June 16, 2024

In the field of credit repair agencies, our team is at the forefront in assessing, analyzing and ranking top-notch companies.

From our initial publication in 2016, we’ve dedicated countless hours investigating this sector, examining close to two dozen national providers. Our evaluation metrics consist of over 15 data points, including fees, services, customer reviews, and industry reputation. As a result of this intensive analysis, we have singled out the top ranking credit repair agencies, comprising Credit Saint, Sky Blue Credit, and the Credit Pros.

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Contents

Key Insights From Money

  • Credit repair involves analyzing your credit report for errors and contesting them with reporting bodies.
  • Repairing credit can be carried out independently, albeit, mistakes might occur more frequently due to intricacies of the process, therefore hiring a credit repair service could be beneficial.
  • These agencies scrutinize your credit history and confront any inaccuracies on your behalf with credit reference agencies and your creditors.
  • Some also propose ongoing consultations about credit and additional financial features, such as credit and identity-theft monitoring.
  • This process can extend for a rather long period, sometimes up to a year.

Our Credibility

Our editorial team has accumulated over ten years of experience in the credit and credit repair services domain. We independently assess credit repair firms, ensuring our content accuracy and editorial reliability. Learn more from our comprehensive methodology.

  • We examined 22 agencies.
  • Used over 10 data points, including pricing, services and customer support, for evaluation.
  • We considered over 100 different sources during our review.

Best Credit Repair Agencies Rundown

The companies mentioned below are arranged alphabetically.

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Top Credit Repair Reviews

  • Transparent pricing model
  • Customer assistance via phone, chat, or email
  • Minimal one-time initial service fee ($19)
  • Unlimited challenges with all three credit referencing agencies
  • Absence of credit monitoring
  • Lack of financial management tools

KEY POINTS

Main monthly fee: $99, $119, or $599 six-month flat rate Set-up fee: $19 (No setup fees with a six-month scheme) Money-back assurance: Withdraw at any time, and you won’t be billed for that specific month of service. If you opt for the flat-fee scheme, you have a complete satisfaction guarantee for six months.

Why this company stands out: The Credit People is our top choice for low startup fees because the company only charges $19, which makes it quite unique compared to rivals that typically charge around $79 or higher to establish your account and extract your credit report.

In addition, The Credit People offers an outstanding money-back guarantee. The company allows you to terminate your subscription at any given time and also refunds the last and previous month’s payment. In contrast, most credit repair companies offer a 90-day money-back guarantee or only reimburse you for the latest service month.

The user-friendly interface of The Credit People is another advantage — you can observe changes to your credit report or score from all three credit reporting agencies from their easy-to-use web dashboard. It also lets you monitor open disputes and connects you to customer service if there are any questions.

The three memberships made available by The Credit People include the following credit repair services:

Flat-rate Plan
$599 One-time fee

  • Credit score comparison before and after derogatory items are eliminated
  • Boundless disputes to all three credit referencing agencies
  • Monthly updated credit scores from all agencies
  • Same advantages as the premium scheme
  • Option to cancel anytime and receive a refund for the remaining months

Read the comprehensive review>>

Explore schemes on The Credit People’s Secure Website>>

  • Every plan includes financial management tools and credit monitoring
  • Availability of live chat
  • Certified FICO professionals
  • No setup fee
  • The basic credit repair package only includes one credit disagreement
  • 24/7 phone assistance isn’t available

HIGHLIGHTS

Monthly fee: $69 – $149 Set-up fee: $119 or $149 Money-back assurance: 90 days

Why this company is unique: Many credit repair agencies only offer additional benefits with their most premium plan. We chose The Credit Pros as Best for Bonus Features as it provides efficient financial management tools across all costing categories.

Our services include offering access to credit bureaus and a credit building loan that can help enhance your credit history provided you make timely payments.

All of our package offerings come with access to The Credit Pros’ mobile app, enabling you to check disputes, receive updates in real time and keep track of your credit score and report.

The company’s free consultation is offered in both English and Spanish, a rare feature in our industry. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that our initial work fee, at $119 for our basic and medium tier plans and $149 for our premium plan, is slightly higher compared to most competitors.

