As the director of one of Australia’s leading credit repair companies I thought I would answer some common questions we are often asked about credit repair.
Q. How does credit repair work?
A. In the case of a default credit repair means researching the listing with the credit provider and identifying faults and errors with how the default was recorded. It’s common for credit providers to make mistakes when recording defaults and we are very good at finding these mistakes and having defaults removed.
Q. What’s stopping me trying to repair my own credit file ?
A. Nothing, people are free to try and repair their own credit. It is important to note that the only way to remove a default is to identify legal faults and errors with the listing process so unless people know what to look for it can be very hard to effectively challenge the actions of a credit provider. Relationships are also important, we deal with many credit providers regularly and enjoy close working relationships with most of them, These relationships are often a key factor in achieving a positive outcome. Like most things, having a professional handle the situation is often the best way and will give the best possible chance of success.
Q. What’s your success rate?
A. Despite what some credit repair companies may tell you, there are no guarantees . Some companies love to quote high success rates and we could do the same but really it comes down to finding individual faults and errors with how the credit listing was recorded. We do post our monthly success rates on our website. What I guarantee you is we understand the laws in this area very well and if there has been a fault or error made we will find it and have the listing removed, we do this for our clients every day.
Q. What makes you different to other credit repair companies?
A. Other than a fair fee structure that allows payment plans our main point of difference is our honestly. Many credit repair companies will say whatever it takes to get money out of people, we pride ourselves on being upfront with our clients and giving them a good understating of how credit repair works and how it relates to their situation. It’s not until our clients are completely happy do we move to the next stage. This approach is quite rare within the credit repair industry and really sets us apart.
Q. Will using your company impact my credit file?
A. Obviously we cannot control what has been recorded on your credit file prior to our company becoming involved however using our company will not impact your credit file.
If we obtain a copy of your credit file there will be a note of this recorded however due to our process it will not affect your credit file.
Q. How long does a default stay on a credit file?
A. This all depends on what type of listing it is.
• Payment Defaults are recorded for five years
• Clearouts or serious credit infringements are recorded for seven years
• Court Actions such as Judgments are recorded for five years
That is of course unless we have the listing removed for you earlier.
Q. Can you help me set up a payment plan with my creditors?
A. We are very good at negotiating reduced payout amounts for our clients however we do need an amount of money to work with. While we have helped some of our clients set up payment plans as part of the default removal process setting up payment plans is not the key focus of our business.
Q. Can I just pay what is owed to have the default removed?
A. Unfortunately not, while settling an account is often an important part of the credit repair process the law does not allow for a default to be removed solely on payment. In other words a fault or error still needs to be found to remove the default.
Q. What is a Judgement?
A. A judgement is a legal action. If a creditor commences legal proceedings to recover a debt unless the matter is resolved prior the courts may award a Judgment in favour of the creditor. A court action is recorded on a credit file for a five year period. We deal with many Court Actions for our clients and understand this legal process well. Due to this we are very good at having these listing removed.
Q. Why is my credit problem a judgement and not a default?
A. Only companies who offer credit should be listing defaults. Credit providers do also have the option to obtain a Court Judgment if they see fit.
Other parties that are not technically credit providers such as solicitors, accountants and councils should not list a default but can obtain a Court Judgement to recover a debt.
Q. Can a default be removed if it is unpaid?
A. Yes it can. A default listing and an amount outstanding are from a legal perspective two different things. In other words if there is a fault or error with a default listing it should be removed regardless of if there is an outstanding debt.
Having said this, we always talk with our clients about the resolution of an unpaid debt as it often helps resolve the matter favourably and ensures the debt does not come back to course trouble at a latter date.
Q: If the default is removed does that mean I don’t have to pay the debt?
A: No. If a default is removed on the basis of fault or error it does not mean the amount owed is waived. The credit provider may still pursue the debt and may even engage the services of a debt collection company, they may even relist the default.
Q. How can a credit provider list a default if they didn’t tell me about it? Don’t they need to call me?
A. It is common practice for a credit provider to try to contact people by phone but they aren’t required by law to do this. All they are required to do, in terms of notification is send a default notice to the last known address they have for the client.
Q. I don’t think I updated my address but I cancelled my account so they knew I didn’t live at the address, why would they keep sending letters there?
A. Credit providers are only required to send letters to the last known address. Companies believe that it is the account holder’s responsibility to update their address when cancelling the account. Keep in mind that most letters credit providers produce are generated by a computer so the letters will be sent to the last address the computer has.
Q. The account was in my name but I got it for a friend/relative. They said they were paying but they didn’t. Can a default be removed because of this?
A. Unfortunately not on this basis alone. As far as a credit provider is concerned the account holder is responsible for all charges and payments made on an account, whether they are the user or not. Having said this the credit provider still needs to follow the required legal process before listing a default so it still may be able to be removed if a fault or error is found.