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Looking for a credit repair company? Don’t know who to trust? We’ve got your back. See the best credit repair companies in 2021. Get answers to vital questions, including:
How much will it cost?
Is it worth paying for this service?
Are repair services legit?
Can they improve poor credit?
Nothing paints you in a negative light, like a bad credit score. With a low score, ‘traditional’ lenders disqualify your credit applications. Certain employers will turn down your job application. Even landlords may view tenants with bad credit in a negative light.
Want to repair bad credit for good? There are various avenues to explore. Today, we’ll focus on disputing negative marks in credit reports.
You don’t need a fancy lawyer challenging your negative entries. But working with credit repair companies saves time and headaches. Fixing credit is their sole mission.
Now is the best time to fix your credit! Experian noted that average credit scores improved in 2020 to reach an all-term high of 710. The positive development occurred despite COVID-19.
Selecting a great credit repair company requires a bit of market experience and industry know-how. Our editorial team has done all the homework and recommends the following list of credit repair companies:
No explicit communication on when to stop subscribing
No service guarantee
Currently, involved in a consumer protection lawsuit
Lexington Law tops our list of the best credit repair companies in 2021. Upon visiting their site, you quickly learn that they stand behind their success. They managed over 1.5 million removals in 2019 and 56 million removals since 2004. Thousands access their services through their modern app. It’s highly reviewed and full of valuable features like score tracking.
You start with a free credit consultation. After providing your details, they pull your reports and provide an expert recommendation. If there are above-average errors, they recommend their services.
We like that Lexington credit repair law firm offers a lawyer-led credit dispute process. Now, this does not mean that each customer will be working directly with an attorney. They may only intervene in complex cases or dispute escalation.
You can verify the professionals working behind the scenes from their info section. Other value-added services include:
Cease & desist letters’
FICO® score tracker;
Personal finance tools.
Many customers access their services through their modern app. It’s highly reviewed and full of valuable features like score tracking.
You can choose from three packages at $89.95, $109.95, and $129.95 per month. We found their packages to be fair and consistent with other top credit repair agencies. But the basic package at $89.95 is wanting. You only get bureau challenges and creditor interventions. Most notably, you miss out on score analysis, TransUnion alerts, and the FICO score tracker. They seem to push the most expensive option at $129.95.
Lexington Law doesn’t offer a service guarantee. That means that customers can’t receive refunds if there are no deletions.
On the positive side, veterans, active military members, and couples signing up together get a 50% discount on the first-work fee. The credit repair firm also offers discounts on their work fee at certain times during the year.
High initial work fee (from $99 to $195 as per package)
Lacks a mobile app
Fewer free educational resources
Credit Saint may not have the best-looking site. They don’t even have an ultra-modern mobile app like Lexington Law. But, you’ll often find them taunted as the best credit repair company. That’s because they offer guaranteed credit restoration services. You don’t have to worry about poor services. The 90-day money-back protection keeps your money safe.
The company offers three credit repair packages. At only $79 per month, the basic package, Credit Polish, includes 5 challenges to each bureau per the dispute cycle (one month). Customers also receive score analysis and score tracker through CreditSquad.com.
The initial work fee is higher than the monthly package cost, which is a bit unusual. For instance, they charge an initial work fee of $99 for the $79 package. The mid-range package, Credit Remodel, goes for $99.99 per month, with an initial work fee of $99. The top package, Clean Slate goes for $119 with an initial work fee of $195.
During the free consultation, an analyst checks your reports. They collaborate with you to spot suspicious entries. After the removals, customers receive extra advice about strategies to bolster credit scores.
We ultimately like their level of care and dedication to customer satisfaction. In reviews, people mention individual company reps by name, revealing their personal touch. They praise them for being patient, supportive, informative, and understanding.
You can consider choosing Credit Saint if you’re looking for a credit repair firm reputed for offering effective services. It boasts of many 5-star reviews. The service has an A BBB rating and has been officially accredited. The firm is also transparent about the number of challenges. Some companies don’t communicate this information.
The only limitation may be a lack of modern tech and tools. For instance, they don’t have a mobile application and outsource credit monitoring. While an online portal allows you to track dispute timelines, it’s less convenient than an app.
