Spot the scams

Spot the scams

Let’s face some facts… it does not matter what your intelligence level is, you can be a doctor or a fry cook. If you have not done your research in the area needed you can easily become a victim of being overcharged or talked into a service you do not need!

So how do you prevent yourself from being a victim? One of the problems of most Americans is our lack of doing our due diligence. Being an impulse society we just want to get it over with, and unfortunately this is EXACTLY what gets them into trouble.

What you need to understand is that all professions consist of good hard working, ethical professionals looking to do a good job for you. BUT there are also many who just look to take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the system they operate in and take your money without getting the service you paid for.

While there are many areas where the services you pay for cannot guarantee the outcome you want you can with a little checking makes your odds better by picking a professional who looks to take care of their clients.

Beware of Companies Claiming “Decades of Experience”

This could actually be an addition to the “Promoting credentials that have nothing to do with the credit industry “in this section. I have seen many companies that promote decades and decades of experience and then when I reviewed the background of the officers of the companies, being in the finance industry typically has nothing to do with credit. (Ex: being a personal banker and punching in information to a computer and telling someone their credit score does not give you credit experience).

So my question (and hopefully yours is, why are they trying to make it seem that they have the experience I need to help me? Simple, they want your money. You need to really check out companies you are looking to hire for their service, don’t do your research before hiring someone? Then you can’t complain when the job isn’t done.

Unlimited Disputes 

Now at first glance it seems silly that I stated that you need to be wary of this statement, how can a company offering you anything unlimited be bad? Well welcome to the world of credit everyone!

While this can be done the question is does it help or does it possibly cause problems?

Allow me to point out a section of the Fair Credit Reporting Act Section 611 (a)(3)(A) which states that a credit bureau may determine a requested reinvestigation dispute is frivolous and allow them to not conduct the investigation due to a lack of sufficient information to investigate the disputed information.

So now what good is “unlimited disputes” if the credit bureaus can determine the dispute is without merit and legally refusing to investigate it?

This is not news to credit repair companies that offer this, but it is something they are very aware of and use to lure you into hiring them so just be wary of this.

Setup Fee & Monthly Fee VS Flat Fee 

Since this should not really be listed under the “Spot the Scams”, however it’s important enough that I want to get your attention. Different companies have different business models, many people try to get the cheapest price possible for everything in life. There is nothing wrong with that I do that same thing myself, but charging more does not necessarily mean they are better.

What you need to understand is the timeline of what your goals are and then make the best decision for you.

Setup & Monthly Fee Companies:

A company with the business model consisting of a setup fee then a monthly fee has no incentive to try to help you achieve a higher credit score quickly since they are billing you monthly. The longer it takes the more money they make plain and simple and unfortunately it is very easy to drag out. If you take three weeks to send some papers to them they will not be in a rush to ask you to send them in. While at first look it is much cheaper for you to choose this route but may not be overall cost effective for you.

For some people this business model works, for others it seems to be much more costly for the majority that I have spoken with that look back at what happen. But what people seem to like is a setup fee of $100 or so and then a monthly fee ranging from $49-99 per month. So, your cost factor for the year can add up to $1,200 and that is more manageable that saving up for a few months to get the full payment out of the way.

Flat Fee:

Personally I feel this is the best option for most of the consumers out there that have a specific timeframe in mind, whether it be for a car, new home or refinancing a home. These companies who utilize this business model determine and estimate the work involved and ultimately try to get you completed in the quickest time frame possible. The reasoning is the sooner they achieve their goal the more profit the company keeps since there is an estimated monthly cost they have. However understand that this model is based on a timeframe, if you do not do what is asked and you agreed upon in the beginning of the program then you are wasting your time and money, typically the primary requirement is mailing in the responses from the bureaus immediately upon receiving them.

Promise a certain credit score 

The standard rule is the lower the credit scores the higher the interest rates and down payments/deposit.

It also reminds me of how deceptive companies can be…. Yes I can tell you what you need to do in a short amount of time and get a 700 credit score. But I seriously doubt you will want to pay (or have the ability to pay) all the fees attached to getting there (in the range of $ 1000 of “just fees”) but here is the problem.

Your credit file has so many variables to it, like not being in control of information being reported. Here is what you need to understand, if you are not the one reporting the information to the credit bureaus then technically you are not in control of it, can these companies stop collection companies and creditors from changing information on your credit file? Can they prevent other collection companies from reporting additional negative information on your credit file?

Then HOW can they promise a specific credit score with all those variables out there? As mentioned before… BUYERS BEWARE!

Promotes “Credentials” that have nothing to do with the Credit Industry 

I have seen companies promote logos of organizations that have nothing to do with credit and the only requirement half the time is to write a small check to that organization to become a member which really means nothing.

So it stands to reason that the more “Logo’s” a company has the more legitimate or “qualified” it will make us look.

Please everyone! Please use logic when doing some research…

Ex: what does being a member of the chamber of commerce have to do with them helping you achieve the goals you have? ANYONE can join a chamber!

Promise 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed 

My mouth dropped when I saw this guarantee offered… how can you measure someone’s satisfaction? IMPOSSIBLE…

Run away if someone shows you this…

Offer “Money-Back Guarantees” 

BUYERS BEWARE… is what I say when you see this statement. Typically (and I actually mean ALL THE TIME). The FINE PRINT on this sneaking tactic is they put a dollar amount on EVERY ITEM removed… not trade-line, late payment etc… So to give an example, if your name is spelled wrong 4 times and the company says each item is worth $ 75 then they have done $300 worth of services. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

In my eight years in this business I have never heard of one company that has ever given a customer their money back.

When you have a company offering this, it is typically an offer littered with requirements that the consumer can never be able to fully follow, thus being in violation and cancelling the money back guarantee.

“Number One” position in the marketplace or the LEADER in the marketplace

WARNING….. If you are ever told by a credit repair company that they are one of the following:

“#1 rated, leader in the industry, highest deletion ratio in the industry, most popular, etc…. ASK THEM THIS ONE QUESTION:

Who did the survey?

The ANSWER—- NO ONE! There has never been a survey or study done so here is what you need to be concerned about “if they are going to lie to you to get your business then how good can they actually be?

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