Anyone seeking out a credit cleaning company is invariably opening themselves up to the potential of being scammed. It’s really important to understand the differences between “cleaning” bad credit scores (i.e. hiding them from your record) and “repairing” them.
A legitimate error on your credit report could range from anything between an admin error from a lender, through to updating your own personal information incorrectly. Even if a lender has given you a good credit rating, and subsequently gone out of business, this could lead to a negative result when checks are run on your report.
With all that being said, there’s a few things you need to think about before you part with your cash and become vulnerable to a credit cleaner scam.
Demand A Contract
Never, ever part with your money before you’ve looked over a valid contract. You need to be given some paperwork that explains what the service will entail: You should be seeing legitimate addresses and contacts of the company, as well as some kind of clause allowing you to cancel the contract if you aren’t given the results you’ve been promised.
A New Identity
Believe it or not, there’s still a fair few scams being reported each year that involve a company volunteering to build a customer a new identity! It should be fairly obvious that if you have to lie, it’s most likely a scam.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, it’s not possible to change your credit rating. There are no ifs or buts here. It just isn’t going to happen. You can only update and revise genuine errors or changes in circumstance without breaking the law, and you can do those things using an online service, by yourself. Any service that promises to go beyond these minor updates is probably going to be fraudulent.
Always Follow Up Disputes
If you do have a genuine dispute about your credit rating, don’t simply write a letter and forget about it. Always make follow up phone calls and continue to check your report to see if revisions have been made.
Know When To Stop Worrying
Sometimes a credit report can look alarming even when it actually isn’t. If you’ve closed an account voluntarily and without debt, it will still show up on the report. This isn’t anything to worry about, it’s simply part of your history. There is no system that simply adds up a score. It’s actually far more complex, and companies will perform a much more detailed and accurate check.
With that in mind, also try not to worry about so-called “hard enquiries” into your credit rating. A hard enquiry is when, for instance, a credit card company checks your rating, and can even appear if you’ve applied for a mobile phone contract. These types of enquires aren’t as damaging as many people believe.
Credit reports can be a minefield of information to navigate through, but don’t be tempted to give your hard earned cash to a company offering to fix all your credit woes overnight.
Wendy Lin is a freelance writer who specialises in guest blogging. Her other passion besides her family, is private financial consultation for businesses.