Credit is a crucial part of your financial power, or your ability to access goods or services now with the promise to pay later. The most significant indicator of your credit is your credit score, a three-digit number based on your financial track record that tells lenders how likely you are to pay back a loan. Credit scores are primarily based on credit reports, compiled by three independent credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – who use information about your borrowing and repayment past that is voluntarily provided by creditors. Good credit is essentially necessary in order to secure a loan to purchase a home. But what do you do if your credit is less than ideal?
People with bad credit often turn to credit repair services for assistance. While these services can be a valuable resource for remedying bad credit, there are things you should know when determining which repair service to work with. Read on to learn what exactly credit repair services do, what to watch out for when selecting a credit repair service and some alternatives to repair services.
What do credit repair services do? What are some red flags?
Credit repair services will review your credit reports looking for errors and negative items. Then they will submit requests on your behalf to remove errors as well as negotiating with creditors to resolve any outstanding disputes or negative items. Importantly, credit repair companies cannot do anything you can’t do yourself. People opt to work with credit repair companies as a way to outsource the labor needed for credit repair, but there is no silver bullet. Credit repair is a process and it can take months, even years, before you really reap the benefits – any company that promises you quick fixes should be avoided altogether. Here are some more red flags:
- Credit repair companies that ask for an upfront payment – this practice was banned by the 1996 Federal Credit Repair Organizations Act. Any company requesting a payment before services should not be trusted.
- Companies that don’t provide contracts – it should be crystal clear and in writing what services they are offering and what you agree to pay upon delivery of those services.
- Companies that promise or suggest they can remove something accurate and negative – no one can do this, not you and not a credit repair service.
- Companies that ask you to lie or suggest creating a parallel identity – this is quite simply fraud and you should run the other way from any company that conspires to commit fraud.
How do you know you’re working with a good credit repair company?
Signs of a reputable credit repair service include the following:
- Free consultations
- Documented track record of successfully helping people repair their credit
- Warranties stating they will not charge if they can’t remove a certain number of items
Credit repair service alternatives
Before opting to hire credit repair services, you should also explore alternatives. Specifically you should check out nonprofit credit counseling services. For free or a small fee, these services will teach you how to dispute errors, how to handle identity theft and credit card fraud, how to budget and offer strategies to improve your credit score in the long-term. Sometimes they will even work with you on a debt management plan, a payment agreement between yourself and your creditors.
Bottom line: Do your research!
Your credit is arguably the most important aspect of your financial power and there are ways to fix bad credit. But, as with anything, always do your research. Explore your options, whether that be credit repair or credit counseling, and remember that if anything sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.
The Listing of the Day for November 22 is over at 511 Everington Drive, Katy, TX. Provided by CB&A Realtors.
Home includes a new 50-year roof, new double-oven, fresh neutral paint, granite countertops and blinds throughout. There is an abundance of natural light. Home is set up for a security alarm system and boasts a floor to ceiling gas burning fireplace. There is no carpet on the first floor, and extra floor covering inside the closet. Included are four wall-mounted televisions. Spacious downstairs master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling. Huge study/flex room with tons of storage. A well-kept yard has covered patio and full-yard auto sprinkler system. There is additional storage in the floored attic space and the detached, oversized 2 car garage. Conveniently located near the community park/pool with easy access to I-10 and Highway 99, restaurants, shopping, grocery and medical facilities. This home is in the highly acclaimed Katy ISD schools, has low utility costs and a low tax rate. Immaculate and move-in ready with no history of flooding! Make your appointment today! You won’t be disappointed!
4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2557 square feet. Listed for $266,900.
SetSchedule Member Spotlight: Len Renaud with Adams, Cameron and Co., Realtors from Ponce Inlet, FL!
Adams, Cameron and Co., Realtors
Experience: 8 years
Specializations: Residential homes and condos
Areas Served: Ponce Inlet, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach
Q: What made you become interested in real estate?
A: I love selling and meeting people.
Q: What is the most interesting thing that happened during an open house you hosted?
A: I received a full price offer on the spot!
Q: What was your favorite moment in your career so far?
A: Studying for and passing my Brokers exam.
Listing of the Day: Spacious family home in Ballwin, MO from Kevin Barnett of Platinum Realty of St. Louis
The Listing of the Day for November 19 is over at 1060 Oak Glen, Ballwin, MO. Provided by Platinum Realty of St. Louis.
Fabulous opportunity to own this spacious updated 3+ bedroom 1.5 story home, located on a corner lot with generous side yard and wood privacy fence. Home includes a welcoming entry foyer to main living area with vaulted ceilings, fabulous updated kitchen with updated cabinets, additional beverage center and large pantry. There is a large main floor master suite with walk-in closet; bathroom has separate tub, shower and large double bowl vanity. Upstairs has 2 generously sized bedrooms with spacious closets, full bathroom and loft overlooking the great room. Spacious lower level includes family room (great for entertaining) with wet bar, office/bedroom and large half bath. The back yard has an awesome bar area that is private and shaded, great for entertaining your family and friends. Home is across the street from Brightfield Park, and close to the elementary school. This home has tons of indoor and outdoor space for entertaining and for that growing family. New roof was installed in October of 2019.
4 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2021 square feet. Listed for $259,000.