Finding a credit repair company that you can trust feels impossible. While some credit repair companies are great for removing credit inquiries, they lack a solid money-back guarantee. Some credit repair companies offer clear pricing packages but include pricey “first-work fees” that drive up the overall cost of the service. Not to mention the dozens of untrustworthy credit repair companies that take your money without providing any of the services promised.
To save you time and hassle, our team spent hours researching over 20 credit repair companies to determine the overall best ones. These credit repair companies are all great for getting inquiries removed from your credit report, offering a solid money-back guarantee, and having fair pricing plan options.
Bottom line: Our top choice is Credit Saint because of their affordable and comprehensive credit repair packages, free credit evaluation, clear pricing policies, and online account features. They’re also backed by a 90-day money-back guarantee as well, which allows you to try Credit Saint out yourself before committing to them long-term.
Short on time? Here’s a summary of our top picks for September 2022’s best credit repair companies
- Credit Saint – Best Overall
- Sky Blue Credit – Best Value
- Lexington Law – Most Popular
- The Credit People – Best Guarantee
- Ovation Credit Repair – Best Cancellation Policy
- AMB Credit Consultants – Best For Consumer Education
- The Credit Pros – Best Bonuses
Best Credit Repair Reviews – Full Analysis (Updated September 2022)
Our team spent 20+ hours doing independent research to find the best credit repair companies based on customer reviews, pricing, services offered, and money-back guarantee policies.
#1. Credit Saint — Best Overall Credit Repair Company
- Clear pricing options
- Comprehensive service packages
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- Free credit consultation
- Manage your account online
- Limited availability
- Pricy first work fees ($195)
- No online chat
Credit Saint has been in business since 2004 and maintains an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Credit Saint gives you a free credit consultation where it takes a look at your specific credit situation and zeroes in on the next best steps.
If you decide to sign up with Credit Saint, you get assigned to a case manager to keep you update to date on your progress with their free credit FICO score tracker.
Credit Saint also offers a credit score analysis, while some plans include Experian credit monitoring as well.
Credit Saint provides a very good 90-day money-back guarantee if you don’t see any improvements in your credit history after those three months.
You can choose from three different packages: Credit Polish, Credit Remodel, and Clean Slate. Each package charges an initial signup fee and a regular monthly fee.
The Credit Polish Package costs $99 to enroll and then $79.99 per month thereafter. With this package, Credit Saint will challenge late payments, identity thefts, charge-offs, and collections, but it won’t challenge bankruptcies, repossessions, or judgments.
The Credit Remodel Package has a $99 enrollment fee and a monthly fee of $99.99. In addition to everything you receive in the Credit Polish Package, you also get any bankruptcies or repossessions challenged.
The Clean Slate Package is the most expensive at $195 to enroll and then $119.99 per month. This package gets you the full menu of Credit Saint services.
With all packages, you receive an online account that lets you monitor Credit Saint’s progress. Each customer also gets assigned a personal advisory team that will call you from time to time to answer any questions.
|Credit Polish||Credit Remodel||Clean Slate|
|One-time initial work fee ($99)||One-time initial work fee ($99)||One-time initial work fee ($195)|
|5 disputes per monthly cycle||10 disputes per monthly cycle||Unlimited monthly disputes|
|Goodwill intervention letters||Goodwill intervention letters||Goodwill intervention letters|
|Escalated information requests||Escalated information requests|
|Experian monitoring||Experian monitoring|
See our full Credit Saint Review
#2. Sky Blue Credit — Best Credit Repair Company for Value
- Unconditional 90-day money-back guarantee
- 50% off couples discount
- Repair up to 15 items every 35 days
- Online sign-up available
- Straightforward pricing plan
- No financial education tools
Sky Blue Credit Repair has an industry-leading 90-day money-back guarantee, straightforward and transparent pricing, and fast customer service.
In business since 1989, Sky Blue Credit offers flat-fee pricing of $79 per month. When you sign up, Sky Blue Credit will charge an initial sign-up fee of $79 six days after you enroll.
For this fee, Sky Blue analyzes your credit report in detail and creates credit dispute letters for your specific situation.
After you enroll, Sky Blue Credit will help you obtain your free credit reports from all three major credit bureaus. From there, Sky Blue will conduct a thorough review of all items listed on your reports.
