Do you have bill collectors calling your phone at all hours of the night? Perhaps you are trying to qualify for a home loan but keep getting turned down no matter what lender you try? If so, chances are your credit score is the problem. No one likes to owe companies money, but if you don’t manage your finances properly not only will you be in debt, your credit score will decline. There are a few methods you can use to get back on track, one of the most effective however is working with a credit repair company in Maine that can help you restore your credit in a few simple steps.
Maine is one of the more expensive US states. The cost of living in Maine is higher than most US states, sitting above the national average. Although it’s more expensive to live there, credit card debt in the state is lower than average in the country, with the average person having $4,995 in credit card debt, around $200 less than the US average.
Perhaps because of the higher real estate prices, credit scores in Maine are higher than the national average. The average credit score in the state is 727, 13 points ahead of the national average of 714.
State laws in Maine can affect how credit repair companies can work in the state. The law that impacts these companies is the Maine Consumer Credit Code (ME Rev State 9-A 10-101). This law requires that credit repair companies:
In the US, there is a federal law that also deals with any company offering credit repair. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) impacts how these companies can advertise their services, how they should prepare contracts for customers, and how they can charge for credit repair services.
Despite what you may have read from law firms in Maine, you don’t have to hire a lawyer to do credit repair for you. You can work with any company you choose, as long as they’re following the state and federal regulations placed on credit repair companies in Maine. Choose to work with a company you feel comfortable with that has a good reputation for helping people fix their inaccurate credit reports.
Negative entries on your credit report are what cause your score to go down. In order to fix your credit, you will need to address the negative items and then work on rebuilding your score. A credit repair company will start by filing a dispute for any inaccurate, old items, or do not belong to you. If they are unable to be validated by the companies who placed them on your credit report, they will be removed automatically.
It is important to keep in mind that legitimate credit repair takes time. The Fair Credit Reporting Act states that inaccurate entries must be confirmed or removed within 45 days, which will be the earliest you will see changes to your report. Generally, you will start to see improvements as early as three months, but it can also take as long as a year depending on your specific circumstances.
In Maine, the credit repair service roughly follows these 3 steps:
Step 1: Make a credit report request
To know whether or not you need credit repair service, the first step is to understand your credit history. For this, you need to get your credit reports. There are 3 major credit bureaus operating in the US, each of which maintains their own credit report for you. Businesses in Maine are not required to report credit events to all 3 bureaus, so some credit reports may contain different information than others. This is why you need to make a request for all 3 credit reports instead of just 1.
Step 2: Examining individual entries
Comb through your credit reports and look for inaccurate entries. Errors are common on credit reports, whether they’re intentionally fraudulent or just accidents. No matter the intention behind the mistakes, they can have a devastating impact on your credit score. If you find any inaccurate entries on your credit report, you’ll continue to step 3. If there are no inaccurate entries, you don’t need credit repair.
Step 3: Sending off dispute letters
Inaccurate entries on your credit report need to be taken seriously. For each inaccurate entry you find, you need to send in a separate dispute letter to have it addressed by the credit bureau that reported the entry. These letters must contain specific information and evidence about the inaccuracy of the entry in order to be taken seriously. From here, you’ll be following up with the credit bureau until they resolve the issue.
Note: No matter how simple this process sounds, it’s tedious and difficult to get through on your own. While you technically have the option of doing credit repair on your own, there’s a lot you may not know going in that could speed up the process and improve your chances of success. It’s usually better to work with a reputable company in Maine to get it done in the shortest time.
Credit repair is basically looking at your credit report and taking steps to remove inaccuracies, negative marks, and old accounts that should no longer be listed. This is meant to help get rid of entries that cause credit scores to go down. Most credit repair services will also help consumers to rebuild their credit depending on their individual goals and circumstances. Instead of spending your valuable time chasing creditors and following up on report removals, a credit repair agency will do this on your behalf.
Getting rid of double listings and inaccuracies is only one step on the path of repairing your credit. Sometimes companies may validate the debt later down the line which will cause it to be reinstated on your credit report. A credit repair service will monitor your report and also look for notifications from the credit reporting agencies regarding changes such as this. Also, if you are being hounded by debt collectors, a cease-and-desist letter from your credit repair agency will give you the peace and quiet you need to get your finances back on track. Many credit repair services in Maine will be able to negotiate a settlement with collections agencies and get the derogatory marks removed from your credit report. If consolidation is the best option for your situation, they will also work with your creditors to come to a beneficial agreement for all, and one that will raise your credit score too.
The amount your credit score can be impacted by credit repair depends on what’s on your credit reports. If your credit reports are fully accurate and contain no mistakes, there’s nothing credit repair can do to improve them. However, if there are any mistakes or false entries on your credit report, credit repair in Maine can improve your credit score by a lot. Considering the weight that your payment history has on your credit score, it’s a worthwhile undertaking to clean up your credit report when possible.
Credit repair in Maine is usually charged at a set monthly rate. Companies or individuals offering the service charge anywhere between $99 - $149 on average per month, but the normal range is around $119 every month until the service is completed. Since there’s no set timeline for credit repair, it’s charged monthly to account for the work that goes into following up with each credit bureau regularly and keeping your request top of mind.
Credit repair often takes between 3 – 6 months in Maine from start to finish. This is a standard timeline based on the amount of follow ups that usually have to happen once you submit dispute letters with credit bureaus. Although they have to respond to legitimate dispute letters within 30 days, that doesn’t guarantee that the process will be finished quickly. There are often delays that can stretch it out for months.
From Portland and Lewiston to Clinton and Cornish, residents of every city in Maine can get credit repair service. This is not a location-specific service. It’s open to everyone, as long as the companies or individuals providing the service of adhering to regulations set by state and federal law.