Why Use a Credit Repair Company?
The credit repair industry often gets a bad rap. In the past, there have been shady credit repair companies that engaged in less than honest business practices and delivered little to no results to their clients. With the advent of the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) and online review sites helping to expose the bad operations, credit repair is now a legitimate solution for consumers looking to improve their credit situation and fix negative items on their reports.
To help you, we have thoroughly researched the credit repair industry and selected only the very best services we feel are more legitimate and trustworthy than others. Keep the following items in mind as you select a credit repair service to work with:
You Can Repair Your Credit Yourself
Some companies may tell you otherwise, but you don't have to hire a service to dispute negative items on your credit report. You can dispute items yourself on your credit report that you feel are fraudulent or inaccurate, and, legally due to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the bureaus are required to respond to you within 30 days. You can do this for free and avoid all of the monetary costs that come with credit repair services.
However, if you don't want to spend the time or go through the stress disputing items yourself, credit repair services can save you a lot of effort. Having an expert handle the credit repair process gives you peace of mind, and we've thoroughly researched credit repair companies to find the best and most reputable services to recommend to you.
How Can Credit Repair Companies Help Me?
You could potentially damage your credit score further by incorrectly pursuing the credit dispute process yourself. A professional credit repair service can apply their knowledge of credit laws and vast experience helping past clients to best assist with your specific financial situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Will It Take to Repair Your Credit?
In general, it takes between 30 and 45 days to begin to see positive results from credit repair efforts. Credit bureaus and creditors are legally required to respond to disputes no more than 30 days following the filing of the dispute.
Further, with the exception of two companies, Park View Credit and 180 Credit Solutions, eight of the companies on our lineup did not require a contract, so you can cancel the service at any time.
What Does Credit Repair Cost Me?
Credit repair services impose costs like monthly fees, setup fees and fees for pulling your credit report. Among the companies we reviewed, the price-per-month fee ranges from $49 to $129.
Each company in our review charges some type of initial setup fee. These fees cover things like paperwork, setting up a plan that's best for disputing the hits on your credit and, sometimes, the cost of pulling your credit report. Some charge a separate fee for pulling your credit report while still others require that you pull your own credit report or use a free trial of a third-party service to pull your own report.
Each service in our review offers a discount if you and a partner sign up together. These savings come in different forms and might include a discount on the monthly fees, waiving the setup fee, a percentage off or other discount, depending on the company.
What Types of Credit Report Items Can Be Removed?
Credit repair companies focus on removing questionable, inaccurate, or unverifiable items from credit reports, such as collections, late payments, charge offs, liens, bankruptcies, repossessions, foreclosures, and judgements.
Another claim made by some credit repair companies is that they can improve your credit, no matter what's negatively impacting your report. Remember, though, that bureaus and creditors are only going to remove items if they are inaccurate or can't be proven. For example, if you have a couple of late payments listed on your report, but you have receipts showing they were paid on time, these items will most likely be removed from your report.