Credit Ombudsman Service (COSL) has become increasingly aware of ‘credit repair’ agencies which offer to ‘fix” credit records for a substantial fee. This new industry is on the rise, directing their market towards consumers that are vulnerable and disadvantaged community members. These services are currently not regulated; this means that agencies can offer these services and have no qualifications. The agencies obtain an Authority to Act from the consumer and make a complaint to the credit reporting body such as Ombudsman Services (which is a free service to all consumers) to have the credit default removed. A recent survey conducted by the Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWON) revealed that the minimum average fee is approximately $1000 and in a majority of cases the consumer was only credit listed for an amount under $500.
What these Credit Repair Agency do not inform the Consumers are:
- If a default listing is accurate, in most cases it is unable to be detached from the consumer report.
- The ombudsman service is a no charge service to the consumer and therefore the consumer can lodge their own listing free of charge.
- The credit agencies use these free services despite charging their consumer a fee.
- Free Financial Counselling Services are available that can also assist in lodging complaints. You can find a find a financial counsellor in your area by following the following link http://www.financialcounsellors.org/
Below are links to Financial Ombudsman Services which are available to the consumer free of charge if you have and complaint or dispute about a service you are receiving –
Credit Ombudsman service (COSL) – http://www.cosl.com.au/complaint-resolution/making-a-complaint/
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – http://www.fos.org.au/resolving-disputes/before-you-lodge-a-dispute/
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)- https://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint
Energy & Water Ombudsman of Western Australia (EWOWA) http://www.ombudsman.wa.gov.au/energyandwater/index.html
State Ombudsman – http://www.ombudsman.wa.gov.au/Complaints/Making_complaints.htm