Once Sky Blue has identified areas of concern, it will start sending dispute letters to the credit bureaus. According to the company website, it disputes 15 items every 35 days.
Sky Blue will continue repeating this process for as long as you wish at the all-inclusive $79 monthly rate. If you wish to temporarily pause the service, you can do so without paying a penalty.
In addition to preparing and sending credit dispute letters, Sky Blue’s services also include debt settlement, debt validation, goodwill letters, cease and desist letters, and credit-building advice.
Their credit experts offer advice to improve your credit score, like opening a new credit card or paying off your outstanding balances. They also offer consultations if you have questions about things like card credit offers or loan applications.
If you wish to cancel, you can do so free of charge by notifying Sky Blue Credit by email, phone, or in the message center through your account.
Sky Blue is no longer accredited with the Better Business Bureau (companies have to pay annual fees to), but when it was registered, it had an A+ rating.
Sky Blue Credit Repair Services ($79/mo. or $119/mo. for couples)
- Dispute up to 15 items every 35 days
- Debt settlement, validation, goodwill and cease and desist letters
- Customized dispute letters
- Credit score guidance & counseling
- Statute of limitations research on reported debts
See our full Sky Blue Credit review.
#3. Lexington Law — Most Popular Credit Repair Company
- 30+ years of experience
- Professional attorneys and paralegals
- Free credit report consultation
- No money-back guarantee
- Credit monitoring & financial tools only available with most expensive plan
- Pending legal action from the CFPB
Founded in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1991, Lexington Law is a real law firm with a professional legal staff that now serves customers in all 50 states. Because the staff is mostly attorneys and paralegals, Lexington Law explores every legal option at its disposal to remove items from your credit reports.
Lexington Law offers three tiers of services: Concord Standard, Concord Premier, and PremierPlus.
The Concord Standard Service is Lexington’s most basic credit repair package and its most affordable at $89.95 per month. With this package, Lexington will contact the credit bureaus and your creditors to try to get negative items removed.
The intermediate service level is the Concord Premier Package, which costs $109.95 per month. In addition to the services you receive with the basic package, you also receive additional services like TransUnion alerts and score analysis.
The PremierPlus Plan gives you Lexington’s full menu of services for $129.95 per month. With this package, you receive all the services included in the basic and intermediate plans, plus extras like identity theft protection, credit score monitoring, and personal finance tools designed to help you manage your money more efficiently.
One thing that helps set Lexington Law apart is its slick mobile app, where you can track your credit progress 24/7 and have access to your credit score analysis and updates on your credit disputes.
It should be noted, however, that in May 2019, the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau filed a lawsuit against Lexington Law, alleging deceptive and abusive practices. If you’re interested in reading the Complaint, you can do so here [pdf].
See our full Lexington Law review.
#4. The Credit People — Best Guarantee
- $19 one-time first work fee
- Straighforward pricing plans
- Credit scores and reports available from all three credit bureaus
- Comprehensive customer support
- Credit monitoring not offered
- No access to financial management tools
Founded in 2001, The Credit People offers an all-inclusive service and two options to pay: monthly or a six-month flat fee.
If you choose to pay monthly, you’ll pay $19 to sign up and then $79 per month. You can cancel at any time without incurring additional charges.
With the six-month flat rate payment option, you pay a one-time fee of $419. There is no sign-up fee and no additional monthly fee.
These low-cost start up fees are what helps set The Credit People apart from their competitors.
The Credit People also allows users to cancel their membership whenever they want.
When you sign up, you’ll receive a personal online account, which you can access from your computer or mobile device. The Credit People also offers notifications so you know right away when anything changes in your account. You can also monitor status changes to your credit reports and credit scores, and track your open disputes.
While The Credit People doesn’t guarantee any specific results, its website states an estimated credit score increase ranging between 53 and 187 points, which can help your chances of getting approved for loans, mortgages, and credit cards.
The Credit People also says it has helped customers remove over 1.4 million negative credit items from their reports.
The Credit People Services ($79/mo. or $119/mo. for couples)
- Low $19 initiation fee
- Six month plan available for $419
- Unlimited disputes
- Access to credit reports and credit score
- Credit rebuilding consultations & action plan
See our full Credit People review.
#5. Ovation Credit Repair — Best Cancellation Policy
- Owned by Lending Tree
- Discounts available
- Credit education available
- Cancel any time
- Credit monitoring offered only on more expensive plan
- 24/7 phone support not provided
- Limited online & app options
Founded by Lending Tree, a familiar name in online lending, Ovation Credit Services offers both credit repair and credit monitoring.
