There is a warning from the consumer advocates about credit repair schemes. Crooks are preying on people desperate to improve their score. If you've been trying to repair yours, crooks are hoping to fool you with bogus offers.
Douglas Alexander with Alexander Financial Services says the warning should be taken seriously. "They are trying to get your information and use it where they can to get money and in the end hurt you," he said.
The deception typically starts with a phone call and big promises to instantly repair your credit. Criminals know your credit score matters when it comes to buying a car, home and sometimes evening getting a new job. Alexander says don't fall for the fear tactics. "It will scare people but what people should realize is that nobody is going to contact you. The IRS is not going to contact you, credit companies are not going to contact you. You need to take the initiative to contact them," he said.
Your first line of defense is never to trust random calls offering to repair you credit. Also, if you are asked to pay money up front, you're promised a new credit history, or guaranteed that a company can remove late payments off your credit history, steer clear.
Keep in mind there are legitimate credit repair companies out there -- you just have to do your research. Check with consumer organizations like the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs before you give up your information or money. The Federal Trade Commission also offers some helpful tips if you're looking to repair your credit. "I as a consumer would want to know my facts, what am I getting involved in, do I have the right to cancel, what is my exit strategy," Alexander said.
You can check your credit report for free at
If you notice anything suspicious or feel there is a mistake you can dispute it. By law, you have the right to cancel any credit repair service that you're not happy with, but you have to act quickly. You have three days to stop the service.