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Credit Monitoring Companies are not Credit Repair Services

It is easy to confuse the necessary services supplied by credit monitoring companies with the potentially illegal functions of credit repair services. Credit monitoring companies provide an important service that can limit or help to avoid any damage done to your credit. However, credit restoration services seek out people who have poor credit histories and ply them with claims that are often signs of expensive scams.

The information contained in your credit report affects whether or not you are eligible to receive a loan for a major purchase and determines whether or not you can buy insurance or apply for a job. Even if you are eligible, your credit report affects how much you will have to pay to borrow money.

The information contained in your credit report affects whether or not you are eligible to receive a loan for a major purchase and determines whether or not you can buy insurance or apply for a job.

Of course, errors can and do occur. It is possible that another person’s credit history could show up on your report. Called identity mix –ups, these mistakes can be disputed - if you know about them. This is one reason why it is important to monitor your credit. Having knowledge about the content of your credit report can also help to protect you from becoming a target of identity theft. Every year, over 10 million Americans are affected by someone else using their name, Social Security number, or credit card number. To a victim, the ramifications can be horrific.

It is a common matter for financial advisors and consumer advocates to recommend that your credit report be periodically monitored. This is the best method for gaining protection of your credit score and your reputation.

If, in the event you are notified that there is false or inaccurate information on your credit report, you can dispute the errors just by contacting the credit bureau providing the report. That is why you don’t need the services of credit repair companies. They cannot legally do anything that you can’t do for yourself. When they promise to have accurate negative information deleted from your credit report, and charge hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees for their services, credit repair companies are either using dubious methods or offering illegal advice. A common ploy is to offer a different social security number or federal employer identification number (EIN), so that you can create a new credit file for yourself. However, it is a federal crime to apply for a loan or credit application under false pretenses, and you could be charged and prosecuted for mail or wire fraud.

Contact your local consumer affairs office or your state Attorney General if you have become a victim of the unethical sales tactics and exorbitant fees associated with credit repair companies.

FTC Links
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consmer/alerts/alt097.shtm
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/ed/pubs/consumer/credit/cre13.shtm
http://credit.about.com/od/creditrepair/qt/avoidrepairscam.htm
http://www.fraud.org/tips/internet/creditrepair.htm

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