Credit Repair Agencies
Credit repair agencies are organisations which provide advice and assistance to people who have
been caught in a debt trap and have an impaired credit rating or history for various reasons. Anyone who has taken
a loan or a credit card or any other form of credit will have a credit file which maintains a history of the
individual's usage, repayments and adverse performance records over a period of time.
Credit files are maintained by 'credit reference agencies' such as Equifax or Experian, and contain all
information relating to personal particulars such as income, demographic details, credit products applied for
and/or held, history of repayments, instances of default and/or County Court Judgements (CCJ).
No fresh credit is provided without a check of your credit file. If your credit rating is impaired, you will
need to get your credit report 'repaired'. This involves getting the latest credit file on record from credit
reference agencies, checking that all information provided is current and accurate, taking note of any default
notices or CCJs marked and then taking the necessary action to having such adverse information altered or removed
from the credit file or having such adverse information suppressed. Credit repair can be undertaken by the
individuals themselves or the help of specialist credit repair agencies can be retained.
Credit repair agencies can be classified as: (a) non-commercial services; and (b) commercial services. While the
former are usually managed or funded by charitable trusts or other non-profit organisations, the latter are
companies which undertake commercial services for a prescribed fee which will be fixed as per the service
The basic functions of a credit repair agency are:
- Obtaining information from credit reference agencies on credit history or records on behalf of their
- Provide guidance to clients on altering, removing or suppressing information on a credit file with respect
to the client's financial rating.
Work on behalf of the client to amend, delete or restrict availability of adverse information in a credit file.
The Office of Fair Trade (OFT) monitors and regulates businesses which provide credit-related services. As per
current law, all such providers, including credit repair agencies are required to obtain a licence
from OFT and different categories of licences are issued for commercial and non-commercial agencies. Credit repair
agencies which offer commercial credit repair services are
considered as 'high-risk credit service' providers and will undergo a higher level of scrutiny and monitoring.
IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER
- You can undertake to repair your credit without taking outside help by directly contacting the credit
- Beware of commercial credit repair agencies which promise to wipe-out your adverse credit history
for a fee. Credit history cannot be erased for at least six years from date of reporting if accurately
recorded. You can only amend records to show full clearance of debt or fulfilment of CCJs, and only
incorrect or wrong information can be deleted.
If you cannot manage this activity on your own, it is always advisable to approach credit repair agencies whose
services are provided free of any charge.
Credit in Minutes Tip #1
Stay on top of your credit report. Most credit reports contain errors. Make sure you check your credit report
every year (you get one free credit report every twelve months) and if there are errors make sure to challenge them
with the reporting credit agency. Credit agencies are required to investigate each and every challenge that gets
Credit in Minutes Tip
Just because you qualify for all of those credit cards does not mean you should get them. A person with too many
credit cards looks sketchy in the eyes of a potential creditor. Think of it this way: if a person is financially
stable does he or she need ten different credit cards? Wouldn’t just one or two suffice?
Credit in Minutes Tip
The best way to raise your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. It sounds too simple to be
true, but that’s all there really is to it. Staying out of debt and/or making all of your debt payments on time
will keep your score up where it should be.