On their face, credit repair clinics may seem like your prayers answered. They offer the help of experienced professionals in fixing your credit, something many of us could use these days more than ever. Unfortunately, credit repair clinics could probably quite fairly be described as scams. Worse still, they prey on people who are already in a bad situation and they charge them for the pleasure.
The thing is, though, these clinics can’t do anything—legally—that you couldn’t do yourself. Most of their supposed services are easy enough to do on your own too. Some of their tactics could actually dig your hole a lot deeper too and when they’re through, you’ll have even less money to deal with it.
Some of their methods are 100% illegal as well. In the past, two especially common “services” they have provided include:
- Stealing social security numbers or credit files from minors or those who have passed away and then substituting them for their customers to help improve their credit histories.
- Recommending to their clients that they apply for an IRS Employer Identification number and then using it in place of a social security number to apply for credit.
In the short term, these tactics may look beneficial to the naïve, but being illegal, they can completely destroy your credit too, and they can land you in serious trouble.
Understand, too, that being a non-profit credit repair clinic doesn’t make the organization any more trustworthy. The truth is that many companies take on this title because being a for-profit company comes with greater scrutiny and tighter regulations in most states. Check out their reputation with the Better Business Bureau to find what may be hiding under that description.
Credit counselors, financial advisors and even social workers can all help you get out of your bad credit situation. However, credit repair clinics are only going to harm and the worst case scenario is never worth risking.