Foil 6 common consumer credit complaints
The offense: credit repair scams. Unemployment is rising, and so are complaints about "credit repair services" that promise you new or improved credit. The problem: There is no licensing for this industry. "You need to be very cautious," says Rossman, of the National Consumer Law Center.
The defense: Know how scammers operate. Susswein says there are three common cons. One, they falsely claim they can get lines erased from your credit report. "That's bogus," she says. Second, walk off if someone says they can get you a new Social Security number, she advises. And third, don't deal with anyone who suggests you become an 'authorized user' of a stranger's credit card account.
Rossman says another clear warning sign is when someone demands upfront payment for their services. And be skeptical if a credit repair adviser suggests you convert your unsecured debt, like credit cards, to a secured loan, like a home mortgage. You could be giving up some consumer protections.
Finally: Think of credit repair like home repair -- a potential DIY project. To start, read Bankrate.com's credit repair checklist.