Have you been offered credit repair services that seem way too good to be true? You were probably right to listen to your gut and do a Google search on the issue.
No matter how much you wish it were possible, a credit repair company can’t give you a squeaky clean credit report overnight. Scammers are banking on people they call being financially vulnerable and signing away money without doing the proper research.
Thankfully, you found this post.
How Can I Identify a Credit Repair Scam?
Many credit repair scams are trying to get money from you and then disappear, and some will “repair your credit” by encouraging you to perform illegal actions. Either way, the results are less than ideal.
Here are the signs to tell you are dealing with a scammer:
1. They Don’t Inform You of Your Credit Rights
The Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) requires all credit repair companies to tell the truth about what they can legally accomplish for you. They also by law must inform you that there are credit repair actions you can take on your own so you don’t hire them under false pretenses.
A real credit repair company will always mention that you have the right to:
- Obtain your own credit report
- Dispute inaccuracies on your report on your own
If this information is not presented to you, they might be scammers.
2. They Present You With a Shady Contract
Many credit repair scammers will present you with incomplete or shady contracts and try to get you to sign on the spot. A legitimate credit repair company will always give you time to review the paperwork properly before signing.
The CROA dictates that a legitimate credit repair contract have the following information:
- Their company name and full address
- The amount they are charging for their services
- A full breakdown of services they are proposing
- A timeframe for accomplishing all those services
- A written statement giving you the option to cancel within 3 days of signing
If any of these items are missing it could be a scam.
3. They Ask For Money Upfront
This is a big one. By law, a credit repair company cannot take any money upfront for their services. A legitimate credit repair company will only take payment after they perform the services outlined in the contract.
4. They Encourage You To Claim Identity Theft
A common credit repair scam is to encourage you to try to modify your credit report by claiming your identity was stolen. The scammers may even help you file fraudulent police reports and identity theft reports.
This is an illegal practice that can land you with a large fine or even jail time.
5. They Offer You a Whole New Identity so You Can Start Over
Some credit repair scammers will offer you a nine-digit credit profile number (CPN), which are often Social Security Numbers stolen from children. They may also encourage you to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS.
If you use the CPN or EIN to apply for credit, you will now be committing identity theft, which is a federal offense.
If any scammer makes either of these offers to you, they should be reported right away.
Who Should I Contact To Report a Credit Repair Scam?
Where Can I Find a Legitimate Credit Repair Company?
For every credit repair scammer harassing people, there are dozens of legitimate credit repair companies that can really fix your credit.
Here at RepairCreditQuick, our mission is to match you with verified and award-winning credit repair companies that are specialized at addressing your specific needs. Here are just a few of our credit repair partners.
If you need credit repair services, contact one of our agents and we’ll get you set up with a free credit report and free credit consultation. We hope the positive experience you have with us washes away the bad taste of dealing with a potential scam!