Repair Your Credit Guaranteed or You Get $10,000!!!You're probably on this page because you saw a claim like this. You knew it sounded too good to be true, but couldn't help but ask yourself "what if?". What if it really was true? What if I really did stumble across an unbelievably amazing service? How great would it be to have a 700 credit score? What are all the things could I do with $10,000?
And if you had been curious enough to need to find out, you would have been given the option to sign up for the advertised credit repair service for almost $1,000.
Fortunately for you, we now have the hindsight to know for certain that the $10,000 credit repair guarantee really was too good to be true.
What Happened to the $10,000 Credit Repair Guarantee?As is the case with all guarantees, the credit repair guarantee was only as good as the company that offered it. For the people unlucky enough to hand over their hard earned money, the guarantee proved to be worthless.
This website address previously belonged to one of many resellers of a credit repair service offered by a Tennessee company named National Credit Associates, Inc. (NCA, Inc.), which despite being similar in name and advertising, should not be confused with National Credit Associates, LLC of Georgia. We have it now because the domain registration expired allowing us to purchase it for the purpose of helping the people who are still running across the old NCA, Inc. $10,000 guarantee ads on the Internet.
National Credit Associates, Inc. contacted their local BBB In December of 2009 and informed them that they had ceased operations. And what happened to all of their customers who were promised clean credit or $10,000? NCA, Inc. claimed that they transferred all customer files to a different company in Georgia. That company claims that they never received the files and has no obligation to assist NCA's customers. So far, the BBB reports that these customers have not received their money back or the $10,000 that was promised to them. The BBB made multiple attempts to contact the owners of NCA, Inc. on behalf of customers, but were unsuccessful. It would appear that everyone who paid the $795 to NCA, Inc. to have their credit repaired who has not received the service they were promised are simply out of luck - and $795 poorer.
This information was taken directly from the National Credit Associates, Inc. BBB profile. In addition, the BBB published an article featuring NCA, Inc. titled "BBB Identifies Misleading Advertising, Products and Services that Middle Tennessee Can Do Without".
Credit Repair Scams are Out There, but that Doesn't Mean Credit Repair Isn't RealAside from the fact that so many people lost their money because they trusted a company that wasn't willing or able to fulfill its promises, cases like this are also unfortunate because they cast doubt on the very idea of credit repair. After reading so many stories of fly-by-night credit repair clinics and other credit repair scams, it is not uncommon for people to believe that there is no such thing as credit repair – which is something that couldn't be further from the truth.
Credit repair is real. Millions of people have, either through their own efforts or with the help of a reputable credit repair company, legally and permanently removed negative information form their credit reports and improved their credit score.
Okay, So What Is Credit Repair?Credit repair includes a large variety of methods of improving your credit score including disputing negative items on your credit reports, working with creditors to get them to stop reporting negative information or start reporting positive information to the credit bureaus, establishing new lines of credit in order to bolster your credit history, optimizing existing credit accounts to appease the FICO scoring models, and more.
When most people think of credit repair, they first think of removing negative information from a credit report, and for good reason. Negative items on a credit report have a huge impact on your credit score. Regardless of how much good credit you have on your reports, just a few negative items can cause your credit score to drop enough that you may be denied credit. Because of this, it is little surprise that most credit repair services focus primarily on deleting bad credit.
Legally Removing Bad Credit From Your Credit ReportsNumerous consumer protections laws are in place to help protect you from incorrect credit reporting. Prior to these laws, the credit bureaus who are responsible for maintaining your credit file could basically add anything to your credit reports and not only was there no way for you to dispute this information, you didn't even have the right to see what information was being reported.
Because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other credit reporting legislation, you now have the right to order a free copy of your credit reports as well as to dispute any items in your reports that you feel are unfairly affecting your credit score. If the credit bureaus are then required to perform an investigation to verify the accuracy of the disputed item. If they are unable to do so, then they must correct the listing or remove it from your credit reports.
Submitting credit bureau disputes is free and is something that any consumer can do. You do not have to pay a credit repair company to submit a dispute.
In addition to credit bureau disputes, there are other tactics you can use to try removing negative items from your credit reports. The credit bureaus are merely aggregators of the information in your credit reports. The actual information is supplied by creditors, banks, and the courts. These suppliers also have the ability to remove negative information form their credit reports at any time. Sometimes something as simple as asking them to do so in the form of a goodwill letter will be enough to get them to stop reporting damaging information to the credit bureaus. In other cases, you may have success with tactics that are akin to credit bureau disputes but are instead disputes sent directly to creditors demanding that they prove the accuracy of information they are sending to the credit bureaus. Again, if they are unable to do so, they are legally required to stop reporting it on your credit reports.
Accurate vs. Inaccurate Credit Listings: What Can Be DisputedThe FTC likes to make the blanket statement that “no one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report - which is discouraging to anyone researching credit repair. After all, except for the extreme cases of identity theft or gross negligence on the part of the credit reporting agencies, most people looking to improve their credit score aren't simply trying to remove errors from their credit reports. Instead, they are trying to clean up the effects of what job loss, illness, divorce, or an irresponsible past can have on a credit score.
Fortunately, the truth behind the FTC's statement is much less rigid than it may seem at first, and it is definitely possible to delete things from your credit reports that are not what most people would consider to be an error. We could point you to legal rulings and court documents that support this claim, but a better resource is the many people who have had success with credit repair. Sit down with them and ask about their results. Odds are they will tell you they were able to remove items from their credit reports that were reported correctly. Even though the FTC appears to be stating that something is impossible, there are thousands of people that are living proof that it is not.
