11 Best Credit Repair Companies of 2022

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Credit report mistakes are unfortunately common. In fact, around 34% of people have at least one, according to a Consumer Reports study. Another found that 57% of people who disputed their errors saw them corrected…but 42% did not.

Now, exactly why these errors weren’t corrected varies. Some people reported trouble accessing their reports, while others may have filed disputes incorrectly ignored as “frivolous.” Whatever the mechanism, failing to correct credit report errors makes it difficult to obtain credit at a reasonable interest rate.

That’s where credit repair companies into play.

Instead of disputing errors yourself, you can outsource the process to a credit repair company (for a fee). These companies simplify credit repair by obtaining your reports, disputing inaccuracies, and even dealing with creditors on your behalf. Though success isn’t guaranteed, paying for a little assistance can make the process more bearable.

That said, it’s crucial to find a credit repair company that’s on your side – not their own.

Best Credit Repair Companies of 2022

Credit Repair Companies: Side-by-Side Comparison

  • RECOMMENDED
  • BEST FOR
  • BBB Rating

The Best Credit Repair Companies: Fees & Services Analyzed

Best Overall Credit Repair Company
Credit Saint Credit Repair
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Credit Saint

  • Monthly Fee
    $79.99
  • First Work Time
    45 Days
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

Credit Saint is a BBB accredited industry veteran with 17 years in the business. The company boasts pricing packages to adequately address your needs. Prices range from $79.99 to $119.99 per month, with a first-work fee of $99 or $195. Packages differ in the number of monthly disputes you can file (5, 10, or unlimited) and general “aggressiveness.”

Credit Saint starts you off with a free credit consultation to evaluate your credit report. Then, you’ll pair with an advisory team to outline your next steps. Each package comes with a credit score tracker and online dashboard access so you can keep tabs on your progress.

Credit Saint generally focuses on removing incorrect items like late payments, judgments, collections, repossessions, and bankruptcies, among others. But Credit Saint will also engage with creditors, including sending Cease and Desist letters. And if you don’t see “questionable items” removed within 3 months, you can always trigger the 90-day moneyback guarantee.

Credit Saint offers three credit repair packages: Credit Polish, Credit Remodel, & Clean Slate.

Clean Slate (Most Popular)Credit RemodelCredit Polish
$119.99/Month$99.99/Month$79.99/Month
Most AggressiveAggressiveAggressive
Unlimited DisputesUp to 10 Monthly DisputesUp to 5 Monthly Disputes
Credit MonitoringCredit Monitoring No Credit Monitoring
Credit Score AnalysisCredit Score AnalysisCredit Score Analysis
Creditor InterventionsCreditor InterventionsCreditor Interventions
Inquiry TargetingInquiry Targeting

>> More: Credit Saint Review

Best Credit Repair Company for Simplicity
Sky Blue Credit Repair
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Sky Blue Credit Repair

  • Monthly Fee
    $79
  • First Work Time
    35 Days
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

Sky Blue Credit Repairhas been in the industry for over 30 years. And unlike the feature-stuffed packages offered by competitors, Sky Blue boasts only a single, simple option. At just $79 per month ($119 for couples), this affordable, bare-bones alternative has everything you need to repair your credit.

The service starts by providing a detailed analysis of your credit history, plus any potential errors. Then, Sky Blue Credit will dispute your errors, re-send dispute letters as necessary, and check on the statute of limitations for your debts. In total, you’ll receive 15 disputes per 35 days (5 per bureau).

Uniquely, Sky Blue Credit offers the opportunity to pause and resume your membership as needed without re-paying the setup fee. And if you’re unsatisfied with the service, you can cancel anytime penalty-free. Sky Blue also offers a 90-day moneyback guarantee if you’re not satisfied for any reason within the first 3 months.

