Protecting Yourself from Credit Repair Scams in Nebraska
Bad credit may seem like an insurmountable problem that you cannot ever overcome. You may be so desperate to raise your credit score that you are willing to go to just about any length to get rid of bad credit on your report.
Your desperation opens you to being taken advantage of by scam artists who prey on your fear and embarrassment of having bad credit. You can protect yourself and avoid becoming the victim of a credit repair scam by following the recommendations that Nebraska lays out for its residents.
Legal Boundaries for Nebraska Credit Repair Services
Many credit repair companies have your best interests at heart and can genuinely help you navigate the credit repair process. For every legitimate company that exists, however, another scam credit repair service can be found in Nebraska.
According to the University of Nebraska Lincoln, it is easy to know a credit repair scam by the empty promises they offer you. These companies guarantee to erase bad credit forever or to help you create a new identity or credit report. Some even go so far as to guarantee that your credit will improve or that cases like bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and other files can be eliminated entirely from your credit report.
In fact, it is not legally possible for any credit repair service, legitimate or not, to guarantee its services or remove negative entries from your report. Negative information must expire on its own, typically anywhere from seven to 10 years depending on the type of debt owed.
Bankruptcies, for example, stay on your record for 10 years while civil judgments, medical debts, defaulted loans, and other debts remain for seven years. This information cannot be removed unless they contain information that is wrong, fraudulent, or outdated. If so, you can legally dispute them and have them corrected or removed by the credit reporting bureau.
Know Your Rights
Your bad credit does not cancel out the rights that you have as a consumer. You are protected under federal and state law from being taken advantage of just the same as people who have excellent or good credit.
Before you sign up for credit repair services in Nebraska, you should know some important details about the company and its ability to help you first. The University of Nebraska Lincoln urges you to discover important details like how much you will be charged for the services and when you are expected to pay them.
You also should know what the company expects you to do to help dispute information in your file. For example, will you be expected to show proof of your debts or submit documentation like your tax records or paycheck stubs? For what purpose will this information be used and who else will have access to it once you submit it to the company?
Finally, you should demand a full list of the company’s disclosures so that you know that it is abiding by current Nebraska and federal law. If it refuses to provide you with these disclosures, you should avoid doing business with it. It is not complying with regulations put in place by the U.S. government and by Nebraska state law.
What Else Can You Do to Improve Your Credit?
Nebraska also wants its citizens to know that they can do a lot themselves to improve their credit. They do not have to pay a service to make disputes to their reports, for example. Everyone in the U.S. is entitled to one free copy of their credit reports from each bureau once a year. You can also request a report if you have been turned down for credit in the last 60 days.
Another important step to repairing your credit simply involves paying your bills on time. You can still pay your debts after they have been reported to the credit bureau. After they are paid, these entries will be reported as paid in full, which could help raise your score.
Like many states, Nebraska wants its citizens to be careful when seeking out credit repair services. You can improve your score and report by knowing how to protect yourself from scams that take advantage of your desperation to regain good credit.