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What is Clarity Services on my credit report?
Clarity Services is a subdivision of Experian, which is one of the three main US credit bureaus. They provide alternative credit information on consumers in the subprime to near-prime credit ranges and those with little to no credit history.
Specifically, Clarity Services supplies consumer credit information to debt collection agencies, auto lenders, the finance divisions of retail companies, telecommunications companies, and lenders of online and storefront installment loans. 1
Creditors or debt collectors may use Clarity Services to check for the following information: 2
- Credit history
- Contact information
- Bank activity
- Employment and income
- Housing status
If you see Clarity Services or Clarity Services, Inc. on your credit report, it’s probably because you recently applied for a loan or other financing or you have a debt that’s in collections and the debt collection agency is using Clarity Services to verify your contact information.
Is Clarity Services a scam?
No, Clarity Services isn’t a scam—Clarity Services is a legitimate organization. If their name is on your credit report, it probably indicates that a lender used their services to check your credit.
If you’re certain that there’s activity on your credit report under Clarity Services that shouldn’t be there, it’s possible you’ve been the victim of identity theft.
We’ll discuss the reasons (both legitimate and fraudulent) that Clarity Services might be on your credit report in more detail in the next section.
Why is Clarity Services on my credit report?
Clarity Services is probably appearing on your credit report as an inquiry. There are really only two reasons why you’d have a Clarity Services inquiry:
1. You applied for credit
You’ll see Clarity Services on your credit report if your prospective lender used one of the company’s products to run a credit check on you to determine whether or not to extend you credit. There are two possible ways that an inquiry can appear on your credit report:
- Hard inquiry: You’ll see a hard inquiry on your credit report if you actually applied for new credit, such as a car loan or mortgage.
- Soft inquiry: You’ll see a soft inquiry on your report if someone checked your credit for reasons unrelated to credit applications or to prequalify you for an installment loan or other type of credit.
The main difference between hard and soft inquiries is that hard inquiries will bring your credit score down by a few points, whereas soft inquiries don’t affect your credit score.
2. Someone stole your identity
If you see a Clarity Services credit inquiry on your credit report but you didn’t apply for credit, then it could be a sign of identity theft. If you suspect that someone’s stolen your identity, then there are a few steps you need to take:
- Contact Clarity Services or the company that used their services to check your credit and gather the details of the application.
- Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Go to www.identitytheft.gov and answer the questions to generate an identity theft report and recovery plan.
- Contact the relevant credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion) and have a fraud alert placed on your credit report.
You only need to contact one of the three bureaus and have a fraud alert placed on your credit report. The bureau you contact will coordinate with the other two, and your fraud alert will be acknowledged by all three. 3
Carefully monitor your credit reports in order to catch identity theft as early as possible. The sooner you report it, the less damage will be done.
How does a Clarity Services inquiry affect my credit score?
Hard inquiries have a small, short-term effect on your credit score. However, too many hard inquiries can significantly lower your score and make it difficult to get approved for new lines of credit at competitive rates.
How much a Clarity Services credit pull actually affects your credit score depends on your credit history and how recent the inquiry was. Hard inquiries usually cause a small drop in your FICO or VantageScore credit score, but the effect shouldn’t last more than a year. 4 What’s more, they won’t stay on your credit report for more than two years.
How to remove Clarity Services from my credit report
If you want to delete Clarity Services from your credit report, then try one of these two approaches for removing hard inquiries from your credit report.
1. Send a dispute letter
If you suspect that your Clarity Services inquiry is a mistake, then you can send a dispute letter to the credit bureaus. You should also send a dispute letter if you think that Clarity Services is on your credit report due to fraudulent activity or identity theft, but you should first file a report with the FTC and follow the other steps outlined above.
Once you’ve filed a dispute, the credit bureau will be required to investigate and correct any inaccurate information on your report, usually within 30–45 days. 5
2. Use a credit repair company
A credit repair company will act as a middleman between yourself and your creditor, Clarity Services, and/or the credit bureaus. A credit repair professional might be able to get a Clarity Services hard inquiry off your credit report by helping you gather all the required documents and evidence and doing the hard work for you by handling your communications with your creditor and the credit bureaus.
However, be wary of scammers. By law, credit repair companies are not allowed to make false promises or charge you before they’ve helped you. 6 Moreover, while hiring a credit repair company can save you some time and hassle in disputing items on your credit report, they won’t necessarily be able to erase valid inquiries or turn a bad credit score into a good credit score overnight.
In many cases, credit repair companies won’t be able to do anything for you that you couldn’t do yourself, so consider whether it’s worth paying for a third party to help you get Clarity Services off your credit report.