What’s included in the Sky Blue Credit Repair Package:

Features:Details:
Faster Disputes: 15 Items Every 35 Days
Pro Analysis:Expertly Identifies Negative Items to Dispute
Custom Disputes: Tailored Letters to Creditors
SOL Research: Researches, Complies, & Leverages State Laws to Thwart Debt Collectors
Score Assistance:Actionable Steps for you to take
Credit Rebuilding:Tailored Guidance to Help You Rebuild Your Credit
Debt Validation:Verify & Challenge Your Debt
Goodwill Letters:Straightforward, Tailored, & Customized
Cease & Desist:Tell Debt Collects to Stop Contacting You

>> More: Sky Blue Credit Repair Review

Best for Legal Expertise
Lexington Law Credit Repair
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Lexington Law Credit Repair

  • Monthly Fee
    $89.95 - $129.95
  • First Work Time
    Varies
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

Lexington Lawis another industry veteran with 17 years in the business. The company offers three service packages ranging from $95.85 to $139.95 per month, with discounts for veterans and families.

Each package includes a full range of credit disputes and creditor interventions, including goodwill and debt validation letters. Higher tier plans also offer cease and desist letters, credit score and report monitoring, identity theft protections, and personal finance tools.

Lexington Law is comprised of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff who pledge to address every legal avenue to correct your credit report. You can reach account representatives at extended hours seven days a week.

But despite its legal expertise, Lexington Law has also seen its share of legal problems. In 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a suit against the company alleging unfair and illegal telemarketing practices. The case has yet to be resolved.

Lexington Law offers three credit repair packages: PremierPlus (Most Popular), Concord Premier, & Concord Standard.

PremierPlusConcord PremierConcord Standard
$129.95/Month$109.95/Month$89.95/Month
Bureau ChallengesBureau ChallengesBureau Challenges
Creditor InterventionsCreditor InterventionsCreditor Interventions
InquiryAssistInquiryAssist
Score AnalysisScore Analysis
ReportWatchReportWatch
TransUnion® AlertsTransUnion® Alerts
Cease & Desist Letters
FICO® Score Tracker
Identity Protection
Personal Finance Tools

>> More: Lexington Law Review

Best Credit Repair Company for Long-Term Plans
The Credit People Credit Repair Company
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The Credit People

  • Monthly Fee
    $79
  • First Work Time
    45 Days
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

The Credit Peopleoffers both pay-as-you-go and six-month subscriptions at $79 per month or a flat $419, respectively. The company estimates it can improve your credit score by up to 187 points by removing inaccurate items. Some customers may see improvements within the first 45-60 days of membership.

Both packages offer the same services, starting with a comprehensive credit score analysis and unlimited disputes. You’ll also receive access to an online dashboard to review progress on each dispute, including:

  • Late payments
  • Charge-offs
  • Repossessions
  • Bankruptcies
  • Foreclosures
  • Student loan and medical payments
  • And identity theft

You can also enjoy perks like escalated disputes, creditor communications, debt validations, and free credit reports and scores. Plus, the site’s Help Zone can guide on improving your credit from outside angles.

Still, the service’s 60-day moneyback guarantee leaves something to be desired. Instead of receiving a refund for the past two months, you’ll receive one month’s payment plus an exemption for the coming month.

>> More: The Credit People Review

Best for Affordable and Simple Credit Repair
Creditrepair.com
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Creditrepair.com

  • Monthly Fee
    $69.95 - $119.95
  • First Work Time
    35 - 60 Days
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

Creditrepair.comhas been in the business for nearly a decade. The company offers three pricing plans, each accompanied by a free credit consultation and credit monitoring included. Depending on your package, you’ll be able to:

  • File 15-19 disputes per month
  • Challenge hard inquiries
  • Use personal finance tools to improve your finances
  • Send goodwill and cease and desist letters
  • And even receive identity theft protection

Each plan also comes with a personalized credit restoration plan following the company’s “check, challenge, change” model. First, a financial manager will check your reports, followed by a challenge to any inaccurate items. Then, they’ll ensure that your credit report accurately reflects any changes. Finally, you’ll rebuild your positive credit history to offset any negative items they can’t remove.

Unfortunately, Creditrepair.com’s parent company is party to the same lawsuit filed against Lexington Law for same and similar allegations.

