By Seena Gressin
FTC Consumer Advocate
May 7, 2022
If your credit isn’t as good as you’d like, a company that promises to boost your credit score by hundreds of points in as little as 45 days may seem like the perfect answer. This is the result that a company called The Credit Game claims to be able to offer with “credit grafting” and other credit repair services. But according to the FTC, The Credit Game took people for a ride.
“Credit piggybacking” is where someone who wants to boost their credit score pays a credit repair company to be added as an “authorized user” to the credit card account of someone with a score. higher credit. However, the person becomes an “authorized user” in name only and does not have access to the account. The idea is that they can improve their credit by “leaning” on the good credit of a stranger, who collects a fee for letting their account be used for the sham.
But it is a sham. And, in its lawsuit against The Credit Game (formerly Wholesale Tradelines) operators, the FTC says it was just one of many illegal practices used by the defendants to extort hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars from people short of money for credit repair. ineffective, undeliverable or outright illegal services.
Among other things, the complaint alleges that the defendants charged people before fulfilling their credit repair promises, which is illegal for credit repair companies. And he alleges they claimed their services were ‘guaranteed’ but consistently refused to reimburse people.
Additionally, according to the FTC, the defendants presented a bogus business opportunity that they claim would allow people to earn millions by operating their own credit repair companies. According to the complaint, the defendants urged people to use their government COVID-19 benefits — stimulus checks and child tax credits — to buy the supposed opportunity.
If you’re considering paying for credit repair services, read the Repairing Your Credit FAQ to learn how to spot a credit repair scam. Effective credit repair takes time, but anything a credit repair company can do legally, you can do yourself at little or no cost. If you want a hand, your local credit union, university, or military personal finance manager may be able to recommend a nonprofit credit counseling program that can help.
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