Are Credit Repair Companies Help or Hype?
A lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should give consumers considering credit repair services pause, the regulatory body suggests.
In a blog post, the FTC says that customers who used Alex Miller Credit Repair ended up in worse financial shape after using the company’s services.
In the suit, the FTC says that since 2018, the company, formally known as Turbo Solutions Inc., and its owner have scammed people out of more than $10.1 million through their fraudulent credit repair scheme.
The FTC notes that while Alex Miller Credit Repair claimed to be able to remove negative items — such as accounts in collections — from credit reports, those claims were false or misleading. Additionally, the company charged a $1500 upfront fee for their services. Those types of fees are illegal for credit repair companies to collect.
So, what should consumers do if they want to improve their credit score or address negative items on their credit reports? The FTC has these words of advice:
If you’re trying to fix your credit, remember that credit repair companies can’t remove accurate negative information from your credit report. And anything they can do for you legally, you can do for yourself.
In fact, advocates at the National Consumer Law Center echo these sentiments and suggest that in most cases, consumers can act on their own to correct inaccurate negative items on credit reports.
“Consumers should never pay for credit repair–it’s a waste of money,” said Andrew Pizor, an attorney with NCLC. “You can get a free credit report and can fix errors yourself by going to annualcreditreport.com. Unfortunately, nothing but time can cure accurate negative information.”
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