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Category:  Money

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Credit Repair Scam

 How to Avoid Being a Statistic?

By Bill Smith

A good credit history is critically important for the consumer. A bad credit will prevent you from getting a business loan, owning a home, or even a job. Promises to "fix" your credit are always made by credit consolidation companies, but they are seldom true. Here are some of the important tips to avoid scams:

First things first. Negative information cannot be erased if the information is correct. Only inaccurate information can be corrected in your credit file. Credit file information remains on your record for seven good years from the time it is reported to the bureau. For bankruptcy, the information remains on your record for ten years. All the consolidated information about your credit bills you fell behind on, but are now paid, will remain on your report for the time period mentioned above.  

Do not pay the credit repair company unless their promises are kept. Remember, the law is on your side. Federal law requires credit repair companies to give you a complete detailed explanation of your legal rights, a completely documented written contract, and above all, 3 days to cancel. This applies to all credit repair services including for-profit services, non-profit services, creditors and credit unions.

 Be wary about emails you receive. When you hover your mouse over the link in the email, you will know for sure if it is a trusted website or a fraudulent one. If fraudulent, report it to your bank promptly.

 You don't need a counselor to correct your mistakes in the credit report. Take charge of it yourself. If you were recently denied credit, you can request a free credit report. Otherwise there is a small charge for it. Some states will allow you a free copy of your credit report once a year. It doesn't cost you anything to dispute or question items in your credit report. Get online or follow instructions from your credit bureau. The three major credit bureaus are Equifax (800- 685-1111), Experian (800-682-7654) and Transunion (800-916-8800). In most cases you will need to contact all the three credit bureaus as the information they have about you may vary.

 Remember that you can't create a second credit file. Some of the fraudulent companies will offer to provide the consumers with a different social security number (tax identification number if ssn does not exist) in order to create a new credit file for the consumer. Such a practice is called as "file segregation". File segregation is illegal and does not work.

 Whenever possible, add explanation to your credit report to prove your point. If you have legitimate reasons for not paying certain bills on time (switching jobs, illness), or if you refused to pay because of a dispute, send the bureau a statement to be tagged with your credit report. Each lender who pulls your report will be aware why you fell behind on those bills.

 Counseling might be a good option. Find a good non profit consumer credit counseling service in your neighbourhood. Get online or open your yellow pages to find one. Seek the guidance of friends and family members. Select a counselor, meet them in person to make sure they are right for you. Ask them on tips and advice on how to build a good credit history. If you are still lagging behind on your payments, credit consolidation firms will be able to set up a payment plan with your creditors. If money is an issue, select a non profit credit counseling service. They will offer their service for free or for a very low cost.

Bill A Smith is a credit counselor for Ameri credit counseling services. Bill has over 10 years of experience in providing credit consolidation, credit counseling and credit management services to clients. Ameri credit services provides credit consolidation and credit counseling to customers. Visit us at http://www.americreditservices.com for free credit consolidation articles, free credit counseling tips and non profit credit management services.  



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