So how can we explain this discrepancy?
For starters, as we have already mentioned, your creditors can remove negative items from your credit reports anytime they want, for any reason. So to state that "no one" can legally remove information form your credit reports is most certainly wrong. No law states a creditor must report something to a credit bureau.
Secondly, the definition of what is an inaccurate credit listing most definitely isn't what you probably think it is. Instead, an inaccurate credit listing has been legally defined as any listing that you, as the consumer, feel is incorrectly reported, misleading, biased, unclear, unverifiable, incomplete, untimely, or ambiguous. All lumped together, these types of items are what the credit repair industry likes to call "questionable". Now, since in the credit reporting sense, inaccurate means questionable as it is defined here, accurate means something that does not fall under the umbrella of questionable. And when you look at it this way, accurate takes on a whole different meaning.
When you define accurate this way, you can pretty much dispute anything on your credit reports. And as for what items can be removed, now everything on your reports is fair game.
Removing "Accurate" Items From Your Credit ReportsAccording to legal precedent, in order for a negative item on your credit reports to be accurate, it must be verifiable. When you dispute a negative item with the credit bureaus, they contact the original creditor that reported the negative item and request verification that the item is being reported correctly. If they do not receive this verification, they must correct or remove the negative item.
There are a number of reasons why an item would not be verified. The most obvious is that it is being reported incorrectly. But, this is not necessarily the most common. Often times, creditors do not want to spend the time or resources to respond to credit bureau inquiries. Also, there are times when records are no longer available such as when a collections company only keeps files on hand for a year or two and you are disputing an account from a number of years ago. But, regardless of the reason the credit bureaus do not receive verification, the negative item has to be removed. And this is part of the reason why so many correct credit listings get removed from credit reports.
So, when you think about it, by this logic, if an accurate item has to be verifiable, then by definition when an item is unverifiable, it is no longer accurate which fits the FTC's statement above. True, no one can legally remove accurate items from your credit report because once the item becomes unverifiable and gets deleted from a credit report, it is no longer defined as accurate. Mind numbing, isn't it?
Of course, it's not important that you follow this argument completely. What is important, is that you realize that is may be possible to delete anything from your credit reports. Just ask the people who have had collections, repossessions, judgments, and even bankruptcies permanently deleted from their credit reports. You just won't know until you try.
What Credit Repair Companies Can DoAs we stated before, there a many things you can do in an effort to improve your credit score. The law affords you the opportunity to work towards the best credit score you can. By learning about how the credit system and credit scoring works, researching credit dispute tactics, and investing the time and energy required not only to start the credit repair process, but to see it through to the end, you can repair your own credit essentially for the price of postage.
Credit repair companies do all of this stuff for you, and nothing more. We repeat, there is nothing a credit repair company can do for you that you cannot do yourself. In fact, most of the time, a credit repair company acts on your behalf and in your name so the credit bureaus and your creditors believe it is you they are dealing with and not a third party.
So why even consider using a credit repair company?
For the simple reason that repairing your own credit, while cheaper than paying someone to do it for you, is rarely easy. We could dig into the financial motivations behind all of the entities involved, but we'll just keep it simple and point out that other than you and, if you decide to use a credit repair company, the company representing you, nobody want's you to repair your credit. The credit bureaus don't want to spend the time dealing with disputes since they don't get paid for it. Creditors not only also do not want to have to deal with disputes, but they don't want your credit score to raise to the point that they can no longer charge you high interest rates.
So what does this mean for you? It means that these entities are not going to make credit repair easy. The credit bureaus are notorious for their stall tactics, lack of customer service, and refusing to investigate disputes. In fact, they have been fined millions of dollars on multiple occassions because of it. Creditors may also ignore your requests or otherwise become difficult to work with.
If you are working to repair your credit on your own, you'll have to figure out how to get around these barriers. You'll have to make sure you know your rights, when they are being violated, and what you can do about it.
A credit repair company will have to deal with these same roadblocks, but an experienced company will already know how to do so. They will also know the best methods for avoiding trouble in the first place.
An experienced credit repair company will have dealt with tens or hundreds of thousands of credit reports and can apply that experience to your reports as well. Odds are that there is nothing on your credit reports that they haven't seen before. For this reason, consumers who choose to pay for credit repair services frequently see better results and in less time that those who attempt to repair their credit themselves. In fact, a large percentage of the people who sign up for credit repair services have already attempted to repair their credit themselves and were unsuccessful.
What Credit Repair Companies Cannot DoAs we've said, a credit repair company can do everything for you that you can do yourself - and nothing more. There are no secret credit repair tricks. There are no backdoors or credit bureau loopholes that a credit repair company can use. Any credit repair company that claims to have a super-secret system should be avoided. If a credit repair company cannot tell you exactly what they are going to do, then you're better off looking elsewhere.
Also, no credit repair company can legally create a new credit file for you. We have emphasized "legally" here because it would be incorrect to state that no one can create a new file. It is possible to trick the credit bureaus into creating a second, brand new credit report for you. This "file segregation" technique is usually done by using an EIN in place of a Social Security Number.
The problem is that using this "new" credit report can get you in all sorts of trouble. Misrepresenting yourself on a credit application is a crime and could lead to you being prosecuted for federal wire and mail fraud.