Who are the Best Credit Repair Companies?
The entire credit industry is complicated, so perhaps it’s no surprise that credit repair can seem just as intimidating. You’re already stressed about money, paying all your debts, and your future; shopping for a credit repair company can add to that already heavy load. This isn’t like buying a car or even a box of cereal, where you learn the reputation of different brands naturally by just going through life. Instead, you only really learn about credit repair companies when you need credit repair; but how can you tell which ones to pick if you’ve never needed this type of service before?
Which Repair Company Has the Best Price?
This is probably the first consideration that came to mind. With a low credit score, you’re probably just staying on top of your bank balance as it is. However, with a little research, credit repair doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. It all depends on what on your credit report needs fixing.
A Quick Fix for Reporting Errors
If it’s just a few items, you could save money with the Credit Pros. They charge $50 per item removed from your report. This is the perfect option if you have found a few mistakes that are ruining your credit report. Besides keeping the process on the affordable side, having the Credit Pros focus on disputing mistakes may give a fast boost to your score compared to a more comprehensive, long-term repair effort.
Disputing Charges and Fighting Fraud
On the other hand, if the mistakes on your credit report are a mile long (perhaps you’ve been a victim of fraud or identity theft, or some other major life event has caused errors to show up on your report), you might want to look at some other companies for a more comprehensive credit fix. Lexington Law has different tiers, ranging from $79.95 to $119.95, so you don’t end up paying for something you didn’t need in the first place. Their services roll over monthly, like most credit repair companies, although they cannot collect payment until the terms of your contract are complete, as per the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Lexington Law is a great choice for complex cases like fraud, because as attorneys, they specialize in handling the legal side of disputing charges and holding lenders (as well as the credit bureaus) accountable.
Which is the Most Effective?
First, any credit repair company that gives you a hard guarantee is shady. Claiming things like “Will improve your score by 100 points in 30 days!” is a sure sign that it’s a scam. As much as promises like this can comfort us, the hard truth is that credit repair companies cannot guarantee an outcome. Unfortunately, because of the way that credit repair works, there’s no way that a company can predict the exact results. You’re buying a service, not the end result.
However, that doesn’t mean that credit repair companies aren’t good at what they do.
Results You Can See
CreditRepair.com’s customers see an average of seven percent of their offending items disappear from their credit report every month. This might not seem like a lot, but consider that credit bureaus have 30 days to respond to every disputed item. The Credit Pros have a similar standard; their clients typically see an improvement in their credit score after three months — that’s pretty fast for credit repair, when you consider it can take years to build good credit on your own. Unfortunately, low scores and excessive debt is not a problem that can be fixed overnight for most people.
Which Company is Right for You?
This isn’t a simple question to answer. Consider your situation: are you the victim of identity theft? Clerical error? Bad judgement? Consult a variety of credit repair companies, and ask them about your situation.
Picking which credit repair company will be the most effective will ultimately depend on the specific issues on your credit report. If you fear you’re going to encounter a lot of legal issues, Lexington Law is composed of actual lawyers, so their expertise will definitely come in handy. Although every reputable credit repair company has to have some familiarity with the law, a staff of lawyers could remove some legal roadblocks and be especially good advocates for you.
Of course, you might be in a situation where cash is not a problem, but your credit is. You might be willing to pay more for a longer period of help and attention from the pros. Conversely, if your purse strings are tight, then you’ll be more concerned with the final price. Every situation is different and deserves specialized treatment in order to noticeably and quickly improve your credit. Do your research, and decide which one is right for you.
For more information on credit scores and what you can do to improve yours, visit the Fiscal Tiger credit score resource and learning center.
Dayton is a chronic Wikipedia addict, which is detrimental to her social life but stellar for her writing. She resides in Boise, ID, surrounded by her own frantic outlines, highlighted encyclopedias, and potatoes. The latter was not by choice.
This post was updated December 18, 2017. It was originally published September 2, 2017.