The credit repair industry has become a crowded place. The credit crisis has prompted more stringent lending restrictions that made having a high credit score far more important than it had been in years. Finding themselves no longer being considered good candidates for loans because their credit score isn’t as good as it now needs to be, thousands are turning to credit repair services for help. Hoping to cash in on the trend, new credit repair services are popping up seemingly every day claiming to be experts at fixing credit reports.
With so many new and inexperienced credit repair providers coming onto the scene, many of which are simply turnkey businesses using a third party software solution to power their service, it becomes difficult to figure out who you can trust with your credit reports.
To help separate the credit repair services from the amateurs trying to make a quick buck, here are three suggestions for spotting a quality credit repair company:
1) Look for experience – Setting up a credit repair company is remarkably simple. All a person needs is a website and a few hundred dollars to purchase a software package. Staying in the business and generating good results for customers is more difficult. The best credit repair services typically have an established history of providing credit repair services which not only indicates a stable business, but it is also a sign that the company operates within the confines of the law since most shady companies don’t last very long.
2) Look for a “brick and mortar” presence – The Internet is a great vehicle for commerce, but the process of working to clean up your credit reports is more effective when conducted offline. Reputable credit repair providers usually have a physical location that you can use as a guide to how solid the company is. Satellite imagery services like Bing Maps are great tools for checking out the company’s headquarters. Get the company’s address, pull up a map and see if the company occupies their own building, operates in an office complex, rents out a spot in a strip mall, or has the mailing address of a personal residence.
3) Look at pricing and payment options – Signed into law in 1996, the Credit Repair Organizations Act CROA sets guidelines credit repair companies must abide by. One of these is to only accept payment for services after they have been performed. This restriction was created to protect consumers from fraudulent companies who would charge large upfront fees and never fulfill their end of the arrangement. Naturally, you should steer clear of credit repair providers who require an upfront payment (yes, there are still many in operation today despite this regulation).
In addition to finding out when and how much you will be expected to pay for credit repair services, make note of the payment options. Most reputable online companies will, at a minimum, give you the option to pay via credit card on their website or over the phone. Additional payment methods may also be accepted.
Be wary of companies who require checks or money orders as you do not have the same level of protection in case you need to recover your money if something goes wrong. Also watch out for companies who employ third party payment processing such as Paypal since this may be a sign of a fly by night service.
Finally, as with any online transactions, when providing payment information online, make sure the webpage is secured. Before entering your credit card or Social Security number on a webpage, make sure the location of the page begins with “https” and your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.) displays a padlock or similar icon indicating the connection is encrypted.
Many people who begin searching for the plano credit repair end up selecting Repair My Credit Now to help them with their credit. Lexington Law has established itself as a leader in the credit repair industry.