Credit Repair Company That Works
If you have gotten your credit report and you discover some errors, it will be time to look for help. According to a Consumer Reports study, about 34% of consumers discover one error or the other in their credit repair and they need help to get it back on track.
While you can repair credit reporting errors on your own and save money in the process, there are dedicated credit repair companies that can step in to help. While the success of credit repair companies is not guaranteed, this can make disputing errors and contacting each credit bureau a more pain-free experience.
- Does Credit Repair Work?
- How Can I Choose The Best Credit Repair Company?
- Is it Worth Going to a Credit Repair Company?
- Top 5 Best Credit Repair Company
- Is There Someone Who Can Help me Fix my Credit?
- What Factors Determine my Credit Score?
- How Fast Does Credit Repair Work?
Does Credit Repair Work?
Credit repair is when consumers work with companies that specialize in removing errors from credit reports with the intent to increase their credit score. Depending on the company someone works with, they can access a range of additional features, including free credit score updates, credit monitoring, writing cease and desist letters to debt collectors or even writing letters of recommendation to lenders you’re applying for a loan with.
While many companies will advertise how many negative entries they’ve had deleted, there are no reliable statistics that prove the effectiveness of credit repair companies. Credit repair companies can help you in the process of the removal of negative items on your credit report, but it’s not guaranteed that it will be successful.
Because you can do everything a credit repair company can do on your own, it’s often better to take the time to review your credit reports on your own and submit any disputes. Doing the work yourself is completely free, which will save you hundreds of dollars you would have to pay a credit repair company.
How Can I Choose The Best Credit Repair Company?
Consider these tips when comparing credit repair companies:
- Look out for potential scams. Credit repair companies typically have a bad reputation, right or wrong. So it’s crucial to look out for any potential red flags. These may include companies promising to remove negative items, avoiding explaining your rights or telling you to not contact credit reporting companies. You should also look into a company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) file and if there are any complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- Evaluate packages and fees. No two credit repair companies are identical. This means not only will they offer various packages, but they will also charge different fees. Some charge a monthly and setup fee while others charge only a monthly fee. If cost is a priority, be sure to evaluate and compare all packages and potential fees.
- Check if they include credit monitoring. When comparing different companies or packages within one company, be sure to check if credit monitoring is included. Some companies include it at no additional cost, and others may require you to upgrade to a higher tier package to receive the service.
- Look for a money-back guarantee. If you want to have more confidence in your credit repair journey, look for a company that offers a money-back guarantee to hedge your bet.
- Review any potential discounts. Some credit repair companies will offer discounts on setup or monthly fees or both. For example, some companies on this list offer discounts for active military members, veterans and couples. Look for these deals if you want to save some money.
Is it Worth Going to a Credit Repair Company?
The most common way credit repair businesses work is to dispute all negative items that appear on your report, whether they are accurate or not. Because the credit bureau has 30 days to investigate, this random dispute method can temporarily produce positive results. During the inquiry, the items in question won’t be included in a credit score, and a notice will appear under each disputed item. If the creditor doesn’t respond with proof that the item is accurate, the credit bureau will remove it.
Sound good? Well, there are a couple of problems with this process. The first is that if the information the credit repair service is disputing is indeed correct, they will re-report it the next time they submit data to the bureaus. Also, deliberately disputing accurate notations is an illegal misuse of the process. Lastly, if an item genuinely should not be on the report, the Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you the right to dispute the information with the bureaus easily and for free.
Another practice these types of businesses may use is to file segregation. This is where the credit repair service has you apply for an Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number (EIN), which has the same number of digits as a Social Security number. Once you have the EIN, you are then instructed to apply for new credit with it, so you can build an entirely new credit history. This practice is not only against the law, it is rarely effective. By starting all over again you will have a blank credit history, which lenders often perceive as negative or suspicious.
Building and maintaining a good credit rating keeps your opportunities open. However tempting it may be to pay someone to undo the damage, you are your own best resource. In short, no one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report, and everything a credit repair clinic can do for you legally, you can do for yourself at little or no cost.
Top 5 Best Credit Repair Company
The top credit repair company that has been recommended by a lot of people is Credit Saint who offers a robust 90-day money-back guarantee and they hold an excellent A+ rating from the BBB. They were praised by Forbe’s for their transparent pricing and excellent customer service. If you’re looking for a company you can trust to get the job done then Credit Saint is the best credit repair agency for you.
1. Credit Saint
Credit Saint is a company that focuses on transparency. There are a variety of credit plans at your disposal, and best of all, they work in 45-day cycles, meaning that you can receive reports from each credit bureau at the end of each cycle.
What also should be taken into consideration is the 90-day money-back guarantee.
|From $79.99 per month
|A+ for 10 Years
|Money Back Guarantee
|Full 90-day guarantee
|Rated #1 by Money.com, The Observer & Forbes
2. Sky Blue Credit Repair
Sky Blue Credit Repair is one of our top recommended credit repair agencies that provides a comprehensive credit repair solution. Established in 1989, they are equipped with a myriad of services, including fully-managed credit bureau disputes, personalized FICO score improvement advice, credit rebuilding help, package discounts, and more! Even better is that they have experienced staff that aims for the satisfaction of the customer.
