There are many things that credit repair companies claim to be able to help you with. How many times have you come across an ad or website claiming that a company can help you with a million different things like collections, charge-offs, late-pays, judgments, tax liens, bankruptcy, foreclosures, student loans, and more?
Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
However, this vague idea of “help” doesn’t necessarily address what will or can be accomplished.
So how can a credit repair company “help” with the other items they claim to be able to? Well, if they are a general dispute company, they can’t. If they are a true credit repair company that knows what they’re doing, they can probably help you out.
Let’s go over how the credit repair process works and what exactly a company can assist you with legally.
How Does the Credit Repair Process Work?
Typically, “credit repair” done by most companies would entail an online dispute with the three major Credit Bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) but there is more than this that can be done.
Many credit repair companies are Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) companies with individuals selling a service that utilizes “Credit Repair Software.” This allows only for online disputes with the bureaus.
While some collections, charge-offs and payment history issues can be inaccurate and resolved with a bureau level dispute, other items such as liens and judgments, bankruptcy and IRS tax liens are not so easily addressed.
Many times, they are not actually associated with a physical credit report. To see public records, you would have to access this information from LexisNexis.
What is LexisNexis?
LexisNexis is a separate entity that helps uncover public information that commercial organizations, government agencies, and nonprofits need to get a complete picture of an individual or business, and their assets.
To give an example of why this information would be needed, in the homebuying process, mortgage lenders will look at a credit report to see if individuals meet the credit score requirements for obtaining a home loan. Certain information on a credit report will alert a lender that a LexisNexis report is needed.
LexisNexis gives lenders information about public records such as tax liens and judgments filed against a potential borrower to help them gauge that individual’s real credit risk.
Unless these items are satisfied or at the very least on a payment plan to be satisfied, these borrowers will not be able to purchase a home.
Inaccuracies on a LexisNexis Report
What do you do if you have a mixed file or inaccuracies on your LexisNexis report?
An experienced credit expert with a reputable company will understand that a general bureau level dispute is not going to get you a resolution. It will take a detailed and individualized audit of your LexisNexis file as well as auditing the three major credit bureaus along with the original creditors of these accounts.
It’s important to remember that there are no templates for these types of audits or investigation requests. They must be customized specifically to your situation.
After receiving a LexisNexis report and confirming the validity of the debts through a customized audit process and investigation requests, you must have a plan of action to satisfy the liens or judgments.
Working with a company that is familiar with LexisNexis and understands the most efficient way to deal with these types of accounts can give you peace of mind and take some of the burden off your shoulders, ensuring you are handling the problems in the best way possible.
There is nothing more intimidating than going through a process and not knowing exactly what to do; especially when it comes to your finances.
Once you have satisfied these public record debts, you will need to be active in re-establishing your buying power and creditworthiness.
If you have been doing all of this on your own, you may want to seek advice from a well-respected credit expert that can guide you on your way to rebuilding credit.
If you are already working with one, they should already have a game-plan together to immediately start rebuilding.
Use caution when hiring a credit repair company to help you re-establish your credit and buying power. Be sure to ask plenty of questions before moving forward with any company. Look up reviews, ask around, read blogs and find them on social media.
Be sure that they are experienced with all aspects of credit, credit reporting and re-establishing buying power. This is not a process to be sold by some salesman that has no real understanding of the credit world.
You need a true expert to help you along your way.