Credit repair firm settles with FTC

Your credit score affects whether you can get a loan — and how much you’ll have to pay to borrow money. People with low credit scores often have to pay more. So when a company says they’ll help you pay your way to a higher credit score, you might be tempted to listen. But don’t waste your hard-earned money: effective credit repair takes time and effort.

In its complaint against the operators of (BMS), the FTC says the defendants guaranteed that, for a fee ranging from $325 to $4,000, someone could “piggyback” on other people’s good credit, artificially inflating clients’ credit scores in the process.

The FTC says BMS promised people’s credit scores would increase by anywhere from 100 to 120 points over two to six weeks, a result they couldn’t possibly guarantee or reliably deliver. The FTC also says BMS charged upfront fees for the credit repair services they offered, which is against the law. The Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) makes it illegal for credit repair companies to lie about what they can do for you, and to charge you before they’ve performed their services.

As part of a proposed settlement announced today, the defendants will be banned from selling fake access to another person’s credit as an authorized user, and from collecting advance fees for credit repair services.