Credit repair is one of many financial services designed to help consumers improve their credit. The process involves hiring a company to dispute negative or incorrect entries on your credit report. It sounds simple, but it’s not always a straightforward process. Before choosing credit repair, there are some important details you should understand. Considering credit repair? Here’s what you need to know:
It’s Not a Quick Fix
Depending on the amount and complexity of the negative or incorrect entries on your credit report, the credit repair process can take anywhere from three to six months (or longer) to complete.
You May Need to Provide Proof
In some cases, it won’t be enough just to claim the disputed debt doesn’t belong to you. You’ll need to provide proof that you didn’t incur the debt on your own.
The Change in Credit Score May be Temporary
Consumers going through the credit repair process may be excited to see their credit scores rise. But what they don’t realize is that the increase might not last. The negative entries are removed from your report as the dispute is being investigated, which can result in a higher credit score. But, if research proves the negative entry is actually a valid debt, it will end up back on the consumer’s credit report, causing the score to drop once again.
You Must be Careful to Avoid Scams
As with many financial services, credit repair is fertile grounds for scammers. Beware of any company that claims they get instant results, promises a specific credit score, or guarantees the results will be permanent. There are just too many variables at play to be able to make those claims.
There are Alternatives to Credit Repair
Improving your credit and increasing your score are positive financial goals. And credit repair isn’t the only way to achieve them. You can also try:
- Reviewing your credit report and disputing errors on your own
- Establishing a budget and working on paying down debt
- Completing nonprofit credit counseling and going on a debt management plan