Best Credit Repair Companies

You’ve attempted to repair your own credit and haven’t had much luck. Or maybe you’re looking to start cleaning up your credit report, but don’t quite understand how credit repair works or are strapped for time. Don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of the best credit repair companies in the industry, along with a detailed description that includes their offerings and pricing.

Best credit repair companies

Credit Assistance Network

At a glance:

  • Established in 2004
  • National Association of Credit Services Organizations (NACSO) member
  • A+ Better Business Bureau Rating
  • Free credit analysis available
  • Flat-fee of $179 ($279 for couples), $50 per deletion, $75 per public record

Company Overview:

Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, the Credit Assistance Network offers unique credit improvement services to help you get your credit score back on track. They’ve been around since 2004 and are members of the National Association of Credit Services Organizations (NACSO).

Member services include:

  • Compilation and submission of debt validation and dispute letters for each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion (limited to 45 items)
  • Identity theft and Chex Systems solutions
  • Assistance with settlement offers
  • Live phone support at a toll-free number
  • 24/7 access to your account via the online portal
  • One-on-one credit coaching to discuss ways you can boost your score sooner than later

You can get started with the Credit Assistance Network by requesting a free credit analysis online or calling 1-800-811-3078. And if you decide to enroll with your spouse, you will receive 20 percent of the associated fee, which is $179 ($279 for couples). A fee of $50 and $75 also applies for the deletion of negative items and public records, respectively.

Since services are offered on a monthly basis, you can cancel at any time without incurring penalties or fees.

Visit the Credit Assistance Network or call 1-800-811-3078 to get started.

CreditRepair.com

At a glance:

  • Established in 2012
  • Free consultation
  • Customers see an average improvement of 40 points in four months on TransUnion score
  • $99.95 per month

Company Overview:

Established in 2012, CreditRepair.com offers credit repair and education services for only $99.95 per month. On average, CreditRepair.com members see improvements of 40 points on their TransUnion credit score within the initial four months of enrolling in the service.

When you enroll, you’ll have access to an online dashboard that can be accessed 24/7 from your desktop or mobile device along with a score tracker and analytical tool to help you identify key areas for improvement. Membership also includes TransUnion credit monitoring, text, and email alerts.

Visit CreditRepair.com or call 1-855-255-0263 to get started.

Credit Saint Credit Restoration

At a glance:

  • Established 2007
  • A+ Better Business Bureau Rating
  • Free consultation
  • 90-day results guarantee
  • Three plans: $59.99, $79.99, and $195 per month (first work fee applies)

Company Overview:

Credit Saint Credit Restoration is another key player in the industry. But what sets them apart is their 90-day money back guarantee if you don’t see results. They’re also BBB Accredited with an A+ rating and are the recipient of Consumers Advocate Best Credit Repair Company of 2017 award.

They also offer a free consultation to see if it’s a good fit. And should you decide to move forward, there are three plans to choose from:

  • Polish ($59.99 per month): excludes bankruptcies, repossessions, and judgments ($99.00 first work fee applies)
  • Remodel ($79.99 per month): excludes judgments ($99.00 first work fee applies)
  • Clean Slate ($195 per month): all-inclusive credit repair services ($195.00 first work fee applies)

Services are billed on a month-to-month basis and you can cancel your membership at any time.

Visit Credit Saint Credit Restoration or call 1-877-637-2673 to get started.

Lexington Law

At a glance:

  • Established 1991
  • Hundreds of thousands of clients served
  • Free credit consultation, TransUnion report summary, and credit report review
  • Three service levels: $89.95, $109.05, and $129.95 per month
  • 50 percent family and friends discount

Company Overview:

With over two decades of experience in the business, Lexington Law has served hundreds of thousands of consumers. In 2017 alone, they helped remove 10 million negative items from credit reports.

They offer three service levels:

  • Concord Standard ($89.95 per month): includes bureau challenges and creditor interventions.
  • Concord Premier ($109.95 per month): Concord Standard plus assistance with removing inquiries, monthly credit report coaching, and a detailed score improvement analysis, and TransUnion credit alerts.
  • PremierPlus ($129.95 per month): Concord Premier plus identity fraud alerts and your monthly TransUnion FICO score.

*A first work fee applies to all service levels.

Lexington Law also offers a Friends and Family Discount of 50 percent on the first month of service.

And should you decide that Lexington Law is not a good fit, you may cancel service at any time. However, you will be assessed a final bill for the services rendered since credit repair companies can only collect payment after services are rendered, per the Credit Repair Organizations Act.

Visit Lexington Law or call 1-844-259-3482 to get started

Ovation Credit Repair Services

At a glance:

  • Established 2004
  • A+ Better Business Bureau Rating
  • Free consultation and credit report summary
  • Two plans: $69.00 or $99.00 per month
  • Multiple discounts programs available

Company Overview:

Ovation, a subsidiary of Lending Tree, is another top-notch credit repair company. But what distinguishes them from others are their low price points and a multitude of discount programs, including:

  • Essentials ($69.00 per month): includes support from a professional credit analyst, unlimited bureau disputes, online dispute management, and financial management tools ($99 first work fee applies)
  • Essentials Plus ($99.00 per month): Essentials and unlimited validation and goodwill letters, recommendation or reference letters for future lenders and creditors, and TransUnion credit monitoring ($114 first work fee applies)

Visit Ovation Credit Repair Services or call 1-866-639-3426 to get started.