3. The Credit Pros
The Credit Pros are a newer company, having only existed for around a decade. However, it is one of the fastest-growing companies in America (according to Inc. Magazine). Their staff contains FICO professionals who pore over the negative, inaccurate items on a credit score and remove those items.
What makes The Credit Pros most appealing is the fact that the company offers some services at no additional cost. Examples of these services are ID theft restoration and insurance as well as cease and desist letters sent to collections agencies.
The Credit Pros is certainly a company to use if you can afford them. All staff are licensed professionals, there is a 90-day money-back guarantee, and agents can not only provide ample credit repair advice, but they will strive to scrub those erroneous black marks from your record.
4. Pyramid Credit Repair
Pyramid Credit Repair has only been around since 2010, but it has grown considerably, aiding many clients with credit repair services. While its HQ is in Delaware, there are several branches in the following states: the sales team is in Texas, the legal team is in New York, and the customer support is in California.
Pyramid Credit offers a free consultation, speedy results, detailed change reports via phone call with your case manager, and more.
Overall, Pyramid Credit Repair, while more expensive compared to its competitors, is willing to do whatever it takes to help you clear your negative credit report errors and clear your mind. Not only does it offer a 90-day money-back guarantee, but its agents are swift, effective, and attentive to your needs
5. The Credit People
The Credit People is relatively younger compared to other credit repair companies, but it has managed to assist over 100,000 people since its debut in 2001. Like other credit repair companies, they hire professional, highly-trained specialists, who inspect credit reports from all three credit bureaus and sniff out any errors. From there, they will file disputes for you, so that you’ll have the negative item erased from the report.
What is interesting is that they pull your initial credit report at no charge, a rarity in this industry. Furthermore, they are speedy, getting to work in as little as 48 hours.
Is There Someone Who Can Help me Fix my Credit?
The words “fix” and “repair” suggest your credit reports are somehow wrong or otherwise contain inaccurate information. This isn’t usually true and isn’t really how credit repair companies operate. Instead of helping consumers correct possibly inaccurate credit report entries, they attempt to have any negative information removed—whether the negative information is correct isn’t relevant to their efforts.
Credit repair companies cannot fix your credit. They don’t have a secret backchannel to the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) that allows them to get information removed. Further, the credit bureaus don’t delete credit information simply because you’ve hired a credit repair company. There’s simply nothing a credit repair company can do for you that’s any more effective than what you can do on your own.
Paying a credit repair company to “fix” your credit report is usually a waste of money since you can dispute credit report information yourself, for free. In either case, information will only be removed or modified if it is inaccurate.
If you believe you’ve found errors on one or more of your credit reports, federal and state laws provide you with options to have those errors investigated and corrected. You can dispute items on your Experian report, for example, by going to the Experian Dispute Center.
Credit repair costs can quickly run into the hundreds of dollars, and credit repair companies are not legally allowed to guarantee that they can have credit information removed. As such, the cost benefit of hiring a credit repair company simply isn’t there. You’d be better off saving your money and filing free credit report disputes on your own behalf.
What Factors Determine my Credit Score?
Five critical factors that go into calculating your credit scores, such as your debt levels, payment history, age of your accounts, the types of credit that you have outstanding and the number of inquiries against your credit score. Keeping all of these factors in balance is critical to maintaining and improving your overall credit score.
The most important factor in determining your credit score is your overall payment history. Making up 35% of your total FICO score, payment history takes into account how many times you’ve paid your bills late, and exactly how late they were paid.
What’s interesting to note is that certain types of late payments have a heavier impact than others; for instance, paying your mortgage late is a huge red flag and can drop your credit score by double digits if you’re more than 30 days late and make it extremely difficult for you to refinance your home.
Amounts You Owe
Of course, it makes sense that owing a great deal of money to a wide variety of organizations might make it a little tough to get additional credit, which is why this criterion makes up 30% of your credit score. Maintaining a high balance on your credit cards and your overall credit utilization (the amount of credit you’re using as a percentage of how much credit you have overall) is also a deciding factor that goes into this calculation.
In general, the best credit repair services look for ways to discharge–or get rid of–bad debt that hits your credit report and consolidates payments to make it easier to pay them off.
Credit History Length
College students or individuals just out of high school and just starting out in the world will not have had as much time to build up a positive credit rating as others. Since this factor could swing either way, it is weighted at only 15% of your overall credit rating. Having a short credit history doesn’t necessarily mean that your credit will be poor, but it could make it more difficult to make major purchases since you haven’t had time to build up a positive credit rating.
