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Publication #FAR9016

Credit Repair Scams1

Josephine Turner2

Every day, some companies across the nation make appeals to consumers with poor credit histories. Many of these companies guarantee they can erase bad credit, remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and bad loans from your credit files and create a new credit identity.

These companies promise, for a fee, to clean up a credit report so a consumer can get a car loan, home mortgage, insurance, or even a job. The truth is, they can't deliver.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), some of these companies go so far as advising you to dispute all information in your credit report and to create a new credit identity. Remember, it's a federal crime to make false statements on a loan or credit application. No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report.

If credit information is wrong, the law allows consumers to ask for a reinvestigation of information in their files that they dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. There is no charge for this service. In short, everything a credit repair clinic can do for a consumer legally, the consumer can do for him or herself at little or no cost.

Only time, a conscious effort, and a personal debt repayment plan can improve a consumer's credit report.

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This document is FAR9016, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 120 and published December 2007. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Josephine Turner, professor emeritus, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.