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Best Credit Repair Companies of 2019

It’s difficult for consumers to navigate today’s society with bad credit. From credit card lenders to landlords, your credit is often used to decide whether to do business with you and, if they do, at what cost.

If you have a troubled credit history, taking steps to improve your credit record is a smart move.

Best Overall
  • Free credit report summary & credit repair consultation
  • Removed 10 million harmful credit items from client's reports in 2017
  • Consistently voted the #1 credit repair service
2
  • Free personalized credit consultation
  • Previous members had an average 40 point gain in 4 months!
  • 24/7 credit monitoring and alerts
3
  • 90-day money back guarantee
  • Get started with a free credit consultation today
  • A+ BBB rating

What is credit repair and how does it work?

According to a 2013 study by the Federal Trade Commission, one in five consumers had an error on at least one of their three credit reports. Credit repair is the process of identifying these questionable, damaging items from your credit report that are weighing your credit score down and then working to change or remove them when possible.

The process is pretty much the same whether you do it yourself or hire an agency, but credit repair companies will typically move through the following steps:

  1. A free consultation: The first step usually entails a free consultation to evaluate your credit and discuss the company’s services, price of doing business, and potential results.
  2. Thorough credit report examination: Once you’ve hired them, the company will request a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — and then review each one before creating a plan of action tailored to your specific situation.
  3. Dispute any errors and questionable items: If they identify any questionable items or errors, they’ll then set out to dispute them. Eligible items are typically hard inquiries that never should have been on your report or items that should have already fallen off.

If you think your credit score is suffering from negative items that don’t belong on your report, the credit repair process may be worth it, regardless if you tackle it yourself or hire a company to handle it.

What credit repair companies can help you accomplish

Credit repair companies will use a variety of strategies on your behalf as they work with the credit bureaus to determine whether or not the identified items should be removed from your credit report. This can include strategies such as disputing questionable negative items, negotiating with lenders, and utilizing credit repair loopholes to have negative items removed.

Depending on your situation, credit repair companies may be able to assist you in the following five ways:

  1. Fix errors on your credit report
  2. Improve your credit score
  3. Negotiate with lenders to remove negative items from your credit report
  4. Stop collection calls by sending debt collectors cease-and-desist letters
  5. Take advantage of credit repair loopholes to have negative items removed from your credit report including:
    • Additional free credit reports: Per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’re allowed to obtain a free credit report from all three credit bureaus once every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com. However, if you apply for credit and get turned down, you’re entitled to no-cost reports to identify why you were denied. Lenders must tell you which credit bureau provided the information that led to the rejection, and those credit bureaus have to give you a free report.
    • Non-action by creditors: The FCRA requires credit bureaus to process legitimate consumer complaints within 30 days, and this means verifying or removing questionable items. This can include things like incorrect dates, misspellings of creditors’ names, and dollar amounts that are slightly off. If creditors respond with the correct information, it’ll stay on your report; if they choose to ignore these inquiries from the credit bureaus, it can result in total removal of the negative information.
    • Timing of a dispute: While credit bureaus don’t have to investigate every consumer dispute they deem “frivolous or irrelevant,” if a legitimate dispute is not verified it must be removed from your credit report. If you happen to catch a credit bureau at a busy time, it may result in a failure to validate the information within the required 30-day limit. If that happens, you may see the item removed entirely.

Credit repair can work, but it’s not an overnight fix, so it’s important to go into the credit repair process with a plan and realistic expectations. It would be great if simply hiring someone to make all of our problems go away worked, but this isn’t always the case.

Troubled credit history doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything a professional can help with. It may just mean you need to brush up on some credit do’s and don’ts and focus on improving your money management skills.

When credit repair makes sense

With enough time and know-how, yeah you can most likely tackle the credit repair process yourself. Just like a car, you’re free to do your own repairs, but sometimes it just makes more sense to step aside and let a professional take over.

Here are three reasons you may want to hire a credit repair company:

  1. If you can save a lot of money
  2. Having poor credit can cost you a lot of money. Credit card interest rates are usually higher, car insurance premiums can be more expensive, and even utility bills can be pricier if you have not-so-great credit. Paying a professional to help clean up your credit could be the difference between costing or saving tons of cash.

    You’ll have to weigh the cost of hiring a credit repair company and how likely you’ll get results against what you could end up spending as a price for having bad credit.

  3. If you can save a fair amount of time
  4. The credit repair process is tedious, there’s no way around it. It takes a lot of time — often times months — to dispute credit report errors, make phone calls, and mail letters, over and over again. Simply put, not everyone has the time to see this process through — some may not even want to bother with it at all.

    Credit repair companies do all of this work for you. While you may possibly miss something that could result in a missed opportunity, they know what they’re doing. They mail the right letters and craft the right responses.

  5. If you can benefit from their expertise and experience
  6. Credit repair is a credit repair company’s business — all day, every day.

    These companies can spot what is disputable and with teams of trained professionals, there’s a good chance they’ll catch the things you may have otherwise missed. If you don’t have any experience dealing with creditors, bureaus, and potential legal issues — or don’t want to figure it out on your own — a credit repair company can be a wise option.

How to find the best credit repair companies

Just like any service, it’s important to research any company you’re considering working with. Although scams do exist, the Federal Trade Commission’s implementation of the Credit Repair Organizations Act has seen success in cracking down on shady practices by credit repair companies. To ensure you don’t fall victim to a credit repair scheme, do your research.

Here are nine things to look for choosing a credit repair company:

  1. Reviews and reputation
  2. Nowadays, checking reviews is common-practice and the same should go for finding a credit repair company. The first thing you should do when looking for a credit repair company is to check its reputation.