SkyBlue Credit

At a glance:

  • Established 1989
  • Offers free consultation
  • $69.00 per month
  • Special couples rate of $99 per month

Company Overview:

SkyBlue has been in the credit repair industry for quite some time. Established in 1989, they’ve helped thousands of customers get their credit back on track. And you can get started for a low rate of only $69.00 per month, or $99 if you’re signing up with your significant other.

They boast an unrivaled dispute pace of 15 items per cycle so you can see results quicker. Unlike many other credit repair companies, they also offer assistance with debt validation, debt settlement, and goodwill letters at no additional cost to you.

Other membership perks include:

  • Pro analysis to identify items that should be disputed
  • Credit report analysis and coaching to identify other effective ways to boost your credit score
  • Online portal so you can access your profile 24/7 at the tap of a fingertip

In the event you aren’t satisfied with their services, SkyBlue also offers a 90-day money back guarantee.

Visit SkyBlue Credit or call 1-800-790-0445 to get started.

The Credit Pros

At a glance:

  • Established
  • A+ Better Business Bureau Rating
  • Free consultation available
  • Two plans: $99 per month for individuals ($179 enrollment fee) and $159 per month for couples ($279 enrollment fee)
  • Discounts: couples receive 20 percent off the monthly fee

Company Overview:

The Credit Pros is one of the fastest growing credit repair companies in the industry. They were recently ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies over a five-year span and boasts carries an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Their membership model is simple with a single plan to choose from that is priced at $99 per month ($159 per month for couples). A one-time enrollment fee of $179 ($279 for couples) applies.

Your monthly membership fee includes:

  • Private consultation with a FICO expert
  • Unlimited dispute letters
  • Debt validation letters
  • Goodwill letters
  • Cease and desist letters
  • Digital credit education tools
  • 24/7 access to an online portal that includes your credit score

You should also know that membership is on a month-to-month basis, and you can cancel your service at any time.

Visit The Credit Pros or call (888) 257-5110 to get started.

The Credit People

At a glance:

  • Established 2001
  • Offers free consultation
  • Flat-rate plan with no set-up fee
  • $19 trial for seven days
  • Couples discounts
  • 100 percent money-back guarantee

Company Overview:

With over 15 years of experience, The Credit People has helped more than 100,000 consumers get their credit back on track. And what sets them apart is their unique enrollment process.

Not only do they pull your initial credit reports and scores for free, but they allow you to test drive the service for only $19. If you wish to continue after the free 7-day window, you’ll pay $79 per month and have access to the following member benefits:

  • Unlimited dispute letters
  • Debt validation letter
  • Creditor interventions
  • Toll-free customer support
  • Access to customer dashboard 24/7

But if you’re not satisfied, you cancel without incurring any penalties or fees.

Visit The Credit People or call 1-866-382-3410 to get started.

What is credit repair?

In a nutshell, credit repair is a way to clean up your report and improve your credit score in a much shorter time span than it would take for the negative items to fall off. It’s also an effective remedy for untimely or inaccurate information that should not legally appear on your credit report.

There are two ways that you can go about repairing your credit: DIY credit repair and hiring a credit repair company. But before you select the method that works best for you, it’s wise to understand what’s in your credit report and how your score is calculated. That way, you’ll know how to maintain your credit rating once you’ve raised it from the trenches.

How is your credit score calculated?

Your FICO score, which is used by 90 percent of lenders and creditor to reach a lending decision, is comprised of the following:

Payment history (35 percent)

If you can’t repay your monthly debt obligations, lenders will be reluctant to extend funds to you. And if they do, expect a substantially higher interest rate to hedge against the risk of loss resulting from the default. This is why payment history has the greatest impact on your credit score, to the tune of 35 percent.

Paying a few days past the due date won’t kill your score, but once you reach the 30-day mark, your score could drop by up to 110 points, notes Equifax. In fact, the higher the score before the delinquency, the greater the impact, myFICO adds. And each subsequent month that the account remains in default has even greater negative implications for your account.

In fact, at the 120-day mark, the account is usually turned over to collections. And unfortunately, collection items linger on your credit report for seven years.

Amounts owed (30 percent)

Creditors are also interested in knowing more about how you use the amount of credit available to you, hence the credit utilization ratio. This figure is calculated by dividing the amount of revolving credit in use by the total credit line. So, if the sum of your credit limits is $10,000 and you’re currently using $4,500, your credit utilization is 45 percent.

Ideally, you want to keep this percentage at 30 percent or lower to derive the greatest impact to your credit score. You should also know that installment loans don’t have much bearing on the 30 percent; credit utilization is the most important.

Length of credit history (15 percent)

Your FICO score also considers how long you’ve been managing credit. If you’re a credit newbie, your score could take a slight hit. However, managing other areas of your credit profile, like making timely payments and keeping your outstanding balances low, could offset the negative impact.