Advanced AI-driven credit monitoring and management system
Good extras: Identity theft protection, bill reminders, etc
Market Experience: 12 years
Service Guarantee: No
Free Consultation: Yes
BBB Rating: B+
Costs: $69 - $149
Main Office: Newark, NJ
Lots of positive feedback from early users
FICO certified experts driven
Tailored & personalized services tailored
An advanced credit monitoring system
90-day money-back guarantee
No mobile app monitoring
The website doesn’t offer an adequate explanation of their services
Founded by credit expert Jason Kaplan, The Credit Pros leads in tech-driven credit repair and management. But this doesn’t mean that they automate their processes. You’ll work in tandem with FICO experts to develop action plans.
If you’re looking for the most value at an affordable price and from one of the best credit repair companies, their Money Management package fits the bill. For $69, The Credit Pros will send custom dispute letters. Their basic package also includes cease-and-desist, debt validation, and goodwill letters. That’s not all. It has other extras such as bill reminders, ID protection, and TransUnion monitoring.
Their prosperity package at $119/month includes the SlashRx Prescription Savings Card. And for $149/month, they offer a National Credit Direct account for financing with bad credit. Do customers need these extras? Well, no. You’re okay with the basic “Money Management package.”
We also like their mobile apps because of features such as:
Credit repair progress tracking;
Real-time, 24-7 credit alerts;
Exclusive credit education videos.
Among the legitimate credit repair companies, their value is terrific.
The service may have some downsides. Their website is not clear about their value proposition and credit repair process. You may feel that the top goal is not helping customers remove negative marks from reports. We also found complaints from paying customers who didn’t see noticeable improvements.
While they are BBB accredited, they have closed about 7 complaints in the last 12 months with a low rating of 2.58/5. Before, they were a pay-per-deletion credit repair service. They switched to a monthly billing system to the dissatisfaction of some users.
A 35-day disputing cycle, which is regarded as fast
Disputes limited to 15 per month
Don’t credit monitoring services
With Sky Blue Credit, you pay one price at $79 per month for credit repair. The bundle includes extra services such as:
Credit rebuilding guidance;
Goodwill letters to creditors
Stop & desist letters to debt collectors.
They will remove up to 5 items per bureau monthly, and customize disputes for a higher chance of success.
Sky Blue stands out among other credit repair companies because of its no-obligation 90-day guarantee. You receive a full refund if you’re not satisfied for any reason. The great thing is a single deletion doesn’t void the refund policy.
We also like their commitment to going beyond the norm. Sky Blue doesn’t analyze your reports on a surface level. They focus on hard-to-spot issues, making them one of the best-rated credit repair companies.
While they are not BBB accredited, they have a 4.27/5 rating, which is high on all standards. We found words such as “honest and legit,” featuring in many reviews.
Sky Blue addresses complaints cautiously. In one case, a customer was not satisfied by the number of removals. The company reached out and refunded all payments upon request. They are also upfront about the best time to stop paying for the service. Overall, Sky Blue has an outstanding customer service department.
Are there any downsides to the service? Sky Blue Credit doesn’t offer credit monitoring. So, you pay for third-party services to track changes in scores following removals. There is no mobile app, and dispute tracking takes place through the online portal. Additionally, they restrict disputes to a total of 15 per billing cycle.
Comprehensive credit repair education, both video & text
Mobile apps to track removals, current challenges, and creditor inventions
TransUnion credit monitoring
No custom arguments
No service guarantee or refunds
Currently, involved in a consumer protection lawsuit
The first thing we like about Creditrepair.com is their well-laid out website. You’ll learn about their three-step process. First, they pull credit reports and analyze existing errors. With the InquiryManager™ tool, you advise why the company should challenge the error. The tool asks about any life-changing events around each negative item. It’s a breeze to use.
Creditrepair.com doesn’t hide statistics about their service. On average, they state that clients experience a 7% reduction in negative items each month.
We also like the in-app mobile experience. You can track the submitted challenges and membership progress. They report on key performance measures like total removals, creditor interventions, and ongoing filings. Don’t have space for apps on your device? They offer a personal online dashboard and text & email alerts.
