Cultivating good credit takes both time and effort, sadly it only takes a few negative marks to send your scores to the dumps. If you are dealing with missed payments, collections, and other negative marks on your credit that have lowered your score, there is help available. Working with a reliable credit repair company in Massachusetts is a great way to get rid of negative marks on your credit report and work towards getting the score you deserve.
Massachusetts is an expensive US state, with the cost of housing being much higher than most other states. General cost of living is higher in most northeastern states, and Massachusetts follows the same trend. Credit card debt in the state sits just $42 under the national average at $5,151 per person. It’s not surprising, especially when paired with the average credit scores in the state.
Likely related to the high housing costs, Massachusetts has a high average credit score of 732, well above the national average of 714. If your credit score is lower than average in your state and you’re preparing to take out a loan, or looking to improve your score, credit repair may provide some relief to help you bring up your credit score when false credit entries are included.
In Massachusetts, there are some state laws that impact credit repair as a service provided by companies to customers in the state. The main law that will apply is Section 68 (MA Gen Laws 15-93 68), which gives a few different directions to prospective credit repair companies. Any company that wants to provide this service in Massachusetts must:
Along with Massachusetts state law, the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) is a federal law that puts a blanket standard on all companies who are offering credit repair to customers throughout the US, including in Massachusetts. This act deals with the way customers can be charged, how contracts should be set up, and the way companies are allowed to communicate about credit repair to prospective customers.
The act of repairing credit is simply getting rid of things on the credit report that is bringing down the score. These are usually old accounts that should have fallen off, collections, inaccuracies, and other negative entries. Sometimes even bankruptcies can be removed if the time frame has passed but it is still listed on the report. A good credit repair service will also help a person rebuild their credit once all the negative marks have been eliminated. You can work on repairing your credit on your own, but a professional credit repair service will be able to do it much quicker and more efficiently.
No, you don’t need any lawyers to be involved in the credit repair process in the state of Massachusetts. There are many companies that can provide excellent credit repair to residents of Massachusetts despite not being law firms or having any lawyers on staff. Credit repair does not require a lawyer at any point. In fact, it’s a service you can actually do on your own, although you might run into issues if you don’t already have some experience doing it.
How does credit repair happen? Here are the main steps involved in the state of Massachusetts:
Step 1: Making a request for credit reports
Credit reports are the records kept by all 3 credit bureaus in the US. These are all kept separately, with businesses in Massachusetts being required to send relevant transactions to at least 1 credit bureau. Every 12 months, you’re entitled to a free credit report from all 3 bureaus. Make a request from all 3 bureaus to have a report sent to you either online or by mail.
Step 2: Looking closely at your credit reports
With all 3 credit reports in hand, it’s time to examine them for errors. This is an important step, since credit repair can only be done when there is inaccurate information on your credit report. If everything is correct, nothing can be disputed and removed. Make sure you read each entry closely to see if there are any mistakes in your payment history, open credit accounts, or other areas of the report.
Step 3: Disputing inaccurate credit entries
For every inaccurate entry you discover on your credit report, you need to send a dispute letter to the credit bureau that maintains that report. If you find the same mistake on multiple credit reports, a separate letter should be sent to each credit bureau with information about the inaccurate entry.
Note: Even though the process looks deceptively simple, it’s more complicated that it sounds, especially once you get to the final step. Credit repair involves a whole lot of follow up with all 3 major credit bureaus, which takes a lot of time and effort. This part of the process is best completed with a reputable company that regularly works with people to fix credit report issues.
Credit repair specialists do much more than dispute irregularities on your credit report, they also monitor your report and do much more to fix your credit. Sometimes companies are able to validate a debt even after you have had it removed, which means it will be placed back on your credit report. The credit reporting agencies are obligated to inform you of such changes, and the credit repair company can take steps to rectify the situation. They may work directly with the creditor to pay off the balance and remove the derogatory listing.
If you are being harassed by collections agents a credit repair service will be able to make them stop. In addition to sending out a cease-and-desist letter, they will be able to negotiate a settlement that includes removing derogatory marks once the account is paid off. They are also able to work on removing charge-offs and other collects that are dragging down your score.
In Massachusetts, your credit score can be improved by a lot if you use credit repair to remove inaccurate entries from your credit report. Payment history makes up more than one-third of your credit score calculation, so any incorrect missed or late payments could be causing real trouble for your credit score. Credit repair is the best way to get their incorrect entries removed, so your credit score can be based only on accurate information.
Credit repair is paid for on a monthly basis from when your dispute letters are submitting until the process is finalized and the inaccurate entries are removed. Because it can take some time and involves varying levels of follow up and action on the part of the company, you won’t find credit repair offered for a flat rate. The average monthly cost for credit repair in Massachusetts is $79-199 per month, with most of the credit repair companies charging a fee upfront for setting up the contract.
On average, credit repair in Massachusetts takes between 3 – 6 months. Although it sounds like a long time, the process can take even longer if you try to do it on your own or work with a disreputable company that may cause delays.
You can do credit repair everywhere in Massachusetts. Although so many services focus on Boston, Worcester, or Springfield alone, that’s not the case with credit repair. You can get the same service in Andover, Sharon, or Maynard as you would in larger metro areas, since this is not a location-specific service. As long as companies are adhering to the correct laws for doing credit repair in Massachusetts, you can work with them.