“I guess I’ll hire one of those credit repair services, maybe they can fix it.”
This was a real conversation. It came after a friend of mine had tried credit repair efforts on his own, and after getting mediocre results, he found there were several accounts that he couldn’t get removed. The next line of thinking was logical, and I’m betting he’s not alone in this thought progression.
Most credit repair ebooks, kits, software, and services all basically follow the same generic, cookie-cutter process, and therefore most will experience very similar results. Initial success in the first month, and then little to know improvement from then on.
The most common technique in the marketplace that most ebooks recommend is to dispute the account as “not mine” and try to get it removed. When that doesn’t happen after a few months of effort, most will either give up, or look to an “expert”. “Time to pony up and pay a service that specializes in credit repair”, they think.
So what do you think a credit repair service can do that you haven’t? What “secret” do they possess that can make the difference?
I’d like to share with you 3 things that you should know when speaking about credit repair services. I’m sorry if this will burst your bubble, but this is entirely true of the majority of services represented. Not all, but the majority. My experience is that you will generally find the exceptions to be smaller, more individualized companies with a handful of employees at most.
1. Most credit repair services send out generic letters disputing negative accounts, month after month, relying on the original creditors disorganization in reply. One of the most frustrating experiences I had back when I first started my credit repair efforts was when I worked on my reports month after month, only to be left with a few stubborn accounts. So I hired a professional service to “do their magic” and was irate when I found out that after three months of generic dispute letters, I still had the items on my report, and an empty wallet. Most credit repair services will employ this tactic immediately after hiring them, and you should be aware of that. Many do not leverage any special laws that you didn’t know about, and in fact can send letters that contradict what you’ve already claimed to the credit bureaus.
2. Most credit repair services will have you do the main work, and disguise it as a “credit report review” with you.
Most times you hire a credit repair service, they will initially schedule a review time to go through your report. The more impersonal ones will even use technology having you review it on their website. Basically, they will ask you the deal with each negative account, and why you would want to dispute it. Once you give them the reason, they follow up by sending a letter with the reason you stated. This is nothing more than a personal admin, that enters your reasons into a letter template. Completely frustrating. Again, there are exceptions, but they remain just that.
3. Lastly, most credit repair services don’t have the same goal as you.
Hard to believe I know. But if you look at the monthly membership services that are so popular right now, ask yourself why it would be beneficial for them to clean up your credit report as fast as possible? The motivation for them to clean your report fast is only found in integrity, and a possible testimonial. But other than that, the faster they clean your credit up, the faster they lose business. I’m not paranoid, I’m just stating a fact. That’s why in my opinion, the majority just keep sending generic disputes month after month. When reviewing the credit repair service agreements, look at the alignment of their goal to yours and see if its beneficial to rapidly succeed, and more importantly, that its financially rewarding for them to complete the task quickly.
Now, just to be fair, as I mentioned there are some very reputable services out there that will actually write customized letters, and get deeply into techniques like Validation of Debt, and Restrictive Endorsements etc.