Everyone has seen the ads before. A business will guarantee you
perfect credit. (As if your credit history were a joke).
Unfortunately, your credit isn’t a joke. And your credit history
will not disappear overnight, despite what a debt elimination
services agency may have promised you. There isn’t a quick
remedy to your credit repair or debt problem. It’s something that
you’ll have to work on. Your debt-elimination or credit repair
solution may come in several forms. You may choose to contact
a debt elimination service company. You may not. However, it’s
important to know that debt elimination services can’t do any
more for you than you can already do for yourself.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) annually warns
consumers on debt elimination services and credit repair
consultation. There have been many allegations and lawsuits
with seemingly “notable” agencies. It appears that many of these
companies have made wild statements, like “we’ll repair your
credit by erasing negative feedback,” or “we’ll eliminate all of
your accrued debts within 24 hours” which aren’t legal options.
Nor are they believable promises. Be wary of these types of
companies. They’re promising you something that is unethical,
illegal, and most certainly untrue.
Research the reputability of any agency with the resources of
the internet. If you can’t find any information on the company
then don’t use their services. After all, you’ll have to provide a
lot of personal information to a debt elimination service. Social
Security numbers and credit card information aren’t tidbits of
information you want falling into the wrong hands. Use good
judgment before accepting the assistance of debt elimination
services. If the company tells you that their services are free,
check the fine print. Are there any hidden fees? If something
seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
There are several ways you can fall prey to a debt elimination
scam. Some of the most commonly reported scams are told
by consumers who’ve tried “debt elimination by phone.” These
“guaranteed quick-solution” phone calls usually end up costing
you money, rather than helping you. In addition, many of these
services offer promotional credit cards to “help” you rebuild credit.
While promotional credit cards may sound like the promise of a
new beginning, they’re usually not. They’re tacked with all
sorts of fees and their users usually end up in more financial
trouble than they bargained for. Remember, you’re trying to
eliminate debt, not accrue more debts. Avoid calling “900”
and “976” telephone numbers [for debt elimination assistance]
like the plague! These exchange numbers will rack up some
pretty hefty charges on your phone bill. That’s right, more
unwanted debt. It really isn’t worth it.
Let’s face it. Time and payment efforts are the only
guaranteed solutions to healing your credit. Look at a copy
of your own credit report prior to seeking outside help. If
there are any genuine errors which you can prove are incorrect,
by all means consult a reputable credit agency. They’ll
[more than likely] be able to correct your information and
save you from further debts. While it may cost a few
dollars now, it may save you from a lot of financially related
headaches in the future.
Many debt elimination services arrange a payment method
that coincides with your income. For instance, if 25% of
your income is “spending money,” debt elimination
services may suggest that 10% of that money be put to
your outstanding debts. It may take time, but it’s better
than waiting seven years to see if every negative mark
has disappeared from your credit report.