Repairing Bad Credit Legitimately in New Jersey

In this difficult economy, many Newark, New Jersey, area residents are struggling with excessive debt and poor credit ratings. A bad credit rating can make it difficult to obtain a mortgage, car loan or apartment and can haunt a person for years.

Credit Repair Scams

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous companies are taking advantage of debtors by offering too-good-to-be-true schemes for repairing credit ratings. These bogus credit repair organizations may even encourage unlawful behavior.

Federal law protects consumers from credit repair scams. A legitimate credit repair company will provide a copy of the federal law and a contract the customer can review before signing. The contract must contain:

  • The organization's name and address
  • A description of services to be provided
  • The time period for completing services
  • The fee amount
  • A statement that the customer has the right to cancel the contract within three days

Illegitimate organizations may:

  • Promise to remove accurate information from the customer's credit report
  • Have a customer obtain a new social security number and new identity
  • Ask for payment before doing any work
  • Ask customers to waive their legal rights to consumer protection

Bad Credit Can Improve

Rather than take a chance on a credit repair organization, many New Jersey residents find filing for bankruptcy is a better solution. Surprisingly, bankruptcy can result in a better credit rating, because of two factors.

First, a person who must file for bankruptcy probably already has a poor credit rating, so bankruptcy won't dramatically lower the rating and dig a deeper hole.

Second, if you do file for bankruptcy it is possible that you will get credit card offers that will allow you to rebuild your credit. Over time, with careful use of credit, the person will be able to build their credit with on-time payments and possibly get an unsecured card and higher limit. But, without bankruptcy it is quite likely that no one will offer you credit for many years, making rebuilding credit virtually impossible.

A skilled bankruptcy attorney will prove to be invaluable in helping a person burdened by debt. The attorney can make sure all debts get included in the bankruptcy filing and offer advice about actions to take after bankruptcy.