  • Initial work fee: $119 (one-time payment)
  • Single-bureau credit report and scores
  • Darkweb monitoring via ID Cover
  • Initial work fee: $129 (one-time payment)
  • Incorporates all aspects of the Money Management plan
  • Three/Bureau Credit bureau challenges
  • Initial work fee: $149 (one-time payment)
  • Incorporates all features of the Prosperity plan
  • Access to credit builder loan (if required)
  • Three-bureau reports and scores

Read the full review>>

See the plans on The Credit Pros’ Secure Website>>

  • 90-day refund policy
  • Transparent pricing policies
  • Online sign-up available
  • Online chat available weekdays from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Service not accessible in South Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Maine and Washington, D.C.

  • Initial work fee up to $195

KEY FEATURES

Monthly fee: $79.99 – $129.99Set-up fee: $99 – $195Money-back guarantee: 90 days

Why we selected this company: Credit Saint is our top choice because of its straightforward pricing policies and extensive package options.

The company provides three credit repair options: Credit Polish, Credit Remodel and Clean Slate. The packages — which range from $79.99 to $129.99 — differ in the number of disputes they will address each month, from five with the standard “Credit Polish” plan to unlimited with the high-end “Clean Slate” plan.

Each package features a diverse array of financial tools. For instance, the basic plan includes a credit score tracker, while the top tier plan offers additional features like credit and identity theft monitoring, lost wallet protection, and more.

Credit Saint provides a free evaluation to assess your specific situation and determine the following steps. Once you sign up, the company assigns you an advisory team and schedules calls to keep you updated.

Credit Saint also delivers a credit score analysis and educational resources to help patrons better grasp their credit situation. Some plans even include a custom guide for building credit. Additionally, the company provides a 90-day refund policy if there are no changes in your credit history after three months.

Credit Remodel

$99.99 per month

  • Initial work fee of $99 (one-time payment)
  • Challenges to the 3 Credit Bureaus
  • Score Analysis
  • Score Tracker
  • Access to Educational Resources
  • Guarantee of Money Back in 90 Days
  • Initial work fee of $99 (one-time payment)
  • Same features as the Credit Polish plan
  • Creditor Intervention Letters
  • Inquiry Targeting
  • Personalized Guide to Building Credit
  • Access to Educational Resources
  • Single-Bureau Report and Scores
  • Real-Time Account Synchronization

Read the full review>>

See the plans on Credit Saint’s Secure Website>>

  • AI-based software that analyzes your credit reports to spot negative items
  • Automatic generation of dispute letters based on your credit specifics
  • Easy-to-read dashboard to track your credit score and disputes
  • Identity theft insurance included in monthly plans
  • Dispute letters have to be mailed by you
  • No credit experts to guide you
  • No refund policy
  • No credit consultations

HIGHLIGHTS

Monthly fee: $24.95 – $29.95Set-up fees: No charges Money-back guarantee: No guarantees

Why we chose this company: Credit Versio is our top pick for DIY Credit Repair because of its affordability and the simplicity it brings to the otherwise complex credit repair process.

Though you can dispute inaccuracies in credit at no cost by yourself, the process can be time consuming and strenuous. Credit repair software like Credit Versio can help make this process more manageable.

The company’s software uses AI to scan your credit reports for negative items that could be adversely affecting your credit score. It then classifies them according to the credit bureau that has reported it.

If a mistake is discovered, the software can create custom dispute letters based on your credit data and your reasons to believe that the item is incorrect. All you need to do is print the letter and mail it to the credit bureau.

Credit Versio presents three plans that offer unlimited dispute letters and monthly credit reports and scores. Two of these plans also include access to SmartCredit’s credit monitoring.

The priciest plan on the platform also includes IdentityIQ, a service designed for identity theft protection.

These added services allow Credit Versio to monitor alterations in your credit report, leading to potential dispatch of more dispute letters.

smartcredit BASIC: $24.95 per month

smartcredit PREMIUM: $29.95 per month

  • 3-Bureau reports & scores updated monthly
  • $1 million worth of identity insurance
  • Regular credit monitoring notifications from TransUnion
  • Access to Smartcredit Money Manager
  • Twice-monthly updates on Transunion Report & score
  • Unlimited Transunion Report & score updates
  • 3-Bureau reports & scores updated monthly
  • Access to Smartcredit Money Manager
  • Regular credit monitoring notifications from TransUnion
  • $1 million worth of identity insurance

Read full review>>

Visit Credit Versio’s Secure Website<<

  • Online customer service
  • No-charge initial consultation on credit report
  • Identity theft insurance included in all packages
  • Facing accusations by CFPB over illegal advance fee collection
  • Does not provide a satisfaction guarantee
  • Up to only three interventions per month with Experian

KEY FEATURES

Monthly charge: $99.95, First installment: None, Money-back promise: None

Picking Lexington Law: While enjoying over 18 years of industry experience and nearly nationwide accessibility (except in Oregon), our selection for the Industry Leader is Lexington Law.

