Recently, at one of my world famous (or so my mother thinks) Home Buyer Seminars we ended up talking about credit scores quite a bit. I know I’ve written about credit scores before, but it’s such a hot topic. Indulge me, won’t you?
Contacting a credit repair company can be a bad thing to do. They lure you in with the promise of making your credit problems go away with a simple $99 monthly fee. They review your credit report, looking for outstanding debt. Then they fire off letters to dispute that debt, saying it is not yours, even when it is. (Something seems wrong about that.) Once a dispute has been filed, those items get suspended on your credit report until the dispute is settled. So for a period of time, the debt may not count against your credit score. However, you will be unable to get many kinds of credit while you have an unresolved dispute. And most people go through this process with their eye on needing some sort of credit. While your credit score may be adequate to get a mortgage or other loan, just the simple fact of having an outstanding dispute can knock you out of the game completely.
Plus you’re paying $99 a month and disputing debts that are legitimately yours. Here’s some good news. One mortgage lender in town has a program I call the “What If” program. If you want to deliberately work on raising your credit score, the “What If” program allows the lender to input credit report info and a desired credit score. The program will tell you exactly WHAT you need to do and in what order to do those things, IF you want to hit your target credit score in the shortest time possible. There’s no cost to this service. No catch. And one of the reasons I encourage people who think they may want to buy a home (for the first time or the fifth time) to meet with a lender at least a year out, whenever possible. Why not take the opportunity to put yourself in the best position possible?