When you have bad credit as a Hawaii resident, it can lead to high-interest rates or even denials of credit. Getting a loan to purchase a home, buying a car, or even applying for a store credit card can become next to impossible. Whatever the cause of your poor credit score may be, Hawaii credit repair companies may be able to help you restore your financial health. Managing your finances is the first step towards getting your credit back on track and the other is working with a credit repair agency to help raise your score and get rid of bad marks that are dragging you down.
Moving through life with bad credit is fraught with hurdles, setbacks, denials, and more. Instead of suffering through it, why not hire a credit repair company to fix your credit instead? There are a lot of credit repair options out there, but choosing one that is reliable, honest, and will actually get results is not always easy.
Hawaii is consistently listed as the most expensive US state to live in. Basic necessities and real estate tend to be significantly more expensive in Hawaii, far above the national average cost of living. With this context, it’s not surprising that Hawaii has some of the highest levels of credit card debt in the country, sitting at $5,586 per person on average.
Despite high average levels of credit card debt, Hawaii has good credit scores compared to many US states. The average person has a credit score of 732, well over the national average of 714. While this average score is good, averages don’t reflect every individual’s credit score. If you have a low credit score that’s affecting your access to credit products, you may be able to benefit from credit repair to find and dispute inaccurate information on your credit report.
Hawaii has a state law that impacts credit repair service providers. HI Rev Stat 481B-12 lays out the types of services credit repair organizations can legally offer to consumers. This law closely matches federal laws, but it’s a useful benchmark for both companies operating in the state and people looking to use credit repair services in Hawaii.
The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) also governs how credit repair organizations can operate. This law applies to organizations around the country, not just in Hawaii. It governs the type of services these companies can offer to customers, how they can charge for those services, and how they can advertise to people.
Credit repair doesn’t have to be done by a lawyer in Hawaii. There are many legitimate credit repair companies that offer this service to residents in Hawaii without being associated with a law firm in any way. Although many law firms also offer credit repair, there’s no requirement for a lawyer to be involved in the process. Credit repair can be done by anyone, but it’s best if you work with a reputable company with a good track record of identifying and disputing false credit report entries.
In Hawaii, the credit repair process involves 3 basic steps:
The first thing you need to do for credit repair is to get ahold of your credit reports from all 3 major credit bureaus in the US. Credit activities are reported to at least 1 of the major bureaus, but not always reported to all the bureaus. This is why you need to request a copy of your credit report from all the different credit bureaus. Credit reports can be requested for free once every 12 months.
Credit repair only works if there are inaccurate entries on your credit report. Check over your credit reports from each credit bureau to see if all the information on the report is accurate or not. If there are entries included in error, either because they contain incorrect information or they’re not from you, you have the right to dispute the false entry to have it removed.
When there are erroneous entries recorded on your credit report, a dispute letter is sent to the credit bureau to challenge the entry and request its removal. This needs to be done in a specific way by including the right evidence and information to demonstrate why the entries are inaccurate. You cannot challenge legitimate credit report entries for removal.
Note: Although you are able to send in dispute letters on your own, it’s better to work with a credit repair company in Hawaii that’s experienced in the process. This gives you a better chance of getting things done right without a lot of missteps along the way. If you try to do it on your own without having experience in what you need for each step, you could end up delaying the process even more.
As your credit scores begin to improve as negative marks fall off, many credit companies will also provide you with credit counseling services. This aspect of credit repair is just as important as removing negative marks. Teaching you how to manage your finances and make better decisions will prevent your score from tanking again later down the line. Always keep in mind that credit repair takes between six months and a year. It is important to give the process time to work in order to achieve the best results. At the same time, learning new habits also takes time. Credit repair agencies may assign a dedicated agent to help you learn money management skills, or they may offer weekly or bi-weekly classes instead.
Credit repair isn’t magic. You can’t fix legitimate missed payments or credit issues that are accurately recorded. However, if you have inaccurate or fraudulent entries on your credit report that are impacting your credit score, credit repair can help you dispute these entries with the major credit bureaus to have them removed from your report. When it’s successful, credit repair can have a significant positive impact on your credit score.
Credit repair can cost anywhere from $99 - $249 per month. However, the average cost charged per month is between $129 as long as the service persists. You can cancel your contract at any time. Some companies will charge a one-time fee for setup of your contract as well, but this fee is often lower than the monthly cost charged by the company.
In Hawaii, credit repair takes on average around 2 – 6 months. Be wary of any company that claims to give you instant results when repairing your credit. Although credit bureaus are obligate to respond to legitimate inquiries and disputes for credit report entries within 30 days, they often create significant delays in the process. If you want to make sure inaccurate entries are removed from your credit report as quickly as possible, working with a credit repair company can help you get results as quickly as possible, but it will probably still take a few months.
All parts of Hawaii allow credit repair services. If you’re a resident of Hawaii, you can get credit repair no matter how large or small of a city you live in. From Honolulu, Hilo, and Pearl City to Kalaheo, Ainaloa, or Maunawili, there are no areas in Hawaii that prohibit legitimate credit repair companies from operating. Even if the company is not within your city limits or even your state, you can still get service as long as they follow the regulations laid out in state and federal laws.