Credit Repair Services and Company Reviews
Credit, credit reporting, and credit repair can be confusing and intimidating topics. However, everyone's life is affected by these issues at some point. This guide will help you understand some of the rules and regulations that govern credit and credit repair, explain how to protect yourself from scams, and how to pick the best credit repair service for you.
Understanding the Credit Repair Act
The most important legislation in the United States governing credit, credit reporting, and credit repair, is 15 USC Chapter 41, Subchapter II-A: Credit Repair Organizations. This piece of legislation details legitimate and illegitimate methods of credit repair, limits the way that credit repair companies can take payment. This includes advising customers to take illegal steps to repair their credit, such as changing their identity, as well as prohibiting companies from collecting payment for their services in advance. If a credit repair company recommends these kinds of actions, or asks that you pay them before they have provided the services agreed upon.
Picking the Service for You
There are a few credit repair companies that we've found to be particularly effective. They provide proof of their results and reasonable fees for their services. Some of the best credit repair companies include:
$19 initial fee
$59 Monthly fee
100% money-back guarantee if not satisfied in 6 months
One of the lowest prices in the industry
$49.99 Monthly fee
A+ rating from the BBB
Offers a 90-day money back guarantee and free consultation
Representatives are available 24/7 via a toll-free phone and chat support
20% couple discount (friend or spouse)
$179 Initial fee
Free credit analysis through their website
Client portal is available 24/7
Receive one-on-one consultations from a certified FICO professional
Offers toll-free phone support, along with fax and email
$79.95 Monthly fee
Tends to get results faster than many other credit repair firms, with an average reported time of 4 months
Works with creditors directly as well as the major credit reporting agencies to remove negative items from your report
On staff lawyers to help negotiate the complex legal regulations involved in credit repair
Evaluating Credit Repair Services
Just because a credit repair company follows the law doesn't mean that they are a good choice for you or any other consumer. Credit repair is an industry that is particularly susceptible to scams and shady businesses that are only out to get your money and don't actually want to help. There are a few things you should look for when picking a credit repair company.
The most important thing you can do to avoid scams is to be sure to conduct research on the credit repair company you're considering. See if you can find reviews online or comments from past customers in trusted sources. Ask the company about what actions they will specifically take, and ask if they have examples of past cases similar to the situation you're in, and what kind of results they got. A history of success is the best indicator that the company is legitimate and not a scam.
Another important step in avoiding scams is to compare the prices the credit repair agency to other comparable services. Oftentimes scam services will charge incredibly high fees and then quickly shut down their service before anyone can catch on.
Getting the Best Service
The next factor you should consider is how the pricing works for the company in question, and what repair your credit report needs. Customers with only a few issues should look for pay per deletion models from their credit repair companies, and those with more extensive needs might benefit from a flat monthly rate.
Another factor to getting the best service is to conduct research on what the credit repair firm has done for other customers in your situation. Many of the best credit repair companies post before and after credit reports for their customers online so you can see if they've worked with customers that have similar circumstances to your own.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Credit Repair Service
It is important to note that a credit repair service isn't needed for consumers to repair their credit. Everything a credit repair service does is something that individual consumers are also able to do for themselves. Consumers pay a credit repair service for their expertise in executing these actions and for the time saved from not having to go through piles of paperwork or tedious forms themselves. We'll explain how to determine if hiring a credit repair service is the best option for you in a bit, but it's important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of doing so. Therefore, there are pros and cons to hiring a credit repair service, and they should be carefully considered before you decide to invest your hard earned money in a credit repair service.
Many of the pros of using a credit repair service have to do with the familiarity and experience they have dealing with the credit repair process. The average consumer will have to do research and carefully evaluate several different, and possibly confusing, aspects of their credit report to determine the right strategy and start taking action. Some of the pros of using a credit repair company include:
- Dedicated, professional service to work on repairing your credit
- Familiarity with the credit repair process
- Ability to come up with a credit repair strategy individualized for particular clients
- Past history of success
- Knowledge of what does and doesn't work
- Understands different dispute mechanisms
- Saves valuable time learning the ins and outs of credit repair
- Saves time filing disputes
There are a few cons to using a credit repair service. Every action a credit repair service takes on your behalf is something that you are able to do as a private individual. As a result, some consumers may find themselves paying large monthly fees for simple services they can do themselves. If you only have one or two items you need to handle on your credit report, you may save a great deal of money and even time by researching and taking actions on the issues yourself. Some of the cons of using a credit repair company include:
- Private individuals can take every action a credit repair company can
- Fees can be greater than savings
- Monthly fee services charge while waiting for a response
- No guaranteed results
- May not see any change on credit reports
Making a Choice about Credit Repair
With all this information, it may seem difficult to make a choice about whether or not you should use a credit repair service or if you should do it yourself. Each path has its various pros and cons, and there's no guarantee that you'll get results with or without a credit repair company. There are a few simple metrics that you can use to determine if a credit repair service is the right option for you.
If you are well versed in credit repair laws and credit reporting, then you can figure out the best ways to repair your own credit. However, if you don't know the difference between a verification request and a dispute then it might be in your best interest to employ a credit repair service. This is because the professionals will already understand the different options available to you and will be able to save you time researching the different credit repair options
Extent of Repairs Needed
Consumers that only have one false or negative remark on their report can probably resolve that particular challenge themselves, as they only need to research one kind of information. However, if you are the victim of identity theft, or have more extensive credit issues, then you might save a tremendous about of time and energy using a credit repair firm
Learning about the credit repair process can be confusing and time consuming. That's why it's so important to understand the amount of time you will have to invest understanding your credit report, researching the different remarks on your report, figuring out the best way to challenge different negative items, and drafting letters to credit reporting agencies and your various creditors. As you can see, this can lead to a huge time commitment and you may not have the ability to put that much time together before you need to make your next big purchase. This is especially true for those working overtime or second jobs trying to get ahead in life.
Deciding how to go about repairing your credit and determining what, if any, company to use for credit repair is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. Before making any decisions it is important to do thorough and complete research on your own credit situation, your options, and the companies that you are considering. Doing good research up front will save you time and money going forward. Check out some of our credit repair reviews, or look at some of the companies above to get an idea of what you're looking for when selecting a credit repair company. No matter what company you choose, you deserve to get the most for your money.