Many people are confused as to the legality to repairing their credit. First, it is helpful to understand what is illegal to repair your credit.
- It’s illegal to change your Social Security number to get a clean credit. If any company offers you this as a type of credit repair, you should immediately report them to the proper authorities.
- Disputing every item on your credit report, regardless if you know it to be true or not is illegal. Per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, only items that are unverifiable, misleading or inaccurate should be disputed. Items that you know to be true and reflect your credit history should not be disputed.
- It’s illegal for any credit report service to charge you for services not completed. This will protect you the consumer of any fraudulent companies that charge for services they never complete.
So, what exactly is considered legal credit repair?
Legal Credit Repair involves removing negative items from a credit report. There are several different methods of going about this; however, the most common and effective are as follows:
“Goodwill” Negotiation – Negotiating with creditors to remove negative items from your credit reports for mild late-pay accounts. No law exists that requires negative items stay on your credit reports for any amount of time. As a result creditors have the ability to remove these items if it works to their benefit, even if it simply pleases a customer.
Credit Disputation – The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers the right to contact credit bureaus directly and dispute items on their credit reports. Consumers have the right to plead “not guilty” to negative information on their credit reports and the burden of proof is on the credit bureaus, just like in a court of law. Consumers can dispute any and all items on their credit reports that they believe is inaccurate, unverifiable, or misleading. If the credit bureaus can not verify that the information on a credit report is correct, then those items must be deleted.
A good source to get help repairing your credit is Lexington Law.