Receivable/Accounts - Information for Credit and Collection Issues

Friday, July 17, 2020

Are Credit Repair Services Legitimate?



So, a while back I did an interview with Doug Hoyes on Debt Free in 30, and we talked about how to negotiate with a collection agent – you can find the webcast here:



The interesting thing is I continue to receive notices of all sorts of comments on the YouTube video – some were people asking for advice on how to settle with an agency, which is a great thing because they are trying to meet half-way with the creditor and resolve their debts.  Some were leery of giving out personal information (which is understandable).

However, the one thing that got under my skin is a commenter started spamming all the messages in the YouTube comments, saying ‘I dealt with XYZ company to repair my credit’.  Which I will be honest, I find suspicious.  The fact they want you to email a gmail account makes me even more suspicious.  Doing some basic investigation, and going to the credit repair website alarms me even more.

To my mind, there is nothing a credit repair company can do that you cannot – you can investigate your own bureau by requesting a copy, and dispute any inaccurate information, or derogatory information that is over 6 years old.  And you can do it for free.  A credit repair company cannot magically remove tradeline items showing your payment history on a credit card, they can’t remove a valid collection item or judgment, and they certainly can’t remove inquiries.

If you want to request a copy of your credit bureau with either Equifax or Trans Union, or dispute any items on the bureau that are inaccurate, you can do so here:

https://www.transunion.ca/resources/transunion-ca/doc/personal/Consumer_Disclosure_Request_Form_en.pdf

http://www.equifax.com/ecm/canada/EFXCreditReportRequestForm.pdf

http://www.transunion.ca/ca/personal/creditdisputes_en.page  

http://www.consumer.equifax.ca/dispute-ca/dispute_process/en_ca

Now, some people might be intimidated by the bureaus, bureaucracy or forms – some people don’t know what to do, and might want to hire a credit repair company, and that’s all fair and legitimate.  Just make sure you know your rights – here’s a link below to the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services touching on credit reporting and repair services.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/credit-reports

I will be honest, while I haven’t had any positive experience with credit repair companies, or consumers who have worked successfully with consumer repair companies, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.   

EDIT: Actually, someone did reach out to me after this article was published and gave me a couple of examples of credit repair companies that assist with fraud, debt coercion, and identity theft such as Project Recover (www.projectrecover.ca). Certainly victims of fraud or crime would have a legitimate use for credit repair, and these companies would wildly differ from someone selling falsified tradelines, and would certainly be considered ethical and meet the provincial and federal requirements for credit repair services.

I’m happy to hear some other positive experiences if anyone can share them.  But until I hear some good news, I would warn folks to know what they are getting into before signing a contract, and if you are going to hire a credit repair company, just like hiring any company to help you, do your research first.


Thanks kindly,

Blair DeMarco-Wettlaufer
KINGSTON Data & Credit
Cambridge, Ontario
226-946-1730
bwettlaufer@kingstondc.com