Credit repair offer too good to be true?

Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-27 19:37:49-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) –Have you seen signs offering to repair your credit?

Lincoln Garris is a skeptic. Recently he noticed dozens of signs popping up along Mechanicsville Turnpike between Laburnum Avenue and Magnolia Street. He instantly he grew suspicious. The signs offer a credit repair service for two hundred fifty bucks.

CBS 6 News called the number on the signs and spoke with the company's owner. We quickly found out that the $250 price tag is just to enroll in a program. The company then charges a $50 monthly fee that they bill to your credit or debit card. The owner says the average client stays in the program for about six months.

According to the company's website, that gets clients help removing inaccurate late payments, charge offs, liens, repossessions, foreclosures and inaccurate judgements.

Garris was still skeptical, and wondered how somebody could straighten up bad credit that quickly.

"I mean it takes you like 5, 6, 10 years to get bad credit,” he said. “I don’t believe it.”

Tom Gallagher with the Better Business Bureau says consumers should question offers like this.

"If it seems too good to be true, it's too good to be true. I'd be surprised if they can do something for 250 dollars and 50 bucks per month,” Gallagher said.

“Just take your time and think about it," Gallagher added.

The owner of the company tells CBS 6 they're based out of Jacksonville, Florida. In recent weeks they've focused on spreading their business to consumers in Virginia.

That's why you may have seen the red and white signs that are placed at nearly every intersection along Mechanicsville Turnpike. The company's owner says they're visiting about 150 cities a month to put up the signs.

The BBB says the company has no record of complaints. The owner says he hasn't registered with the BBB, but says he's been in business a little more than two years. The owner also advises consumers to always do their homework, and know what they're getting before giving away their cash.

As for Garris, he says he'll just keep doing things his own way.

"Back in my younger days when I was crazy I got bad credit. I called up my creditors and they worked with me. They'll work with you as long as you do what you say you'll do. They'll gladly help,” he said.

The Better Business Bureau suggests those who may find themselves in need of help, contact their church for financial counseling.

Gallagher also recommends reaching out to local non-profit organizations that specialize in putting people back on the road to financial recovery.