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Recognize False Credit Repair Advertising

"No Credit, No Problem" Whether a consumer is able to purchase or finance an item using their credit history as a guideline may or may not be a problem. A decision to lend a person money based on their credit rating is made by a lending institution. For the most part, the more expensive the purchase, the better your credit must be to purchase it. Large scale items such as homes or cars generally require a good credit history. A lower credit score can increase the likelihood of denial for credit. Many factors go into a bank or business's decision to lend money to an individual. It is impossible, therefore, to guarantee a consumer that they will be allowed to make purchases no matter what their credit rating.

"100% Guarantee--Erase Bad Credit" No one can legally remove accurate negative information from a credit report. Federal law allows for people to dispute inaccurate or outdated information on their credit reports. There is no charge to request a credit reporting agency to do an investigation of inaccurate information. Visit the FTC website for steps to take in disputing information on your credit report and provide your own self-help.

"Get a New Legal Credit Identity" A company may tell you to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) as a way of erasing a negative credit history. Creating a new legal identity to avoid your credit history violates federal law. These numbers come from the IRS and are legitimate for businesses to file business taxes. It is a federal crime to use these numbers for personal credit and tax use instead of your Social Security Number.

"Remove Bankruptcies, Judgments, Charge-Offs, and Liens" The general reporting rules for accurate negative information are the following: bankruptcies can be reported for 10 years; judgments or liens can be reported for 7 years or until the statute of limitations runs out, if longer; information regarding criminal convictions does not have a time limitation and most other types of credit information can be reported for 7 years. For exceptions to these rules, please see the Fair Credit Reporting Act on the FTC website.

These tips are for every consumer attempting a fast fix for past credit mistakes. If you believe that you have been victimized, call the Division of Consumer Affairs at (615) 741-4737, in Tennessee (800) 342-8385. Most important, if in doubt, remember the following:

A consumer should NOT do business with a company if....

    1. The company suggests you apply for an Employer Identification Number.
    2. Their employees claim that they are the only ones who can contact the credit reporting agency.
    3. The company wants you to pay for services before they are completed.
    4. Anyone suggests you take an action that is illegal.