New Accounts Opened
Every time you open a new credit account, that fact is reported to the credit bureaus and they consider it when calculating your overall FICO score. Why is this important? For instance, if you were to open a number of accounts at the same time and then run up huge bills–you might have more difficulty paying for them than if you were starting out more slowly. Our list of best credit repair companies can help counsel you on removing some of the older credit requests. However, this factor is only around 10% of your overall credit score.
Types of Credit
There are several types of credit that you should know about: installment loans, revolving credit (credit cards), mortgages, and store accounts. Each type of credit that you have points toward credit maturity – or the ability to safely utilize the monies that you have available. This final factor is also weighted at around 10% of your overall FICO score.
How Fast Does Credit Repair Work?
The time it takes to repair your credit can vary widely, depending on a number of factors – from how many mistakes you have to fix to what you want to accomplish once your credit is fixed. Since people often repair their credit with a specific goal in mind – like buying a house or negotiating an interest rate with a creditor – it’s important to know how long the process can take so you can plan ahead effectively.
We’ve put together the information below to help you understand the different time spans that can be involved with credit repair.
Starting the clock on your first disputes
Credit repair starts by reviewing your credit reports to identify potential errors and mistakes. It takes about half an hour to download your reports from annualcreditreport.com. That’s the time it usually takes to login in, answer the security questions and download your three reports. Then you review your reports to see what they say and take note of any errors. If you’ve never looked at a credit report before, it can take 1-2 hours to review all three reports in-full.
Once that is done, dispute letters have to be drafted and documentation needs to be gathered before you submit your disputes to the credit bureau(s). The time required for this step varies, depending on the nature of your disputes and how organized you’ve been about keeping financial records. This part of the process can take anywhere from a few hours if you’re organized to a few days if you need to hunt down statements and documentation that proves your case.
If you’re repairing your credit on your own, you determine how fast this part of the process goes because you’re in the driver’s seat. If you pay a credit repair service, the company will help you expedite so this gets done as quickly as possible.
Once your first disputes are submitted to the credit bureaus, the official clock on the responses starts. The credit bureau has 30 days to contact the creditors to verify the information and respond. This is why it’s a good idea to send your letters by registered mail, so you have proof of the delivery date.
From the response to the resolution
After 30 days, the credit bureau must respond to your inquiry. In some cases, more documentation may be required if the bureau needs something else to verify or reject a dispute. As a result, there can be some back and forth before disputes are resolved.
Fact: Mistakes that appear on all of your credit reports must be disputed with each credit bureau individually.
In addition, you may have to file more than one dispute letter. If you have a large number of mistakes that you identify, you usually don’t want to submit more than a few disputed items at a time in each dispute letter. As a result, you may have to submit a few disputes at a time and resolve them in sets.
In general, credit repair takes about three to six months to resolve all of the disputes that the average consumer needs to make. Of course, if you only have a few mistakes to correct or you repair your credit every year, it may not take as long; you might be done in just over one month. On the other hand, if you’ve never corrected your credit and have a large volume of things to dispute, it may take longer.
If you’re doing the work on your own, it’s basically going to be that you have to keep working until it’s done. If you have retained representation, your credit repair company should be able to give you an idea of how long it should take in your situation.
Rebuilding while you repair
It’s important to remember that credit repair is usually one step (often the first one) you take when you want to obtain a better credit score. So while the repair process may only take 3-6 months, the time it takes to rebuild your credit can take longer. It can take up to a year or more to achieve a good credit score, depending on how low you start.
Read Also: How to Track Disputed Items
One thing you can do to expedite the process to better credit is to start taking steps to build credit while you’re getting items removed through credit repair. So, stay on top of your payments to create a positive payment history and take steps to reduce your credit card debt load so your credit utilization ratio is as low as possible.
This one-two punch of credit correction is how you go from a bad credit score to a good one. But you have to be patient. If you’re working towards a major goal like a new home, give yourself at least six months to a year to improve. This will ensure you have time to get the credit you need before you apply.
A Basic Timetable of the Credit Repair Process
|Credit Repair Step
|Estimated Time to Completion
|Step 1: Download your credit reports
|Half an hour
|Step 2: Review your reports for errors
|1-2 hours, depending on familiarity with credit reports
|Step 3: Draft dispute letters and gather documentation
|A few hours to up to a week, depending on your records
|Step 4: Await a response
|Up to 30 days maximum per dispute
|Total time required
|1-6 months, depending on the number of disputes you need to make
Please note that if you hire a credit repair service, the timetable is still the same, in total. However, most of the actual work occurs behind the scenes:
- You have an initial consultation that lasts about 30 minutes, where you authorize the company to pull your credit reports and make disputes on your behalf.
- They do steps 2-4 for you, calling you for information or documentation as needed.
- They keep you informed of their progress along the way and let you know as each dispute gets resolved.
The process still takes anywhere from 1-6 months, depending on the number of disputes you need to make. The average consumer usually completes the credit repair process in about 3-6 months, but it can be less if your reports only have a few errors to correct.