When you have a checkered credit history — aka bad credit — you can’t legally remove any information from your credit report that’s accurate, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Although you can check your credit report for free and challenge incorrect information on your credit report, you might not be very successful if you don’t have more than surface-level knowledge of how to repair your credit. Another option is to seek the services of an experienced credit repair company, which can work with you to create a comprehensive plan to eliminate red flags on your credit report.
What Is Credit Repair?
Credit repair is essentially researching your credit report to find errors that can be disputed and corrected and then doing the legwork required. Although you can learn how to repair credit, you might have better luck — and save time — using a credit repair company’s expertise.
How Does Credit Repair Work?
To initiate credit repair, you need to find the right service. And when it comes to credit repair companies, plenty exist. Although each company offers some of the same services, it’s worth it to compare companies to see which one might be best for your needs. GOBankingRates compared the cost, speed of results and Better Business Bureau ratings for eight of the best credit repair services so you can choose the best one for you. Here are the eight best credit repair companies:
- My Credit Group
- Better Credit Reports Consulting
- Sky Blue Credit Repair
- MSI Credit Solutions
- Lexington Law
|Best Credit Repair Companies|
|Credit Repair Company||Cost||Speed of Results||Better Business Bureau Rating|
|My Credit Group||$79/month||Usually within 30-45 days; Most clients spend an average of three to six months with program.||A+|
|Ovation Credit Services||$89 initial fee; same-day processing fee of $25; identity optimization add-on one-time fee of $25; Essentials Plan: $59/month; Essentials Plus: $89/month||Usually within 30-45 days; Most clients average six to eight months in the program.||A+|
|Better Credit Reports Consulting||$39 initial fee; $35 per each deleted item||Could see results within 15-45 days, but it could take as long as six months||A+|
|CreditFirm.net||$49.99/month||Clients usually see results within 35 days of enrolling, and as early as 14 days||A+|
|Sky Blue Credit Repair||$59 setup fee and $59 monthly for individuals; $99 setup fee and $99 monthly for couples||Initial results should be seen in about a month and each month going forward.||C+|
|MSI Credit Solutions||Initial setup investment starts at $30; $98 monthly for individuals or $69 each monthly for couples||You can expect updated credit reports to arrive within 45-60 days from the date disputes were sent.||C|
|Lexington Law||$89.95, $109.95 or $129.95 monthly, depending on plan type plus an initial setup fee for the same amount as the monthly plan fee||Promised work will be completed each month, but the speed of results can vary.||NR|
|CreditRepair.com||One-time charge of $14.99 to pull credit report; $99.95 monthly||The time frame for results depends on each individual situation.||NR|
|Information accurate as of Jan. 4, 2018.|
My Credit Group
My Credit Group’s customer service strategy centers on a holistic approach to credit restoration for each of their clients, creating a personalized plan for each customer. Although My Credit Group will initiate disputes with national credit bureaus, it also addresses issues directly with creditors, challenges collection agencies, negotiates pay-for-delete deals and even dabbles in credit counseling by helping clients understand they can improve their scores in the future.
But don’t expect miracles. Pay-for-delete agreements are when a creditor agrees to remove negative account history if you pay off the account. According to Experian, in most cases deleting accurate information goes against the creditor’s agreement, so it’s unlikely a creditor will agree to it.
My Credit Group offers a free initial consultation and then charges $79 per month. The cost includes debt settlement services. Typically, you’ll start seeing results in 30 to 45 days, and most clients remain in the program for three to six months.
Ovation Credit Services
Ovation Credit Services offers two different programs for repairing your credit: Essentials and Essentials Plus. Once you sign up, send your Experian credit report to Ovation, answer a few questions and Ovation will take care of the rest.
The Essentials Plan, which covers unlimited dispute submissions to all three credit bureaus, costs $89 to get started and then $59 per month thereafter until you cancel. With the Essentials Plus Plan, you also get unlimited challenge letters sent to creditors and TransUnion credit monitoring so you can stay on top of your score. The EssentialsPlus plan costs $89 to start and $89 monthly thereafter.
Special incentives you might qualify for include a 20 percent couple’s discount or $50 credit on your account if you switch from a credit repair competitor. Ovation also offers financial tools to help you determine how to minimize interest costs as you pay down your debt. Results typically occur within 30 to 45 days, and most clients average six to eight months in the program.