Ovation’s credit repair services are available in two packages: Essentials and Essentials Plus. Both plans start with an $89 “first work” fee due when you sign up for credit repair services.
The Essentials Plan is $79 per month, which gets you a personal case advisor to help you identify items on your credit report you believe to be inaccurate. Once you have a list of everything you would like to dispute, Ovation will send dispute letters to your creditors on your behalf.
The Essentials Plus Plan is $109 per month. For this price, you get everything offered in the Essentials Plan, plus unlimited dispute letters and unlimited goodwill letters. This allows you to continue disputing inaccuracies that might pop up down the road.
In addition, the Essentials Plus Plan comes with a personalized recommendation letter Ovation says you can use in “future dealings with potential lenders.” With this plan, you also receive TransUnion credit monitoring, so you can keep an eye on your credit report in real-time.
Ovation offers several discounts, including a couples’ 20% discount, a 10% discount for seniors and military members, and a $50 “refer-a-friend” credit.
Ovation also offers a straightforward cancellation policy. If at any time you’re unhappy with Ovation’s services, you can cancel without paying a fee for that month.
While Ovation has an online portal for clients to access their accounts, the site doesn’t offer an option to sign up for credit repair services online. To purchase a package, you must give Ovation a call at 866-639-3426.
Ovation also offers a free credit consultation. If you sign up for this complimentary consultation, an Ovation representative will call you to discuss your needs and help you decide if you need credit repair services.
|Essentials Plan ($79/mo.)||Essentials Plus Plan ($109/mo.)|
|One-time initial work fee ($89) / $79 monthly fee||One-time initial work fee ($89) / $109 monthly fee|
|Personalized dispute services||Unlimited dispute and goodwill letters|
|Free credit consultation||Free credit consultation|
|Dedicated case advisor to oversee the process||Dedicated case advisor to oversee the process|
|TransUnion credit monitoring|
|Ovation personal letter of recommendation to future potential lenders|
See our full Ovation Credit review.
#6. AMB Credit Consultants — Best For Consumer Education
AMB Credit Consultants, which has been in business since 2008, offers credit repair services for individuals and couples.
If you sign up as an individual, you’ll pay a $149 enrollment fee and then $99 per month. Couples pay $198 to enroll and $198 per month thereafter.
While AMB doesn’t offer different tiers of services beyond individuals and couples, its service is fairly all-inclusive. The company’s Credit Empowerment Program comes with unlimited disputes, including new disputes for inaccuracies added to your credit report after you enroll.
AMB will also send cease and desist letters and issue immediate responses when a customer receives a new collection letter. Customers also receive credit counseling and unlimited case reviews upon request.
Like all credit repair services, AMB can’t guarantee specific results. However, the company will refund six months of fees or offer an additional six months of services if it’s unable to remove at least one item within six months of a customer’s initial enrollment.
While AMB allows customers to cancel within three days of signing up for services, the company requires a minimum six-month commitment, with some contracts extending up to nine months depending on the customer’s credit repair needs.
To sign up with AMB, customers must also agree to pay for a tri-merged credit monitoring subscription through IdentityIQ, a third-party credit and identity theft monitoring service. This service costs an additional $29.99 per month.
- One, simplified plan available
- Satisfaction guarantee (6 months)
- Online enrollment available
- Discounts for couples
- Additional credit monitoring subscription required before initial consultation
- Pricey one-time enrollment fee of $149 or $198
- Extra expensive fee for third-party credit monitoring
#7. The Credit Pros — Best Bonuses
The Credit Pros, which has been in business since 2009, offers four different credit repair options. The company doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, but you can cancel at any time at no charge.
Unlike some of the other credit repair companies on the list, The Credit Pros’ menu of services is a bit overwhelming. While the site offers a side-by-side comparison of its different packages, it takes some effort to determine what’s included and what’s not.
The basic package, which is called CreditSentry Monitoring, costs just $19 per month. However, this seems to only get you credit and identity theft monitoring.
The Money Management package is the next level up and priced at $69 per month. With this package, you receive debt validation letters as well as credit and identity theft monitoring plus budgeting tools.
The Prosperity Package costs $119 per month. With this level of service, you receive everything included in the two lower tiers plus discounts on prescription drugs.