Owing to its legal firm status and predominately attorney and paralegal workforce, the company is reported to leverage every legal pathway to rectify inaccuracies in your credit report.

The company only offers one credit repair package priced at $99.95 on a monthly basis. The package encompasses challenges to all three credit bureaus, creditor intervention letters and identity theft insurance valuing $25,000. To assist in boosting your overall credit health, you also receive bespoke credit score enhancement strategies.

If you desire to monitor your credit progress, Lexington provides a widely acclaimed mobile app where customers get round-the-clock access to their credit score analysis, personalized consultation plan, and updates on disputes.

Nonetheless, Lexington Law has faced its share of lawful issues. Of late, the firm was charged with illegal telemarketing and upfront fees, leading to a proposed settlement where Lexington Law is required to pay a fine of $2.7 billion as per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Additionally, in June 2023, a cause for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was filed by the company. The case is currently undecided.

Despite these issues, Lexington Law continues to be an influential player in the field, providing the benefit of an experienced legal firm managing your case.

Read full review>>

Visit Lexington Law’s Secure Website<<

  • 50% discount on couples’ subscriptions
  • Ability to repair up to 15 items in a 35-day period
  • Availability of online sign-up
  • Lack of financial tools, such as a credit score tracker
  • Limit to five credit disputes per bureau in a 35-day period

KEY FEATURES

Monthly charge: $79 or $99 for individuals ($119 or $149 for couples), Set-up charge: $79 or $99, Money-back guarantee: 90 days

Choosing Sky Blue Credit Repair: Our choice for the best value is Sky Blue Credit Repair as it provides economical credit-repair bundles that nearly cover everything required to swiftly clean up your credit report.

Sky Blue gives a basic package for $79 a month featuring credit bureau disputes, reports and scores from three bureaus, one-on-one consultations, an online client dashboard and credit score monitoring.

For $99 a month, the firm also delivers a comprehensive service package inclusive of everything in the basic one plus creditor interventions, debt validation letters, cease and desist letters, and tools for personal information correction and credit building.

If you have questions about credit-related topics like credit card offers or loan applications, Sky Blue Credit Repair’s staff can assist you and devise a strategy to improve your credit score.

Sky Blue Credit Repair stands out for its flexible subscription options. You can pause subscription service for a month without cancelling it by making a request through your online account.

You will not be charged while your account is on hold, and you can reactivate the subscription whenever you want. This could result in savings on startup charges that most credit repair firms require when you start utilizing their services.

Credit repair plans provided by Sky Blue Credit:

Full Service Package
$99 per month
($149 per month for couples)

Basic Package
$79 per month
($119 per month for couples)

  • Reports and scores from three bureaus
  • Credit bureau disputes
  • Personal consultations
  • Tracking of credit score
  • Access to client portal 24/7
  • Updates on credit every 60 days
  • Everything in the basic package
  • Creditor interventions
  • Disputes on inquiries
  • Letters for debt validation
  • Cease and desist letters
  • Letters requesting corrections to personal information
  • Updates to credit after 45 days
  • Instrument for building credit

Click for complete review>>

Check out plans on Sky Blue’s secure Website>>

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Potential alternate credit repair companies

While doing our research, we have looked into several companies in the pursuit of creating our top list. However, some could not make the cut and here are a few of them:

Safeport considerations

Safeport Law charges a monthly fee of $129.99 for their credit repair services. Included in the plan are challenges directed at the three big credit bureaus, a thorough credit score analysis, and tracker, interventions with creditors, and consistent progress reports via your online account. But Safeport only provides one service plan, whereas most of our top picks offer at least two. They also request a $129 setup fee, which is fairly high relative to their competitors who offer equivalent service plans.

  • Guarantee to give your money back after 90 days
  • Analysis and tracking of credit score
  • 24/7 tracking of progress through the online system
  • Offer only one credit repair plan
  • The setup fee is higher than what competitors charge for similar service plans

Visit Safeport’s secure website to see plans>>

Thoughts on Credit Glory

The plans and pricing details presented on Credit Glory’s website are not very clear, which can make it difficult for potential clients to make well-judged decisions.

