For many people, the subject of credit repair is one that conjures uncertainty. It can be difficult to know where to begin. Even if you know many of the items on your credit report are mistakes, it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to having them removed. A credit repair company, like Lexington Law, can seem a life saver.
While there are a number of credit repair companies that are reputable, and that can help you, you need to be careful. Not all credit repair firms are to be trusted. And, even when you work with a reputable company, you have to realize the services provided are things you can do on your own.
Distinguishing Between Good and Bad Companies
When trying to determine whether or not a credit repair company is reputable, there is some information you can use to your advantage. Here are some of the characteristics of the better companies:
- Will tell you which credit repair actions you can complete on your own — at no charge.
- Will clearly spell out what the company can do for you, as well as warn you that accurate negative items cannot be removed from your credit report.
- Will provide you with a list of actions the company will take on your behalf, along with a detailed price list so you know what you are paying for.
- Does not use a private courier to send documents; instead, arranges correspondence through the mail. (A private courier can be a tip off that the repair company is fraudulent and wants to avoid mail fraud charges.)
If you are unsure, you can get help from the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ offers a list of approved credit counseling agencies by state, who can help you find your way. You can also get suggestions from the local university or a reputable credit organization.
Taking Care of Your Own Credit Repair
Realize that credit repair companies can’t do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself — usually for free. Be wary of any company that claims it has “special insider” tricks that you won’t be able to do on your own. Everything that a credit repair company can do for you, from disputing negative items on your credit report to creating a plan to improve your credit habits to boost your score, can be done yourself without paying any money.
However, if you decide to engage in your own credit repair efforts, you will have to do all of the legwork. It will be up to you to make sure everything is handled properly. When you use a company, this isn’t the case. The company handles a lot of the legwork. You still need to provide information and documentation, but you don’t have to figure out who to contact, and learn about what needs to be done. For those who don’t have the time to do all of that themselves, one of the best credit repair companies can be a good choice.