People often become concerned about debt at the beginning of the new year. Many folks run up credit card debt over the Holidays. Beware offers to “clean up” your credit.
The Better Business Bureau warns that credit repair scams are rampant. You should be wary of companies offering a quick fix. Repairing your credit is tedious, hard work. You may see an ad online, tv or get something in the mail, claiming they can remove bankruptcies, and other negative items from your credit history, even erase it completely. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Requiring an upfront payment is a big red flag. They may tell you to stop making payments on your mortgage, car loan, and/or credit cards, and sending the money to them. They’ll claim to make payments on your behalf. What will really happen is you end up in an even deeper hole.
Legitimate agencies are forbidden by law to require advance payment. BBB recommends you shop around, rather than respond to an ad. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling can refer you to legitimate credit counselors: https://www.nfcc.org/
If you’ve fallen victim to credit scammers, file a police report. The Federal Trade Commission can also offer assistance: https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-get-out-debt