The Trade Line Scam

Uncategorized Dec 04, 2013 Comments Off on The Trade Line Scam

As consumers try to boost their credit scores there are an abundance of people offering to add trade lines to your credit profile for an advance fee. We seem to receive calls daily from people who have gone this route only to have wasted money on an undelivered promise. You should NEVER purchase a trade line for many reasons. Lets start by reviewing “What are trade lines”?

A trade line is a “line of credit” account, usually revolving. There are 2 types of trade lines offered in this scam:

1) Authorized User: This is an account that has been opened by someone other than yourself and you are added to the account as an authorized user. You do not receive a card or any ability to use the credit line. You simply get the supposed benefit of its seasoned credit history and low balance – credit ratios. This is the most common form of trade line offered. It is borderline illegal and most certainly violates any credit card user agreement. No credit card issuer allows you to sell rights to access the account as an authorized user. Think about it. You are paying a 3rd party to act as an agent between you and a supposed person with good credit. Ask yourself, would a person with excellent credit and no financial troubles accept a few hundred dollars to add someone to his accounts? Yes, I know you are paying more than a few hundred dollars for them. These broker agents are pocketing the remainder. The answer is nobody who isn’t needing cash quickly would sell their credit this way. So, other than the obvious risk of upfront cash, you stand the risk of this persons credit going south and taking you with it. Even if these balances just shift upwards it will drive your score down as the balance – credit ratio worsens.

2) Primary User: This is an account that has been established with you as the primary user. This is fraud under any interpretation. The primary user MUST be approved by the credit provider! Again, its just common sense. What lender would blindly accept you without checking your credit? There is no legal way to add you as a primary user.

The bureaus and creditors have become wise to this whole game and we have had many clients claiming to have paid for these trade lines that never appeared on their report at all, or were there for a couple of months and then gone. Steer clear of this whole approach. It will cause you more grief than good.

The best way to add trade lines to your report is to have someone you know (family or friends) add you to their line. This is legal, ethical, and provides you at least some control of risk. You can select a stable individual with a strong credit standing.

In closing its probably best to remind you that there really is no free lunch, no fast fixes, no man behind the curtain. You get what you put into it. Want better scores? Have the derogatory accounts deleted, if any. You need open accounts on your report. Pay on-time each month, Keep your balances as low as possible. Over a reasonably short period it can make a huge difference and put you back on track. Lastly, never pay upfront for any credit repair services.

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