11 Feb Should I Pay To Have My Credit Report Cleaned Up?
There is a reason this week is National Consumer Protection Week. Scam artists abound, trying to take your hard earned money. Desperate times often lead to bad choices. Common sense should always guide you. Remember:
These examples, and more from MSNBC Contributor Herb Weisbaum, are wake up calls to your common sense. Add to those, some common sense principles about your credit report.
It is perfectly legal to accurately report truthful information. If you owe a debt, if you paid late, if you were sued, this information may appear on your credit report. You should not pay anyone for unfulfilled promises to remove proven facts. Ask yourself, Do I owe this debt? If you do, then no pie-in-the-sky promise will eliminate it. Some scammers will sell you a dispute letter and show you how to challenge a credit report entry. That entry may temporarily drop off the report while your dispute is investigated, but it is sure to return after the debt is verified. The scammer will try to collect a payment from you for this service, when in fact, you still wind up with the information on your report.
Federal law prevents a credit repair artist from collecting any money from you until they have completed the promised services. The Federal Trade Commission white sheet sets out common sense principles that show you how to deal with your credit report and with these credit repair organizations. This site includes instructions on how to dispute incorrect information and includes a free sample dispute letter. It also tells you how to obtain a free credit report. Bookmark it for yourself. Read it. Pass it on to your friends. Every consumer protection lawyer and blogger should have this link on their website. The next time someone tells you they can fix your bad credit, use your common sense and save your money.
Andy Miofsky, Esq.
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