Credit Mix (10 percent)

There are two types of credit: revolving (i.e. credit cards) and installment (i.e. mortgages, student loans, auto loans, personal loans). The more experience you have with both, the better, in the eyes of creditors and lenders.

New Accounts (10 percent)

If you thought you could apply for as much credit as you please with no impact to your credit score, think again. Excessive applications in a short window of time make you appear as a greater risk to creditors. Furthermore, it also hurts your score as each application generates a voluntary or hard inquiry, which decreases your credit score by two to five points per occurrence.

The exception to the rule is rate shopping, which allows you to apply with multiple lenders when seeking the best rate on a loan product. As long as you select a product within a set window of time, which varies by debt, your score will only be dinged once.

You should also know that involuntary credit checks done by creditors and lenders to determine if you qualify for pre-screened offers have no impact on your credit score.

Credit repair options

DIY credit repair

It may be tempting to hire a credit repair company. But according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “anything a credit repair company can do legally, you can do for yourself at little or no cost.” So, if you have time on your hands and are comfortable doing the legwork on your work, you could save your hard earned money with DIY credit repair.

Hire a credit repair company

On the other hand, may be best to hire a credit repair company to do the work for you if you’re strapped for time or prefer to let the pros do the work for you.

Credit repair tactics

There are several ways to go about repairing your credit, but you should start by:

  • Step 1: Requesting a free copy of your credit report via AnnualCreditReport.com
  • Step 2: Analyzing the report and circling or highlighting any inaccuracies and negative items.
  • Step 3: Filing formal disputes with the credit bureaus to have errors rectified.
  • Step 4: Determining the most effective way to deal with negative items.
  • Step 5: Repeating steps three and four until you see results.

Filing disputes

By filing a dispute, you’re alerting the credit bureaus that an error or outdated information is on your report. They will then be tasked with contacting the information provider to affirm or refute your claim and must do so and respond to your letter in 30 days or the information will be removed. To get started, follow the guidance found here.

****I plan to link to the future post about credit report disputes here.***

Word of caution: only dispute information that may be unverifiable or is indeed inaccurate. Otherwise, you run the risk of your disputes been classified as frivolous and thrown out.

Also, refrain from filing disputes online if possible. It is a more convenient option, but if the credit bureaus don’t rule in your favor, you can’t redispute the item in question because filing online waives your right to do so.

Dealing with negative items

When dealing with negative items on your credit report, you can use the following tools to help get them removed:

  • Debt Validation Letter (for items under 30 days): request sent to the creditor or collection agency that reported the information asking that they provide proof that you actually owe the debt.
  • Goodwill Adjustments: a written request sent to the creditor or lender asking that they remove the late payment as a courtesy.
  • Pay-for-Delete Agreement: a written agreement entered into by both you and the collection agency that states the negative item account will be removed from your credit report in exchange for payment. This amount could be the total outstanding balance or a lower amount that the collection agency has agreed to accept to settle the account.

Does credit repair take a long time?

Unfortunately, it only takes seconds to ruin your credit. But bringing it back up to par is another story. So, while you may see quick results if you have a ton of unverifiable errors or outdated information on your credit report, negative, verifiable items could be much harder to remove.

It depends on how aggressive you are with your approach and if the creditors are willing to work with you. Asking the creditor to verify the item and not getting a response may be enough to yield the results you’re looking for, but keep in mind that it doesn’t always work that way and you may have to do a little more legwork to get those negative items removed.

Should you hire a credit repair company?

If you’re still on the fence about hiring a credit repair company, here are some key benefits to consider:

  • You’ll have a peace of mind when you apply for credit. As credit repair companies work diligently to remove negative items from your report and are successful, your score will start to improve. This means better approval odds for you. In other words, you won’t have to freak out or fight off sweaty palms each time you apply for credit because you fear rejection.
  • You’ll have access to more affordable debt and credit products. A higher credit score also means you can ditch payday and no credit check loans for more cost-efficient offerings.
  • Cost savings from lower interest rates. This can be attributed to better deals on financing.
  • Less legwork for you. The professionals handle everything from start to finish if you’re too busy or don’t understand how credit repair works. But you have to keep them updated or in the loop regarding changes to your credit profile and written correspondence.
  • Credit education. Most providers offer credit education services, like coaching and tools, to help you figure out the credit maze once and for all.

Cleaning up credit reports could help you qualify for lower insurance premiums or land that dream job or avoid hefty security deposits (because if it seems like credit follows you everywhere you go, you’re right. It does. In fact, it impacts almost every area of your life and not just your finances).

And if you’re worried about the monthly fee, it’s probably far less substantial than what you’d pay in interest. That alone is enough to justify the cost of credit repair.

Does credit repair really work?

The short answer: yes, particularly for inaccurate, questionable, or untimely information because the burden of proof is on the creditor or information servicer. However, services are not guaranteed to work and don’t expect accurate, timely, and verifiable information to vanish into thin air.

The bottom line

Depending on what’s in your credit report, credit repair may be more so of a marathon than a sprint. But if you’re willing to hire a company that is persistent and committed to getting your results or even take the DIY approach, your efforts will pay off in due time.

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