Among the best credit repair services, their education section is extensive. You access an entire article library covering credit issues, debt, and identity theft. Their short YouTube videos answer common credit questions in mere seconds. The company is active on social media with 100,000+ followers on Facebook.
What about the pricing? Creditrepair.com has three pricing packages: Advanced ($111.95), Standard ($99.95), and Direct ($69.95). Each package has a corresponding first work fee. We don’t like that they are not clear on the number of disputes included for each package. They only say how aggressive they are.
Creditrepair.com also leads the field with its extensive tech options. Customers access a well-developed customer portal to monitor progress and submit any correspondence. They can also receive alerts through mobile apps and text. With a range of other personal tools, it’s the best choice for tech features and easy progress tracking.
On the negative side, they don’t seem to tailor services for each unique case. You may miss out on the closeness of working with a credit repair professional on a one-to-one basis. Dissatisfied customers don’t receive refunds as they lack a service guarantee.
The Credit People comes across as an approachable and friendly credit repair website. They reflect this in their imaging and communications.
We like the $79 one-package offer with unlimited disputes. The first setup fee is also lower than other companies at $19. On average, customers stay with them for 6 months. So, they offer flat pricing for 6-months of service. At $419, you get to save $74 versus an ongoing monthly subscription for 6-months.
Customers enjoy an excellent satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with their services, you may cancel at any time. They will not bill for the current month’s services and refund the last month’s payment. The flat-rate membership also includes a full money-back guarantee.
Their “US Vs. Them” page on their website highlights more perks of their service. They guarantee no hidden fees for ordering copies of your credit reports. Customers also enjoy extra benefits, including employee assistance, credit interventions, and debt validation.
The website also provides credit repair articles, toolkits, regulations, videos, and infographics. We also like their “Score-Driven Results®” promise. It means they will use other methods in an attempt to raise their client’s credit scores.
Customers have commended their service team for excellent services. They even offer a toll-free service line, showing their commitment to customer satisfaction.
Are there any downsides? While they mention various teams working on behalf of the clients, the website lacks profiles of these experts. There is no app for monitoring credit disputes or scores. You’ll need to use the online portal.
Most of the reviews are positive. And a few complaints are from customers that didn’t see their credit scores improve. It’s a common complaint that affects all the best credit repair services.
One-on-one assistance from a personal case advisor
Fast Track Service with no wait times
Discount programs for couples, referees, military, and seniors
Accredited with an A+ rating
No mobile apps
Lacks adequate educational resources
Ovation Credit offers comprehensive and personalized credit repair services. Customers will work on a one-to-one basis with various experts. On the first consultation, a Credit Analyst reviews your financial background and reports to gauge if their services can help.
After signing up, your Personal Advisor takes over the dispute process. They reveal available dispute options and share extra credit improvement tips.
Disputes are handled through their electronic Dispute Manager System. You receive updates on the personal case management portal or via email.
We like their discounts—including $50-off for customers switching from different credit repair companies. Referrals to friends or families can earn a $30 or $50 credit. Couples get up to 20% discount. Military members and seniors also receive a 10% discount.
Why choose Ovation Credit? Well, the company is proudly associated with Lending Tree, an online lending marketplace. This has increased their trustworthiness in the credit repair industry. They are really committed to helping customers, and even author official recommendation letters to assist clients when dealing with future lenders.
Are their services affordable? Well, the basic package, labeled “Essentials,” goes for $79 per month with a first-time work fee of $89. It’s not the most affordable option on this list but falls within industry rates.
The second package is $109 per month. It includes:
Unlimited debt validation challenges;
Ovation Recommendation Letters to creditors;
Transunion Credit Monitoring.
Pricing differs per state, and it may not mean paying the advertised rate.
Ovation also provides same-day services through their Fast Track Service. But you’ll need to pay about $20 extra for this convenience..
We don’t like the lack of refunds. Their service guarantee is only a promise that they will try their best. On the positive side, if you cancel before the billing date, they will not charge for the given month.
On review sites, Ovation has mixed feedback. They maintain a 3.8/5 rating on their Google Reviews and have been BBB accredited since 2004.
