I'll grant that there are some good credit repair companies out there. It's the same as with most businesses, there are good ones and bad ones. However, since credit repair companies do business with folks who are a bit vulnerable and in unfortunate situations, they kind of attract the “used car salesman” type of people to do their sales. This is unfortunate , of course, because credit repair really does work and it is terrible when people get taken advantage of by an unscrupulous service provider. Too often they are trying to make money instead of trying to help you.
A while back when I was doing some research for a company I was creating, I actually called a couple credit repair companies to see how I would be treated. I didn’t need credit repair, but I knew a lot about it. I pretended to be a person needing credit repair and gave them a made-up (but realistic) story about my situation. At first the guy was nice, but as I asked more questions, he started to get a bit rude to the point where he was basically calling me an idiot. It was almost comical on one hand. On the other hand it was pretty sad, as I am sure I’m not the first person who was maltreated by this guy hoping first to make a buck rather than hoping to help out his caller.
Now, I'm certainly not saying that people should not earn a profit for providing a service. But I can tell you from experience that if your primary objective is to make money, you won’t do as well as you would if you set out to help people. Isn’t that the golden rule of business? I think so.
So how do you sift through so-called credit repair services? How do you know who to work with? Here are some general tips that might help you pick through the bunch:
Work with someone local so you can actually meet them and make sure you are comfortable with them as a person.
Work with someone local who has a reputation.
Work with someone local because you can go to their office to keep them accountable.
Be ware of incredible claims – if they claim to be able to get rid of things like debts you actually owe, you might want to go elsewhere. If they are really only trying to ‘sell’ you on their service, then you might want to look elsewhere.
If they are going to charge you more than $600 - $800, you should look elsewhere. Credit repair is not very difficult. Most companies use credit repair software to create the credit repair letters and it takes them very little time. It is mostly data entry that dumps into form letters that they mail out or ask you to mail out.
Consider doing self credit repair, which basically means taking a little extra time to do what credit repair companies would do, but at no cost to you.
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