Your credit score impacts what you pay for car and home insurance. People with great credit pay less and people with not so good credit pay more. Kim Danna, our guest blogger for today’s post, writes about do it yourself credit repair versus hiring a company to do that for you. Kim is a Vice President at Stonegate Advisors, LLC, a firm that helps people legitimately repair their credit.
Living with bad credit in America today is tough. Bad credit makes many things difficult, impossible, and even more expensive. For example, did you know insurance companies often charge a higher premium rate for policy holders that have bad credit scores? If you’re getting new utilities turned on in your name, the company will check your credit to decide whether you should pay a security deposit. If you have bad credit what’s the best approach to credit repair? Should you attempt to repair it yourself or hire a reputable company to repair it for you? There are pros and cons with either decision.
The obvious advantage to doing your own credit repair is there is no cost involved. However, you will have to find and download dispute letters off the internet and then decide which one is the appropriate one to use, depending on what you are disputing (late payments, inaccurate personal information, charge off accounts, judgments, etc.). Online disputes are not the best way to go, since they do not provide a paper trail. Once you mail the letter’s, the creditors have 30 days to respond, but what will you do if they do not respond or send back a form letter simply stating the data/account is accurate?
There are over 250 laws in place that protect consumers from how or what creditors can report on their credit reports. And even if you have good credit, Public Interest Research Groups have proven that 79% of credit reports contain inaccuracies! If your credit needs repairing, you need to be prepared to make a reasonable investment with a reputable credit repair company. Try to find one that is “attorney based” rather than a “call center” environment. Stay away from the “cheap $99 a month” type of companies that guarantee a high credit score in a short amount of time. No one can predict when a new collection with appear, or how the bureaus will react.
Some questions to ask during the initial consultation (which should be free of charge) are:
- Is the company registered with their Secretary of State?
- Do they have a surety bond in place?
- Does the company have an actual “brick and mortar building”?
- How and where will you personal information be stored?
- Does the company offer a money back guarantee?
- How long is their program?
- What level of customer support/updates will you receive if you enroll in their program?
- Will the company also help you establish positive trade lines?
- If an account is verified by the creditor, will the company help you settle the debt if needed?
- Can they provide references?
Again, you should be prepared to make an investment if you decide to employ a company to help you, but it shouldn’t cost THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of dollars. However, the investment will pay for itself many times over and can literally change your life if done the right way.
For more information about credit, scores and credit repair, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-590-8880.
See Kim’s earlier guest posts: