FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS?

See below for frequently asked questions about credit repair.

Legal Credit Repair | How can bad credit be legally repaired?

It is your right and responsibility to assure the accuracy of the items on your credit reports. If information recorded on your credit reports does not accurately represent your behavior as a consumer, then you have the right to request that questionable information be removed from your reports. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) afford you the legal right to dispute inaccurate items on your credit reports with the credit bureaus and your individual creditors. The most popular method for restoring bad credit is the credit bureau dispute. Because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to dispute and delete any items on your credit report that you feel are inaccurate, untimely, misleading, biased, incomplete or unverified. When you dispute a questionable negative credit item with the credit bureaus, you are demanding that they perform an investigation to determine whether or not the item should be listed on your credit reports. If the credit bureau cannot verify the accuracy of the item, then they are required to correct the listing or completely delete it from your credit report. Another facet of credit repair is to work with your creditors to remove the negative items from your credit reports. Your creditors have the ability to delete negative items from your credit reports at any time. With more cooperative creditors, sometimes all it takes is to ask the creditor to adjust or delete a negative credit listing. In situations where this non-confrontational approach is not sufficient, the various consumer protection acts provide you with tools for forcing creditors and collections agencies to prove the accuracy of the reported accounts. By using some or all of their legal rights to fair and accurate credit reporting, thousands of people have legally and successfully restored their credit and improved their credit score. Consumer protection laws are in place to keep you from becoming a victim of the credit reporting system. By taking advantage of your rights under these statutes, you can help ensure that you are not charged excessive interest rates or unfairly denied credit. Sometimes it becomes necessary to attack your credit reports with a variety of legal tactics. When a credit bureau investigation fails to remove a negative item, the FCBA and FDCPA provide additional avenues for improving your credit score.

How do you help repair bad credit?

Federal Credit Group helps clients investigate, repair and dispute, as applicable, their bad credit by working to ensure that the negative items appearing within their credit reports are fairly reported, 100% accurate, and fully substantiated. Once you have provided more information regarding items you want us to challenge and dispute, as appropriate, Federal Credit Group will prepare the appropriate intervention letters for creditors and challenge letters for bureaus. Legal interventions sent to creditors, such as escalated account investigations, goodwill interventions and formal requests for debt validation, may increase the likelihood of accelerated results but do not necessarily follow the same timeline as for credit bureau challenges. Also, when a creditor agrees to stop reporting a negative item, it typically disappears from all three credit reports at once. At the conclusion of the credit bureau's investigation, a new copy of your credit report should be sent to your home along with any deletions or improvements if any were made. Be sure to forward to us any information you may receive directly from creditors and bureaus. In turn, we'll keep you posted regarding our communications within our website. In order for credit bureaus to maintain a questionable credit listing within your report, they must have evidence that it is fair, verifiably accurate, and wholly substantiated. If the credit listing is only somewhat inaccurate, the credit bureau may simply change the item to reflect the accurate status. Very often, though, disputed credit items cannot be verified because a creditor or third-party debt collector no longer possesses the information or does not wish to go to the trouble of verifying it. In these cases, the listing should be removed. Also, credit bureau reinvestigations must be completed within a reasonable period, usually 30 days, or the listing must be removed. For these reasons, properly challenged questionable credit listings have been removed with remarkable frequency.* Remember that you have the right under federal law to conduct your own credit repair work if you so choose.

How long does it take to repair my credit?