Below are the three-tiered packages offered by Creditrepair.com:

AdvancedStandardDirect
$119.95/Month$99.95/Month$69.95/Month
Disputes 8 Negative Items Per MonthDisputes 6 Negative Items Per MonthDisputes 4 Negative Items Per Month
Goodwill InterventionGoodwill InterventionGoodwill Intervention
Credit Score UpdatesCredit Score UpdatesCredit Score Updates
TransUnion Credit MonitoringTransUnion Credit MonitoringTransUnion Credit Monitoring
Inquiry AssistsInquiry AssistsInquiry Assists
FICO® Score AssistanceFICO® Score Assistance
Cease & Desist Letters

>> More: Creditrepair.com Review

Best for Affordability
Creditfirm.net Credit Repair
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Creditfirm.net

  • Monthly Fee
    $49.99
  • First Work Time
    90 Days
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

Creditrepairfirm.net is one of the cheapest credit repair companies that boasts a support staff with oversight by licensed attorneys. At just $49.99 per month plus a $49.99 first-work fee, it’s a no-frills service for customers who need just the basics.

You’ll start your credit repair journey with a free consultation. Then, you’ll have to forward your credit reports to the company for analysis. (Unlike its competitors, Creditfirm.net doesn’t pull reports for you.) After that, your credit counseling representative will identify inaccuracies and create a custom action plan to:

  • Send goodwill and debt validation letters
  • Send cease and desist letters, if necessary
  • File unlimited disputes
  • Use other legal instruments to fix your credit report, if needed

Each of these letters is composed by the company and audited by a licensed attorney. However, that’s it for “extra” services, the company doesn’t provide credit monitoring, identity theft tracking, or even a satisfaction guarantee. That said, with no long-term contracts required, you can cancel anytime.

>> More: Creditfirm.net Review

Best Credit Repair Company for Technology
The Credit Pros
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The Credit Pros

  • Monthly Fee
    $69 - $119
  • First Work Time
    90 Days
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

The Credit Pros uses AI to help repair and manage consumers’ credit profiles. But with prices ranging from $69 to $149 per month, it’s certainly not the cheapest service. (Especially considering that the cheapest package only includes one monthly credit dispute.)

The credit repair process includes dispute letters, creditor interventions, and a FICO professional-designed action plan. Each plan also comes with access to the mobile app and real-time credit updates. Depending on the package, you’ll also receive:

  • Credit, identity theft, and dark web monitoring
  • A Slash Rx discount to save on medication
  • A budgeting system that links your credit accounts
  • A credit line from National Credit Direct to start rebuilding credit

That said, you can only exercise the 90-day moneyback guarantee if you don’t see a single deletion from any of your three credit reports in that period. Plus, at $119 to $149, the first-work fee is higher than many competitors.

Here are the three packages in detail: Money Management, Prosperity Package, & Success Package.

Success PackageProsperity PackageMoney Management
$149/Month$119/Month$119/Month
TransUnion Credit ScoreTransUnion Credit ScoreTransUnion Credit Score
TransUnion Credit Monitoring TransUnion Credit Monitoring TransUnion Credit Monitoring
Free Credit ReportFree Credit ReportFree Credit Report
DarkWeb MonitoringDarkWeb MonitoringDarkWeb Monitoring
Change of Address MonitoringChange of Address MonitoringChange of Address Monitoring
SSN Monitoring SSN Monitoring SSN Monitoring
Slash RxSlash Rx
National Credit Direct

>> More: The Credit Pros Review

Best for Identity Theft
Credit Glory Credit Repair
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CreditGlory Credit Repair

  • Monthly Fee
    $99
  • First Work Time
    90 Days
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

Credit Glory was begun by a team of former debt collection agency professionals who wanted to help consumers address real issues in their credit reports. (Which means the company clearly tells you when it can’t help.)

The process begins with a free 15-minute consultation. Then, you can select from its bare-bones packages, which do not include credit or score monitoring or financial planning tools. That said, two plans do come with identity theft tracking.

You can select from among three plans depending on your specific needs:

  • “Credit Repair” charges $100 upfront plus $99 per month to dispute inaccurate items
  • “Single Inquiry” charges $79 per disputed inquiry
  • “All Inquiries” package costs $799 to dispute unlimited inquiries and negative items

And if negative information doesn’t fall off your report within 90 days, Credit Glory will issue a refund. (Sans the $100 setup fee.)

