If your credit is damaged, making efforts to repair it can help you both financially and professionally. Although credit reporting laws in many countries allow you to challenge untrue information on your credit report, sometimes you may need a credit repair lawyer to advise or advocate for you. When selecting a credit repair lawyer, be sure to ask questions about the services he or she provides, clarify costs, and get some references. It is also important to clarify how the lawyer's services differ from any self-help measures available to you.
Many countries give consumers specific rights when it comes to challenging information on a credit report. You don't need a credit repair lawyer to help you read your report or write to a credit bureau requesting that changes be made. For example, in the United States, federal law requires all credit bureaus to provide consumers with one free copy of their credit report each year. You can improve your credit score by filing credit bureau disputes regarding untrue information. It is also possible to improve your credit score by taking steps to reduce debt and free up available credit. You don't need a lawyer for any of these things.
On the other hand, some credit problems may require professional help. If a credit bureau, collection agency, or creditor refuses to remove information from your report that you know to be untrue, contact from a credit repair lawyer might get the creditor's attention. If you have a lot of items on your credit report that need to be challenged, some credit repair lawyers offer ongoing services in which all disputes are handled by their office paralegals. This can save you the time and trouble of an ongoing correspondence with creditors and credit reporting agencies. If you are interested in debt negotiation, a settlement offer on a lawyer's letterhead may have more impact than if it comes directly from you.
Ask a credit repair lawyer about his or her success rate in dealing with cases similar to yours. Be sure that the services are affordable, and ask for an estimate as to how long he or she thinks it will take to improve your credit score and remove inaccurate information from your report. Inquire about a refund policy as well. It is also a good idea to check with the licensing agency for attorneys in your area to see if the credit repair lawyer is indeed licensed to practice law. You can also ask if he has been subject to disciplinary measures in the past or if there are any pending complaints against him.