Best Credit Repair Companies: FAQs
These are the most common questions consumers ask about credit repair companies, credit restoration, and the credit repair process. Find the answer to all of your questions below.
Who is the Best Credit Repair Company?
The best credit repair company is Credit Saint. They are the best credit repair company because they are a clear industry leader, on the forefront of employing technology to repair your credit, and affordable. Above all, Credit Saint is staffed by a team of experts who value your input (financial goals), and they offer the best credit repair services for consumers.
Touting a coveted A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, superior customer service, proven results, and pioneering the 90-day cancellation policy, Credit Saint is the best credit repair company for 2020.
What is Credit Repair?
Credit repair is when either you or a credit repair service follows the necessary procedures to dispute negative items on your credit report. Credit repair involves challenging negative items such as late payments, identity thefts, charge-offs, repossessions, bankruptcies, collections, and more.
Repairing your credit is a long process but can help you in the long run if you are trying to refinance a loan or are applying for a new credit card.
What Can Credit Repair Companies Do?
A credit repair company can challenge negative items on your credit report and help you restore your credit. They interact directly with each credit reporting bureau to dispute errors on your credit report and improve your credit score.
Above all, they know the consumer credit laws and provide the necessary structure and expertise you need to successfully challenge a negative item on your credit report.
In general, a credit repair company can do:
Credit repair agencies are a jack of all trades. They are experts and will help you fix your credit.
What can Credit Repair Companies Not do?
While the best credit repair companies can fix your credit, interact with the credit bureaus, and offer you robust educational resources, they can’t do everything. Here are what credit repair companies cannot do:
- Mislead Consumers: Credit repair agencies can’t promise results. This is against the law, and if a company does promise results make sure to report them to the FTC.
- Make False Credit Statements
- Impose a Cancellation Fee
- Can’t offer you any repair services that you can’t do on your own
- Encourage you to apply for a new Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number: This is known as tax fraud and is punishable under the US Judicial System.
The Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) protects consumers from misleading credit repair companies. Ultimately, credit repair companies only do things that you can do yourself.
However, this takes a lot of time and requires you to learn the credit repair industry from top to bottom. Credit repair companies simply speed up the process and ensure you make no mistakes. They get it right the first time.
Can You Really Pay Someone to Fix Your Credit?
While there is not a “quick fix” when it comes to repairing your credit, your best bet is to hire one of the best credit repair companies. They bring years of experience and proven results, so it is safe to say that they are experts when it comes to fixing your credit.
How Credit Repair Companies Work:
Credit repair companies follow a subscription-based model. This means they will follow the necessary steps to repair your credit, if you continue to pay their monthly fee.
They will sift through your credit report (line-by-line) identifying negative items that are ripe for removal and errors ready for dispute. On your behalf, they will handle all correspondence with the credit bureaus, file disputes, remove negative items, and take care of the entire credit repair process.
The best credit repair companies are staffed by an in-house team of credit experts and legal professionals. They bring valuable experience and will be able to remove items from your credit report.
Ultimately, their end goal is to see your credit score increase. To do this they use the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to their advantage. These acts are confusing and complex, yet serve a vital role in protecting consumers from unfair practices.
Furthermore, a credit repair agency provides their clients with robust educational resources, 24/7 access to credit experts, and confidence. They are determined to help you reach your financial goals.
How Much do Credit Repair Companies Cost?
Each credit repair firm has their own unique packages and use different metrics to charge customers. As evident by our list of the top credit repair agencies, the average price of credit repair ranges from $19 to $200 per month. You can expect to pay an upfront fee (known as the setup fee), and a monthly fee thereafter.
Take note that some credit repair companies will charge you for each item removed, or they will offer additional services to those who pay more. This may include unlimited dispute letters, exclusive credit resources, and around the clock customer service.
You know your budget. Make sure you choose the best credit repair company that is affordable. The last thing you want to do is incur more debt.
Are Credit Repair Companies Worth the Cost?
If you are someone who values their time and understands the severity of repairing your credit, then working with a credit repair company is 100% worth the cost.
Here is why we think credit repair companies are worth the cost:
- Timely Results: Most consumers are able to see results within 30 to 60 days.
- Expert Insight: Most credit repair services employ FICO credit professionals.
- Industry Experience: Have you worked in the credit repair industry? Didn’t think so. Repairing your credit is not easy. It requires knowledge and skill, both of which are possessed by credit repair companies.
