When it comes to getting your credit back on track, there are many credit fixing options to choose from in Pennsylvania. You can work on your credit on your own, or you can hire a professional credit repair service to fix your credit on your behalf. Instead of being hit with denial after denial or being passed over for a long-awaited promotion, take charge of your life and your credit. If you are not sure how to get started or if professional credit repair is for you, our post will give you everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision.
Pennsylvania is right in the middle of most cost of living lists within the US. It's just slightly below average in terms of housing and basic necessities, with utilities being slightly higher than average. Along with this middle of the road cost of living placement, Pennsylvania is also directly in the middle of the list of states’ average credit card debt. The average person in Pennsylvania has $5,037 in credit card debt, compared to the national average of $5,193 per person.
Going along in the same trend, Pennsylvania’s average credit scores are very close to the national average. While the national average credit score in the US is 714, Pennsylvania’s average is 723. This is a good credit score, but there's always room for improvement, especially if you're looking to access the best interest rates and loan products in the state. If you're having issues with inaccurate information on your credit reports affecting your credit score calculation, credit repair can help you resolve these problems.
In the state of Pennsylvania, the Credit Services Act (73 PS 2181) is a law that requires credit repair companies to:
All companies hoping to do credit repair in Pennsylvania must also follow along with federal laws. These include the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), a broad regulation that puts some specific boundaries around what credit repair can entail, how companies can charge for it, how the service can be advertised to potential customers, and more. This law is aimed at reducing the instances of fraud and scams that used to rampant in the credit repair industry.
It's not necessary to work with the law firm or a lawyer to have your credit repaired in the state of Pennsylvania. This is a service that is offered regularly by lawyers and law firms, but they're not the only ones who can do it. You can do this service by yourself, but it's recommended to work with a trustworthy company that you can rely on to be your partner throughout the entire credit repair process.
It is true that you can repair your credit on your own, but when you hire a professional service you gain some important advantages. To start, you get to spend your time working or spending time with people you care about instead of sitting on the phone for hours each day. They are also able to work directly with credit card companies, lenders, and debt collectors to consolidate your bills, reduce or remove late charges, and even have derogatory marks taken off of your credit report. Their industry knowledge paired with years of experience will help improve your credit score and repair your credit history more efficiently.
In Pennsylvania, you can expect that the credit repair process will involve these 3 steps:
Step 1: Acquiring your credit report
Although it’s common to speak about your credit report as a singular thing, you actually have 3 credit reports that are distinct from each other. Each one is maintained by a separate US credit bureau. Because there are 3 major credit bureaus operating in the US, you will have three different credit reports that are combined to calculate your credit score. You are entitled to request a free credit report from each of the 3 bureaus at least once every 12 months, but you can also get another copy at a small cost if you have already requested your free report.
Step 2: Credit report analysis
Once you've acquired your credit reports, you need to set some time aside and look through these reports for any inaccuracies or false information. Mistakes happen, and they happen more regularly than you'd think on credit reports in the US. If you find any mistakes, you are legally allowed to contact the credit bureaus and request that that mistaken information is either removed or amended on your credit report to reflect accurate information.
Step 3: Following up about inaccurate entries
For every inaccurate entry you find, you need to contact all the credit bureaus that list that entry on their reports. You'll do this through a dispute letter, which provides evidence of the inaccuracy of an entry and requests a credit bureau to change the information or remove the entry entirely. This usually results in significant follow up and it often takes a while before anything actually changes.
Note: The credit repair process in Pennsylvania is not for the faint of heart. Because it can take a lot of back and forth, following up, and potentially even arguing with the credit bureaus to get an entry removed, you may want to work with a credit repair company that's experienced in handling this for you.
Having your identity stolen is a terrible experience. Not only will you suffer emotionally, but most often there are financial losses involved as well. The negative effects on your credit score due to identity theft will last well after the scam has been identified or even after the culprit is caught. Although credit reporting agencies will put a notation on your credit report that you have been a victim of identity theft, getting the derogatory marks from the event removed can often prove to be much more difficult. Both creditors and credit reporting agencies alike have a tendency to drag their feet when it comes to removing these types of notations. Working with a professional credit repair agency in (company) will make things easier and get the derogatory items removed much quicker than if you were doing it on your own.
Debt collectors can be extremely insistent when they are trying to recover a debt. This can cause stress and duress in a consumer, especially if they are in debt to several creditors. From threatening phone calls to letters demanding payment, many of these collection efforts surpass the bounds of decency and land firmly in the realm of harassment. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has been put in place to protect consumers from harassment by debt collectors and collections agencies. In fact, harassment is against the law. A professional credit repair agency in Pennsylvania will be able to help you assert your rights and report collections agents who infringe on your rights. Not only will you have the support you need to stop the harassment, but you can also work to fix your credit at the same time.
A skilled credit repair specialist will send out cease and desist letters to stop debt collectors in their tracks. They will also work with them to negotiate a settlement that includes the removal of derogatory marks on your credit report. In addition to stopping the harassment, this will also help start the process of repairing and rebuilding your credit. Depending on the type of accounts in collection, consolidation may also be a viable option.
Carrying too many open lines of debt can have a negative effect on your credit score. In addition to increasing your debt to income ratio, the more lines of open credit you have, the higher your chances of defaulting become. One way to help improve your credit score is by reducing your debts through the process of consolidation. A professional credit repair company that is licensed to repair credit in Pennsylvania will be able to coordinate medical debt consolidation, credit card consolidation, or a blanket consolidation plan that covers a variety of your outstanding bills. The advantage of consolidation is that it stops late fees and derogatory marks due to missed payments and it can even save you money by lowering how much you have to pay each month. Instead of paying the minimum over several bills, you can roll them all into one and pay them down much quicker. Your credit will also start to improve as you make your consolidation payments in a timely manner.
Credit repair is not magic, but it can still work wonders on your credit score if you have a lot of negative entries that don't belong on your report. Inaccurate or fraudulent activity can really mess up your credit score in Pennsylvania, so removing entries that are inaccurate can help you to get your credit score calculated based on your own merits and not on incorrect information.
The average cost to go through the credit repair process start to finish in Pennsylvania is between $79 to $199 per month, but you can also access the service from a range of different companies starting at $59 to $249 per month. Depending on which company you go with, some may ask for a smaller one-time setup fee in the beginning of the contract period.
There's no way to get an exact date of when the credit repair process will end. This is why it's usually charged as a monthly service. On average, credit repair in Pennsylvania can take between three to six months. While a good credit repair company can help you reduce this time by making legitimate requests and presenting the best evidence upfront, no one can guarantee a shorter process.
Anyone in Pennsylvania can do credit repair. There are no cities in Pennsylvania that are excluded from credit repair because of their size or location. So, whether you live in a large metro area like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or Allentown, or a smaller city such as Ridley, Pottstown, Meadville, or Swissvale, you have all the same options for credit repair service in Pennsylvania.