The FTC did not set out to do you wrong. Without a doubt, they are well intentioned and have your well being at heart. Unfortunately, the heavy-handed FTC campaign against the bad apples in the credit repair business has tainted the rest of the barrel and has unintentionally imposed a terrible cost on consumers.
The Credit Repair Conundrum
Credit repair is in a similar class with taxes and health care. All of these are of great importance and are somewhat shrouded in mystery. The more important an issue is, the more likely it is to evoke fear. There are few things as important to your financial well being as your credit, and few things as complex. Millions of people ought to be seeking credit repair help, but when they encounter the FTC warnings at the outset of their efforts it is often enough to stop them in their tracks. The social cost of this delusion is enormous.
Credit Repair Good Guys
It is true that there are bad guys in the credit repair business. The last time I looked this was true of every industry without exception. As of the time of this writing the bad guys in the credit repair business are fewer than ever, and a significant number of credit repair good guys have emerged. These white knight companies deliver essential and valuable services in a professional manner to the great benefit of their customers.
The Prevalence of Errors
There are several reasons credit repair is an essential service in today’s world. The product produced by the credit bureaus is enormously influential. You might not think of credit reports as products, but that is exactly what they are, no different really from automobiles or computers. They are assembled, passed through a quality control process, and sold. Unfortunately, like many other products there are flaws.
The Crazy Cost of Errors
The flaws in the credit reporting system can be as dangerous as a manufacturing flaw in an automobile. Your life can depend on the quality of the product you buy and your credit report is no exception. About seventy percent of all credit reports contain errors. Credit report errors can lead to higher interest rates and loan denial; these are life-changing consequences.
Credit Repair Reality
Congress spent years debating the fearful impact of the credit bureaus on our lives. The legislation they hammered out is called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In a way this is a consumer protection law, but it is equally intended to protect the three national credit reporting agencies we refer to as the credit bureaus. It is true that congress was heavily lobbied by the credit reporting industry during the creation of the FCRA, but I can’t cry conspiracy. There are economic realities involved with running any big business and these must be respected.
Look Out For Yourself
Congress had little choice but to attempt to balance the need for credit-reporting accuracy with the economic restrains of quality control. The end result is simple. Credit reports are as accurate as they are going to get, and consumers’ better look out for themselves. The creation of AnnualCreditReport.com, the site where you can get your credit reports once a year for free, is a stipulation of the FCRA and an attempt by congress to provide us with an opportunity to manage our own credit repair efforts.
You just need to get off your butt. Inertia is natural when we are faced with any confusing task, but like jumping into the water it’s not so bad once you get into it. Get your credit reports. Start your credit repair project. There are numerous ways to do this. Not withstanding the deceptive advertising of dozens of websites that offer so-called free credit reports, AnnualCreditReport.com is the only site you can get your reports for free.
On the Other Hand
This is not to say that it is the best site to get your reports for free. On the contrary, in spite of my approval of the creation of the site, it’s really pretty difficult to maneuver. Personally, I’d spend a few bucks and get a simple tri-merged report. If you look carefully through the TrueCredit.com site (A TransUnion site) you can get a great tri-merged report without joining their monthly program, for $14.95.
Hire a Credit Repair Pro
Many people find the prospect of digging into the credit repair project just too much to handle. If you are busy and have enough going on in your life without taking the time to figure all of this out, just get on line and find one of the credit repair good guys. There is plenty of credit repair help available if you need it. Either way, it’s your credit, so please take care of it!
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