>> More: Credit Glory Review

Best Cancellation Policy
Ovation Credit Repair
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Ovation Credit Repair Services

  • Monthly Fee
    $79 - $109
  • First Work Time
    90 Days
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

Owned by LendingTree, Ovation Credit Services offers a liberal cancellation policy and robust credit repair services. However, you will get a better bang for your buck with another credit repair company. From credit repair to credit monitoring and everything in between, Ovation Credit appeals to consumers looking for an all-inclusive service.

Once you sign up for either plan, Ovation Credit Services will assign you a personal case advisor who will help you identify inaccurate items on your credit report and file disputes with all three major credit bureaus.

Additionally, the Essentials Plus Plan comes with a personalized letter that you can use with lenders. This exclusive feature allows you to lock in a loan or mortgage at a lower interest rate. But again, this is never a guarantee.

Here are the two plans (side-by-side):

Essentials Plus PlanEssentials Plan
$109/Month$79/Month
Complimentary Free Consultation Complimentary Free Consultation
Personalized Credit DisputesPersonalized Credit Disputes
Personal Case AdvisorPersonal Case Advisor
Unlimited DisputesLimited Disputes
Goodwill Letters
TransUnion Credit Monitoring
Official Ovation Recommendation

>> More: Ovation Credit Services Review

Best for Simple and Affordable Credit Repair
Credit Versio Best Credit Repair Companies
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Credit Versio

  • Monthly Fee
    Starts at $19.95
  • First Work Time
    Not Disclosed
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

Credit Versio is designed for consumers who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg repairing their credit. This DIY service streamlines the credit repair process by using AI to scan your credit reports for negative items. If you find mistakes you’d like to dispute, you can then use the software to generate personalized letters. Then, you print and mail the letters yourself.

Each plan comes with unlimited disputes and monthly credit reports and scores from the three bureaus. You’ll also get access to $1 million in identity theft insurance and credit alerts. More expensive plans also tack on access to IdentityIQ to lock down your identity and protect against future malfeasance.

Of course, the downside is that Credit Versio is DIY (aside from finding errors and generating letters). That means everything from selecting your disputes to licking stamps is all on you.

>> More: Credit Versio Review

Best for Complex Credit Repair Issues
Credit Assistance Network
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Credit Assistance Network

  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • First Work Time
    45 Days
  • Learn More
  • Credit Repair Details

Credit Assistance Network is a credit repair company based on charging for successful deletions, rather than per month. The company starts you off by checking your credit report and deciding which items to dispute. Then, they send custom dispute letters, initiate creditor interventions, and real-time progress updates.

Credit Assistance Network will even take “alternative action” if the bureaus don’t remove negative items soon enough. (For instance, filing a complaint with the FTC or state attorney general.) You can also hire them to handle settlement offers, resolve identity theft issues, and even assist in credit report-based security clearance.

That said, the company’s services are a bit expensive. Plans start with a first-work fee of $179 or $279 (for individuals or couples, respectively). Then, the company charges $50 per credit bureau deletion, followed by a $75 charge for removing information from your public records.

>> More: Credit Assistance Network Review

What Is the Best Company to Use to Fix Your Credit?

Credit Saint is one of the most aggressive credit repair companies, which is why it tops our list. Their Clean Slate package offers unlimited disputes, inquiry targeting, credit score tracking, and creditor interventions. Among other perks. Moreover, Credit Saint holds a top notch rating with the Better Business Bureau, and has favorable reviews from previous customers who used the service.

Why Do People Use Credit Repair Companies?

Unfortunately, some people use (shady) credit repair companies because they promise to knock legitimate-but-damaging information off your credit report. Besides being ineffective, it’s also illegal.

On the less shady side, people use legitimate credit repair companies because they’re uncomfortable navigating the credit reporting system alone. Others may be too busy or unwilling to deal with the hassle of collecting evidence, contacting creditors, and disputing reports.

How Does Credit Repair Work?

When a false or inaccurate statement hits your credit report – say, a bankruptcy you didn’t file – it mars your report and drags down your credit score. Credit repair involves disputing inaccuracies and unverifiable information to remove them from your report. In doing so, you’ll clear your report and your good name in one go.

What Do Credit Repair Companies Do?

Legally, credit repair companies can’t do anything that you can’t do yourself for free. Effectively, that means credit repair companies provide convenience and expertise.