They will make sure you file disputes (properly), remove negative items, and will follow up with the three credit bureaus or collection agencies. In other words, they will offer you professional advice and will handle the entire process – leaving you worry free.
How to Choose the Best Credit Repair Company: 5 Things to Consider
Partnering with the best credit repair company boils down to five key factors: Price, Industry Reputation, Results, Customer Service, & Safe.
1. Price of Credit Repair Service
Like all services, you deserve the best price. Trust me, credit repair companies know they need to charge a fair price, especially when they are dealing with customers who are struggling financially due to their low credit score.
You want to choose a credit repair company that aligns with your financial budget and will deliver. After all, you are paying them to improve your credit score and overall credit health. This is no small task.
Majority of the credit repair companies we listed above have a 90-day money-back guarantee, which is great! This highlights their commitment to you and shows how confident they are when it comes to improving credit scores.
2. Industry Reputation
Whether you go with a firm that has been around for 30 years or a new technology-infused company, you want to make sure they have a strong reputation in the credit industry.
A great place to check is with the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot. These two websites are a good stamp of approval and should help you narrow down your choices from our list of the best credit repair companies.
However, the companies that made our coveted list all command favorable reviews from both the BBB and TrustPilot. We did the work for you.
Undeniably, we all like to see great results. However, what is a good result when it comes to working with a credit repair company?
The answer to this question varies depending on how many errors or negative items your credit report is showing. Obviously, the more negative credit items you can fix means the more your score can improve.
The best thing you can do is read customer testimonials on Trust Pilot, a website that allows previous customers to share their experience.
4. Customer Service
Majority of the credit repair companies we highlighted today offer a brief free consultation. This is the best time to feel out how their customer service is going to be.
After all, you will be in direct contact with the company you choose on a regular basis. Make sure you choose a company that has flexible office hours, so they can answer any question you have in a timely manner. Additionally, make sure your credit repair company offers an online dashboard and has a live chat feature, so you can receive real-time updates and ask questions.
5. Safety First
Ultimately, you want a credit repair company that is insured and implementing the best cybersecurity practices. Why? They are dealing with personal information, and you want to ensure your data is protected, encrypted, and safeguarded.
Fret not, the credit repair services we listed are insured and routinely monitor for any data compromises.
Are There Legitimate Credit Repair Companies?
Yes, there are legit credit repair companies. As a consumer, it is paramount you do your research beforehand to ensure you avoid a credit repair scam.
A legit credit repair company will not charge you a massive upfront fee and won’t promise’ you results.
Legit credit repair companies possess:
- Valuable Industry Experience
- BBB Accreditation
- Transparent Pricing
- Proven Results
- Friendly Staff
- Robust Customer Service
The rampant rise of credit repair scams is the main reason why we created a list of the best credit repair companies. We did the research, so you don’t have to.
Plain and simple, it is not fair for consumers to have the wrong information.
To assist you in your efforts, here is how to easily spot a credit repair scam.
How to Avoid and Spot a Credit Repair Scam
While we listed the best credit repair companies in this article, there are hundreds of small brands out there on a mission to scam consumers. Their primary motivation is to get your social security number and credit card information, so they can commit financial fraud.
Fortunately, it is easy to spot a credit repair scam. Here is what you need to look out for:
#1. No Professional Contact Information
A reputable credit repair company clearly lists their contact information. This includes an email that matches their specific domain name, not an email associated with @gmail, @aol, @yahoo, @outlook, or @hotmail.
These are all email providers for personal use, not business use. Furthermore, a reputable credit repair company will list their phone numbers, offer client chat support, and provide their office hours.
#2. Ugly and Poor Website Security
Like all serious businesses, a legit credit repair company will have a professionally designed website that does not display ads. Additionally, the website will employ SSL security features, so in the domain, URL make sure it has https:// instead of http://.
#3. Guarantees Results
Per Federal regulation, credit repair companies cannot guarantee customers specific results. If a credit repair company promises to raise your score 100- 150 points or wipe your credit completely clean, then stay away! This is a glaring RED FLAG and a tell-tale sign of a credit repair scam.
#4. Requires Upfront Payment
It is important to note that a credit repair company can charge an upfront fee; however, they cannot charge one giant lump sum fee at the beginning. Again, this is enforced under Federal Law and reputable credit repair companies know this.
#5. No Written Contract
The best credit repair companies make their customers sign a written contract. This contract provides its customers with key information:
- Scope of work
- Length of contract
- Total price
- Contact information
- Services provided
- Detailed information on how to legally end the contract if you are not satisfied with the current results
#6. Promises to Remove Accurate Information
By law, credit repair companies cannot remove accurate information from your credit report. Furthermore, a credit repair company cannot influence you to get a new Social Security Number, so they can open an entirely new credit file.