    A simple Google search of the company will be a good start to see what people are saying about the business. Aside from that, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and look for any unresolved complaints or government actions against them.

  3. Quality customer service
  4. You’re going to want to stay informed during the entire process, so dealing with an agency that will answer your questions and address your concerns in a timely fashion is important.

    You’ll probably be able to quickly spot if a credit repair company has poor customer service in their reviews. If they do, you’re probably better off continuing your search.

  5. Free consultations to see if you’re a fit
  6. Any reputable company will provide a free consultation before starting to work on your behalf.

    Walk away from any company that insists on charging you to simply determine whether or not you’re a good fit for their services.

  7. Prices are reasonable
  8. Paying for a service is one thing, being gauged for exorbitant fees and unrealistic prices is another.

    Reputable companies will usually offer both reasonable pricing for their services and a range of options to choose from so you can pick what works best for your situation.

  9. Proven success
  10. No matter the business, there are going to be some who found nothing beneficial from their experience, but a reputable credit repair company should have a proven track record of success.

    If you’re finding that a significant amount of previous customers can attest to a company’s services, you should be on the right track.

  11. Reasonable claims
  12. Absurd, baseless claims should be an immediate red flag, such as guaranteeing everyone’s credit will be go up and by a specific amount of points.

    If, however, a company claims they’ve had success removing negative incorrect items from clients’ credit reports or raised their credit scores by reasonable amounts, that could very well be true.

  13. Timeframe for results
  14. The credit repair process isn’t an overnight fix, but you don’t want the entire credit repair process to drag on and on without seeing any results.

    Since many companies use a subscription-based service, you can cancel and walk away if aren’t getting anything out of it.

  15. Help you learn about your credit
  16. You might be paying for a service to help you clean up your credit, but this isn’t a permanent fix.

    Some companies may help educate you on how to keep your credit in the green so you don’t have to go through this process ever again. Even if they don't offer this help, make it a priority to educate yourself on how to build and maintain good credit.

  17. Offer credit monitoring services
  18. Credit monitoring is something you should have regardless, as it helps you stay informed of any activity — especially fraud — taking place in your credit.

    Most credit cards provide free credit monitoring, but if you don’t already have it, it’s typically a service that many credit repair companies will provide.

How to avoid getting scammed

As much as we wish it weren’t true, scams exist; and the credit repair industry has had its fair share of them. Fortunately, the government has cracked down on shady practices with regulations around how credit repair companies can conduct themselves as a business.

Here are some red flags to look out for in a credit repair agency:

  • Payment is demanded upfront without any work being done on your behalf. Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair agencies can’t request or receive payment until they’ve completed work for you.
  • They promise results without knowing the specifics of your situation.
  • They can’t answer or avoid answering any of your questions about the process, including things like the specifics of their services or the total cost you’ll be paying.
  • They withhold or feed you misinformation, especially regarding certain rights afforded to you. This can include your right to obtain a written agreement detailing your arrangement, as well as the ability to cancel your contract with any company within three business days.
  • They recommend you try to create a “new credit identity” or they tell you to falsify information on an application for new credit or new loans.
  • They try to come off as an official government program.

DIY credit repair vs. using a credit repair company

Hiring a credit repair company can be a good idea for some people, but it’s not required in order to repair your credit. You can do it on your own.

The following breakdown of some pros and cons of each method might help you decide which is best for you:

Using a credit repair company

Pros Cons
They send out cease-and-desist letters to get creditors off your back You have to pay and it’s not always cheap
They do all the legwork There’s a potential for being scammed
You have trained professionals working on your behalf who know the ins and outs of the credit repair process You may not get the results you were hoping for, but still have to pay for the work they’ve done
The process may go faster


DIY credit repair

Pros Cons
It doesn’t cost a penny There’s a learning curve
There’s no chance of you being scammed You’ll have to negotiate with lenders yourself
You’ll learn a lot of valuable lessons that will motivate you to keep your credit in check It may take longer to see results
You may miss things a professional might not

FAQs about credit repair

How long will it take to repair my credit history?

Every credit situation is unique, so it’s important to understand that there is no overnight solution to repair your credit.

Considering how time-consuming the entire process is, you may not see results for months — if you see results at all. Keep this in mind when deciding if it’s the best option for you.

How much does credit repair cost?

Prices will vary depending on the company, but for companies that use a subscription-based service, they’re generally between $75 and $150 per month beginning 30 days after starting the service.

Most credit repair companies will charge an initial review or setup fee as well, and this is oftentimes the same price as the monthly fee.

Is it worth it to hire a credit repair company?

Whether or not credit repair services are worth it depends on your situation and preference.

You may not have the time to stay on top of things or your time is too valuable to spend knee-deep in the credit repair process. On top of that, it takes some understanding of how to go about drafting your disputes. If you’d rather pay someone to do all of these things, then it may be worth it.

Is credit restoration the same as credit repair?

Yes. The terms credit restoration and credit repair are generally used interchangeably, with the ultimate goal of improving your credit score.

Can a credit repair company really help?

There are no guarantees that you’ll find paid credit repair to be beneficial, but that doesn’t mean it never works. If you work with a reputable company and there are legitimate issues with your credit that can be remedied, there’s a chance their expertise will prove beneficial.

Just remember that you too can learn what to look for and if you have the time, discipline, and patience to stay on top of the process, you can do it yourself at no cost.

Best Overall
  • Free credit report summary & credit repair consultation
  • Removed 10 million harmful credit items from client's reports in 2017
  • Consistently voted the #1 credit repair service