If you want to use the BBB for your credit repair efforts, there are several things you should know regarding HOW exactly to go about it. In this article we'll cover some basic rules and guidelines that will help you along the way.
According to the BBB website, they are more likely to accept your complaint if a few basic requirements are met. Those requirements include…
1. The inclusion of your mailing address
2. The inclusion of the company's name and location
3. You are requesting help from the BBB (versus just whining)
4. You are a customer of the company you are complaining about
5. The complaint alleges a problem with a service provided by the company
6. The complaint hasn't otherwise been dealt with already by another agency
7. The complaint isn't in litigation
8. The complaint contains no abusive language
Those are the basics. It doesn't mean you have to meet every single requirement. If you can take that list, and fit it into a credit repair context, you'll be off to a good start.
How can you do that, exactly?
Most of it will happen naturally as your situation unfolds.
Let's say, for example, that you are being harassed by a collector over an invalid debt. You've sent documentation showing that the account isn't yours, you've sent validation requests, K.O. letters, and more… and the collector continues to call, write, and make threats.
A BBB complaint for this situation would probably utilize all of the history and documentation that you've acquired to this point, and would describe in detail the problems you've had with the collector and the attempts that you've made to correct the issue with them directly.
You would simply submit a complaint outlining why the debt is not yours and therefore not valid, and outline their failures to respond to your previous attempts to correct the issue.
Another example might be over a billing issue such as a late pay. If you have attempted a "goodwill request" to get a late pay removed and that step failed, you could follow up with a BBB complaint explaining why you think the late pay should be removed (you don't believe you were late, etc.) and why you believe it's in the creditor's best interest to remove it (keep a customer). You would also want to describe your previous attempt, and include any shortcomings of the creditor such as how you were treated on the phone, or their failure to respond at all to your request.
When should you NOT use the BBB?
* Don't use the BBB for the first contact with a collector, creditor, or credit bureau. The BBB online wants to hear from you AFTER you have attempted to resolve the issue directly with the
* Don't use the BBB to send threats or abusive language to the creditor. The BBB won't let those kinds of complaints go through.
* Don't use the BBB for EVERY problem you have. Remember that the credit bureaus routinely ignore consumer disputes and often seem to do everything they can to avoid removing negative information. While the BBB can be extremely helpful when used correctly, you should save this tactic for times when it will pay off the most.
When used correctly, the BBB can be a great tool for consumers who are trying to do their own credit repair. With the tendency of credit bureaus, collectors, and creditors to abuse and ignore consumers, there are usually ample opportunities to make valid complaints.
The key is to use BBB complaints selectively and in a manner that will yield the best results.