Aside from communicating with credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian), creditors, and financial institutions to gather information and dispute claims, they may also:

  • Request that debtors validate your debts
  • Issue cease and desist letters
  • Offer identity theft protection programs
  • Provide credit report and score monitoring and updates
  • Write letters of recommendation for loan applications
  • Escalate problems within the bureaus or to the FTC or state attorney general

Many reputable services also help you build positive credit history and address the impacts of legitimate negative marks.

How Do Credit Repair Companies Work?

Consultation Services

Most companies start with a consultation (often for free) to explain the process, pull your credit reports, and determine if you’re a good credit repair candidate.

Written Consent for Limited Power of Attorney

Once you sign on, the company will ask for a written contract granting them power of attorney. This provides them the legal right to act on your behalf.

Challenge Items on Your Credit Report

After obtaining consent, the company will begin challenging inaccuracies on your report by filing a dispute with the credit bureaus. Once notified, credit reporting agencies have 30 days to investigate or mark your complaint as “frivolous.” If they confirm any errors, they’ll remove them from your report. Here are some common items credit repair companies will help you challenge on your credit report:

Writing Letters on Your Behalf

Aside from credit bureau disputes, many credit repair companies contact your creditors directly. Letter-writing services can include:

  • Debt validation letters to request proof that your debt is valid and within the statute of limitations. (If not, it will be removed from your report.)
  • Goodwill letters asking creditors to remove negative items reported to the agencies.
  • Cease and desist letters requesting that debt collectors stop contacting you regarding your debt. (Note that if creditors believe you’re trying to wiggle out of legitimate debts, they may double down on collection efforts – so don’t take this step lightly!)

Routine Progress Reports

Reputable credit repair companies track your disputes’ progress and provide frequent updates, often through an automated dashboard. They may also request updated credit reports every few weeks to review potential changes.

Some Offer Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection

Credit repair companies may also offer credit monitoring and identity theft protection in their packages. While some charge extra for these services, the best credit repair companies include credit monitoring in their base package.

Provide Educational Resources to Customers

Many credit repair agencies run blogs to educate consumers on their rights and various topics in the personal finance space.

Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) Compliant

All bona fide credit repair agencies comply with the Credit Repair Organizations Act. The CROA establishes clear guidelines for companies, including:

  • Issuing a written contract outlining services in detail
  • Providing a rough timeframe to start seeing results
  • Refraining from guaranteeing results
  • The total cost of their services

Additionally, under CROA, you cannot be bound to any waiver of these rights. You also have the right to walk away from a contract penalty-free within 3 days of signing.

Understanding Credit Repair Companies and Credit Repair

#1. Repairing Your Credit Takes Time

Once you remove errors from your credit report, the effects may take anywhere from three months to a year to fully materialize. Usually, you’ll start seeing impacts within 6 months.

#2. You Still Have to Do Some Work

Credit bureaus often require proof of your claims, such as letters from your creditors showing that a debt doesn’t belong to you or was paid on time. Don’t be surprised if you have to do a little legwork in providing information or gathering proof.

#3. Credit Repair Companies Cannot Charge You in Advance for their Services

Credit repair companies aren’t allowed to charge you until after they’ve provided services. If a credit repair company doesn’t succeed in removing marks from your reports, you may receive your money back.

#5. But There Are Setup Fees

Though they can’t charge you for services upfront, many credit repair companies charge a “setup” or “first-work” fee to establish your account, pull your credit report, and create a strategy. (The CFPB continues to question the legality of such fees in several lawsuits.)

#4. Not All Negative Items on Your Credit Report Can Be Removed

Unfortunately, some information on your credit report is there to stay for a while. Legitimate late or missed payments, repossessions, bankruptcies, debt collections, and more typically remain for at least 7 years.

#6. Credit Repair Companies Cannot Make Promises or Recommend That You Change Your Social Security Number

Shady credit repair companies may engage in illicit practices such as guaranteeing results or committing fraud on your behalf. Two common tactics involve issuing a new credit identity or Social Security Number. If a company steers you in these directions, run the other way.

#7. Trustworthy Credit Repair Companies Will Provide You a Copy of the Consumer Credit File Rights

Under the CROA, legitimate credit repair companies must provide a written contract outlining their services before receiving payment. They must also provide a document of your rights to order credit reports and dispute inaccuracies yourself for free.

