Plenty of people in Ohio suffer from bad credit or poor credit. Sometimes a person’s score is a result of bad financial choices, poor money management, or even due to circumstances beyond their control. Getting saddled with medical debt or losing your job can all wreak havoc on your ability to keep up with your bills and maintain your credit. For some, even if they do manage their funds wisely, creditor mistakes can lead to lower scores. If you are ready to get rid of bad credit, finding a reputable credit repair company in Ohio that offers a range of credit repair services is a must.
There is a lower cost of living in Ohio than the average in the US. This state is actually on the lower side of the scale, close to being one of the cheapest states to live in overall. Housing is especially affordable in the state. So, it comes as no surprise that Ohio has much lower credit card debt than the average in the US, sitting at an average of $4,890 per person as compared to the national average of $5,193.
The bigger surprise in Ohio’s credit numbers is the average credit score in the state. Despite the lower cost of living in the state and buying real estate in Ohio, average credit scores are only around 715. This is nearly identical to the national average of 714. If you're struggling to fix your credit score, you may benefit from credit repair to help you identify and remove any inaccurate entries that could be lingering in your credit report and dragging your score down.
The Ohio Credit Services Organization Act (OH Rev Code 4712.01) is a state law that puts some specific boundaries up for any company that wants to do credit repair in Ohio. The following are some of the main requirements for these businesses:
Ohio’s state laws complement existing federal legislation for credit repair companies. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) is a law that helps prevent scams and malpractice in the credit industry by limiting how payment can be accepted for credit repair, requiring written contracts for every customer, and limiting how companies can describe the credit repair process, among other things.
Mistakes that are not the result of the consumer's actions are some of the most common reasons for lower credit scores. These mistakes are not intentional, but they can exert a drastic effect on a person’s credit. There are many credit reporting agencies, with three heading the list in terms of consumer reports. They are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Lenders provide credit information on consumers who use their services to credit reporting agencies. Although there are three big reporting agencies, they don’t share files with each other. So if a company only reports to one agency, it can lead to an imbalanced consumer report. For example, if you paid off an account or even opened a new account, but the creditor only reported it to one agency, it will still show up as unpaid or not at all on the others.
No matter what the negative mark happens to be it has a limited shelf life. After its specified time has come and gone, credit reporting agencies are supposed to drop it from the report. If this doesn’t happen, it can drag the overall score down. Often people with similar names end up with merged credit reports. This typically happens when there is someone in the corresponding city or the same home who shares your name. This merging has the potential to lower scores as well. In the event that a creditor only gives a reporting agency part of a person’s name or address, it is easier for mistakes to be made on the credit report.
No, you don't need a lawyer to do credit repair in the state of Ohio. There is no US state that requires a lawyer or law firm to be involved in the credit repair process. In fact, you can actually do credit repair by yourself, although it's not recommended because of the complicated nature of the process. It's better to look for a company that you trust to handle your credit repair, rather than just looking for the closest law firm that offers the service.
There are three basic steps involved in Ohio's credit repair process. These steps are as follows:
Step 1: Credit reports requests
At the beginning of the process, you need your credit reports. These reports will shed light on your eligibility for credit repair, since the service can only be done if there are inaccurate entries on your credit report. Credit reports can be requested online to be given to you in digital format or through the mail. Remember to request a separate credit report from each of the 3 major US credit bureaus. These companies are required to provide a free credit report upon request at least once every 12 months.
Step 2: Examining each credit report
Now that you have your credit reports, you can begin the process of analyzing them for correctness. Accuracy can be a huge issue with credit reports. Although they're supposed to be filled only with credit-related entries from your own transactions, sometimes the information can be inaccurate, or false and fraudulent transactions can be present. You need to look through all 3 of your credit reports to identify any potentially incorrect entries on those reports.
Step 3: Contacting credit bureaus about mistakes
If you notice anything that's inaccurate, it's time to escalate to the final step of the process. Dispute letters are used to alert a credit Bureau about incorrect information on their credit report and to request that information to be amended or removed entirely. This can be a long process, but it's one of the only ways to have inaccurate entries removed from your credit report, since you’re unable to do it yourself.
Note: Credit repair is not necessarily complicated, but it can be difficult and time consuming to follow the process on your own. Even if you have a lot of free time on your hands, it's wise to work with a credit repair company that's been through the process before and can help guide you to success throughout the whole process.
If you have outstanding balances places in collections, then you have likely experienced the terror of interacting with a debt collector. For those who owe several creditors, the sheer number of collections agents chasing after you is enough to cause a permanent state of anxiety. From threatening phone calls to letters demanding payment, many of these collections efforts surpass the bounds of decency and land firmly in the realm of harassment. Thankfully, there are laws against collectors harassing consumers for owed debts. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act makes harassment illegal and punishable by law. Working with a credit repair company in Ohio will give you the means and the support to put an end to the harassment forever.
Depending on what your credit report looks like, there's potential for a lot of improvement of your credit score in Ohio if you go through the credit repair process. The problem with inaccurate entries on your credit report is that these are considered while calculating your credit score, which means any negative entries that weren't from you will be negatively impacting your credit score. Having these inaccurate entries removed will cause your score to jump up considerably.
Credit repair is usually charged on a monthly basis as a service, considering the amount of time and effort used to communicate back and forth with each credit Bureau. The broad range of companies offer this service for anywhere from $89 - $189 per month, but the average is between $99 - $139 per month. Depending which company you work with, you will also be asked to pay a one-time upfront setup fee at the start of the contract.
Unfortunately, it's hard to predict how long credit repair will take in Ohio. The average credit repair process takes around three to six months from start to finish. While this sounds like a long time, there's a lot of communication and follow up involved in keeping the process running smoothly. Credit bureaus don't always respond quickly and must sometimes be reminded in order to get to your case quickly.
In the eyes of any company offering credit repair in Ohio, every city is the same. There are no restrictions on where credit repair can be offered. No matter how large or small your city is, all Ohio residents have access to the same companies, as long as they are registered and prepared to operate within the state. So, while Columbus, Cleveland, or Cincinnati may get more advertisement for the service because of their large size, smaller cities like Norton, Cortland, or Summerside have the same access to service as anyone else in the state.