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State Attorney General
Several states have laws that regulate credit repair companies. If you have a problem with a credit repair company, report it to the local consumer affairs office or your state Attorney General’s office.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
You may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Although the FTC can not resolve individual disputes related to credit issues, it can take action against a company when it presents a repeated pattern of possible violations of the law. File a complaint online at FTC.gov/queja or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Where to get legitimate help
Having a poor credit report does not mean that you have no chance of getting credit. Companies that provide credit establish their own standards and not all analyze their credit history in the same way. Some lenders may evaluate your case concentrating only in the last few years, and if you have improved the level of payment compliance of your bills, they could give you credit. It is worth communicating informally with the credit grantors to discuss the criteria and standards they apply to extend credit.
If you are not disciplined enough to make and fulfill a budget, or try to establish a repayment plan with your creditors, or if you are unable to control your growing stack of bills, you may consider contacting an advisory organization Credit. There are several credit counseling organizations that operate as non-profit entities and will work with you to resolve your financial problems. But keep in mind that “non-profit” does not always mean that you will receive free services, at an affordable or even legitimate cost. In fact, some credit counseling organizations – even some that say they operate non-profit – can charge high fees or hide their charges by pushing consumers to make “voluntary” contributions that will only increase their level of indebtedness.
Most credit counselors offer services in local offices, on the internet or by telephone. If possible, try to find an organization that offers advisory services in person. There are several universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities and branches of the US Cooperative Extension Service. (U.S. Cooperative Extension Service) operating nonprofit credit counseling programs. Your local bank or financial institution, local consumer protection agency and your friends and family can also be a good source of information and referrals.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, keep in mind that applicable bankruptcy laws state that you must receive credit counseling from a government-approved organization within six months of filing your bankruptcy filing. At www.usdoj.gov/ust, the US U.S. (U.S. Trustee Program), you can access a list of government-approved organizations in each state. This organization, reporting to the US Department of Justice, oversees bankruptcy cases and bankruptcy trustees. Be wary of credit counseling organizations that tell you that they are approved by the government but are not on the list of approved organizations.
Reputable credit counseling organizations can advise you on how to manage your money and your debts, help you budget, and provide educational materials and workshops on this topic. The counselors of these organizations are certified and trained in areas of consumer credit, money and debt management, and budgeting. Counselors will talk with you to address your overall financial situation, and can help you develop a customized plan to solve your money problems. Typically, an initial counseling session lasts about an hour and, if desired, you can attend other follow-up sessions.