The first list encompassed some of the best-rated credit repair companies. There are thousands of smaller and local firms. Our experts reviewed the credit repair companies in this category to reveal the following list of other stellar services:
Creditfirm.net is one of the few credit repair companies that provide a lawyer-driven credit repair process. It has operated since 1997. Over the years, they have served over 60,000 clients.
Why Choose CreditFirm.net? Credit firm net has a mission to provide the best customer service at an affordable price. Starting at only $49.99, the firm offers in-depth legal credit audits, unlimited challenges, and unrestricted creditor interventions. Their value is unmatched.
Credit Assistance Network is confident that it will help customers resolve all credit issues. They offer a 100% money-back guarantee within the first 90 days. Customers also work on a one-to-one basis with certified credit experts.
Why choose The Credit Assistance Network? It’s among the few credit repair companies that charge per item deletion fees. New customers pay an initial analysis fee of $179, $75 for the deletion of public entries, and $50 for other negative items.
Credit Glory is a Fair Isaac Corporation, and one of the fastest-growing credit repair companies. The company has offices throughout the country. Most services are offered online with customers monitoring their service through an online portal.
Why choose Credit Glory? CreditGlory is a top alternative for credit repair companies that charge per deletion. For example, customers can pay $79 for single removals or a recurring rate of $99 per month with a review fee of $199.
Pinnacle Credit Repair distinguishes itself from the best credit repair companies by offering fast-tracked services. They send disputes every two weeks. Other credit repair companies challenge credit bureaus after 30 to 35 days. The company also utilizes automatic credit analytical technology to analyze negative items.
Why choose Pinnacle Credit Repair? In reviews, people have expressed that they selected the company to get fast results. Most customers also work one-on-one with the company’s founder, Andrew Nguyen.
Founded in 2011, Pyramid Credit Repair set out to restore faith in credit repair companies by offering honest services. Their first product was a self-help program. Today, customers work with case advisors and track progress through an online portal.
Why choose Pyramid Credit Repair? It’s a great choice for credit repair companies with single-plan pricing at just $99. They also stand out by offering 24/7 phone support. Customers are also covered by a 90-day money-back guarantee.
AMB Credit Consultants is one of the top credit repair companies in Texas, and also serves customers across the country. Their mission is to impact good credit decision-making that lasts a lifetime.
Why choose AMB Credit consultants? AMB Credit Consultants stands out among other credit repair companies because it looks at the big picture. It’s evident in several aspects of the service, for instance, preparing personalized action plans and offering credit mentoring.
Credit Versio offers an online disputing system that analyzes client reports for potential dispute items. The software automatically prepares potential dispute letters. At most, customers will only need to pay for postage.
Why choose Credit Versio? The service is ideal for people that don’t want to hire credit repair companies but want some assistance in preparing disputes. It may be a way to save money as their core package goes for $19.95 with ID protection & insurance.
Comparison of the Best Credit Repair Companies
Which are the best credit restoration companies? The following table provides a quick snapshot of each company’s BBB rating, costs, and availability of a service guarantee. Note that some of the best credit repair companies may not be officially BBB accredited but may have ratings.
Curious about the methods employed by credit repair companies? Well, they don’t have any unique processes. They can’t create a “new credit identity” or dispute legally accurate claims.
The companies rely on the procedure outlined in Chapter 611 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It requires the CRBs to delete inaccurate or unverifiable information. Similarly, they must give consumers notice of any deletions from their files. That’s why most repair firms inform customers to expect updated reports from the bureaus within 60 days of signing up for their services. We found the following steps to be consistent for the credit fixing companies we reviewed:
Step 1: Free consultation
All customers qualify for the free consultation. The company will need your credit reports to analyze for errors. Credit reporting bureaus like Experian only offer one free report annually. But don’t worry about paying for reports! Most repair companies derive the scores and free credit reports for free, thanks to partnerships with third-party services. Some credit repair companies also offer free action plans during the free consultation.
The initial session presents the best opportunity to interview credit repair firms. Consider asking about their service or refund policy. Ask about how soon customers start seeing results. The responses from the customer reps can reveal a lot about the credit repair company’s dedication to quality customer service. If they seem rushed and impatient, they may show the same attitude when offering paid services.
