Free Credit Repair Help: Worth the Risk?
Most people looking for free credit repair help do so because they think they can’t afford professional help. The trouble with free credit repair help is that while you can probably find lots of great information online, you’re not likely to find anyone who is willing to do the actual work for you, for free.
But if you are willing to do all the work yourself and you feel comfortable talking to the creditors and dealing with the big credit bureaus on your own, there is plenty of free credit repair help in the form of information that you can use to put yourself on the right track.
Can I Trust Free Credit Repair Help?
One of the biggest reasons people turn to professional credit repair agencies for help is to be sure that they are getting the right answers when it comes to credit repair. They also want to know that those answers directly apply to their particular financial situation. With free credit repair help, there are fewer guarantees of accuracy, however, there are a few types of sites you can trust:
You can also trust sites such as the FTC.gov to provide the basic information that you need to repair your credit on your own.
Where to Get Free Credit Repair Help
Because you are likely to be on your own when it comes to actually performing the tasks around the credit repair, where you look for free credit repair help will likely depend on how comfortable you are searching the web and getting information from outside sources.
Forums and newsgroups offer a wealth of information about free credit repair help, but it will most likely be anecdotal information based on the experiences of the forum or newsgroup members. Even so, when several people all have the same experience with one particular creditor or debt collection agency, it can be helpful to understand where you may also run into trouble.
Likewise, if there is a technique that proves particularly effective against a particular company, you will benefit from the past experience of others. Keep in mind that you will need to verify the legality of any advice provided on these forums and newsgroups before you take action.
You can also get free credit repair help and information from blogs, online articles, ebooks, and other resources – but they all carry the same caveat. You will need to verify all information is accurate before you proceed.
That being said, if you are comfortable doing a lot of the work on your own, it is generally not too difficult to confirm a law or a statute by looking it up on the appropriate government website.
Free Credit Repair Help – Important Considerations
While free credit repair help may be your only option if that is all that you can afford, it may be worthwhile to save up for a few months of professional credit repair if you need assistance with disputing complicated items on your report.
The main risk you take with free credit repair help is that the credit bureaus and collection agencies will ignore your attempts at getting the debt cleared. If they decide that your disputes are “frivolous” then they do not have to comply with the laws that generally protect consumers.
Because of this, you must be very careful to make sure you are following the letter of the law and are offering evidence as best you can in order to prove your case.
For very old debt, this may prove to be very difficult, as many banks only keep a few years’ worth of records, and your online bills accounts may only hold the past 12 months of payments. So if the debt is 5 or 6 years old (near the end of the limit for reporting on your credit report) you may have no way to prove that the debt was for a different amount or that you paid more than the creditor claims.
It’s in situations like these where careful wording and experience may make the difference between a removal and a verification that lasts until the debt falls from your credit report. So when you are going it alone, it may make sense to only challenge those items you are assured of getting removed.
Regardless, free credit repair help can make it easier for you to decide how to start repairing your credit and where you can begin in order to get the best benefit for your credit scores. Even if you have to go it alone, you shouldn’t wait – the sooner you start repairing your credit, the more dramatic the results can be.