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My job requires me to travel around town a lot. The last few weeks, while driving around, I've been seeing a growing number of signs on the side of the road advertising credit repair services. Most of the signs are handwritten which for most folks would be a huge red flag. Someone who is in a bind and in need of a quick fix may actually think this is a way out for them.

I just hate to think about how many financially unsavvy people have fallen for this. Unfortunately, most of these services are a scam. You don't have to pay a company to "repair" your credit. These firms, sometimes known as "credit clinics", don't do anything more than you can do yourself for little to no cost. They have no more authority to have items removed from your report than you do. There is no legal way to have accurate information removed from your credit report.

Repairing Your Credit

The first step to repairing your credit is to check for errors in your credit report. You can pull your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com (not an affiliate link) for free. Annual Credit Report allows you to get a free credit report once every 12 months from the big three credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You should be looking for inaccurate information such as accounts that don't belong to you, accounts reporting as past due that are actually current, or inaccurate balances. It is estimated that approximately one in every eight credit reports contain inaccurate information. Most people don't bother to keep tabs on their credit and don't know about an error until they are denied credit.

The second step to repair your credit is to make sure you keep current on all of your accounts. It doesn't matter whether it is a credit card or a electricity bill. Being over 30 days late on a credit card, loan or mortgage can send your credit score spiraling down like a lead balloon. One slip up can stay on your credit report for over 7 years!!!

Unfortunately, improving your credit does not happen overnight. It can take months for your credit score to improve. If you are in the market for a home loan or car loan within the next six months, the time to start repairing your credit is NOW!




Financial Links:
Lending Club - P2P Personal Loans
Equifax Score Watch
VistaPrint - 500 Business Cards for $1.99


2 comments

  1. Rick Vaughn // June 15, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

    I agree 100%. In fact many credit repair companies don't last long because the truly are scams.

    The problem is no matter how many times you warn people they will take the easy way out and pay someone to take care of their responsibilities. It's said!

  2. Anonymous // June 17, 2009 at 10:27 PM  

    During my entire first marriage I did not have a clue of any of our finances. I worked from home taking other peoples children in I had an in home day care with a total cliental of 7 kids. I made more on a daily basis than he did for most of the time we were married. Then one day I had the lunch episode that you describe, but it was at the dry cleaners. The answer when I got home was he had run off with someone younger and all our cash and oh by the way left me not only pennyless, $148K in debt. This has taught me well and I try to teach all other young woman. Just as we each have our own set of bones we each need to keep our names and our numbers to ourselves no matter what ! Marriage is a partnership, it does not mean you loose who you are. Grandma said it best when you loose your teeth it is you who will have that to worry about not both of you as a couple. If you break a bone he does not feel the pain only you do. So if you need to take care of your health , in order to stay well, take care of your finances in order to stay above water in these times personal responsibilty is all there is in life. We each come into this world alone and we each leave this world alone. The rest is on loan!