Fixing your credit yourself is very time consuming and extremely stressful. That’s why it may be very worth it to hire a professional credit repair company or attorney.

When a pipe brakes in your house, do you fix it yourself or do you hire a plumber? How about when you need to fix your car? Do you do it yourself or do you go to a mechanic? This is always my sales pitch when someone asks me if he should come to me for credit repair or he should try fixing it himself. Yes. Technically, consumers can, in many cases, have his credit fixed himself if he knows what he is doing or wants to waste his time teaching himself how to do it. The same way anyone can teach himself how to be a plumber (or you can go to Home Depot and get one of the salespeople to teach you).

But if you’re not the do it myself type of person, and you decide to go ahead and hire a pro to fix your credit, here is what you need to know and what the credit repair companies don’t want you to know.

Pay Only When Deleted Bluff

Most credit repair companies don’t charge any upfront fees. They only charge you once the mark is deleted (by the way NY state law bans credit repair companies from charging any upfront fees).

But the information the credit repair companies keep from consumers is that if they delete 5 bad marks, and still leave you with another 10 bad marks, you’d still need to pay them for the 5 marks that were deleted (this can be $200 to $300 per mark plus set up fees). So you end up paying a couple of thousands of dollars and you’re still left with bad credit!

Before you hire a credit repair company or lawyer make sure to explain your end goal; you’re looking to apply for a mortgage, lease a car, get a job, etc. Make sure to ask the company if they are confident that they will be able to delete enough marks to raise your score to an appropriate level in order for you to be able to achieve your end goal? And if he or she says, ‘I don’t know’, then please don’t waste your money and go look for a different company. Because even if they make it sound like it is all risk-free, no, it’s not. As explained above, this could end up costing you thousands of dollars for nothing.

Set Up Fee

A setup fee should always only be a very minimum amount to cover dispute costs. Never pay a 50% setup fee. This is not a fair setup fee at all. It is a deposit. Even if the credit repair company claims that it’s guaranteed and if they are not successful in removing the bad marks you will get every penny back, don’t buy it. Here is the catch. They would never admit that they were not successful. Every time you call, they will always claim to be working on it, because at the end of the day, as long as they are, so-called, working on it they could keep your money!

It may also be smart to make an agreement on a time frame. For example if the job is not done by 8 months then you get back the deposit, etc.

Fast Results

Some credit repair companies may make it sound like or even outright promise you to repair your credit within a month or even faster. Even though at times they can be successful in providing fast results to a client, this is not a norm. No one should think it is the norm because credit repair usually takes 4-8 months to complete and many times it can even take a year or more.

Also, keep in mind that promising fast results is a big red flag for fraud. It takes much faster to remove a late mark through a false identity theft claim (filing a false police report, fraud affidavit, etc) then removing it through a legitimate dispute process

So if you are in need of fast results, like if you already signed a contract on a home, and you need to get approved for a mortgage within the next 3 months, then make sure you’re getting honest advise of how long the dispute process will take and what are the best options for you.

Not Everything Is Legal

There is a lot that can be done legally to get bad marks removed from your credit report, but not everything is legal. And if your credit repair company or lawyer did something illegally, then you may lose your house you may be sued in court and you will suffer the consequences. So before you allow anyone to do any work on your credit, ask and understand what is being done and why it is legal and legit. There are absolutely no secrets you should be able to understand at least the basic process of what will be done.

Be extra careful before signing an agreement with any credit repair company to read it through slowly and do not sign on anything you don’t feel comfortable about.

If you have any questions about this post, or you need any further explanations about anything discussed in this post, feel free to leave a comment and I will respond.

You may also want to read this post: Why You Should Hire a Credit Repair Company

Wishing you all the best!