Step 2: Report analysis
Many credit repair companies offer an initial free report analysis. But it’s just an overview to reveal common errors. After customers sign up for paid services, they carry out a comprehensive review. The company may also pull all the reports if they did not do so during the initial inquiry. To deal with many requests, some companies have innovated advanced credit analysis programs. We like companies that offer personalized services, however. You receive guidance on the best errors to dispute and an action plan.
Step 3: Challenging
On your behalf, they write letters challenging inaccurate negative items. The burden of proof falls on the reporting agency. Now, the credit bureaus don’t have the original data. They must contact the information furnishers such as creditors and public information sources. So, the original creditor has to counter-check their records and confirm the accuracy of the entry.
Bureaus have 30 to 45 days to complete the investigations. That’s why reputable credit repair services don’t promise instant credit repair.
On average, customers see changes after 60 days. As re-investigations become more automated, they are taking less time. TransUnion states that they conclude most investigations within 2 weeks.
Step 4: Credit management & guidance
As part of extra services, the top repair companies may offer pointers to improve your credit. Many companies now send debt validation and Goodwill intervention letters. A validation letter comes in handy when consumers are suspicious about the amount demanded by debt collectors. Goodwill intervention letters ask for the voluntary removal of factual entries from credit reports.
Now, many credit repair companies include creditor interventions in more pricey packages. Not every customer needs the extra services, and it’s possible to ask for debt validation or Goodwill removals without any paid assistance.
Is credit repair a one-time fee? Most companies have monthly billing cycles. That’s because they challenge a set number of errors each month. By law, they can’t charge upfront before showing proof of results. Credit repair scams often involve a request to pay for services before they are rendered. So, most companies charge at the end of the month. But the one-time review or setup fee is applicable typically at signup or within the first week.
How to Choose a Right Credit Repair Company?
Choosing a credit repair company may seem like a complicated task. Well, it shouldn’t be. Here are tips to use:
1: Analyze the pricing packages
Most firms will have more than one pricing plan. Weighing the available options can be confusing. The first thing to ask is: what are you getting for the price point? It’s helpful to compare the features available for each package. You may ask if they have more features than their next competitor. The package should also cover all your needs. For many errors, it’s expedient to choose an affordable service with unlimited disputes.
2: Check if they are affordable
When assessing the affordability of professional services, consider the initial setup fee. For instance, pay-for-deletion credit repair companies may seem more affordable than subscription-based services. However, they may charge a high review fee.
Don’t pay through the nose for credit repair services! There is no special dispute removal process that companies offer. You pay for convenience, credit guidance, and their time-saving features. Spending more doesn’t promise better results.
3: Read the credit repair company reviews
Unsatisfied customers may be more likely to leave negative reviews than happy customers. Popular credit repair companies garner negative reviews. The primary source of discontentment revolves around customers not seeing results as fast as they expect. Similarly, many customers complain about no deletions. It all boils down to a matter of time. That’s why results should be expected in 60 days or so.
Does this imply not to trust credit repair reviews? Well, no. Check them out. They reveal the major pitfalls of the service, and some findings may be deal breaks. Reviews are not straightforward to find. Check places such as BBB.org, TrustPilot, or app pages for genuine reviews. The company’s response to negative reviews provides both sides of the story. So, don’t rush into a judgment.
4: Assess their customer support quality
The company culture and personable approach matter when working with a credit repair company. You need to work with someone that puts the needs of customers first. To evaluate their level of service, try calling their support number. Are their waiting times too long? Have they outsourced their customer support? Do the reps attempt to offer personable and helpful services?
Consider other subtleties. An agency with a toll-free customer care number may reveal its commitment to help customers save money in any way. Service guarantees mean that the company stands behind its work. They don’t want to worsen your financial situation while offering unsatisfactory services.
Agencies with one-package pricing with all the features may be better than companies with multiple packages with minor distinctions among them. Lastly, check if they assign a personal case manager to each customer. People like to have real-human intervention throughout the process.
