Your credit score is an essential part of making purchases. From buying a house to leasing a car and even when trying to get a new job, your credit score matters. Scammers know this, and prey on people that are desperate to improve their scores. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) receives numerous reports from consumers targeted by credit repair scams.
These con artists make phone calls and put out ads for a company that claims it can instantly repair your credit. They promise to remove past credit mistakes, such as late payments or a bankruptcy, from your credit report, and they may even offer to give you a new “credit identity.” Scam credit repair companies may persuade you to misrepresent yourself by getting you to contest accurate information on your report or apply for a loan with a stolen Social Security number. Don’t fall for it!
BBB has some tips to help you differentiate between the scam artists and the businesses that really want to help you repair bad credit.
•Do not pay in advance. In the US, credit repair companies can only collect their fee after they perform the services promised.
•If a company promises to remove negative information from your credit report, they are lying. If the information is accurate, no one can remove it.
•You cannot get a new “credit identity.” Some scam companies will ask you to apply for an Employer Identification Number instead of using your SSN. This is a crime!
•Make sure to check the contract for red flags. You should sign a contract and make sure it contains the terms of your agreement, including the price, the time period and the services to be performed.
•Remember: you can cancel! If you signed up for a credit repair service but you are suspicious, you have three days to cancel.
Go to bbb.org for more tips and to look for businesses you can trust. Don’t forget to look for the seal for businesses you can trust!