Category Archives: Credit Reports

Suspicious Email: credit reporting agencies are NOT going to remove accurate negative information

I recieved the following suspicious email message this morning. I have removed all the links; other than that, this is the full text:

Credit News: “All Three Credit Bureaus Forced to Remove All Negative Credit” 

Hi, it’s Glenn Garvin with updated news about your credit…

*** Find Out How Your Negative Credit Can Be Removed By The Bureaus***

All negative credit can now be removed from any credit report……and not just by Experian…TransUnion and Equifax will also remove all negative credit because…

….of a simple and proven legal strategy that forces them to comply with the “Law” based on Section 609 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The Section 609 Credit System is patented and copyrighted and has been used on behalf of 125,000+ clients since 1999 to remove or turn to positive over 5 million negative items….

But the amazing thing is that…

It has never lost a single case. – Not one case…Ever!

The Section 609 Credit System is used for the clients of over 3,500 Law Firms and Attorneys and well over 22,000 Lenders and Loan Officers…because it works!

To Be Clear: The Section 609 Credit System can remove ALL negative credit from ANY credit report from all three Bureaus…

Think of what this can mean for you or someone you know who is currently living with damaged credit…..A huge boost in scores and no more negative credit showing up on credit reports….within a few short weeks!

There’s a lot more to know about the Section 609 Credit System….

So a Free Section 609 Guide has been prepared to explain everything.

Don’t hesitate… ***** Get Your FREE REPORT Right Here ******

I’ll check back again with more information,

Glenn

PS. This is NOT credit “repair”. You’ll learn why in the free report.

If you already have great credit, please pass this information on to some who is not as fortunate. The fastest growing segment of the entire country are people with lower credit scores.

The Section 609 System is the only successful method that legally forces the credit agencies to remove all negative credit.

CreditRestore
(mailing address removed)

Really?

A while back, I did a “play along at home” post with a suspicious email. I posted the full text, with very little comment, and then posted my list of things that should tip you off that it was a scam the next day.

This time, I’m just going to pass judgment: this email is extremely suspicious. I would not click on a single link, trust a single word, or give it a second thought. There was a mailing address at the bottom, and I can say this much about it: Glenn Garvin doesn’t live there.

What I think they’re doing is selling you some “secret” method of clearing your credit report of any negative information.

It won’t work, by the way; the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) will not remove accurate records from your credit report. The law, believe it or not, is on their side. Imagine—the financial industry having been set up over many decades by lawyers, bankers and legislators who knew exactly what they were doing and covered every base.

It reminds me of those Mortage Elimination scams you see sometimes—the ones where you pay for some “secret” information. When (and if) you get the information, it’s some crackpot theory about how your mortgage wasn’t actually money, and therefore you don’t have to pay it back, and your case will win every time in court. What actually happens is that you end up losing your house (at best) and serving time in prison for fraud (at worst).

That’s probably exactly what this “Section 609 System” is: a way for you to make your credit problems seem trivial, once you’ve been convicted on federal charges.

By the way, here is the full text of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Section 609 says you have the right to dispute information on your credit report. It does not say the agencies have to remove it just because you said so. It’s in Section 609 (c), which is actually readable; the heavy legal-ese starts later in the Section.

Also: Glenn Garvin is apparently a journalist (Miami Herald) and libertarian activist. I’m pretty sure he isn’t selling credit repair secrets. Plus, no veteran journalist would ever use that many ellipses. It’s very poor writing.

Another article about getting your credit report

There is an excellent blog site called Get Rich Slowly that I highly recommend. It doesn’t really cover fraud or identity theft—the focus is on personal finance. Getting out of debt, saving money, spending wisely; J.D. covers it all, and he speaks from experience (he went from a mountain of credit card to zero over the course of a few years).

However, since we’ve been on the topic of credit reports and credit repair this week, I thought I’d post a link to a GRS article from a couple months ago. The article is about Annualcreditreport.com versus the one with the silly commercials, and you can read it right here. He also links to an article from yet another site. There’s plenty to read!