5: Look for tell-tell signs of a scammy service
Scammy services often use deceptive practices to lure unsuspecting customers. Fortunately, it’s easy to stop them in their tracks by being extra careful. Avoid marked-up services promising 100% bad credit removal or new legal identities. Watch out for claims such as “fast credit repair for a mortgage.” Companies that charge upfront before rendering any services are also scammy. Look for other questionable behaviors like requests to include false information in disputes. If the deal is too good, it’s probably “too good.”
6: Check for a service guarantee & non-performance events
The best credit repair companies stand behind their work by offering a money-back promise. But don’t get lured in because a company offers service guarantees. For instance, they may be offering a 90-day guarantee, but only if there have been no removals.
Some providers, such as Sky Blue, have a no-obligation satisfaction guarantee that’s applicable even if there have been removals. It’s offered as long as the customer is not satisfied.
7: Don’t be afraid to cancel during the cooling-off period
The Credit Repair Organisations Act requires companies to provide a three-day cooling-off. So, if a service doesn’t seem suitable after signing up, take advantage of this period to cancel without any penalties.
Similarly, consider services that don’t limit customers to long-term contracts. The website should state that there are no contracts or mention pay-as-you-go. Some credit repair companies even allow customers to cancel before the end of the billing period without any charges for the given month.
What Credit Repair Companies Can Remove from the Credit Report?
Credit improvement companies can only correct unfair or nonfactual marks that are currently painting your record in a bad light. “Unfair” negative marks are typically tied to life events such as divorce, identity theft, medical emergencies, or military leave.
Remember that all wrong entries have a high chance of removals, including serious entries such as repossessions, or bankruptcies.
Most reputable credit repair companies will clearly state that they can’t guarantee successful outcomes. They similarly can’t predict how long the process may take, as every situation is different.
It’s also vital to note that there are some cases where deleted items may actually reappear. That’s because creditors can report previously deleted information if they verify it. You can avoid reinsertions by working with credit help companies that challenge credit bureaus and information furnishers by preparing a different bunch of letters for each situation.
Credit Repair Agencies vs DIY
It’s possible to do everything without any help, and CRBs have made it easier. Still, repairing credit can be tricky, tedious, and lengthy. That’s why some people feel the need to hire the best credit repair agencies.
The firms don’t use any special techniques to challenge the bureaus. However, they are highly experienced and know the best ways to achieve successful outcomes. An agency will be motivated and not easily give up if challenges fail. Customers should only seek help from credit repair companies if their budget allows it.
You don’t need to pay to fix credit. DIY credit repair is not hard to figure out. Head over to YouTube, and you’ll find plenty of tutorials. The process will entail:
Ordering copies of credit reports;
Analyzing the reports for inconsistencies;
Disputing errors in the reports (sending disputes online is free; you may also call or mail);
Reaching out to creditors and asking them to fix errors from their side.
Can my bank help me fix my credit? Well, it’s beyond their scope, but if errors arise from their reporting, contact them.
Should I hire a credit repair company? Let’s start with the issue of time: Hiring a trusted credit repair company frees your time.
Agencies provide access to credit experts who spend their time resolving credit issues. They will have the right experience and knowledge when preparing custom disputes. Agencies dangle extra services, for instance, credit monitoring or sending letters to creditors. Free credit repair services are also impossible to come by.
What if I’ve tried a DIY approach and failed?
At this point, you may be fuming and even thinking of pursuing legal action. Well, it’s possible to sue a reporting agency for negligence if they don’t remove errors within two years of discovering them. But there are better alternatives. You may point out the problem and have it fixed. You can work with a credit repair law firm or file personal disputes.
By challenging wrongful entries, credit bureaus must review and confirm the accuracy of negative items. Accurate negative marks are not possible to remove. But they don’t stick around forever. Chapter 12 & 13 Bankruptcies, judgments, or collections have a shelf-life of about 7 years. Chapter 7 & 11 Bankruptcies are the longest-living negative items at 10 years.
Heavily-indebted customers may choose to work with debt repair & negotiation services. Once they strike deals with creditors, they may agree to remove records of collections and outstanding debts.
How to Avoid Credit Repair Scams?