The most expensive and comprehensive package is the Success Package, which costs $149 per month.
Both The Prosperity Package and Success Package provide access to SlashRx, a discount program for prescription medications.
If you’re unsure which package best suits your needs, you can get a free consultation with a credit professional. They can review your situation and help you choose a plan that includes the services you need.
In addition to highly ranked customer service, The Credit Pros also offers unlimited dispute letters. This can be a significant benefit if you need to dispute several items on your credit report.
The Credit Pros also gives access to its mobile app on all plans. In the app, you can review your disputes, monitor your credit score and report, and get real-time updates on your progress.
Here’s a breakdown on their three main plans.
|One-time initial work fee ($119)||One-time initial work fee ($119)||One-time initial work fee ($149)|
|One-bureau report and scores||Everything included in Money Management Plan||Everything included in Prosperity Plan|
|ID Cover® Darkweb monitoring||Credit bureau challenges||Credit Builder Loan|
|TransUnion® alerts||Creditor interventions||Three-bureau reports and scores|
|Budgeting system||Cease & desist letters|
|Letter of Reference|
- Cease and desist letters to collection agencies
- Debt validation letters to creditors
- Monthly plan with unlimited dispute letters
- ID theft restoration included
- No money-back guarantee
- You have to main the dispute letters on your own
- No ongoing credit expert assistance
Other Credit Repair Companies We Considered
In search for the top-rated credit repair services, we researched dozens of companies. Here are some other top companies.
CreditRepair.com has been in business since 1997 and is a well-known name in the credit repair industry. When you sign up, you get access to a customer portal as well as a free app that lets you track the progress of your disputes as new information is posted.
While CreditRepair.com gets plenty of positive customer reviews, it also has its share of negative reviews online. The company and a number of other credit repair agencies were also the subjects of a lawsuit filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which alleged it violated federal law by charging upfront fees before performing any work.
CreditRepair.com offers three tiers of services, but the company website only reveals the $99.95 a month plan, which it calls its “proven online system.” There is also a one-time $14.99 signup fee, which CreditRepair.com charges to obtain your credit reports from all three bureaus.
Unlike many of its competitors, CreditRepair.com does not offer a money-back guarantee.
Credit Assistance Network
Credit Assistance Network is a smaller credit repair agency based in Boca Raton, Florida. In business since 2004, the company has a solid reputation online.
Credit Assistance Network also has a bit of an unusual pricing structure. Instead of charging a monthly fee, it charges an initial $179 enrollment fee and then a charge between $50 and $75 for every negative item it successfully removes from your credit report.
Keep in mind, however, that this charge is assessed per credit bureau. For example, if the same negative item appears on your Equifax and TransUnion reports, Credit Assistance Network will charge you for each removal, which means you could pay between $100 and $150.
While you won’t pay any monthly charges, the removal fees could add up if you have a lot of negative items across multiple reports. If you sign up with a spouse, Credit Assistance Network offers a 20 percent discount on your second enrollment.
Credit Versio offers a different take on credit repair. Instead of disputing negative items on your behalf, Credit Versio uses an AI-powered app to scan your credit reports and direct you to a form you can send to creditors and the credit bureaus yourself.
The company offers three tiers of services. Its most affordable package is the smartcredit® BASIC plan that costs $19.95 a month and gives you access to all three of your credit reports, credit monitoring and alerts, and $1 million in identity theft insurance.
The smartcredit® PREMIUM package is $24.95 a month and gives you everything in the BASIC plan plus unlimited smart credit reports and unlimited action buttons that let you prepare a dispute for a negative item.
The most comprehensive plan is the IdentityIQ package, which costs $29.95 a month and comes with everything in the lower tiers plus a more aggressive level of credit monitoring.
Pyramid Credit Repair
In business since 2011, Pyramid Credit Repair offers flat-fee pricing and no long-term contracts so you can cancel at any time without penalties or fees. Although perhaps not as well known as other credit repair companies, Pyramid Credit Repair is definitely worth checking out, as it boasts excellent online reviews, including an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
There are two types of plans: a singles plan that is $99 a month, and a couples plan that is $198 a month. You can also add 24/7 identity theft protection for $29.99 a month.