  • Customer service available over the weekend
  • Direct phone line to credit experts
  • Lack of clear details on the company’s pricing and services on their website
  • Registration only possible through phone calls

View plans on Credit Glory’s secure website>>

The service from CreditRepair.com

CreditRepair.com offers three distinct service plans priced at $69.95, $99.95 and $119.95, with a first-work fee equal to the subscription price. The plans include a primary credit evaluation check online and a detailed credit repair plan, as well as a summary of negative items. However, there is no money-back guarantee and some features that other companies offer, such as a credit score tracker, are not included in the similarly priced plans.

  • Free evaluation of credit conducted online
  • Availability of three separate service plans
  • Online chatting service
  • 50% discount on first work fee if you sign up with friends or family members
  • Accusations from the CFPB for collecting unauthorized upfront fees

Check out CreditRepair.com’s Secure Website to see plans>>

Examining Trinity Credit Services

Trinity Credit Services has been operating in the business of credit repair for more than nine years. They offer a credit report evaluation at no cost and a customized credit repair plan that you can keep track of online. However, service costs and setup fees are not clearly presented on the company website. Also, information about their guarantees is not available.

  • Free credit report evaluation
  • Keep track of the progress of your repair process online
  • No explicit details regarding services and associated costs

Take a look at plans on Trinity Credit Services’s Secure Website>>

A look at Pyramid Credit Repair

Pyramid Credit Repair is one of the few credit repair companies that offer customer support 24/7 with the company’s premium plan ($179 per month with the first-work fee of the same cost). Their cheaper plans ($89 and $129) include fewer features compared to competitors and do not offer a money-back guarantee.

  • Customer support is available 24/7 with the premium plan
  • Score analysis and online portal included

Visit Pyramid Credit Repair’s Secure Website to see plans>>

Reviewing AMB Credit Consultants

AMB Credit Consultants have more than a decade of experience, but there are some downsides to their services. They don’t offer a free credit consultation, and mandatory subscription to a monthly credit monitoring plan from IdentityIQ for $24.99 is required before setting up an initial consultation.

  • Over a decade of industry experience
  • Couples discount available
  • You must commit to at least 6-9 months of service
  • You must pay for a credit monitoring subscription prior to setting up the initial consultation
  • An extra fee for credit monitoring by a third party

Check plans on AMB Credit Consultants’ Secure Website>>

Taking a closer look at Creditfirm.net

CreditFirm.net charges a relatively low monthly fee of $49.99 for individuals or $89.99 for couples compared to other companies. However, they don’t offer free credit consultation, a money-back guarantee, or additional financial tools.

  • No setup fees
  • Discount for couples
  • Can cancel at any time
  • Unlimited disputes to creditors
  • No monthly credit monitoring
  • No money-back guarantee
  • The outdated website which is not user-friendly
  • Clients must send their credit reports themselves

View plans on Creditfirm.net’s Secure Website>>

Looking into Credit Assistance Network

The Credit Assistance Network’s website is outdated and difficult to navigate. There’s also little or no information regarding the company’s reputation on third-party review websites. In addition, the company doesn’t actually offer credit repair services. They direct you to The Credit Pros, one of our top picks. Given this, we recommend signing up with The Credit Pros directly.

  • 20% discount for friends or spouses
  • Provides personal finance tools
  • Credit restoration services managed by The Credit Pros (one of our top picks)
  • Website contains outdated or unclear information about itssite

Check out options on Credit Assistance Network’s Safe Web platform>>

Your Guide to Credit Restoration

Believe it or not, inaccuracies on credit reports are not as uncommon as you may assume. While it is possible for you to eliminate false details from your credit report, this task could be time-consuming and exasperating.

A company specializing in credit restoration can alleviate this burden by engaging in the demanding tasks for you — obtaining your credit reports, detecting inaccuracies, and directly disputing with credit bureaus and lenders to rectify mistakes. Unfortunately, several firms make exaggerated promises and attract clients into paying for services that do not yield any tangible outcome.

Table of Contents

Definition of credit repair

Credit repair is a strategy aimed at enhancing one’s credit history and score. It typically involves examining your credit history for inconsistencies and challenging them with credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).

Repairing your credit report independently is a free service. You could also decide to hire a credit repair company to scrutinize your reports for discrepancies and dispute those by getting in touch with the credit bureaus on your behalf.

The time and effort you put into credit repair can help to elevate your credit score. This may increase your chances of obtaining the best credit cards and loans and even secure more favourable interest rates.