This is illegal under both Federal and State law. Avoid this at all costs!
#7. Poor or Lack of Third-Party Reviews
Most credit repair companies are reviewed by the Better Business Bureau, CFPB, or TrustPilot. If a credit repair company approaches you and they lack reviews on both sites, then they are most likely a scam.
#8. Fails to Inform You of Your Consumer Rights
Reputable credit repair companies will clearly list out your rights under both Federal and State Law. In fact, most will have a specific section that outlines your rights.
While on your search for the best credit repair company, if you come across a scam make sure to report it to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Both Government Agencies will investigate the scam and take punitive actions to stop this credit repair service from hurting consumers.
How can I repair my Credit?
There are two primary ways you can repair your credit. Either ‘do it yourself’ which is a long process, or you can hire a reputable credit repair company (we highly recommend this option).
Remember, most Americans are working Mon-Fri, have children, and enjoy downtime. Hiring a credit repair company allows you to focus on what matters – family & friends. Additionally, credit repair services bring you peace of mind. Let them handle the nuances of interacting with the three credit bureaus or debt collectors. They know the language of the credit repair industry and will articulate your interests carefully.
Combine DIY with a Fee-Based Credit Repair Service
Like we said, a credit repair company can only do things you can do yourself. However, this requires significant effort on your end and detailed knowledge of the credit repair industry. We recommend you combine a DIY approach with a credit repair service.
The first thing you need to do is get a clear picture of your credit profile. To do this, request your credit report here. Review your credit report line-by-line. On a separate sheet of paper or in a word document, write down any questions you have. No question is dumb. After all, this is your credit report so it is important you know each item that is on it.
After you review your credit report, hire one of the best credit repair services listed above. Again, we recommend Credit Saint but it is entirely up to you. Now that you have a brief understanding of your credit report, you can ask questions throughout the process and be actively involved.
Reviewing your credit report is not a one-time thing. Those with credit scores in the 800+ club review their credit report monthly. They are quick to react and dispute any negative items that appear. Here are a few good credit habits you can start forming today:
- Pay Bills on Time: This is the single most important thing you can do. Just one late payment can severely hurt your credit score.
- Limit Hard Inquiries: We all love to shop around for the best financial products; however, applying for too many loans or credit cards at once is not smart. Each application is accompanied by a hard inquiry which will decrease your credit score.
- Accept Past Mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes. Accept it and move on. It is now time for you to take back your credit.
While there are certainly more habits you can form, these three are the best. This devotion is the reason why they are able to apply for credit cards with the best rewards and receive loans with favorable interest rates.
How Long does it take to repair credit?
Most credit repair companies can repair your credit within 3 – 6 months. However, results will vary. The length it takes to repair your credit is entirely dependent on your unique credit situation.
If you only need to remove a few items from your credit report, then repairing your credit will not take long. But, if your credit situation is complex, then obviously, credit restoration will take a few months.
Remember, repairing your credit takes time. There is no such thing as “fast credit repair.” But in our opinion, it is well worth the wait and upfront investment. As you know, a poor credit score will hold you back from competitive interest rates, refinancing a loan, and can limit employment opportunities.
What Credit Score Factors Do Credit Repair Companies Address?
Just to refresh your memory, your credit score is based on five factors: Credit Mix, Length of Credit History, New Credit, Payment History, and Credit Utilization. To help you understand the impact of each factor, here is how much “weight” they carry in your credit score.
- Payment History: 35%
- Credit Utilization: 30%
- Length of Credit History: 15%
- Credit Mix: 10%
- New Credit: 10%
Together, these five factors compile to generate your credit score. Credit repair companies primarily focus on payment history, credit utilization, and new credit. They will work with you to optimize your credit score.
Whether this includes removing late payments, hard inquiries, or teaching you best credit practices, the best credit repair companies have the expertise, tools, and resources to do just that.
Alternatives to Credit Repair Companies:
Maybe the fee is too much, or you do not feel comfortable partnering with a credit repair company. Fortunately, you still have options to improve your credit. Below are two credit repair alternatives that are worth looking into.
1. Try Experian Boost
Experian Boost is a FREE way to increase your credit score by 13 points or more (results vary per individual). Backed and powered by Experian, this is the only free way to increase your credit score. If you are looking for a quick solution, then try Experian Boost. If you want to learn more about it, read our review.
