No Such Thing as a Quick Fix for Credit Woes

by Mark Wellborn


If you find that the only thing preventing you from being able to buy a new home is a poor credit score, do not be tempted by internet and TV offers that claim to be able to help you remedy this problem. In his latest column, Kenneth Harney examines services that claim that they can eliminate the information in your credit history that harms your score.

Harney’s piece focuses on the misdeeds of two credit repair shops, and the punishments that were handed down by the Federal Trade Commission to each. One of those settlements involved a company called Successful Credit Service that claimed to be able to remove any negative information from an individual’s credit history. The company charged between $3,000 to $4,000 up front for their services (red flag #1) and recruited clients from seminars around the country (red flag #2). However, it is illegal for companies like this to collect money before services are completed and more importantly, they are not allowed to remove damaging information from a person’s credit file.

These two infractions are almost beside the point, as Successful Credit Service not only did not deliver on the promised services to most of its clients (i.e. their credit history and score remained unchanged), but, according to the article, it was extremely difficult for clients to reach anyone at the company with questions. Believe it or not, Bernie Madoff did not have a hand in this scheme. In the end, the Federal Trade Commission ruled that the firm had to pay $8.3 million (apparently they don’t have the assets to make this payment) and it can’t “engage in unlawful credit-repair practices” anymore.

For anyone who may be tempted to use a service like this, Harney’s column is a very worthwhile read. And, if you are interested in learning about ways to legally and efficiently improve your credit score, read our article on the subject here.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/no_such_thing_as_a_quick_fix_for_credit_woes/1421


  1. Frank Fitton said at 11:51 am on Tuesday October 20, 2009:

    In these situations its imperative to remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If these companies could indeed do what they claimed, that payment amount would seem like a pretty good deal. Based on the improved interest rate you can get with a good credit score, consumer’s could certainly save that amount right off the bat. Making the service more than worthwhile.However, what they promise just isn’t possible.

    What people need to realize and take from this is that there are no quick fixes for your credit score if the information is accurate. That’s not to say that the entire credit repair industry is a scam. Credit repair done the right way gets rid of information on there that might be wrongly attributed to you or simply reported inaccurately. There certainly is a whole lot of that going on. People of course can attempt to clean up wrong information themselves, but as with any service its a whole lot easier if you hire a professional. Making sure all the information on your credit report is really you AND reported accurately is the service that legitimate credit repair organizations offer. Anyone offering you anything more than that, and wanting payment upfront to do it, is simply looking to take your money.

    Check out my blog on credit repair scams at…. http://www.thedebtgazette.com/2009/10/ftc-going-after-credit-repair-firms/

  1. Debbi Carroll said at 11:29 pm on Tuesday October 20, 2009:

    You are so correct… people need to be wary of quick fix credit repair company’s that promise more than they can deliver. People should first request a copy of their credit report and question any irregularities themselves. There are company’s that will help you with this, educate you on things you can do to eventually repair your credit. Learn more about credit repair

  1. Michael Lach said at 2:53 pm on Wednesday October 21, 2009:

    http://www.RemoveMyCreditInquiries.org is a site I found that is ran by a non-profit that can remove credit report inquiries for $15.  They also appear to remove late comments as well.

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