Procedure for credit repair?

No matter whether you execute it independently or hire a specialist, the process of credit repair commonly involves:

  • Gathering your credit reports from the chief credit bureaus
  • Assessing them for inaccurate details
  • Submitting a dispute with the credit bureau that gave the erroneous report

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), you have the right to challenge any information you suspect as false. The credit reporting bureaus are obligated to investigate within 30 days and to remove the item from your report if it is proven to be incorrect. They should also furnish you, in writing, the results of the investigation within five business days after it is concluded.

Consider the point that you (and credit repair companies) can only eliminate incorrect details from your credit report. If your report does not contain any errors, your priority should be on timely bill payments, maintaining a low credit utilization ratio, and cutting down your overall debt. For more data, see our section on “How to Fix My Credit”.)

The workings of credit repair companies

Each credit repair firm follows a unique approach, yet most of them adhere to a four-step procedure:

Consultation on credit

The firm will guide you through the credit-repair procedure and verify your credit reports for errors and adverse remarks such as collections or bankruptcies. They might also impart advice on personal finance to assist you in accomplishing a good credit score.

Grant limited power of attorney

The firm’s associates will require you to sign a contract, providing them with limited power of attorney, or in other words, the legal privilege to represent you.

Dispute incorrect negative items

Upon securing legal permission, the firm disputes incorrect items with your creditors and the major credit bureaus. Mistakes on your credit report could cover tax liens or foreclosures that you were not responsible for, duplicate accounts, or outdated details.

Reports on progress

The most efficient credit repair firms will monitor the progress of your disputes and regularly update you regarding the status of every disputed item. They customarily send progress reports along with an updated version of your credit report to review the changes.

Fees associated with credit repair

In general, credit repair agencies charge somewhere between $50 to $150 each month, which may vary based on the service plan you select. They also charge an initial setup fee (also known as first work fee) which is often equivalent to the monthly subscription.

This fee typically covers monthly analyses of the credit report and score, and a fixed quota of bureau disputes and creditor interventions. Certain firms also offer financial tools like budgeting software and credit score trackers.

Time duration for credit repair

“The time period can greatly differ based on each person’s distinct circumstances and their actions to enhance credit,” says Thomas Nitzsche, the Sr. Director of Media and Brand for the credit counseling agency, Money Management International.

For instance, Nitzsche claims, one can notice an elevation in the credit score within approximately one to three months after disputing and removing errors from their report. Conversely, true negative items like late credit card payments will remain in your file for seven years.

Duration Negative Items Impact Your Credit Score?

The influence of negative information progressively reduces over time. “It is complicated to assess the exact effect of different negative items on a report, but the older an account is, the lesser it impacts the score,” commented Becky House, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the credit counseling agency, American Financial Solutions.

Nitzsche also mentioned the degree to which a negative item decreases your score is dependent on each individual’s credit profile. The effect should be less severe if you have other credit lines in good standing. “This underlines the importance of taking proactive measures to restore trade lines to good standing or to create new ones reporting positively,” added Nitzsche.

House also indicated that different lenders might have varying protocols on which negative items they are willing to overlook while evaluating a borrower’s credit history. “For instance, one lender may be fine with approving a loan for someone who had a negative credit mark three years ago, while another lender might have a risk policy that refuses loans if someone has that information on their credit report.”

Points to Remember Before Engaging a Credit Repair Firm

There are certain considerations to take into account when trying to rebuild your credit history:

Not All Negative Items can be Dismissed

Be alert if a company guarantees to remove all negative items from your report as it is a red flag indicating a scam. Late payments, hard inquiries, charge-offs, repossessions, and debt collections can only be removed if the information is incorrect or outdated. If a negative item is accurate, it typically remains on your report for seven years — even up to 10 years for chapter 7 bankruptcies.

For further details on other possible red flags, go through WarningsSpotting a credit rectification fraud

Removed entries might spring back on your credit dossier

If the institution (financial) or debt recovery agency relays them once more to the repository bureaus, deleted entries might pop up back on your profile. House explains this might happen when the item in dispute is deemed valid.

The credit rectification agency (or you) can lodge another dispute. House proposes that it should be more sufficiently outlined or updated to expound why the dossier’s info is incorrect. This can be done by further providing supportive documents to argue your case.

Getting actively involved might be required

The credit rectification companies might need you to provide documentation as evidence to challenge the negative information on your profile.

