Setting Credit Repair Expectations
Know what to expect when you repair your credit.
There is plenty of conflicting information out there about whether credit repair is an effective tool or a total scam. And in truth, both sides of that spectrum exist in the financial world. There are legitimate credit correction services that help people clean up their credit, but there are also companies that take your money without producing results. But even if you’re working with a reputable company that has a proven track record, does it mean that you’re guaranteed to have a better credit score? Not quite. The information below can help you understand what to expect when you go through the credit repair process, so you know what you can actually accomplish working with a reputable provider. If you still have questions or you want to get a free evaluation to see if credit repair could help you, complete the form to the right or call us to connect with a Debt.com-accredited credit repair service now.
Does credit repair work for everyone?
No. Not every consumer needs credit repair or credit correction (these terms are used interchangeably). If you don’t have negative items in your credit report, then there’s absolutely no reason to repair your credit. It just won’t help you. And even if you have negative items that are in your credit report that are causing penalties, it still doesn’t mean that credit repair can always help you. If those items are correct and can be verified, then credit repair can’t do anything to remove those mistakes. Instead, you’ll have to take steps to rebuild your credit if you want a better score.
A better credit score is the best side-effect
In truth, credit repair services aren’t focused on improving your credit score. It’s just a really positive side effect that you can get from cleaning up the errors in your credit report. When you remove negative items from your credit file, it may help improve your score because those negative items aren’t around to drag it down.
Fact: Items get removed from your credit report when they can’t be verified.
But even so, the end game of credit repair is a perfect credit score – or even a better credit score. The final positive outcome of successful credit repair is a clean, error-free credit report. However, even once any errors are removed, negative items that could be verified can still remain. This means you can have a error-free credit profile and a bad credit score at the same time.
What’s the longest a credit penalty can remain on your credit profile?
a) 5 years
b) 7 years
c) 10 years
d) 15 years
Tip: An unpaid tax lien can remain as a negative item on your credit report for 15 years from the date of filing. It’s the worst penalty possible.
d) 15 years
Focus on your report first, then worry about the score
Whenever you want to improve your credit score, you start by reviewing your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus. This way, you can see what kind of negative information is potentially bringing down your score. So whether you’ve faced financial distress or not, your credit reports can tell you why your credit score isn’t better than it is. That’s why this is where you start when you want to achieve better credit. By reviewing your credit reports, you know what’s there. If it’s negative and correct, then you can work to overcome the damage you’ve caused in the past. But if it’s negative and a mistake, then that’s something you can work to have it removed. And that’s what credit repair can help you do – have those negative items removed from your credit profile so you look like less of a risk to creditors. As a result, your credit score may improve as well. But your main expectation (and goal) with credit repair should be achieving an error-free credit report.
Fact: Reputable credit repair companies count success by negative items removed.
With that in mind, you should tread carefully online when you see credit repair services that make bold claims like, “We can boost your credit score by 100 points, on average.” Because that’s not really how credit repair works. There are too many variables to make statements like that. If a company shows case studies of actual clients as an example of what they do, that’s fine. But if they say you can have the exact same thing, that really may or may not be the case.
Do negative items ALWAYS get removed?
Not always. The credit repair process is set by the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), and disputes have to be made a certain way if you want to be successful. And even if you make a dispute the right way, if you don’t have the right documentation required to prove the mistake, then the item may remain on your credit. The law allows that you can make disputes and that the credit bureaus must contact the original creditor to verify the disputed information. If the information can be verified (or in some cases if you can’t verify the error properly) then the information won’t be removed. So the more you do to ensure you’re making disputes correctly, the better the chances of having information removed. That’s why people use credit repair services, because you have an experienced representative to get you through it. And if those services include direct legal representation, it’s even better for you.