The first step to avoiding credit repair scams is to actually have ideal expectations. Most scammers prey on consumers looking for a fresh start, which is not possible. They may promise to provide new Credit Private Numbers or help with the creation of a synthetic credit profile. Some scammers may state that they help customers apply for new Employer Identification Numbers. All these techniques are illegal.
Another sign to watch out for is if the service promises to improve your credit score by hundreds of points without even taking a review of your history.
Don’t trust any credit repair service or professional you come across until you conduct a comprehensive review of their platform. You can assess their website to determine if they have a physical address or customer support number. Legitimate credit repair companies tend to offer free consultations, and they may be helpful in judging the quality of the service.
The Credit Repair Organisations Act forbids the services from charging for their services upfront. That’s why distinguished providers deduct the first month’s fee after 30 days, on average.
They may charge an initial review fee, but it should not be deducted immediately. The normal practice is to deduct this fee after five to seven days, which is the time allocated for preparing and sending the first round of disputes. If the service asks for their payments in untraceable means such as wire payments, it may also indicate that you’re dealing with a scammy service.
Most customers feel that they have been scammed after paying for the monthly service but not seeing any results. Even the best credit repair company cannot guarantee results as the responsibility for performing the deletions lies with the credit bureaus and information furnishers.
You can plan ahead by choosing a service that offers a guarantee or refund policy. It’s also important to check their credit repair reviews and complaints on BBB.org to see if the company follows up on their promise to issue refunds and to get an overview of how they respond to complaints.
In the event that you’re scammed or feel cheated, you can report the credit repair company to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ultimately you need to be aware of the best services to trust to avoid credit repair scams. Stay away from professionals promising the complete removal of legitimate items. They are scams in disguise.
Credit Repair Companies Alternatives
Many people would wish to hire credit repair companies to challenge the CRBs on their behalf. It’s the easiest route. However, not everyone has the budget to hire paid help. Which other credit repair options are available?
Several nonprofits provide counseling to people dealing with debt or impacted by bad credit. They may provide free consultations that last for about 30 minutes. For additional help, the organizations may ask customers to enroll in monthly paid plans.
Seeking help from a friend or relative
Consider asking for help from close friends or relatives. You may discover that someone you know is a self-taught credit repair specialist.
Use the online dispute centers provided by the credit bureaus to submit challenges. While the online centers lack the flexibility of drafting custom letters, it’s a viable method to save a lot of time and effort.
Reporting errors to original creditors
Creditors may correct wrongful information they previously reported after notifying them. Experts still recommend challenging both the information furnishers and CRBs for better outcomes.
Credit repair software
Using online credit repair software can save on costs. The programs automatically pull reports from the bureaus, analyze negative entries, and offer guidance in preparing custom disputes.
Debt settlement companies
Debt settlement services can negotiate for lower settlements on collections accounts. They may charge a percentage of the amount they have successfully negotiated down. Some services even promise to have up to 50% of the outstanding debt forgiven.
How We Rated Credit Repair Companies
To compile the list of the best credit repair companies, we focused on reputable and established brands. They had to have demonstrated industry expertise and reliability. We were big on technology and tools that made the customer experience more intuitive. That’s why Lexington Law came out on top with its excellent mobile app.
While affordability and range of features were essential, most companies had similar pricing. So, what were the best low-cost credit repair companies? The Credit Pros and The Credit People had the most features for their price points. We reported if the services were BBB accredited, but this didn’t impact the rating. The accreditation doesn’t rely on customer reviews or accurately portray the quality of the company’s services. We also factored in the site’s usability.
Our rankings considered if the companies were offering quality credit repair education. We were also big on services that provided an expert-led process. Lexington Law came out on top with its lawyer-driven process. It was also necessary if the companies provided custom arguments.
For the “Trust Score,” we considered various things. We checked if companies were transparent about their results and “claims.” We also weighed in customer feedback, years of experience, and professionalism.
Conclusion: Are Credit Repair Companies Worth it?
We set out to compile a list of good credit repair companies and found seven stellar firms. They are all individually-renown for providing the best services for many years. Remain skeptical about companies that lure customers with promises of guaranteed results.
