Credit Cleaning Companies: Illegal!
Beware the latest internet pitch: “Remove poor credit from your credit report immediately and permanently!” Claims of guaranteed credit repair are out and out false and may place clients in jeopardy of committing a felony.
The Tactics: A common “strategy” is to have clients to apply for a new Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number, or Taxpayer ID Number — all illegal. Another method: inundating credit bureaus with letters disputing all negative information on a credit report, in hopes they will default on the 30-day limit allowed to respond to such requests.
Ethical Ways to Do It Yourself: What credit cleaners don’t tell you is that instead of paying them, you can accomplish the same thing free of charge. How? Contact your creditor personally. Inaccurate info on your credit report can be removed easily with a simple phone call to the creditor. Be calm and respectful, never aggressive or angry. Even if you paid a bill late years ago, you may be able to convince them to remove the bad mark on your credit report, especially if there were mitigating circumstances.
Brochures about credit repair schemes are available at http://www.ftc.gov or by calling toll-free 1-877-382-4357.