All plans come with a personal account manager, text and email alerts, and access to a customer dashboard. You can also pause your account at any time, and the company offers a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Pyramid Credit Center also offers discounts to customers in certain professions. Veterans and active duty service members receive 20 percent off per month, and teachers get 15 percent off per month.
Credit Firm offers a pay-as-you-go plan that allows you to cancel without penalty at any time. The company has been in business since 1997 and has a solid online reputation for their credit repair products.
One thing that sets Credit Firm apart from most of its competitors is that it offers an “audit” of your credit reports by a licensed attorney. A lawyer will also review all letters and documents the company mails to creditors and credit bureaus on your behalf.
Credit Firm’s pricing structure is simple and straightforward, with just one level of service that costs $49.99 per month. However, the company doesn’t offer add-on services like credit monitoring or alerts.
In addition to an affordable monthly fee, Credit Firm also gives you unlimited disputes. This alone sets it apart from many other credit repair agencies, which often limit the number of challenges and disputes you can receive each month.
Credit Glory has been in business since 2016 and has a mix of positive and negative reviews. To its credit, the company seems to respond to most of the negative reviews, offering explanations and clarification about what might have caused a customer to be disappointed about the service.
There is just one tier of service for credit repair, which costs $99 per month. Credit Glory also charges a one-time setup fee of $199. If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, the company will also dispute a single fraudulent inquiry for $79 or 10 or more inquiries for a flat fee of $799.
Credit Glory offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, as well as a free consultation before you sign up. The company’s website also has an innovative feature that displays all its customer reviews from various sites, including Facebook, Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau.
Pinnacle Credit Repair
If you’re after fast results, it’s worth checking out Pinnacle Credit Repair. The company, which bills itself as “the most aggressive credit repair program,” says its program takes between 15 and 30 days, which it claims is much faster than its competitors.
There are two types of plans: a Fast Track plan and the Fast Track Elite plan. The Fast Track level is $199 to sign up and then $99 a month, and the Fast Track Elite is $199 to sign up and then between $1,500 and $2,000.
If you opt for the Fast Track Elite plan, you must pay the total fee up front. In exchange, Pinnacle Credit Repair will work on every negative item on your credit reports.
If you’re unhappy with the results of the Fast Track Elite service, the company offers a 120-day money-back guarantee. However, there is no money-back guarantee for the cheaper Fast Track plan.
According to Pinnacle Credit Repair, 90 percent of its customers see a 100-point increase on their credit reports within a month of signing up for the service.
Credit Repair Guide
A credit repair agency may help you improve poor credit by working on your behalf to remove inaccurate or outdated information. However, many companies make false claims and lure customers into paying for services that won’t deliver results.
Read on to find out how to choose a reputable credit repair service and how the credit repair process works.
Credit Repair Guide
The best credit repair companies can improve your credit score in exchange for a fee. You might consider using a credit repair company if you have bad credit and you don’t have the time or know-how to fix it yourself.
But credit repair is not an overnight process, and only certain types of information can be removed from your credit reports.
What Is Credit Repair & How Does It Work?
Credit repair is the act of fixing your bad credit. Credit repair involves removing negative items from your credit report with the goal of improving your credit score.
While credit repair companies won’t do anything you can’t do on your own, the reality is that disputing multiple items across three credit reports is a time-consuming and often frustrating process. Credit repair companies know exactly whom to contact, what to say in their dispute letters, and how to follow up to make sure negative items get deleted.
Credit repair companies also know the consumer credit laws inside and out, and they put this knowledge to work on your behalf.
How Do Credit Repair Companies Work?
Credit repair companies work by removing negative items from your credit report in exchange for a fee. When they are able to remove these negative items, your credit score will often go up.
Credit repair companies order copies of your credit reports from the credit reporting agencies and review them for errors and other negative items that they can potentially dispute with the credit bureaus. These items include late payments, charge-offs, bankruptcies, and tax liens—all things that can show up in your credit history.
Then, they get to work by sending communications to the credit reporting agencies and creditors to get those negative items removed.
Typical communications include:
- Letters to dispute inaccurate information
- Requests to validate information, such as name, address, and date of birth
- Cease-and-desist letters to debt collectors
What To Know Before Hiring A Credit Repair Company
Not All Negative Information Can Be Removed
Credit repair companies can help you remove incorrect, outdated, or unverifiable information from your credit report. However, not all negative information can be removed.
It’s important to remember that credit repair companies cannot do anything that you couldn’t do yourself. They can’t force the credit reporting agencies to delete accurate information from your credit report.
