"Erase bad credit" the credit repair ads say. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says something quite different. "Don't be misled by credit repair ads. . . . Promises to repair or clean up a bad credit file can almost never be kept." How do these firms get away with making false promises? They just operate until the government shuts them down; then they open shop again under a new name.
Even worse, many tactics these firms promote could land you in jail. For example, one trick they pull is to get you a new credit file under a different (false) social security number or business tax number. If caught (and you will likely get caught in our ever-more-automated, no-privacy world), the Feds can prosecute you for identity fraud or obtaining credit through fraudulent misrepresentations. Anytime you fib, deceive, mislead, omit, overstate, or understate to obtain credit from a federal- or state-regulated financial institution, you commit criminal fraud.
You can improve your credit record and scores when you follow the steps outlined in Mortgage Secrets or other books by reputable authors and publishers. Countrywide Funding, the huge mortgage banking firm, publishes an excellent (and free) credit repair manual. Also see Your Credit Score, by Liz Pulliam Weston (2nd ed., FT Press, 2007). This bookprovides many good credit repair tips and tactics. (Credit repairs in this sense doesn't mean jettisoning lawful negative entries from your credit file. It means correcting wrongful entries, adding legitimate entries, and careful credit management that complies with the rules manufactured by Fair, Isaac and other credit scoring systems.)5
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