For one thing, before you pony up any money you should just take matters into your own hands and do it yourself. At least get your own credit reports and check for errors. If you want help after that point you can always hire someone. Make sure you get a report from all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifas, and Trans Union. Don't assume that they will all have the same information or that if one report is accurate they will all be accurate. Information can vary greatly from one company to another so check all three, carefully, for any mistakes.
If you are convinced that hiring outside help is the only way to go, keep this information in mind:
- You should steer clear of any company that 'promises' you that they can remove negative items from your credit report if they are accurate. No matter how painful it might be you have to face the fact that accurate information stays, sometimes up to ten years. If a company claims they can remove accurate information keep looking, they are lying to you.
- Make sure that you have a written contract in place that explains all the things the company will do for you as well as how much it will cost you. Some companies charge a one time up front fee, other's will set up a monthly payment plan. Just make sure you read over the contract and that everything is spelled out. You have three days to cancel a contract, in most states - check with yours, after the day it's signed.
- Be sure that before you waste time and money you are committed to the plan to get your credit back on track. In almost all cases, it will take determination and even a little sacrifice to improve your credit score. If you're not 100% committed to taking all the steps necessary you'll just be throwing good money after bad. It's gut check time, if you're not ready, don't pay for someone to help.
- Don't let a company try to tell you that they can set up a second credit file. That is fraud and even if they were able to do it (which in most cases they can't) you could get in serious trouble.