There are several varieties of credit repair agencies. There are the “professional credit counselors”, the “credit experts”, and various other descriptions that basically mean the same thing. Then, there are the law firms which will help you repair credit report inaccuracies.
The first thing to look at is exactly what services these credit repair agencies offer and how much they charge for these services. If you only have one or two pieces of inaccurate information on your credit report, you may be able to take care of this yourself. You can view your credit report on line, free of charge, once a year at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. If you need to repair credit report information, you can report the information on line, but the sites are not particularly user friendly. You can contact the company which reported the information and ask them to remove it. You can send a letter to the appropriate credit bureau, letter writing suggestions are made at the Credit Repair Blog (http://badcredit-repair.blogspot.com). Credit repair agencies should be able to take care of all of this for you. If you are paying them to resolve these issues, then you should only have to sit back and wait.
The problem is that some credit repair agencies are only selling information that is freely available if you know where to look. Some of them will handle the letter writing for you. Some credit repair agencies recommend action which is illegal. The only way to effectively and legally repair credit report issues, if you cannot achieve results on your own, is to contact a law firm that specializes in credit repair issues. Not just any law firm, your private attorney may or may not be able to handle this for you. He/she will probably charge more than a law firm which advertises alongside other credit repair agencies.
Even if you do not have problematic credit, it is a good idea to view your credit report on a yearly basis. You can legally repair credit report problems, but it may be difficult. People steal names and social security numbers to finance cars or other major purchases. One young man was unaware that his social security number and name had been used, until the thieves were late making a payment. They had also used his address, so the bank sent the late notice to him. He was unable to resolve the issue with the bank. The police were unable to help him; no one knew where this person actually lived. The credit bureau was unresponsive. His credit score was being damaged and he was not responsible, but he could not prove it. His lawyer was finally able to correct the situation, but it was quite expensive. At the time, there were not many credit repair agencies. A law firm that specializes in credit repair would have been less expensive than his private attorney, but if they existed he was unaware of them.
The Federal Trade Commission advises that consumers should beware of credit repair agencies that claim to be able to repair credit report inaccuracies in a very short period of time. The credit bureaus have thirty days to investigate any claim or dispute. Any credit repair agencies that claim to be able to achieve results in less time should be questioned thoroughly, before you give them any money. For more information about credit repair agencies, visit the Credit Repair Blog.