Fee setup is commonplace

Generally, credit rectification companies levy an initialization cost (also referred to as a setup or first work fee) which can be anywhere from $15 to $200. This sum is directed towards setting up your portfolio, potentially needing your privately identifiable and fiscal details and formulating a solution that fits your particular situation.

Businesses cannot impose advanced charges for its services

After the setup fee has been cleared (if required), businesses should not burden additional charges without proving that the services listed on the agreement have been initiated.

Cancellation rights and timings

The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) mandates a leeway of three workdays to rescind an agreement after signing without being held distrainable for any exit fees or charges.

Selecting an apt credit rectification company

Below are some pointers to evade credit rectification frauds:

1. False promises should be avoided

A legitimate business will never assure removal of factual data from your file or pledge a credit identity transformation. For guidance on addressing negative entities that are undisputed, you can read our fixes for dismal credit reports.

2. Evaluate CROA Compliance

Make it imperative that the business adheres to CROA guidelines. The CROA stipulates a clear rulebook for transparent and legitimate businesses. Such businesses must:

  • State in written form the detailed service provisions, inclusive of cost structures, safety measures, and rendered estimates for service duration

3. Customer reviews are crucial

Trustworthy review sources such as Google Reviews, Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Yelp provide a genuine outlook on customer experiences. If you come across multiple complaints addressing the same pain points, that should trigger a red flag. However, it’s recommended to conduct detailed research as oftentimes only bad experiences are posted and good ones are glossed over.

4. Regulatory evaluations

It helps to verify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaint repository for any misconduct or complaints filed against the potential provider.

5. Assess costing and service mapping

Established credit correction companies will clearly delineate the cost of services and offerings for transparency. This will allow consumers to choose the package suited to their requirements.

6. Personal monetary tools offer added help

In addition to essential credit rectification services, agencies may also provide personal financial tools such as credit tracking, budget regulation apps, and reminders for bill payments. They might also offer complimentary credit consultations, customer satisfaction guarantees, and identity theft prevention services.

Credit counseling services can help

For individuals with poor credit, Thomas Nitzsche from Money Management International has advised this demographic to reach out to credit counseling services as quickly as possible. The goal is to manage credit diligently from an early stage rather than risky recovery when in need.

These credit counseling services can help streamline your overall fiscal health, not just credit mishap rectifications. As per Becky House from American Financial Solutions, “They work with people to address their entire financial picture as well as the person’s goals. The goal is to have a sustainable budget, repayment structure for debts, and build or rebuild a positive credit history.”

For credit advice on DIY remedies and improving your standings, these services come in handy. They provide resources on managing debts, compiling budgets, plans for debt management (DMP), understanding bankruptcy laws, and making smart housing plans among others.

Interestingly, these services are non-profit yet some might charge a nominal fee of around $50. If these services appeal to you, you can find a validated counselor on National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Understanding the key differences between debt settlement, credit rectification and credit counseling

While these three methods operate in the same fiscal domain, it’s necessary to understand their key differences for a more informed decision.

A credit counseling service:

Non-profit yet might require nominal charges for some services

Negotiates reduced payments with your loaners

Detects and remedies errors on your credit record

Guides on money and debt management

Holds off debt payments till settlement is agreed upon

Communicates with loaners and repositories to rectify errors

Negotiation of better terms with loaners to reduce monthly payments

Can harm credit ratings for up to 7 years

Improvement of credit by eliminating reporting errors

Helps in devising a personalized strategy for debt repayment to upturn credit

Potential risk for securing loans or credit cards.

Enhances the likelihood of obtaining approval for credit cards and loans

Boosts the probability of gaining approval for credit and loans

It should be seen as a last option

Ideal for those needing help in rectifying errors from their report

Perfect for those struggling to make punctual payments or to reduce debt

Signs of a deceptive credit repair scheme

There are a fair share of scandals and deceptive schemes within the credit repair industry. Knowing this, it’s crucial to identify warning signals that a company might be involved in suspicious activities.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) notes that a credit repair agency could be misleading you if it:

  • Requests upfront fees before offering any services
  • Asserts it can purge all negative data from your report, even if it’s accurate and current
  • Suggests you to contest accurate information on your credit report
  • Advises against contacting the credit bureaus personally
  • Fails to inform you of your rights, including the ability to terminate your contract with the company within three days after signing it
  • Doesn’t offer a written contract that spells out aspects like service costs and guarantees
  • Asks you to forgo any of your rights under the CROA
  • Attempts to offer you a “new” credit profile or identity

Be especially cautious of companies guaranteeing the removal of accurate collection from your report, as House cautions that this action could potentially lead to a lawsuit.

