Should you use a third party to increase your credit score?

Many people find themselves in a situation where their credit score has deteriorated and they have great difficulty obtaining any form of credit. Apart from the inconvenience of not having access to credit cards, personal loans or store accounts, bigger purchases such as vehicles or property will be virtually impossible.

You can improve and repair your own credit score with the right information and some self-discipline and effort. For some ideas on how to do this, refer to our article: 7 Tips To Increase Your Credit Score.

There are also a number of companies that offer to do this on your behalf, obviously for a fee. They are generally known as credit repair agencies. Some of these companies work with attorneys and employ people with credit bureau experience so they have a good understanding of how the system and process works. While there are many legitimate companies that offer a useful service for a fair fee, there are many that tend to make unrealistic promises and seldom deliver what you expected. In the case of these less than reputable companies, the money paid to them would be much better spent paying towards the worst of your debt.

Fortunately for the consumer, particularly those that are less financially informed, the industry has been regulated for some time. These companies are only allowed to charge you once they have achieved what was promised, be it rescinding a paid-up judgment, removing an adverse listing or improving your credit score. Although many of these companies have knowledge and experience in the industry, there is only so much they can do. There are rules that stipulate how long certain information will stay on your credit report no matter what anyone does. Obviously, they can help to remove any information that is incorrect.

With a bit of homework, you can actively work on all of these things yourself and improve your credit score by following the correct process. It is not terribly difficult but does take a bit of time and effort. If you prefer to have a credit repair company do this on your behalf, ensure that you deal with a reputable company. Try to get referrals from credible people that are happy with the service they have received from them. Ensure you have everything in writing and you understand all aspects of the service as well as the costs.