Credit Repair Takes Time
If you’re looking to repair your credit, be prepared for the fact that it will take some time. Credit repair companies can help you remove negative items from your credit report, but it’s important to remember that they can’t do it overnight. In most cases, it will take a few months before you see any results. So if you’re looking to improve your credit score in a hurry, a credit repair company may not be the best option for you.
Be Prepared To Pay Setup Fees
Most companies have setup fees, so be sure to ask about them before you sign anything. Also, be sure to ask what the company’s refund policy is in case you’re not satisfied with their services.
They Can’t Charge You Ahead Of time
If you’re considering hiring a credit repair company, be aware that they cannot charge you in advance for their services. They can only bill you after they’ve completed the work. Additionally, credit repair companies must provide you with a written contract specifying the services to be performed and the fees associated with those services.
You Can Cancel Within 3 Days Without Penalty
If you have decided to work with a credit repair company, be sure to read the terms of service carefully. You have the right to cancel any services without incurring any penalties within 3 business days. If you are not happy with the services provided, be sure to speak with the credit repair company to see if they can address your concerns.
How To Choose A Credit Repair Company
There are a number of credit repair companies that offer competitive prices and excellent service, which can make it hard to choose just one. If you’re trying to narrow down your options, here are some important points to consider.
Look for credit repair companies that offer a money-back guarantee, which is something of a common feature among the top-ranked companies in the industry. Many credit repair agencies will refund your money within 90 days if they fail to produce results.
Legitimate credit repair companies won’t pressure you to sign up without first reviewing your credit status. This is because it’s quite possible that everything on your credit report is accurate, which means a credit repair agency can’t help you.
A good credit repair company will offer a free consultation that lets you connect with a credit repair expert. Because credit repair is all they do, they are generally well-versed in the credit repair process and able to answer any questions you may have about what to expect.
Federal law actually prohibits credit repair companies from charging any kind of fee before they do work on your behalf. Technically, this means that no credit repair company should be charging a fee just to enroll.
However, some credit repair companies get around this by charging a setup, enrollment, or program fee a few days to a week after you sign up for their services, and they start work on your behalf during this time. On the other hand, you can find plenty of highly rated credit repair companies that don’t charge any kind of setup fees.
Credit repair can be a stressful process, especially when you’re trying to reach a financial goal that requires a specific credit score. If you’re new to credit repair, you’re likely to have questions about how the process works, what you can expect, and what you can do to help boost your score.
Also, depending on how many negative items you need to dispute, credit repair can be an investment that can end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When you’re spending money on a service, it helps to have access to good customer service.
Some of the top-ranked credit repair companies assign a dedicated credit repair expert to each account. That way, you always communicate with the same person, and that customer service representative gets to know you and your account.
Customer reviews can give you valuable insight into how a credit repair company works, and whether it’s likely to work for you. Many companies post customer reviews on their websites, but it helps to look at reviews on independent and third-party sites as well to help spot any issues.
When you read reviews, however, keep in mind that some negative reviewers may have unrealistic expectations about what credit repair can and cannot accomplish. By law, creditors and credit bureaus have an obligation to report accurate information, and they’re not required to remove any item this is accurately reported.
What Can Credit Repair Agencies Do?
When you hire a credit repair agency, here is what they can do for you:
- Request copies of your credit reports from the credit bureaus
- Review your credit reports for errors and inaccurate information from your credit history
- Send letters to creditors and credit bureaus to have those negative items removed from your credit reports
- Request credit bureaus to correct incomplete information
- Send cease-and-desist letters to debt collectors
What Can Credit Repair Companies NOT Do?
Even the best credit repair companies have their limits. Here are a few things they can’t do for you:
- Guarantee to raise your credit score by a certain amount
- Charge up front fees, as this is prohibited by federal law
- Charge a fee if you cancel, which is illegal under federal consumer protection laws
- Replace your credit file with a brand new one
- Advise or encourage you to make false statements, such as claiming an accurate item on your credit report is illegitimate
- Promise to deliver specific results within a set period of time
- Anything you can’t do on your own
- Force a credit bureau to remove an item from your credit report
- Fail to disclose your legal rights
How Much Does Credit Repair Cost?
Credit repair costs around $70 to $130 per month.
The thing about credit repair companies is that they all have their own pricing model.