House explained, “We have witnessed this sparking lawsuits against consumers, resulting in garnishments. The individual owed the debt, was advised to dispute it, did so, and the collection agency then filed suit to get a garnishment.”

Self-managed credit repair

Although credit repair firms can be beneficial if you have the funds for their service and lack the time to contest items, it’s crucial to remember that you can repair credit issues independently at no cost. There are also methods to improve your credit score unaided by a credit repair company.

Below are some steps to repair your credit:

  • Review your reports for discrepancies, such as on-time payments marked as late or accounts that don’t belong to you
  • If you detect an error, go to the reporting bureau’s website and submit an online dispute
  • Include documents (like bank statements) supporting your dispute that demonstrates the items you’re contesting are inaccurate

Credit bureaus are required to scrutinize disputed items within 30 days and eliminate it from your report if proven to be faulty. They may also remove items from your report if the creditor or collection agency cannot verify the debt and fails to provide evidence proving it belongs to you.

If you’re willing to take it on, the initial step is to learn how to read your credit report. Once done, refer to our guide on how to delete items from your credit report.

Steps to fix my credit

Fixing your credit involves more than just reviewing your report for inaccuracies. “Addressing negative items on a credit report is vital for consumers. However, simply removing negative items isn’t necessarily going to improve a score,” House pointed out.

“Consumers should strive to make payments on time moving forward. Moreover, they should aim to keep revolving credit line balances below a third of their available limit,” Nitzsche added. He also encourages establishing credit lines that can contribute positively to your file, such as a secured credit card or credit-builder loan.

Continue reading to understand why these steps can enhance your creditworthiness.

1. Ensure timely payments

The initial step is to make regular, on-time bill payments, as your payment history is the most critical factor that credit scoring models assess. A 30-day late payment can reduce your score by up to 100 points, and the effect on your creditworthiness worsens if you’re 60 or 90 days overdue.

2. Decrease your credit utilization ratio

Your credit utilization ratio represents the portion of your available credit you’re using. Experts commonly suggest keeping it below 30% to demonstrate to lenders that you’re not overly dependent on your credit cards.

Nonetheless, keeping it under 10% is more advantageous. According to FICO, consumers with an 850 credit score (the highest attainable score) utilize around 4% of their available credit limit.

3. Minimize your overall debt

Lowering your remaining balances decreases your credit utilization ratio. This enhancement can increase your likelihood of approval for new loans and cards by reducing your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

Your DTI ratio signifies your monthly debt commitments divided by your gross monthly earnings. Experts suggest maintaining it at or below 36%. Keeping it low convinces lenders that you’re financially capable of handling new credit.

For suggestions on debt reduction, check out our guide, How much is too much debt.

4. Apply for a secured credit card

If you don’t currently meet the eligibility criteria for most credit cards, you may want to consider applying for a secured one. Secured credit cards present higher approval chances as they entail a security deposit that operates as collateral in case you fail to make your monthly payments.

Utilizing a secured card and ensuring timely payment can aid in enhancing your credit score, allowing you to qualify for superior cards and loans over time.

For further details, see our compilation of the Best Credit Cards To Build Credit.

5. Look into a credit-builder loan

Obtaining a credit-builder loan and ensuring on-time payment can improve your score.

These kinds of loans are simpler to qualify for individuals with a limited credit history or low credit score because you can access the funds only after you’ve settled the loan, which protects lenders if you are unable to make your monthly payments.

Most lenders offer credit-builder loans ranging from $500 to $2,000, although some lenders offer up to $5,000. However, bear in mind that like other loans, they charge an annual percentage rate (APR). It usually variesfrom a range of 6% to 16%, but certain lending institutions may credit back the interest fees paid at the conclusion of the loan period.

Consequences of Low Credit Scores

A poor credit score can affect your financial status in more ways than you may anticipate. The repercussions of having a lower credit score extend beyond simply limiting your access to credit, and also impact the price you pay for that credit.

Although some financial institutions may still accept loan applicants with a fair to inadequate credit, they will charge a higher rate of interest. Hence, it implies that the lower your credit score, the more expensive the loan rate will be.

