Monday, February 15, 2016
Credit Repair-- again....here's how to make your situation even worse, and it's so easy!
I have a real love-hate relationship with companies like this. I love their ads- they manage to use the cheesiest graphics and hire the most unconvincing actors (check out the young couple thrashing away in front of their laptop like they are watching a scary- or very funny- movie. More about them later.) I hate their "service"- and I'll start my rant with that.
(Quick Disclaimer: the following information is the result of research I've done. I've never actually used any credit repair or tax evasion service, because I pay my bills and live within my means, crazy me. I welcome any "corrections" if I get anything wrong here, 'cause I'm all about education.)
Here's how Credit Repair "services" generally work- the LEGITIMATE ones require a "one-time start up fee" called a "work fee" just to sign you up as a customer. This fee generally runs between $25 and $50. Then they go to work checking your credit report from the three reporting bureaus for "invalid" pings which may negatively effect your score (they have NO ability to go after the legitimate ones, so if you have a history of late payments or bankruptcies or defaults, these companies can do NOTHING for you, no matter they tell you in the radio ads and are careful NOT to claim in these tv versions.)
For each "invalid" report they get removed, you pay another fee- about $50 PER report PER reporting bureau (and remember, there are THREE of them, so we are talking $150 per bad report.) And before you say "well, that might be worth it," please read the preceding paragraph again. These companies can do NOTHING about the legit bad notices, which are the ones that are probably much more responsible for your lousy credit report. So you may very well be finding yourself paying $150 to remove each ping and being rewarded with no change in your credit score.
That's the way LEGITIMATE companies work. Believe it or not, if the company you hire only screws you over THIS much, you are better off than if you went to that other kind of "credit repair service" which actually charges you BY THE HOUR- meaning that you could end up getting a bill for hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the same pointless non-service or NO SERVICE AT ALL (after all, you will never, EVER get a guarantee of satisfaction from any of these people.)
Know what both the Legit and Truly Sleazy companies have in common? They both offer a service you simply don't need if you are willing to spend some time on the phone with your creditors. No credit card company, hospital, rental service, or any other organization you've had a bad history with* is unwilling to work with you on arranging a payment plan or removal of truly unfair notices on your credit score if you are honest about being willing to make those payments regularly.
Ok, back to that young couple, who were enjoying life in their spotless house, buying stuff online (note the credit card apparently glued to the hand) until suddenly confronted with the Its So Unfair bills. These kids just want to get back to "buying the stuff they want," which I think got them in trouble in the first place. I find them absolutely adorable. And not in the least bit sympathetic. Go to hell, stupid kids.
*the one exception I'll make is for Payday Lenders, who will NOT help you fix your credit score under ANY circumstances, because their business DEPENDS on your credit score staying very low. I have no words strong enough for those vultures.