You have probably heard about all of the bad press that credit counseling agencies have received over the past couple years- and rightfully so. What you have probably not heard much about are credit repair companies. While they sound similar in name, there are many important distinctions between the two. Not only in what they do, but also how they will impact your credit in general.
The biggest difference between credit repair, and credit counseling is that credit repair companies dispute the derogatory information on your credit report, while the counseling companies make plans with your creditors for repayment.
Credit counseling consolidates your debts into one debt so that you can make one monthly payment, which generally is lower than how much money you are currently paying on your debts. Consumer Credit Counseling companies supposedly negotiate lower interest rates, lower payoffs, and lower monthly payments from your creditors in return for a small fee themselves that they usually work into your total monthly payment. Consumer credit counseling agencies are supposed to be looking out for your best interest and non-profit companies; however they do not always help consumers as much as they state they are helping. Many lenders will not lend to someone in Consumer Credit counseling and other lenders may require that you first quit the consumer credit counseling plan in order to obtain financing. Credit counseling is viewed by many lenders the equivalent of bankruptcy and treat consumers in the counseling service with the same underwriting guidelines as those who have had a Bankruptcy.
Credit repair companies will typically dispute the derogatory items listed on your credit report in an effort to get the negative items deleted entirely. In some cases challenging these types of information has actually improved some people's credit scores by over 100 points!
Many times, a professional mortgage advisor can guide you through the credit repair process. You can obtain a copy of your own credit report and dispute errors, payoff debts, and improve your credit on your own as well. If you feel you need a professional credit repair company, be thorough in your investigation of the company.
Credit repair is a process that you can accomplish on your own. One method to repair your credit is to check your credit report for errors and dispute them.
As with any financial transaction always approach credit repair and credit counseling with caution. Many companies will make bold statements and almost sound to good to be true. The sad fact is that many of these companies are just that, to good to be true. Try and stick with credit repair and credit counseling companies that offer a guarantee and do not collect large up front fee's.