It would be inappropriate for Federal Credit Group or any other credit repair firm to promise a particular case outcome during a definitive time frame. In other words, because so much depends upon third parties like creditors and credit bureaus, and because each client case is unique, we can't predict whether any specific credit report item will ultimately be corrected. What we can promise, however, is to complete the promised work each month — sending appropriate creditor interventions and bureau challenges, preparing applicable monthly credit score improvement analyses, and making sure that other service features you have engaged are provided. We can also provide you with information regarding what kinds of credit report outcomes our past clients have seen. As is true in all legal matters, no two cases are the same and your experience may differ. Statistically, our clients have seen impressive credit report results, with an average of 15.9 items, or 28% of their representing negatives, removed within 3 months.** Again, the progress of your case will depend on your timely participation (keeping us updated when you have additional information), the nature of your case, and the level of third-party (creditors, debt collectors, bureaus) cooperation. No firm can promise a particular result within a certain time frame since every case and credit report is different. Be wary of any credit repair company that guarantees to "clean up your credit in 30 days". Not only is it illegal to guarantee results for credit repair, it is impossible to predict final actions and decisions of creditors, debt collectors, and credit bureaus.

Can deleted items reappear on my credit report?

On occasion, a negative listing that was recently deleted may eventually be verified by the creditor. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that the credit bureau inform you before they re-report a previously deleted listing. The FCRA also makes it more difficult for credit bureaus to re-report listings. Because of these factors, it is fairly rare for listings to come back on once they've been deleted. If a questionable credit item is verified at a later point in time, Federal Credit Group will help you challenge the listing again if there are legitimate grounds to do so.

Do I need to pay my bills?

If there are delinquent questionable listings appearing on your credit reports that have not been paid off, the actual debt behind the account remains the same even if the account is deleted from your credit report. You may still owe the same money that you validly owed in the first place subject to your state's applicable statute of limitations. If you don't pay the debt, the creditor or a collection agency may re-report the listing. Removing a negative listing without addressing the debt is only a temporary solution. In fact, we will only dispute credit listings that you indicate are inaccurate, untimely, misleading, biased, incomplete or unverifiable. If you feel that a negative credit listing is 100% accurate, timely and verifiable, then do not dispute it. Sometimes a collections agency will report a debt to the credit bureaus that you do not owe. In these cases, debt validation procedures like those offered in any of our service levels may be necessary to remove the collections from your credit reports.

Does paying my bills restore my credit?

You would think that would be true, but the credit reporting system just doesn't work that way. When you pay an old debt, the negative credit listing doesn't disappear. Once paid, it may appear on your credit report as a paid delinquency, charge off or collection (whatever the case may be). Unfortunately, if your goal is simply to repair your credit, merely paying off your debts won't get you there. You also need to work to restore your credit at the same time. Of course, paying your debts in a timely manner may prevent future problems with your credit report. Repairing bad credit is a significant challenge for most consumers and we're here to help. Be forewarned, sometimes settling a debt will actually lower your credit score temporarily. When settling outstanding debts, request that your creditors stop reporting the account or mark the account as "paid in full" in exchange for payment.

Do I need to see my credit first?

Most people begin researching credit repair after they have been denied credit. Most don't even know what questionable negative listings are appearing on their credit report. When contacting Federal Credit Group, you will receive a free credit consultation in which you can learn how to pull a free copy of your credit reports. During this consultation, a Federal Credit Group representative will also help you analyze your credit history and find out if credit repair is right for you. If at that time you decide you would like to enlist the help of Federal Credit Group to dispute the questionable negative items in your credit reports, you will be able to sign-up over the phone and immediately get started with the dispute process. Because of this, even if you have not yet seen your credit reports, we suggest that you contact us to receive your free, no-obligation, credit consultation.

Do you guarantee your work?

It is important to understand there are no guarantees involved with legal services. It is just like in a court of law where an attorney could never guarantee a client that the judge or jury would find in their favor. In fact, any credit repair company that guarantees success is not being honest with you. Federal Credit Group is a small firm and its employees are held to the highest ethical standards by their states' rules of professional conduct. Also, Federal Credit Group offers its 30 years of experience and its good name as assurances that your case will be handled responsibly and professionally. Be wary of any credit repair company that guarantees to "clean up your credit in 30 days". Not only is it illegal to guarantee results for credit repair, it is impossible to predict the actions of your creditors or the credit bureaus.

Can I repair my own credit?

