covered under my dental plan but the dentist did not submit the bill properly so I was stuck with the whole bill which I refused to pay.
I was recently looking at this on my credit report and I disputed it. The collection people that now have the debt contacted me by mail with an offer to settle for half, $1,600. I called the collection agency and they said if I pay the $1,600 it will be marked paid in full on my credit report, but if I pay $2,400 they will totally remove all their records of the collection.
The record that the dentist turned this over to collections will of course still be there. Is there any avantage to paying the $2,400 (all records removed) as opposed to the $1,600 (marked paid in full)?
Thanks in advance David
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Thank you for your question. The correct email addy is snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com For some reason I had a brainfart when I posted this article and put in msn.com. Sorry for the inconvenience. Here is my answer to you.
Collection agencies are all liars. Bar none. Before I became a Credit Advisor, I was a bill collector for one of the nation's largest collection companies. I can regale you with all kinds of stories about the kinds of interesting and ingenious tricks we used to get debtors to pay. The fact is that it is a house of cards built upon lies and half truths. They will NOT under any circumstances remove any information from your credit bureau reports. They cannot do so. But believe it or not, that is the good news. You WANT the collection agencies to post information to your report. I will explain later. What you are not being told is that if you pay the lesser amount it will NOT be reported as paid in full, it will be reported as SETTLED in full which will have negative consequences to your credit report. I always encourage people to pay their debts. However, there are sometimes cases where it is better to challenge the debt. This seems to be such a case, though I cannot say for sure as I don't have all the information. If they report to the CB's any negative information, without PROVING the information to be complete and accurate, you can force the CB's to take the information off of your report and it will not show up. That is the good news. Collection agencies NEVER have complete and accurate information about the debt they are trying to collect. They don't care about complete and accurate information. They only care about intimidating you into paying them money and nothing else. Don't let them. If you truly believe that the debt is not valid, fight it. Don't give them one red cent! If you continue to have problems with the collection agencies, please email me at snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com and I will give you some information that will get them off of your back.
PS: I am sending you a copy of this post to your email as well. Good luck to you. Robert
wind snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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that part sounds interesting Robert....some of these agencies come across pretty hard...whats the best way to oficially request complete documentation of a debit b4 paying the collection co?...send a request reg mail?
"I will give you some information that will get them off of your back."

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