Living in Florida is like spending all of your time in a summer wonderland. While this is great for some, it can be bad for those who have high amounts of credit card debt. Too much credit card debt can lead to poor credit or even bad credit. It can also lead to a vicious cycle of racing to pay off interest charges without ever paying down what you own. If you are battling high amounts of credit card debt and it has lowered your score, there is help available. Working with a Florida credit repair agency is a great way to get debt collectors off your back and rebuild your credit at the same time.
Florida is just below average in credit card debt, sitting at an average of $5,184 per person. While Florida has an affordable cost of living overall, one basic necessity that outprices the national average is real estate. Pricey Florida real estate makes a credit score even more important, since good credit is necessary for both renting and purchasing a home.
Credit scores in Florida are lower on average than those in the US generally. The average credit score in the Sunshine State is 706, 8 points lower than the US national average of 714. While it’s still considered a good score, you may not be able to access the best credit products with a score that matches the Florida average. In some cases, credit repair can help you get your credit score higher by removing entries that appear on your credit report erroneously.
A state law in Florida, Fla Stat 817.7001, provides some extra guidance for credit repair companies that operate within the state. While Florida doesn’t have strict requirements for these companies, the do have some specific guidelines, including requiring that credit repair organizations:
Credit repair providers working in Florida are also subject to the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), a federal law that dictates how they can present information to customers, how contracts should be structured, and how payments should be charged. This law creates a solid baseline for all credit repair companies, which is supplemented by the Florida state laws which add a bit more local context.
While many lawyers in Florida do offer credit repair service, it’s not a requirement for companies to be a law firm or have lawyers to do the work. Credit repair can technically be done by anyone since no official qualifications are necessary. An experienced credit repair company with a good track record is often a better choice to base your decision off of rather than if the company is a law firm or not.
The credit repair process is deceptively simple. In Florida, you need to follow these 3 steps:
Businesses report your credit activities to at least 1 of the 3 major credit bureaus in the US. To get a complete picture of what’s happening with your credit score, you need to request a full credit report from each of these 3 credit bureaus. Some of the bureaus will have different information from each other, which is why you need to get all 3 instead of just 1. You’re entitled to a free credit report from each bureau every 12 months.
Take all 3 credit reports and look closely at the entries. Look for any entries that have false or inaccurate information, including entries for missed or late payments that you aren’t responsible for. There could also be credit accounts opened in your name or on your report that don’t belong to you. These are examples of some of the most common erroneous entries, but there can be other mistakes as well. Check carefully to ensure your credit reports only contain accurate entries.
For every inaccurate entry you find, you need to send in a dispute letter to the credit bureau that produced the report where you found the problem. These letters will initiate an investigation of the entries. Until the investigation is finalized, there’s a lot of follow up with credit bureaus to provide additional information and stay updated on what’s happening with your credit report.
Note: Despite the simplicity of the 3 steps in Florida credit repair, it’s a process that’s best left to an experienced individual or business. This process takes a lot of time and usually involves communication with each credit bureau over a few months.
Your credit score has a dramatic effect on your life. It can determine how often you are denied or approved for loans or even housing. When you have poor credit when you are able to secure a loan the interest rates are usually much higher than what is offered to those with healthier scores. Loan approvals may also be slower and require shorter repayment terms in addition to requiring hefty down payments. Aside from securing new lines of credit, poor scores are often a result of mismanaged finances. If you are dealing with late payments and missed payments, your poor score may cause you to get stuck in the vicious cycle of creating more debt just to pay off old debt, none of which helps your score.
There are many ways a credit repair agency can help restore your credit. The first thing they will do is have any marks that should not be there taken off. Negative marks like accounts that should have dropped off, inaccurate entries or mistakes can drag down your score will be targeted as the first to go. The rates for credit repair services in Florida vary depending on what you need to be done and how long it takes to complete. This type of service is ideal for people who are suffering from bad credit but are still able to afford their regular monthly bills. It is also a good option for those who may be planning to make a big purchase such as a new car or a new home. The better the credit score, the more affordable the offered interest rates will be.
A lot of projects take no thought or research when you hire a person to complete them. Mowing the lawn or cutting your hair for example requires little to no research. When it comes to credit repair, however, it is important to complete your due diligence before selecting a company to help you rebuild your score. There are many great credit repair and credit counseling companies on the market, but for every 10 great companies, there is bound to be a bad apple thrown in.
A credit repair company will use the same avenues you have available personally to repair your credit. Their advantage is that they have more experience in getting results and they have more time to dedicate towards bringing up your score. This is their main job after all. Anyone that claims they can get rid of accurate negative entries on your report or who offers to create a credit privacy number to give you a new credit identity are scams. Not only do these methods not work, but you will also end up in a worse situation than when you started.
Choose a credit repair agency that is certified, offers a clear pricing plan, and also an estimate on how long you may need to use the service to see results. Most credit repair takes a minimum of six months to be effective, but in many cases, it will take a year to fully restore and then rebuild your credit.
Living in Florida offers you access to some of the most beautiful things that the country has to offer. From lush greenery to extravagant cruises, fine dining, and amazing entertainment venues. However, if you have bad credit not only will it be harder to enjoy the finer things, it can be difficult to see anything but piles of debt amongst the vast riches of the state. Instead of suffering on your own, working with a certified credit repair agency can help you turn things around.
Credit scores can be greatly increased by removing inaccurate entries. Your payment history makes up a huge portion of your credit score. Removing negative entries that shouldn’t be there helps to clean up your credit score and get you back to whatever score you should actually have, without false entries dragging you down.
When you get credit repair in Florida, you’ll likely be charged a monthly rate from the start of the process until you cancel your contract. Some companies charge a one-time setup fee, followed by a monthly fee for their services. The average monthly fee for credit repair in Florida is between $99 - $219 per month, but you can find a wide range of companies offering the service anywhere from $89 - $249 per month.
On average, the credit repair process in Florida takes 3 – 6 months from start to finish. It’s a long, tedious process that involves a lot of following up and keeping in touch with different credit bureaus until they correct inaccurate entries. Credit bureaus have to respond to any dispute letters within 30 days, but the process is rarely completed within that time frame.
Although it may be easier to find a credit repair organization operating in a large city like Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, or Orlando, there’s no limit to where you can get this service. It doesn’t matter how large or small of a city you live in, you can get credit repair across the whole Florida. Even residents in smaller cities like Silver Springs Shores, Bardmoor, Butler Beach, or Oak Hill can access reliable credit repair from anywhere in Florida.