Bad Credit? Buy a Piece of Someone Else's

Company boosts scores by adding names to paid-off loans
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2007 8:22 PM CST
Credit facilitator Brian Kinney poses with his dog "Jack" at his home in Glendale, Calif. Wednesday, May 9, 2007. Kinney works for a company that promises to boost credit scores by adding people with...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Americans struggling with bad credit records may have a new route to a better score: For as little as $1,199, a San Diego company is offering the chance for customers to add their names to already-paid-off loans in order to boost their rating, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company says it's "100% legal," but not everyone agrees.

Piggybacking on dormant loans doesn't affect the original lender, but the FBI counts attempts to get loans using false information as bank fraud. There may well be "people out there who are going to say that it's mortgage fraud," allowed TradeLine Solutions' CEO Ted Stearns. TradeLine also boosts credit scores by adding clients as additional names to existing credit card accounts. The original cardholder gets $100 to $150 to accept the new "authorized" user.