Beware of credit repair services which promise to remove negative information from your credit report
No one can legally remove negative information from a credit report that is accurate. This information must remain on your report for a set amount of years; most information stays on your report for up to seven years, while bankruptcy information can remain for ten years. You can remove credit report errors by following certain steps (1) yourself for FREE.
Beware of credit repair services that request fees in advance
A legitimate company will not demand payment before the service is provided. Money Sharp does not charge you in advance. Remember that improving your credit can be done, it just takes time.
Beware of credit repair services that don’t disclose your rights as a consumer
Consumers have the right to attempt credit repair on their own. Money Sharp offers affordable counseling services to those clients who prefer counseling professionals to help them protect their bankruptcy discharge. Click here for information about The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, The Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud Protection Act.
Beware of credit repair firms that advocate “new” identities
It is illegal to create a “new” identity by applying for an employer identification number to replace one’s Social Security Number. File segregation is a serious crime which could result in imprisonment and fines. You should report this kind of fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) immediately.
Beware if the credit repair firm asks you to sign blank forms and provide personal information so the company can act on your behalf with your credit problems
Never sign blank paperwork. Never give out personal information without knowing the reason and with whom you are dealing.
(1) Checking your credit report every year can help you prevent identity theft. You’re entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, Transunion).
If you find errors on the report, you can have them removed so they won’t affect your credit score. Follow the five easy steps below to correct credit report errors.
- Make a copy of your credit report and highlight every item you believe is incorrect.
- Write a letter to the credit reporting agency (e.g., Equifax, Experian, Transunion) about the information you believe is wrong and include copies of supporting documents as proof.
- For example, if you paid back a $5,000 loan to John Smith Company, but your credit report says you didn’t, send a copy of the letter you received from John Smith Company confirming that the loan was repaid in full.
- Send a similar letter to the creditor you believe reported the incorrect information.
- Send all materials by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you have proof the information was received.
- The credit reporting agency will conduct an investigation, contacting the appropriate creditors to verify the accuracy of the information. If the creditor cannot verify that the reported information is correct, it must be removed from your credit report. There are two possible outcomes of the investigation:
- If the investigation proves an error was made, you have the right to receive a free copy of the corrected report and ask that the corrected version of your credit report be sent to everyone who received it within the past six months.
- If the issue remains unsettled even after the investigation, you can ask that a 100-word statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. The credit-reporting agency must include this statement in your report each time it sends it out.
*Keep in mind that when negative information in your report is accurate, it cannot be removed. Most negative information generally stays on your report for seven years while bankruptcy information can remain on the report for ten years.
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