Normally I like to create the content for this site, but that’s just because I like to write. When someone else has an article I think you should read, I have no problem linking to it. Definitely check out Get Rich Slowly. It’s good stuff.

Credit Repair Scams

They’re out there.

They’re waiting for you.

They say they want to help you. They say they can fix your less-than-perfect credit history.

What they really want is to rip you off.

Big time.

First off, it is important to know that there are legitimate agencies that can help you get your financial situation back on track. I’ll talk about some of those later.

However, there are also a lot of agencies looking to help themselves to your cash. Here are a few things to remember:

  1. You should never pay an upfront fee for any type of credit counseling service. This is a major warning sign that they are up to no good.
  2. They must (by law) provide you with a copy of your rights as a consumer. This tells you what you may and may not do in regards to your credit history. If they do not provide this information, it is another warning sign.
  3. If your credit history has accurate negative information, it’s there to stay for seven years (ten for bankruptcy). There is no legal way to have it removed. Are they offering to delete records of a credit card you actually defaulted on? Warning sign.
  4. If there are mistakes on your report, know that you can correct them yourself for free. If an agency is trying to keep you from contacting a credit bureau yourself, that’s…you guessed it: a warning sign.
  5. It is illegal to try to create a new Social Security number or Employer Identification number for the purpose of creating a clean credit file. It doesn’t work, and it can get you into far worse trouble (we’re talking about the kind of trouble that could involve handcuffs and mugshots).
  6. Check out any credit reporting agency with the Better Business Bureau before you even consider using their services.
  7. The minute they use the term “piggybacking,” walk away. It doesn’t work. Warning sign.
  8. There are advertisements everywhere for credit repair services—email messages, on the radio, even on television. I’m just going to throw this out there: ignore them all. Maybe some of them are legit, but many are not. Do your own research and make your own decision. A flashy commercial that makes big promises is a definite (say it with me) warning sign.
  9. Legitimate credit counseling agencies are non-profit organizations. Every single one of them.

So…now that you know how to avoid a scam, where can you go for legitimate credit couseling?

REGIONAL Federal Credit Union works with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Northwest Indiana (http://www.cccsnwi.org/), a non-profit agency. REGIONAL partners with CCCSNWI because they’re trustworthy, and they do exactly what a credit counseling service should do.

You can also find information about legitimate services nationwide from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (http://www.nfcc.org/). They don’t work with scammers.

As always, before you use any credit counseling service, check them out with the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org). If they’re not BBB accredited, and if they don’t have a pretty spotless record, look elsewhere.

Personally, I’d never use an agency that had anything less than an “A+” rating.

Five Things About Credit Reports

  1. By law, you are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.
  2. There is only ONE place to safely obtain these credit reports: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/. Beware of websites with similar names, since these could be spoof sites created to steal personal information (which you are required to provide when you get your credit reports). Also, do not be taken in by cute commercials with catchy songs. You know the ones I’m talking about. That is a service (of debatable value) that costs around $80 per year and, from what I hear, is very difficult to cancel. They’ve gotten in some hot water regarding advertising practices, too.
  3. You can obtain your credit score when you get your reports, but you will have to pay for this information. The report is free, getting the score is not. For the purposes of checking for identity theft, fraud and errors, you do not need your score. Actually, you don’t really need it for much of anything, unless you’re the type who wants to brag about your credit score. People are not impressed by that, incidentally.
  4. All three of the major credit reporting agencies are required to share new information with each other within 24 hours, so your credit reports should all contain the same information. Use this to your advantage: stagger your reports so (for example) you’re getting TransUnion in January, Equifax in May, and Experian in September. It’s a great way to keep tabs, rather than getting all three in January then waiting 12 months to check your reports again.
  5. When you read your credit reports, you’re looking for accounts you did not open, errors regarding late payments, charge-offs or collections, and balances that are wildly different than what you think they should be (if it says you owe Discover $14,000 when you’ve never owed more than $27, for example). Basically, you’re checking to make sure all the information is accurate.

Credit reports are a vast, complex subject. I’ll talk more about them this week—this could turn into a series!