Some charge flat fees, while some charge by the month, and there are others who even charge separately for deletions.
Additionally, some credit repair companies offer unlimited services for a monthly fee or flat rate, while others put limits on what you’ll receive. For example, you can find credit repair companies that give you unlimited dispute letters, whereas others cap these at 15 or so per month.
But typically, the prices range from about $70 to $130 per month—this doesn’t include the setup fee most of them charge, which can run you around the same amount of a monthly payment or upwards of $200.
However, expensive doesn’t always mean better. In some cases, a higher priced package will include services you don’t actually need.
This is why it’s important to thoroughly research each credit repair service before you buy. Take a look at what each company offers, as well as how they explain their fee structure.
Are Credit Repair Companies Worth The Cost?
The best credit repair companies can be worth the cost because they will save you a lot of time.
Are you willing and able to put in the effort required to comb through your credit reports, prepare and send dispute letters, and follow up with creditors and the credit bureaus?
While anyone can handle these tasks on their own, having professional help can be a major stress reliever.
For some people, the cost of a credit repair company is money well spent if it means they don’t have to deal with the hassle and time commitment of managing the credit repair process on their own.
How Long Does It Take To Repair Credit?
Credit repair takes about three to six months to resolve all of the disputes that you would need to make.
Of course, the time it takes to repair your credit will depend on your individual situation.
If you only have a few mistakes to correct and you don’t have many accounts, credit repair might take only 30 days.
On the other hand, if you have many items to dispute or you’ve been the victim of fraud, credit repair could take much longer.
Is Credit Repair Legal?
Credit repair is legal, and credit repair companies are subject to both federal and state regulations designed to protect consumers from predatory practices within the industry.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit bureaus are obligated to only report fair and accurate information. If a consumer disputes information, the credit bureaus are legally obligated to investigate and, if they determine that the information is wrong or fraudulent, remove it.
The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) is another federal law that regulates the credit repair industry. It sets forth strict rules about credit repair companies can advertise their services and collect fees from consumers.
In addition to federal laws, each state has its own rules that govern how credit repair companies can operate in the state. This is why some credit repair companies don’t serve all 50 states, as their services might be prohibited in certain jurisdictions.
Despite strong protection at the federal and state levels, the credit repair industry isn’t immune from scams. Before you sign up for a credit repair service, it’s important to know the red flags to watch out for.
- Make sure your agreement is in writing – Under the CROA, credit repair service agreements must be in writing. In addition, the credit repair company must inform you of your legal rights in writing.
- Never pay fees up front – Credit repair companies are legally prohibited from collecting fees before they perform services on your behalf. Steer clear of any credit repair service that demands payment without doing any work.
- Avoid companies that make guarantees – The law prohibits credit repair companies from making guarantees about what they can remove from your credit report. If a credit report company promises it can remove accurately reported items, this is likely either a scam or an unscrupulous company violating the law.
- Make sure you can cancel – Under the CROA, credit repair companies can’t lock consumers into credit repair contracts. Avoid any credit repair service that won’t let you cancel their services.
Do Credit Repair Companies Guarantee Results?
No reputable credit repair company will ever guarantee that it can produce specific results. In fact, it’s unlawful for credit repair companies to do this, and you should steer clear of any credit repair service that claims it can deliver a certain outcome.
However, many credit repair companies offer a money-back guarantee if you’re unhappy with the service or they fail to remove a certain number of negative items. If you’re on the fence about credit repair, a money-back guarantee might make you feel more confident about signing up.
How To Avoid A Credit Repair Scam
To avoid getting scammed, it helps to know the warning signs of a disreputable credit repair company. Before signing up with any credit repair service, be wary of any company that does the following:
Fails to inform you of your rights under federal and state law. This should come in the form of a written disclosure titled “Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law.”
Fails or refuses to put your agreement in writing. You should receive a contract that clearly states what services you will receive, how much you’re required to pay for the services, the name and contact information of the credit repair company, the length of services covered by your payment, and information about how to cancel services.
Demands payment before performing any work. By law, credit repair companies can’t ask for upfront payment.
Says it can remove accurate information from your credit report. By law, creditors are required to report accurate information. A credit repair company can’t have these items removed from someone’s credit report.
Some disreputable credit repair companies may suggest that you obtain a new social security number, which will allow them to establish a new credit file on your behalf. This is a serious violation of federal and state law, and you should steer clear of any company that encourages it.
