Bad credit is something that affects a least a quarter of the population. For some, it was caused by poor money management decisions while in others it may be due to circumstances beyond their control. Whatever the reason, bad credit has a profound effect on your ability to get good interest rates, find affordable housing, and more. Following sound advice and managing your spending are key ways to lower your debt and increase the amount of money you have saved at the end of the year. If you have bad credit and want to make a change, professional credit repair services in West Virginia can help.
West Virginia is one of the lowest cost areas in the United States. Real estate, transportation, basic necessities, and utilities are all lower than average in West Virginia, depending on where you live in the state. This is likely one of the reasons why credit card debt in the state is lower on average than it is in other US states. The average person in West Virginia has credit card debt of $4,687, which is well below the national average of $5,193 per person.
Unfortunately, credit scores in West Virginia are not as high as they are in many other US states. The average credit score in West Virginia is 699 points, 15 points below the national average of 714. If you've been trying to improve your credit score and haven't been able to do it successfully, you may need to look into credit repair to fix any errors on your report first before continuing to try your improvement strategies.
Any companies offering credit repair in West Virginia have to abide by the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act (WV Code Ch 46A). This law ensures that credit repair companies are prepared to handle the needs of their customers, by requiring them to:
Alongside the state laws, all credit repair companies in West Virginia must also follow applicable federal laws. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) is a federal law dealing directly with credit repair services by requiring them to provide all customers with a written contract, limiting how payments can be charged for this service, and guiding how credit repair service can be advertised or explained to customers, among other things.
No, you actually don’t need to work with a lawyer for credit repair in West Virginia. While it’s common for lawyers to include this among the services they offer clients, you have the option to work with any company that’s appropriately registered and following West Virginia and federal regulations. Technically, you can even do credit repair on your own, but this isn’t a good idea unless you’re already very experienced in how to go through the process.
There’s a specific process for doing credit repair in West Virginia that roughly follows these steps:
Step 1: Obtaining your individual credit reports
The goal of credit repair is fixing issues on your credit reports. To begin, you need to be able to see what entries are listed on those reports. You can do this by requesting your credit reports from each of the 3 major credit bureaus in the US. These credit bureaus maintain their own reports, so you need to make sure you request one from each separately. You’re entitled to one free credit report from each bureau every 12 months.
Step 2: Identifying mistakes on your credit reports
Once you have the credit reports, you can begin to comb through them and look for any errors or mistakes that are present. It's quite common for credit reports to contain simple mistakes, but as innocent as the mistake may be, it can still cause issues for you in your credit score calculation. Look for false transactions or inaccurate entries that could be impacting your credit score.
Step 3: Credit entries accuracy disputes
When you run across these inaccuracies, you are entitled to dispute them with the credit Bureau that maintains that report. The dispute is started when you send a letter to the Bureau alerting them about the mistake on your credit report. You need to include evidence to show the mistake that's been made and request correction of the information or removal of the entry completely.
Note: Three steps doesn't sound like a lot, but once you get started with the process you'll quickly realize it's not as simple as it appears. Especially the last step of disputing credit report entries can go on longer than you’d expect and might involve a lot more communication and evidence collection than you are prepared to do. An experienced credit repair company in West Virginia can help you settle your issues without as much hassle.
While you are able to use many of the same strategies that a professional credit repair service in West Virginia will employ, there are benefits to going the professional route. You can dispute items on your credit report on your own, but a professional credit repair service will be able to dedicate a considerable amount of time to ensure the disputed items are removed. In the event that debt, credit card, or medical debt consolidation is right for your situation, a professional credit repair company will have the skills and connections to negotiate on your behalf. In many cases, they will include the removal of derogatory marks as part of the consolidation agreement. Credit repair specialists can also get debt collectors off of your back by sending out cease and desist letters while you work to correct the problems on your credit report.
Many people end up with bad credit simply because they were never taught how to manage their money or their credit correctly. With credit counseling important skills such as balance a budget, spending modestly, and learning how credit works are taught in a way that is easy to understand. Most credit repair companies will offer these services as a part of their credit repair package, but they are also available on their own. If you are interested in learning more about efficient credit and money management in West Virginia, consider signing up for Credit Counseling from your local credit repair provider.
Improving your credit score in West Virginia is never an easy process. It takes a lot of work to make your credit score better, but all of that effort could be held back if there are errors on your credit report that are preventing you from having a correct score calculated for you. Through credit repair, you can see a significant improvement of your credit score very quickly by erasing mistakes that are going against your legitimate entries to lower your credit score.
You can expect to pay for credit repair in West Virginia on a monthly contract basis. While the average company charges around $89 to $189 per month, there are a wide range of price points charged by different companies, depending on what level of service they're providing and if there are complementary services included in the package. The full range is somewhere around $79 to $149 per month, with some companies also adding a contract setup fee in the beginning of the service.
There's no way to predict the exact amount of time it will take to do credit repair in West Virginia. However, you can expect it to take somewhere between three to six months from when the dispute letter is sent until the issue is resolved. This sounds like a long time, and it is, but unfortunately there are often delays in the process that can make it take months where you might assume it would only take days or weeks.
No matter where you live in West Virginia, you can access all the same credit repair companies as anybody else in the state. If you're in some of the larger metro areas such as Charleston, Huntington, or Parkersburg, or if you're in a smaller city such as St. Albans, Sissonville, or Craigsville, you won't be suffering for choice. All the same credit repair companies that work in large areas also offer their service to small cities.