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By Paul E. Bocka | Broker in Fairport, NY

Where can I find out more about credit repair?

To learn how to improve your credit worthiness and find legitimate resources for low or no-cost help, please see the following publications at ftc.gov/credit.

  • Your Access to Free Credit Reports — Explains why it is important to monitor your credit history, how to request a report, and how to dispute errors.
  • How to Dispute Credit Report Errors — Explains how to dispute and correct inaccurate information in your credit report. Includes a sample dispute letter.
  • Building a Better Credit Report — Learn how to legally improve your credit report, how to deal with debt, how to spot credit-related scams, and more.
  • Knee Deep in Debt — Discusses options to help you get back in the black, including: realistic budgeting, credit counseling from a reputable organization, debt consolidation, or bankruptcy.
  • Fiscal Fitness: Choosing a Credit Counselor — Defines debt repayment plans, explains the differences between secured and unsecured debt, and offers questions to ask credit counseling agencies if you consider using their services.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. 

US Government facts for consumers for do-it-yourself credit repair.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions consumers to be wary of companies that make claims regarding credit repair. These companies, commonly called credit clinics, don't do anything for consumers that consumers cannot do for themselves at little or no cost. Beware of any organization that offers to create a new identity and credit file for you. The FTC and state attorneys general have filed actions against those who pursue these fraudulent practices. Here are some warning signs that the FTC and others say consumers should look out for to determine if they might be dealing with a credit clinic:
  • An organization that guarantees to remove late payments, bankruptcies, or similar information from a credit report
  • An organization that charges a lot of money to repair credit
  • A company that asks the consumer to write to the credit reporting company and repeatedly seek verification of the same credit account information in the file, month after month, even though the information has been determined to be correct
  • An organization that is reluctant to give out their address or one that pushes you to make a decision immediately
For a helpful brochure about credit clinics, you can write to the Federal Trade Commission, Sixth and Pennsylvania Avenues, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004 and request a brochure titled "Credit Repair: Self Help May Be Best."   

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