Credit repair companies are like your car mechanic
As a proud owner of an automobile, there are things you love fixing without seeking external assistance. A flat tire is perhaps one of the things you’ve learnt to change. When it comes to checking the oil and coolant, these are a no-brainer. However, wait until the engine light shows on your dashboard, you quickly show up at an auto repair shop. Why do you choose to visit the repairman? He is an expert in engine diagnosis and has the skills to fix it. Besides, you can trust them with your car. The same logic applies to credit repair companies.
Many people can accurately pinpoint negative items on their credit report. At the same time, most consumers in the US already know how to initiate a query and work towards credit improvement. As the layman whom you are, you can do the following:
- Decide to stop overspending by drafting a budget and sticking to it
- Carry out in-depth research on the effective use of credit
- Request for credit reports and analyze your credit score monthly
- Write a dispute letter and do a follow-up with the credit bureau that posted the unfavorable report
These are just a few pointers to many other steps that you can take to challenge credit agencies while also working towards improving your credit. Most of the time, you would instead seek for professional help. What makes a credit repair company the first stop for most consumers? First, these companies apply consistent pressure on the credit bureaus to either give proof or remove negative information. Second, credit repair companies are keen on helping you raise your credit scores. Third, they have a cumulative knowledge of the industry, and this makes them experts.
Things you can do but do not know how
Credit repair firms begin the task to restore your status by requesting a credit report. These go to the three agencies, i.e., TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Once they receive the brief, they comb thoroughly and identify all items which they can dispute. After that, the next strategy is to try as much as possible to have the negative items removed – all and not just portions of them. Part of the work includes engaging your creditors in a discussion on how to remove the contentious records.
If you think about these things critically, you’ll realize that this is nothing new. You would be surprised that you can do all the stuff done by credit repairers. However, resolving matters with credit bureaus takes around 30 days. They need this time to also communicate with the entities that advanced you credit. Give an allowance for creditors to respond before the bureaus throw in a fresh set of inquiries. By the time the two parties arrive at a decision, a month has passed.
For an individual who is busy with work and focused on raising a family or taking care of their daily needs, you can quickly forget. You may have requested for one or two things from the three bureaus but then got busy with other tasks. By the time you remember to make the follow-up, several weeks may have passed. Besides, you could also get frustrated at the slow pace. Indeed, some people give up and hope that something will give in the future. A credit repair firm has the muscle to tear into such bottlenecks and justify it with a monthly fee.
Sky Blue – affordable credit repair
Unlike other firms that you may come across, Sky Blue credit repair promises consumers reliable and affordable service. To sign up, call the provider or visit their website. Either way, you will find it easy. Also, the company’s prices are low as compared to other credit repair organizations. You pay $39.95, and this caters for your first report to help in the evaluation of your status. A similar charge applies if you require additional reports. For credit monitoring, the company charges a monthly fee of $14.95 with no charges for subsequent report pulls.
If you were to make inquiries and contest every entry, you would end up getting frustrated. Repairing your credit without professional assistance is not only difficult but also takes a lot of time. However, Sky Blue handles the task on your behalf and ensures that the credit bureaus respond to you directly. For every dispute that the company files, they will share details of your contacts. No representative of the company will forward any communication from credit agencies. Doing so cuts you some slack considering that in every 35 days, the firm sends five inquiries to each bureau.
Sky Blue has a reputation for reasonable pricing, producing results and is a credible company. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has given it an A+ rating. Besides, Sky Blue offers you a guarantee that if you do not get the results you desire within 90 days, they will refund your money. The company spares you the agony of scouring through the crowded list of entries in your credit reports while trying to find duplicate or erroneous items. Your package comes with added services that include: validation of debt, negotiations with credit agencies and drafting and submission of goodwill letters.
Laws that protect consumers
Following the anxiety that many consumers have, you realize that getting scammed in the name of credit repair is easy. To safeguard yourself, Congress passed a federal law in 1996; the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Under this legislation, credit repair service providers cannot promise that they will help you remove items that, despite being negative, portray your actual status. Also, no credit repair company can claim to improve a person’s low credit score yet the information that led to such a rating was correct.
Also, under the Act, companies in the credit repair industry cannot demand that you pay for their services in advance. They must first perform the promised functions before collecting money from clients. At the same time, every agreement between you and the prospective credit repair services provider must be written. The provider must clearly state the nature and scope of their services. You must also know from the onset, what it will cost you in the end.
On the other hand, if you are not happy with what the credit repair company offered, you can opt out. However, contract cancellation comes with a caveat – you only have three days to decide. In a nutshell, CROA compels companies in this line of work to be honest in their communication and dealings. All this time, remember that the things credit repair companies accomplish you too can do if only you are well informed and have time to spare.
Something you should know about the removal of incorrect information
One of the FCRA requirements is that all credit bureaus must remove any information that is incorrect. Also, if you find that the agency cannot verify the data in your credit report, they should remove it too. However, there is something that happens behind the scenes that you have never known. It is a hitch in the system that tips the scale to the credit bureaus’ favor. Here is an overview:
- Due to the many requests that they handle daily, credit reporting agencies have automated their procedures
- The systems scan, and upload all disputes into a database
- After capturing your dispute, the software then analyzes the text contained in your dispute letter
- In the next step, the bureau’s computers try to match your letter with others
- Upon finding an identical request, the system ‘decides’ on the response type and sends you one automatically
Since such automation has a link to the creditors, the bureau will query the creditors and seek verification for the information they have about you. If confirmed, the negative items you requested to remove remain on your credit report. The technology used is highly sophisticated, meaning that the verification process takes place in a matter of seconds. Staff at the credit bureaus do not read your Dispute Letter. Besides, they do not carry out investigations as purported.
The system merely regurgitates responses from creditors and sends them back to you as “verified” information. All the above is illegal, but some credit bureaus still do it anyway. To avoid falling into such a trap, use the manual credit repair approach. How does it work?
- Ensure that you write, and not type your negative items dispute letter
- The handwriting must be unique such that an OCR scanner cannot identify and match it with that of another consumer’s
- Your letter will go to a stack commonly known as the “manual review”
- Someone (a real human; not a machine) will read and decide on the next course of action
By getting a credit bureau to assign people to read and action your dispute letter, you stand a high chance of having the item in question removed.
Unless you work under the umbrella of credit repair companies, you will never know whether such malpractices exist. Professional credit repair teams take each item and refute it via letters sent simultaneously to the FTC, credit bureaus, and your creditors. Most of the time, there is no response meaning that the negative items warrant deletion.
Just like you cannot solve your car’s engine problem, you require a skilled credit repair agency to improve your credit scores. These professionals have the resources and understanding of how borrowing works. Also, there are laws to ensure that they toe the line. Removal of negative items from a credit report requires patience, boldness, and persistence. Going to a credit repair company is the best decision you will ever make.