How to Compare the Best Credit Repair Companies

#1. Beware of Scams and Fraudulent Practices

The credit repair industry is rife with controversies, scams, and questionable (or downright illegal) practices. Avoid companies that:

  • Ask for upfront payment before doing work
  • Avoid or refuse to explain your rights
  • Request that you waive your rights
  • Guarantee results
  • Promise to remove legitimate information
  • Ask you to contest legitimate information
  • Ask you to lie to the bureaus
  • Tell you not to contact the bureaus or visit AnnualCreditReport.com
  • Promise a new credit identity
  • Issue you a new Social Security Number
  • Don’t provide a thorough contract that includes their name, address, fees, services, timeframe, or notification of your rights

#2. Understand the Service Packages and Fees

Before signing on with any company, you should understand your contract, including the service package, fee structure, and various upgrades and downgrades.

#3. Find a Company that Offers Money-Back Guarantee

Not every credit repair company offers a moneyback guarantee. If they don’t, keep walking – you don’t want to be on the hook if they scam you or fail to fix legitimate credit issues.

#4. See if Discounts Are Being Offered

Many services offer military, senior, and couples’ discounts. These deals can shave a few bucks off your credit repair journey.

#5. Check If Credit Monitoring or Identity Theft Protection is Included

Some credit repair companies offer extra tools like credit monitoring, identity theft protection, and even budgeting software in their packages. Bundling these services can save you money on your financial wellness journey. The best ones are the packages that build the services into the price, rather than the other way around.

#6. Compare Turnaround Times

Legally, companies have to provide their turnaround times to start seeing results. Generally, schedules range from 30-90 days, depending on the agency and your credit needs.

#7. Read Previous Customer Reviews

Before signing up, scout out BBB, Yelp, TrustPilot, and even Google Reviews to see how other customers fared with a particular company. But remember, customers tend to post reviews when they’re unhappy, not satisfied. Don’t be afraid to snoop around and find out if the reviews are legitimate or simply a grumpy customer.

#8. Check Regulatory Agencies

The credit repair industry must abide by multiple layers of consumer protection laws. Check with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and CFPB to see if a company is known for fraudulent or predatory practices.

Free Credit Counseling and Government Resources Available

Free and nonprofit counseling networks offer reduced or no-cost credit and budgeting services for those in need. We’ve plucked out a few that provide affordable or free resources to get your finances (and credit score) back on track. You can browse the Justice Department’s state-by-state database of approved credit counseling agencies to vet these and other candidates.

#1. National Credit Counseling Foundation (NFCC)

The NFCC is a nonprofit financial counseling organization that partners with nonprofit member agencies and NFCC Certified Financial Counselors. They can help you get a handle on your debt, establish a budget, and build a personalized plan. Member agencies offer a variety of free and paid services. Though those that cost are generally quite cheap.

#2. American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC)

ACCC is a Massachusetts-based agency that provides nationwide phone-based counseling. Free services include credit and budgeting consults, while debt management plans require a one-time $39 fee plus $7 per month. ACCC offers waivers for those experiencing financial hardship.

#3. Credit.org

Credit.org is a nonprofit that provides consumers with free or low-cost credit counseling, financial education, and debt relief. They offer a comprehensive online hub of personal finance education, resources, and even classes.

#4. Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA)

The FCAA is a network of both nonprofit and for-profit credit counselors across all 50 states. Similar to the NFCC, you can call, go online, or visit in-person for a variety of personal finance and debt-related needs.

Differences Between Debt Settlement, Credit Repair, And Credit Counseling

Debt Settlement Credit RepairCredit Counseling
For-ProfitFor-ProfitGenerally non-profit (though not always free)
Settles debts for less than you oweIdentifies and repairs credit reporting mistakesProvides debt and money management advice; may negotiate payment plans with creditors
Can negatively impact your credit for up to 7 yearsImproves your credit by removing mistakesImproves your credits as you re-establish a positive payment history
Makes it more difficult to obtain affordable creditMakes it easier to obtain affordable creditMakes it easier to obtain affordable credit
Best as a last resortBest if you don’t have the time, inclination, or knowledge to repair your credit aloneBest if you’re struggling to pay debts or near default

