Don't Get Fooled by Credit Offers that Seem “Too Good to Be True”

Don't Get Fooled by Credit Offers that Seem “Too Good to Be True”
If you’re planning to make any type of large investment such as purchasing a home or a new car, having a solid credit rating is important. Especially since lenders use your credit scores to make decisions on loan amounts and interest rates.
However, if you haven't always paid your bills on time, maxed out multiple credit cards, or have even applied for too many loans, you may think your credit scores could be lower than desired or damaged.  
Then one day in your email, you see a “great” offer that promises to help make your credit standing better, increase your score, or help improve your credit standing in some other way. STOP! Before you start handing over your personal information and taking advantage of these so-called “great” offers, make sure you’re not getting misled by one of these common credit solicitations:
  • The “We can raise your score!” offer: Your credit score is your credit score. There are ways you can manage your credit that will ultimately make your credit score stronger. However, no outside party can magically “boost” your credit rating, which is ultimately a reflection of your ongoing credit history, payment history, etc. Don’t be fooled by these types of offers.
  • The “We can erase your credit history!” offer: Think erasing your credit history sounds too good to be true? It is. You cannot erase your credit history. If the information is accurate, it can stay on your credit report for a minimum of 7 years, 7 to 10 years for bankruptcy, and 15 years for certain taxes.
You should also be mindful of the following:
  • Credit impaired cards: While there are a few good credit impaired credit cards out there, be wary of ones that will charge you high interest and high setup fees with a low credit limit, as well as ones that apply fees to your credit card balance leaving you credit-less until they are paid.
  • Credit impaired loans: Similarly, credit impaired loans aren't always what they seem. Look out for tight repayment conditions and unnecessarily high fees.
At end of day, your best protection is to be aware of what’s in your credit files. Each of the 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) provide credit data that includes your payment history, account information, public records information, and other factors impacting your credit rating.  

Some credit services also offer score simulator tools. These can help you understand the potential impact to you credit scores when opening new lines of credit, establishing new accounts, and more.
Your credit score and reports are certainly no joke, so don't let offers that seem “too good to be true” fool you.