For many in the real estate industry, credit is the most important thing you can have. For most people, you can’t buy a house without credit. You pay higher interest rates with bad credit. You also pay more for other things such as insurance and financing equipment with bad credit. So what do you do if you’ve made mistakes in your past and need to recover your credit?
Many people turn to professional credit recovery programs. If you search the internet for credit repair, a million different companies pop up and they promise to do everything for you to repair your credit. Many people eager to buy a home often spend money on these programs in the hopes that their credit will grow high enough to take advantage of current interest rates and qualify to buy a home.
In my business, I’ve researched many of these programs, and while some of these programs offer legitimate credit repair help, none of them do anything you can’t do yourself. The information on how to recover your credit is even available for free if you look on the internet. In my experience, most people think it’s too much work or are afraid they’ll screw up and that’s what drives them to pay a professional.
So if you are going to pay for a credit repair service, here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision.
First, don’t use a company that sells lines of credit. Some companies say they can add you to someone else’s line of credit and that will increase your score almost immediately. While this is true, the credit bureaus adjusted their credit score about 2 years ago and now when you are added to someone else’s credit cards it only has a limited impact on your credit, so be careful.
Second, a credit repair service is not a licensed service, so look at the details. Credit repair companies are often NOT licensed, so look at their information and ASK them what they will do. If they can’t clearly explain what they’re doing for you, beware.
Finally, look at your own credit report before hiring a credit repair agency. Check to see how old your credit items are. If they are over 7 years old, you may be able to remove them with a phone call. Read about it online and do some research yourself before spending that money.
Until next week…
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