Business Credit Cards Advise
Beware of Bogus Credit Repair Companies!
By Omar M. Omar
So-called "credit repair" companies claim they can remove negative
information from credit reports. Advertising as "Credit Advisors," "Credit
Rating Correction Services" or "Credit Consultants," they trumpet variations
on this message: "Turned down because of bad credit? We can help!" Many of
these companies charge hundreds if not thousands of dollars for the promise
to "clean up" bad credit reports. But the truth is, these companies can only
do what you could do yourself--at no charge.
Nobody can remove negative information that is accurate
from your credit report. No company has a "secret" ability to remove all
But this doesn't stop their claims. This deceptive quote is from a credit
repair company brochure: "Charged-off accounts, collection accounts,
judgments, tax liens, repossessions, and even bankruptcies can be removed
from your credit records in less than one year (five to seven month
One tactic is to bombard credit reporting agencies with requests to verify
information. If a credit reporting agency cannot verify an entry within 60
days, it will remove the information from the report. But if the information
is later verified to be accurate, it will go back in the report.
Before you even consider signing a contract with a company that promises to
repair your credit, remember these facts:
You may obtain a copy of your credit report on your own.
You have the right to dispute entries in your credit report.
Beware guaranteed credit offers!
Credit repair and other companies often claim they "guarantee" to get you a
credit card, regardless of your credit history. In fact, these companies do
not always honor their guarantee. Sometimes, they'll just take your money
and run--you will not get any credit, regardless of what they promised.
If they get you a card at all it often will be a "secured" bank credit card,
with high up-front "application" fees, that requires you to deposit and keep
several hundred dollars in a savings account, or a card that only allows you
to buy items in a catalogue from a business that you probably never heard
of. (You can apply for a secured credit card by yourself. For a free list of
banks that do not charge application fees for secured cards, see the
information from Consumer Action in the "For More Information" section
Credit repair companies often advertise on television, in newspapers and
even on matchbooks. Sometimes they require consumers to dial a "900"
telephone number to get more information. Calls to 900 numbers can cost $2
or $3 a minute, so listening to a few minutes of information about the cards
can be expensive.
Some companies try to get people a credit card by having them apply using
financial information of other people with good credit histories. It is a
criminal act to apply for credit under someone else's name--do not do
business with one of these companies.
Law enforcement agencies have shut down many credit repair outfits, but it
is hard to stop a fraudulent credit repair outfit unless people complain
about it. Therefore, be careful about responding to credit repair ads and be
sure to complain to the agencies listed below if you think a credit repair
company took advantage of you.
For more information
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes information for consumers on
the subject of credit and enforces federal laws on credit. For a list of
free publications, write to the FTC's Public Reference Department at the
address given below. While the FTC does not handle individual cases, it can
act when it sees a pattern of possible law violations develop. Complaints
about credit reporting agencies and credit repair scams must be in writing.
Send them to: FTC Credit Practices Division, 6th St., N.W., Washington, DC
Contact your local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney
General's office. Many Attorneys General have toll-free consumer hotlines.
These numbers may be listed in the "self-help" or government sections in the
front of your phone book. These agencies can offer you advice and may also
be able to help resolve your complaint.
Consumer Action's free complaint/information switchboards offering non-legal
consumer advice and referrals can be reached from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on
weekdays. Chinese, English and Spanish are spoken. Call either (415)
777-9635 (San Francisco office) or (213) 624-8327 (Los Angeles office).
Consumer Action has a free list of secured credit card banks that do not
charge application fees. To receive a free copy, send a self-addressed
stamped envelope to: Consumer Action Secured Credit Card Survey, 717 Market
St., Suite 310, San Francisco, CA 94103. (Available in English only.)
The Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) assists consumers who have
problems in paying their bills--before their good credit ratings suffer.
Your local CCCS office can help you work out flexible payment plans to make
debt repayment more feasible. Call (800) 388-CCCS for an interactive
recording that will provide you with the phone number of the office nearest
to you. Spanish-speakers can call (800) 68-AYUDA (800-682-9832) between 8
a.m. and 7 p.m. central time.
Before you sign a contract with any company, check it out with the local
Better Business Bureau (BBB), a non-government service which advises
consumers on fraud prevention. Call your local BBB. If you cannot find a
local number listed in the phone directory, call the Council of Better
Business Bureaus at (703) 276-0100 for a referral to the office nearest you.
About The Author
© Copyright. http://www.deleteuglycredit.com
Omar M. Omar is the owner of http://www.deleteuglycredit.com. The website is
dedicated to provide credit consumers with information about their credit
right and how to dispute inaccurate information on their credit report. Omar
M. Omar is also the author Of "The Credit Repair Bible" book.
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