Let’s provide a detailed analysis of the interest you are likely to pay based on your credit score spectrum. For purpose of this example, we’ll consider a 30-year fixed interest rate mortgage loan for $400,000, which approximately aligns to the median home prices in the United States.

Examine this example to comprehend how the disparity between outstanding credit and average credit could cost you more than $150,000 over the tenure of a 30-year loan:

Recent Updates on Credit Repair

Queries Frequently Asked About Credit Repair

What constitutes a decent credit score?

An acceptable FICO score lies within the spectrum of 670 and 739. The “good” range for VantageScores is between 661 and 780. Anything above these scores is deemed very good or excellent.

What is considered an ideal credit score?

An ideal credit score is typically referred to the highest achievable score on a credit scoring model, which is 850 on both the FICO and VantageScore scoring model. Bear in mind that attaining this top-end score is quite arduous; however, it’s also not necessary. You’ll receive admiring approval acceptance and beneficial loan conditions once your score reaches the “very good” range in the FICO model (between 740-799).

What signifies a low credit score?

In the credit scoring models, a low credit score usually falls within the fair or poor range. In the FICO scoring model, scores varying between 580 and 669 are considered fair, and any score below 580 is classified as poor. In the VantageScore scoring scale, any score between 601 and 660 is classified as fair, while any score below 601 is considered poor.

You have the ability to repair your credit on your own; however, it necessitates time, effort, and patience. You should scrutinize each of your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax for errors or details that are more than seven years old. If you uncover any errors, file a dispute with the respective credit bureau and get in touch with your creditor. They are legally obliged to investigate and remove any incorrect information from your report without charging you any fees.

How much time is usually required to repair credit?

The credit repair duration variation depends on whether the low credit score inducing elements are accurate or not. If the anomalies in your credit history can be corrected by challenging them with the bureaus, the repair could take a few months. However, if the factors leading to your low credit score are valid, the repair process could take more than a year, requiring you to decrease your credit card debt, reduce your credit utilization ratio, among other steps.

Credit repair services can support you in eliminating incorrect or outdated negative remarks from your credit report. Yet, if your credit report is accurate, you’ll have to enhance your credit yourself or seek credit counseling. Also note, you have the ability to eliminate credit reporting errors yourself for free, by disputing with each credit bureau.

Methodology: Selection of Best Credit Repair Companies of April 2024

Since our initial research into credit repair firms in 2016, we have devoted thousands of hours studying this industry and evaluating its key participants.

Members of our editorial team engaged with some recognized names in our list to comprehend first-hand experiences with these companies. We also revisit our top choices every month to furnish readers with the most current details on these services and the credit repair realm in general.

We chose the best credit repair companies based on the following aspects:

  • Transparency: The companies’ openness about their pricing, fees, services offered, guarantees, terms and conditions, and privacy policies, was a significant factor.
  • Pricing and discounts: We compared firms’ various service plans based on costs, giving preference to providers offering multiple options at different price levels. Setup fees and any available discounts, such as for couples or service members, were also vital.
  • Services: We favored businesses offering a range of services catering to various budgets and also providing free credit consultations, creditor interventions, cease and desist or goodwill letters, in addition to the standard services of reviewing and disputing inaccurate data impacting your credit history.
  • Financial tools: We examined whether companies offer tools to help consumers improve their credit, such as a credit score tracker, monthly credit reports, and/or identity theft monitoring.
  • Client Portal: Companies providing a portal or app for clients to monitor their dispute status and credit repair progress were preferred.
  • Money-Back Guarantee and Cancellation Policy: Firms that offer refunds or guarantees if they couldn’t correct or remove errors from your credit report within 90 days were given preference, as were those that do not charge cancellation fees.
  • Customer Support: Ease of contact through various platforms like online chat, support forms, and e-mail was an important factor.
  • User Experience: The ease of use of the company’s website and the updates of their information were also considered.
  • Service Area: The number of states where the companies operate was a factor, with those with national availability being prioritized.
  • Company History: Only credible credit repair services with over ten years of experience and mainly positive customer reviews were chosen.
  • Customer Satisfaction: We researched reviews on third-party websites like the Better Business Bureau to measure customer satisfaction and identify any complaint patterns.
  • Regulatory Actions: We checked for any Federal Trade Commission violations and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database for any record of customer complaints or enforcement actions.
  • Reference Sources Used

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • AnnualCreditReport.com
  • Overview of Top Credit Repair Companies of April 2024

    The companies below are listed in alphabetical order.