Better Credit Reports Consulting
BCR Consulting customizes a plan built around your needs that includes unlimited debt dispute and debt validation with credit bureaus, financial institutions and debt collectors. Unlike other credit repair companies that charge a monthly fee, BCR Consulting charges a one-time assessment fee of $39 and a rate of $35 per item deleted. Deleted items are billed at the end of every month.
BCR Consulting offers helpful knowledge of how paying delinquent accounts can affect your credit. In some cases, making a partial payment on your old debt could do much more harm than good because it might restart the statute of limitations in most states and continue to show up on your credit report for an even longer period.
BCR Consulting also offers identity theft monitoring and protection free of charge as long as you remain in the program, plus a lifetime warranty that any items removed by BCR Consulting won’t be added back to your credit report in the future. And, to top it all off, BCR has an A+ BBB rating. Clients could note results within 15 to 45 days, but it could take up to six months.
CreditFirm.net is a credit repair law firm with an A+ BBB rating, which has helped over 60,000 consumers across the country during its 20-plus years in business. Once you sign up and send your credit reports to Credit Firm, Credit Firm goes to work, contacting your creditors directly and then following up with the credit bureaus to confirm the changes are being made. The company typically processes and sends out documents for investigation within five days.
Credit Firm charges clients $49.99 per month, and you can cancel anytime. Results can be seen as early as two weeks after enrollment but more likely within 35 days. Credit Firm recommends that clients remain in the program for at least 12 months to maximize credit report improvements.
Sky Blue Credit Repair
Sky Blue Credit Repair has been helping customers since 1989 and operates across the country. The company promises a thorough analysis of your credit report and will dispute up to 15 items every 35 days — up to five at each credit bureau.
When you sign up with Sky Blue, you’ll receive instructions on how to get your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Once you send in your credit reports, Sky Blue will go through line-by-line to determine what issues can be addressed, prepare challenges to file with the credit bureaus for any incorrect information, and set it up so that the responses are sent directly to you.
Sky Blue charges an initial setup fee of $59 and an ongoing fee of $59 per month. But, if you sign up as a couple, the fee is $99 to start and $99 per month going forward. You might also need to request additional copies of your credit report or sign up for a credit monitoring service. Sky Blue promises a 90-day money-back guarantee, and you can cancel at any time. Clients should see results monthly.
MSI Credit Solutions
MSI Credit Solutions starts with an initial review of your credit report and reviews the number of negative items, how recent each item is, how much you owe and who is reporting the negative information. MSI Credit Solutions offers you unlimited disputes with the three major credit bureaus, debt validation letters, cease and desist letters to debt collection agencies and 24/7 access to the company’s credit portal.
The company’s fees depend on your specific situation, but the initial setup investment can start at as little as $30. You’ll also pay $98 per month or, if you and your spouse sign up together, you each pay just $69 each per month.
MSI Credit Solutions offers a guarantee that your credit will increase by at least 50 points total or you get your money back. On average, customers are enrolled in the program for at least six months and can expect credit report updates within 45 to 60 days of action.
Lexington Law has been in business since 1991, helping clients remove inaccurate, obsolete and unverified items from their credit report. The company offers three tiers of service:
- Concord Standard: Includes bureau challenges and creditor interventions for $89.95 per month.
- Concord Premier: For $109.95 per month, this tier includes challenges to inaccuracies on your credit report, creditor interventions, a detailed credit score analysis, coaching for how to address credit report changes that hurt your credit score and TransUnion alerts.
- PremierPlus: For $129.95 per month, this tier includes everything the Concord Premier level offers plus cease and desist letters for abusive debt collectors, FICO credit score tracking, identity protection and personal finance tools to manage your credit accounts.
All plans carry a one-time setup fee for the same amount as the monthly plan cost. Lexington doesn’t offer a broad guarantee, but rather says that results vary for each client. Overall, it claims that clients see an average of 10.2 items removed within four months.
Dedicated to assisting you in developing a healthier relationship with your credit, CreditRepair.com believes your credit score isn’t merely a number but a lifestyle. The company’s goals include:
- Ensuring that your credit report is accurate
- Monitoring your credit report changes and updating you as long as you are a client
- Providing educational materials so that you can maintain a good credit score going forward
Once you sign up, CreditRepair.com pulls your credit report for you, sends disputes to creditors and follows up with the credit bureaus. CreditRepair.com charges a one-time fee of $14.99 to pull your credit report and $99.95 per month as long as you are enrolled in the program. As always, results vary, but some CreditRepair.com clients see an average of 40 points added to their credit score during the first four months.
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