Now, this is not a definitive list of all repair companies. If you can’t find a good match, explore other alternatives. Above all, have the right expectations when exploring credit repair. No one knows the final verdict of the credit reporting bureaus about a particular matter.
From past experience in the repairs market, we can definitely say that credit repair companies are worth their salt. Customers simply delegate the work of reviewing and challenging questionable negative items. The top-rated credit repair companies go the extra mile by trying other ways to build better credit habits.
Credit repair refers to fixing or mending damaged credit by correcting any wrongful information in credit reports. Negative marks or negative items refer to bad things that hurt credit ratings. They may include late payments, liens, bankruptcies, repossessions, charge-offs, judgments, negative settlements, etc. Records of late payments also qualify for removal.
Where do mistakes come from in the first place? Well, creditors report information on open credit accounts. The reporting process is prone to errors. That’s where you get startling facts, like 79% of reports have errors. About one person in five has a grave/material error in their report that can disqualify them from loans. Credit reporting agencies are also dependent on the accurate reporting by creditors and have no way of verifying the information beforehand.
Sometimes information furnishers are not entirely at fault. Credit fraud or identity theft may introduce errors in your credit reports.
The CROA is part of the consumer credit protection act, and it governs the activities of credit fixing services. It prohibits the services from demanding advanced payments. Its introduction also brought much-needed integrity to the industry by prohibiting questionable practices such as false advertising.
The FTC has aggressively gone after credit repair companies that breach the provisions of the credit repair organizations act. There is an ongoing case with Progrexion Holding, Inc, accused of violating the telemarketing sales rules.
According to our verdict, Lexington Law is the best credit repair service on the market right now. They score massive points for their trust and reliability, and their monthly subscriptions are not too expensive. Customers can track improvements through their award-winning mobile applications. Most people have had positive experiences with them.
On average, most customers stay with credit repair services for 6 months. When the repair agency files a dispute on your behalf, the credit bureaus respond within 30 to 45 days.
Most repair companies state that customers will see changes in 45 to 60 days. Simple issues are dealt with promptly. Complex issues warrant in-depth examinations, and reporting agencies may ask for more documentation.
The top credit repair companies offer monthly packages. We found that the industry average was about $79. If you stay with a company for 3 months, you may end up paying $237. A 6-month subscription may cost $474 without factoring in the first work fee.
Yes, credit repair services are legitimate. You may ask: why am I finding such bad reviews about these services? Well, there is often a mismatch of expectations. Even the best credit repair company can’t erase your credit history and give you a clean slate to build on.
Credit bureaus only remove negative items if they are inaccurate, unsubstantiated, or unverified. Negative items caused by divorce, medical debt, student loans, or identity theft also have a higher probability of removal.
Thousands of people have successfully used credit repair services and seen improvements. It’s critical to have all the facts before signing up for a repair credit score service. They should render an honest conclusion about your case before asking for signups.
Wondering if it’s worth it to pay for credit repair? Consider it as an investment in your future. And it’s an investment that may pay off in thousands of dollars in savings. For instance, say you fix a late payment and get an increase of 110 points. When applying for a $100,000 mortgage for a term of 10 years for a rate that’s 2% cheaper because of good credit, you can save more than $10,000.
Request credit reports from annualcreditreport.com, and check the accounts for errors. Note that there are some errors that you may remove and not actually improve your credit score, for instance, a name misspelling. Still, go after all errors despite how serious they look. Then visit the respective online disputing section, and file your dispute.
The major credit bureaus allow you to submit your request by mailing in a physical letter. You can use a 609 template to easily come up with your dispute, but generally, your letter has to mention the credit error and why you need it resolved. The credit bureaus also allow phone disputes.
The CFPB recommends that customers should verify the legitimacy of the credit repair service with the State Attorney General’s office and local protection agencies.
You can further verify that you’re working with a legitimate service by checking past user credit repair reviews on independent review sites.
Another great hint is to check the footer section when evaluating the credit repair website. Most credit repair companies use this spot to share additional details about their licenses, bond status, and physical address.
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Gerald is the founder and editor-in-chief of CreditFixed.com. Over 13 years of experience in credit repair companies and finance. Each text is published after its detailed proofreading