Credit repair fraud occurs when companies offer consumers with poor credit the service of cleaning up their credit report for a fee. They typically charge from $50 and up, but often do little or nothing for you before vanishing.
If a credit repair company tells you that it will be able to remove negative information from your credit report, the company is not telling the truth. Only incorrect information or items left after the seven year or 10 year reporting date can be changed. If you have a poor credit history, time is the only thing that can heal your credit report. Some credit repair schemes promise you that they can “hide” bad credit by helping you to establish a new credit identity. For a fee, some schemers may ask you to file for an employer Identification Number (EIN) to use in place of your social security number. This practice is called “segregation” and is illegal.
The truth is that you can help yourself rebuild a better credit record. If you need help working out a payment plan and a budget, contact your local credit counseling service. These non-profit groups offer credit guidance to consumers, and their services are available at little or no cost to you. Your credit union, housing authority or employer may offer these services too. You are entitled to a free credit report if you are denied credit, insurance or employment within 60 days of notice. You must be able to show that you are either unemployed (but will seek employment within 60 days), on welfare or your report is inaccurate because of fraud.