EMERGING DEVELOPMENT IMPACTING OUR MEMBERS from our partners at Accel:
It is an unfortunate reality that there are businesses and individuals who will seek out and prey on those who are struggling. Consumers who are vulnerable often find themselves receiving offers that sound too good to be true. One such example is credit repair scams. Lately, many consumers have received generic form letters offering to fix their credit score for a fee. While this may seem harmless, or even helpful, the truth is not so innocent.
Why is this a problem?
Many consumers have actually been deceived into subscribing to services provided by dishonest companies that charge very high fees with the promise to fix their credit.
It also appears that the only service some of these companies provide is issuing credit bureau disputes to all creditors. These letters are not, and cannot, replace an official credit dispute letter. They have zero legal impact on your credit.
The concern is that some of these companies are taking advantage of the most vulnerable consumers, making it even more difficult for people to achieve their financial goals.
What should you do?
While there are companies that will legitimately assist in improving credit scores, it is helpful to know what to look for. In a nutshell, legitimate companies are very reluctant to make promises, especially before evaluating your entire situation. They will be upfront about what they can and cannot do and will set proper expectations before entering into an agreement you.
If you are receiving an offer from a company promising to fix your credit, call your financial institution or Accel. Your financial institution and Accel are active in the financial services sector, and can help identify which companies are safe to work with. Also, keep this age-old wisdom in mind: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.