2. Purchase a Tradeline
The best tradeline companies make purchasing a tradeline straightforward and easy. And it is a legal way to increase your credit score. With a tradeline, you are added as an authorized user to another person’s credit account.
Essentially, you are piggybacking off of their good credit score to raise yours. This allows you to benefit from their positive credit habits, such as paying their bills on-time and using their credit only when needed.
Learn More: Tradeline Supply Review
3. Consider Credit Repair Software
Like a credit repair company, credit repair software will help you repair your credit. However, this is best if you are fine with the ‘do it yourself’ approach.
Credit repair software acts merely as a ‘guide,’ it will not do anything on your behalf. So, if you decide to go this route make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
4. Credit Counseling
If you are strapped for cash, then working with a certified credit counselor is an option. Credit counselors will help you review your credit reports, file disputes, and teach you good credit habits.
The best credit counselors bring years of first-hand experience to the table and passion. If you decide to work with a credit counselor, make sure they are certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).
The NFCC can help you with:
- Debt Management Plans
- Student Loan Counseling
- Small Business Owner Financial Coaching (Designed for Entrepreneurs)
- Credit Report Reviews
- Homeownership Counseling
- Reverse Mortgage Counseling
- Foreclosure Prevention
- Bankruptcy Counseling
Whatever you decide to do, make sure to avoid paying someone for credit counseling. There are hundreds of Nonprofits – like the NFCC – that will help you navigate your credit problems for free.
5. Debt Consolidation
Another alternative to credit repair is debt consolidation. If you consolidate your debt into one single loan, you can potentially save hundreds or thousands of dollars each month. The premise behind debt consolidation is simple. With just one loan payment, you will be more likely to pay it off. These consistent monthly debt payoffs will help you build up your credit history.
6. Debt Settlement
Debt settlement companies will help you negotiate with your creditor. However, tread lightly with this alternative. A ‘debt settlement’ can end up hurting your credit score if your credit card company or loan provider reports it to three credit bureaus as a charge-off.
Do Credit Repair Companies Guarantee Results?
By law, credit repair companies cannot guarantee results. This is enforced by the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA). However, you can get a gist of how well their credit repair services perform by reading previous customer reviews.
From our research, most consumers are able to see positive results within 30 to 60 days. While this certainly isn’t an overnight fix, it is relatively quick and easy.
Is using a credit repair company legal?
Using a credit repair company is 100% legal. In fact, millions of Americans have relied on their expertise to improve their credit score.
As a consumer, it is paramount you know your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Credit Repair Organization Act. Both acts are there to protect you from credit malpractice and scams.
Is Credit Repair Legal In All 50 States?
Yes! In the United States, credit repair is legal in all 50 states. However, depending on which credit repair company you choose to work with, they may not be licensed in that state. Each state has specific guidelines, restrictions, and regulations that govern credit repair companies that operate within their legal territory.
Before you choose the best credit repair company, make sure they are licensed in your state. Each company lists where they operate on their website, so that is a great place to start.
What is the Fastest Way to Repair Your Credit?
The fastest way to repair your credit is by hiring a credit repair company. They will do almost everything for you. From obtaining your credit report, reviewing it, and filing disputes, the best credit repair companies are efficient and timely.
And to speed up the process, even more, you need to start making your payments on time, monitor your credit report regularly, and learn everything you can about credit.
Bottom Line: 13 Best Credit Repair Companies
Look, partnering with the best credit repair company is a great way to improve your credit score. If you decide to repair your credit by yourself, expect to put in long hours. It is not easy. To make matters worse, a poor credit score will only thwart opportunities.
A good credit score will bolster your chances of applying for a new credit card, opening a checking account for bad credit, and obtaining the best interest rates. It is a win-win all around.
We recommend you turn to a team of professionals who have the experience and resources to safely restore your credit. The upfront investment is well worth it, if you follow their advice and let them work their magic. Finally, after you repair your credit, make sure to consider one of the best credit monitoring services to protect that new and improved credit score.
Methodology: Selecting the Best Credit Repair Companies
Our team of credit experts puts hours into curating the list of the best credit repair companies. We analyzed each company based on their BBB Accreditation, credit repair service offerings, industry experience, features, benefits, price, and customer service. Additionally, we reviewed whether or not each credit repair company offered a free credit consultation, refund, and credit monitoring. In our review, we highlighted the good, the bad, and the ugly about each service. Make sure you do your own due diligence and research to make a final decision.