(DailyVibe.com) – A poor credit score can be a barrier to many milestones in life, such as buying a new-to-you car or your first home. Job loss, the pandemic, and various other factors affect a person’s credit score, and if your score isn’t perfect, you’re not the only one. The system is set up to provide advantages to those who already have privileges — and improving credit scores once they’re damaged can result in a very long slog for anyone attempting to undertake the process.
However, a credit sweep can help with credit repair. This isn’t a practice to pay down debt, but to identify everything negative on your credit report and report them in hopes of improving your score.
What Is a Credit Sweep and How Does It Differ From Credit Repair?
When you engage in credit repair, one thing you do is look for inaccurate items on your credit report and report them, which typically results in them being removed.
A credit sweep involves attempting to remove all of the negative items on your credit report by disputing them. Usually, credit repair companies provide this service, but you should be wary about them.
Often, credit repair companies are a ripoff. This is because you’re paying them for a service you can complete on your own. They’re legal in all states except Georgia, and unless you really don’t have time to dispute items on your credit report on your own, they just aren’t worth it.
However, if you have an overwhelming amount of negative items on your credit report, a credit repair agency may be of use. That’s because credit sweeps are aggressive — remember, this involves disputing every single negative mark on your credit report, whether it’s legitimate or not.
Whether you’d like to hire a credit repair company to do a credit sweep, or you want to tackle the process yourself, it’s vital to understand how a credit sweep works.
Credit Sweep: How Does It Work?
Typically, doing a credit sweep involves claiming you are a victim of identity theft. This is the main way most credit repair companies deal with credit sweeps. If you are actually a victim of a credit sweep, this is likely the best course of action you can take. However, many who do credit sweeps (or hire someone to do them on their behalf) are not actually victims of identity theft and they just want to remove negative remarks from their score.
If bad marks reflect debt actually accrued by the individual whose credit report it appears on, the debt is legitimate.
Are Credit Sweeps Legal?
Credit sweeps are legal for you or an agent representing you to do if you are actually a victim of identity theft.
If they are not a victim of identity theft, it’s fraud — and a person may even have to lie on a police report to ensure this works.
What’s most unfortunate about this is that some credit repair companies don’t tell the people that they represent that they’re doing credit sweeps. If a credit repair company promises a guarantee of results, a quick removal of negative info, and an increased credit score, they are suspect, as they’re likely doing credit sweeps to make this happen.
If you do a credit sweep and are found to be lying, you could face steep penalties, which vary depending on state. Typically, it could be a year of jail time as it’s a misdemeanor.
While the credit system is biased towards the rich and it is unfair, it’s illegal to do a credit sweep unless you are truly a victim of identity theft. Work instead on letting your credit age, paying down debt, and spending responsibly.
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