Boosting your credit score is the first step toward financial freedom. A higher credit score can give you access to better loans and financial options.
Many people turn to credit repair services for assistance. While there are reputable companies that can help, the credit repair industry is teeming with scammers.
What’s a consumer to do? Start with knowing that the industry is governed by the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), which requires certain disclosures and prohibits misrepresentation.
7 Credit Repair Scams and the Warning Signs
As you seek credit repair support, watch for these seven warning signs:
- Upfront Payment: According to the CROA, companies cannot receive or request payment until the promised services are complete.
- Avoids Your Rights: Each company is required to provide you with a copy of your rights. Stay away from companies that avoid these rights or ask you to sign a paper waiving those rights.
- Removing Accurate Information: A credit repair company can help by removing false or inaccurate information. If the provider promises to remove negative reporting that is accurate, then it’s likely a scam.
- False Information: Stay away from any company that recommends disputing accurate information or instructs you to give incorrect information in a dispute.
- Contacting Credit Reporting Bureaus: You are entitled to a free credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus each year. One warning sign of a scam is if the company instructs you not to contact these bureaus.
- New Credit Identity: One common scam includes a promise to give you a new identity. These scams might focus on a new identification number (known as a credit privacy number), a new Social Security number, or an application for a new Employer Identification Number.
- Partial Contract: The service contract might indicate a scam if it is missing essential information. This can include fees you will pay for the services, detailed explanation of services, timeframe and dates, the name and address of the company, or a clause indicating your right to cancel the contract within three days.
At Senior Safe and Sound, we provide ongoing information to help you avoid scams and elder abuse. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.