Yes. You have the legal right to work out your credit disputes with the credit agencies and credit grantors yourself. Given experience and study, you could do much of what our staff does. It is similar to your right as a citizen to represent yourself in court. Many people, however, choose to ask Federal Credit Group to represent them because of the depth of experience the group will bring to bear. When making the decision to repair your own credit reports or enlist the assistance of a professional credit repair firm such as Federal Credit Group, it may be helpful to consider the amount of time that may be required to effectively repair your credit. In our experience, a typical consumer simply does not have the time to research and experiment with credit disputing methods in order to find the best course of action for their individual credit situation. In contrast, Federal Credit Group has the accumulated knowledge from helping our clients successfully remove over 9.9 million questionable negative items from their credit reports. Our extensive experience means you will see the highest possible return on your time and money as our efforts on your behalf will only utilize credit improvement strategies which have proven to be effective. For instance, our letters have been written by a psychologist who understands how to phrase the dispute letters in such a manner as to gain the most results and we've tested these letters' effectiveness repeatedly to ensure they are the best. While they may not be what you would write, they are written to produce results. Also consider the amount of time and follow-up required to coordinate disputes with all three credit reporting agencies and the creditors appearing on your credit report. When you begin the credit disputing process, you are initiating a dialogue with these entities. This dialogue requires you to properly respond to credit bureau and creditor communications in order to keep the credit repair process moving. To manage this process for our clients, Federal Credit Group has systematized the credit repair process through a trained staff of lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants, all using state of the art technology. In our years of credit repair experience, we have worked to continually improve and refine our processes to provide the best value for our clients. With that said, we encourage consumers to dispute their own credit if they have the desire, the time and knowledge to do so. Often times, credit repair is much more difficult than simply sending dispute letters to the credit bureaus. The credit reporting system does not always work in your favor and many creditors who use your credit score would prefer you have a less than perfect credit score because this allows them to charge higher interest and get more money from you. Many people who have tried to repair their own credit can attest to the difficulty of getting results. In fact, a 2004 study of over 2,000 Federal Credit Group clients showed that almost 40% of clients had tried to repair their credit themselves before retaining the firm.

Do you need updated credit reports?

Our ability to help you delete questionable negative items is dependent on having up-to-date credit reports. Without copies of your current credit reports we are somewhat limited in what we can do to progress a client's case because we need to know the status of previously disputed items before crafting the next round of disputes. For example, if we do not know that a questionable negative item has been deleted and we dispute the same item again, it can slow the process and increase the time until you see your desired results. In addition, if in response to a dispute the credit bureaus deny an investigation or request additional information, Federal Credit Group requires this response in order to craft the next round of disputes. The credit bureaus may send you more information than just your credit reports. We ask that you forward all correspondence from the credit bureaus as each item may be useful in handling your individual case. Clients who are quick to send in their updated credit reports will get the most value out of the service. The less time we spend waiting for your reports, the faster we can get to work on the credit repair process.

How it works?

Ever since consumer protection statutes made credit repair possible, creditors have been working to make it complicated and difficult. Our group's 30 years of experience fighting for consumers have helped us develop tools and strategies to make things easier for you — the way it should be. The Federal Credit Group Process -----Case Intake----- Once you engage our firm, we help you obtain your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Since each client's case is unique, we will collect specific information regarding your particular circumstances for each item in question. -----Legal Action----- The attorneys and paralegals assigned to your case will review your credit reports and then direct appropriate correspondence to your creditors and the credit bureaus. Your credit report items are carefully triaged and matched with just the right credit repair strategies as applicable to your case. -----Credit Score Analysis----- Our clients receive a personalized credit score improvement analysis each month, including targeted information that may help to raise their credit scores. -----Follow-up and Escalation----- We use federal statutes to leverage in order to defend your case. Be sure to send us any responses you may receive from the credit bureaus or creditors. You can track your case and monitor your results 24/7 with our easy to use website and mobile portal.