Locating Legitimate Credit Counseling Services

| January 10, 2009

As a result of the economic conditions, many people find themselves in need of credit counseling. Seeking financial advisement is a wise decision, but you’ve got to do your homework to ensure the credit counseling agency is legitimate. Below are a few things to look for when seeking help in getting out of debt.

Review the Credit Counseling Company Fee Structure

Legitimate credit repair companies do not charge very much for their services. Many of them offer services for free while others charge a nominal monthly fee. If a credit repair company requires a hefty down payment in order to review and repair credit, more than likely the company is not legitimate.

Detect Unfounded Credit Repair Claims

Unscrupulous credit repair companies make claims that they can completely repair credit, remove bankruptcies, increased the credit score without damage. The credit repair process naturally takes time. The better the payments over time the better the credit score. However, individuals who are desperate to repair credit sometimes allow their desperation to cause them to buy into such programs only
past-dueto later regret the investment. If a company makes hard-to-believe claims, there is a good chance that the company is not a legitimate company

Contact Regulatory Agencies

There are several agencies to visit to check the legitimacy of a credit repair company. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is an accredited organization with member associates throughout the United States. NFCC members must be re-accredited every four years. In addition to credit card repair services they offer debt counseling services and more. Visit their website to locate member organizations

Check the Credit Counseling Company’s License

It’s important to confirm the credit repair company has a valid license. To do this, visit the appropriate state’s Attorney General Office. The Office of the Attorney General keeps track of business licensing. If the licensing information is not accessible over the web, call the office, explain the situation and request additional information on local credit repair companies.

After checking the validity of the license, contact the local Better Business Bureau to review the complaint history. Having a complaint does not mean the company isn’t legitimate. Sometimes unfounded complaints are filed. However, do your homework to find out how many complaints have been filed in the past year or two and see how they were resolved. If the credit counseling company appears to have several complaints all alleging the same thing, it’s time to look for another company.

Report Scam Credit Repair Companies

If after performing a due diligence on a credit counseling company you find the company is not legitimate and are attempting to scam you, contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a report. The FTC takes such reports seriously as they are doing all they can to crack down on unscrupulous companies that take advantage of people seeking financial help.

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Category: Credit

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits and Stuff.

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