You can also do your diligence and check these companies out with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)—they don’t necessarily have to have an A+ rating to be reputable, but they should at least have a good reputation for addressing problems.
Credit Repair vs. Debt Settlement
Credit repair and debt settlement are sometimes used interchangeably, but these are actually two separate things. At the same time, they are related concepts in the sense that people use both credit repair and debt settlement to clean up their credit reports and hopefully boost their credit score.
Whereas credit repair is the process of removing inaccurate or fraudulent information from your credit report, debt settlement is the process of paying off creditors and settling debts in exchange for the creditor removing a negative item from your credit report — although the creditor has no obligation to do so. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
While many people like to hire a credit repair company to dispute negative items on their credit reports, credit repair companies don’t do anything you can’t do on your own. However, they are very experienced at credit repair, and they can usually accomplish the dispute process much faster than someone going the DIY route.
Credit repair companies might be able to get the job done faster and more efficiently, but it’s quite possible your credit report will have negative items that simply can’t be removed. If a creditor or credit bureau reviews your dispute and determines that the item is fairly and accurately reported, it has no obligation to remove it.
In some cases, this means you’re stuck with the negative item until enough time passes and it drops off your report. However, some people choose to pursue debt settlement as another strategy for getting a negative item removed from their credit report.
With debt settlement, you acknowledge that the debt is accurate. Instead of disputing it, you ask the creditor to accept full payment or a partial payment in exchange for removing the item from your report — something called a “pay for delete.”
There are companies that claim they can do this for you, but it’s important to be wary of these services. As the CFPB states, many of these companies operate by instructing you to stop paying your bills while they attempt to negotiate settlements with your creditors.
Instead of paying your bills, the debt settlement company holds your payments in an account, which it claims it will use to settle your debts. In the meantime, it also withdraws its fees from the same account, leaving you with less cash for offering a settlement.
The problem with this approach is that halting your payments can cause your creditors to charge-off your account, turning it over to collection agencies that will continue pursuing the debt and might even file a lawsuit against you. If they obtain a default judgment, they can garnish your wages until your debt is repaid.
Debt settlement companies sometimes call themselves “debt relief” agencies or “debt adjustment” companies. However, these are just different ways of referring to a debt settlement company.
The good news is you can handle debt settlement on your own and without the risk of creditors turning your account over to collections. If credit repair can’t help you get a negative item removed from your credit report, you can always try negotiating directly with your creditor by offering a lump sum payment or partial payment to settle the debt in exchange for a pay-for-delete.
An important thing to note with debt settlement is that some credit repair companies also offer debt settlement as a legitimate service. In most cases, this means they will handle pay-for-delete negotiations for you if they’re unable to get a negative item removed from your credit report.
COVID-19 & Credit Repair
Free Credit Reports
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are offering weekly access to a free credit report for the rest of 2022.
Credit Reporting Errors
If you entered into a deferral program during COVID-19, make sure to check your credit reports for any “late payments”. If your lender agreed to temporarily suspend your payments, then they shouldn’t be marked as “late”, and you should contact your lender right away.
How We Chose The Top Credit Repair Companies
We evaluated these credit repair companies based on five factors.
Using those factors, we then award each company a certain number of stars out of a possible five stars.
The factors we consider when assessing and ranking credit repair companies include the following:
- Services offered. We look at the variety of plans and what’s included in each one.
- Reputation. We look for online reviews, both on the company’s website and on third-party, independent sites. We also consider the company’s Better Business Bureau grade as well as any negative action taken by federal regulatory agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), against any credit repair providers.
- Value. When evaluating a credit repair company, we look at the price of each package the company offers, along with what services customers receive at each level of service.
- Resources. As we review each company’s website, we look for resources such as guides, educational information about credit repair, and tips for managing your finances better.
- Ease of use. We review the signup process for each company, evaluating their on-boarding process and the steps involved in setting up an account and starting the credit repair process.
Summary of Credit Takeoff’s Best Credit Repair Companies of September 2022
- Credit Saint – Best Overall
- Sky Blue Credit – Best Value
- Lexington Law – Most Popular
- The Credit People – Best Guarantee
- Ovation Credit Repair – Best Cancellation Policy
- AMB Credit Consultants – Best For Consumer Education
- The Credit Pros – Best Bonuses