Credit Repair and Covid-19

During Covid-19, the government – and many in the financial industry – extended their hand in aid to ensure consumers aren’t taken advantage of. Provisions include:

  • Free weekly credit reports from each bureau throughout 2022
  • Deferred federal student loan interest and payments
  • CARES Act protections to ensure forbearance on federally backed loans doesn’t show up on your credit report
  • Temporary suspensions of credit line payments (loans, mortgages, and even credit cards) based on individual lender agreements

Alternatives to Credit Repair

#1. National Credit Counseling Foundation

If you’re struggling to pay your debts, the NFCC provides resources to help you get back to the budgeting basics. Counselors are also trained to address serious issues involving your mortgage, credit cards, and even student loan debt.

#2. Debt Settlement

If you’re in debt and need to get out, debt settlements can help. A debt settlement lets you “settle” your debt for less than its full value. This involves making one large lump-sum payment to your creditor(s), which can shave anywhere from 10-50% off your bill.

You can contact your creditors to request a settlement or hire a debt settlement company to do it for you. But beware: the IRS considers forgiven debt to be taxable. (Unless you can prove that you’re insolvent.)

#3. Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation rolls multiple debts – particularly higher-interest debts – into one payment at one interest rate. Bundling your monthly payments (often at a lower interest rate) makes it easier to organize your finances and afford your bills. If you need some breathing room in your budget, you may also request a longer repayment schedule, though you may pay more interest over time.

#4. Credit Repair Software

Credit repair software does the work of a credit repair agency without the human intervention. (And sometimes even cheaper.) There are three basic types:

  • Credit score trackers and monitors oversee your credit reports and detect potentially harmful activities, such as delinquent payments, credit pulls, and even identity theft.
  • Credit repair cleaning kits help you fix credit mistakes by educating you on credit scores, identifying fraud, and submitting dispute letters.
  • Credit score simulators show you the credit impact of various loans, investments, and purchases before you make them.

How Much Does Credit Repair Cost?

Credit repair can run you anywhere from $20 to $150 per month, not including setup fees that can range from $20 to $200. You can also repair your credit for free by disputing inaccuracies by yourself.

Does Credit Repair Work?

There are no statistics that prove the effectiveness of credit repair companies over disputing inquiries yourself. However, it’s true that removing negative items from your report, no matter the mechanism, does improve your credit over time.

Who Regulates the Credit Repair Industry?

The credit repair industry is regulated by the FTC and governed by the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). The CFPB is also known for filing lawsuits against shady credit repair companies.

How Long Does Credit Repair Take?

Credit repair can take 3-12 months to see significant impacts, depending on how much inaccurate information your report contains.

Are There Legitimate Credit Repair Companies?

Yes, there are legit credit repair companies. As a consumer, you must 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
  • Helpful Customer Service

The rampant rise of credit repair scams is the main reason why we created a list of the best credit repair companies. It is not fair for consumers to have the wrong information

Is Credit Repair Legal?

Yes, credit repair is legal in the United States. The Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) is a law that governs credit repair companies and firms. CROA protects consumers from shady marketing techniques and unfriendly consumer practices. For more information, review documentation provided by the FTC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

How Can You Avoid a Credit Repair Scam? 

The best way to avoid scams is to know your rights, do your research, and work only with trusted companies. Listen to your gut and don’t give your information to companies that don’t give straight answers, provide misleading information, or violate the CROA in any way. (And RUN from companies that try to issue you a new identity – it can only end poorly!)

Can You Repair Credit Yourself?         

Credit repair companies help you dispute items and even take legal action. But the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) gives you the right to fix credit issues yourself for free. When you file a free dispute with the credit bureau(s) in question, they have 30 days to investigate and delete erroneous information from your report.

Is It Worth Paying Someone to Fix Your Credit?

As always, that depends on your situation. If you’re short on time, patience, or knowledge, or simply want a second set of eyes on your credit report, paying a reputable credit repair agency can provide thorough results and peace of mind. But if you have the time and inclination, you can save a few bucks and repair your credit yourself.

Can a Credit Repair Company Remove Debt?

Simply put…no. Credit repair companies generally don’t negotiate debts, and they aren’t allowed to remove or even dispute negative-but-accurate marks from your reports. They’re just there to help your credit get back on track if it’s knocked off course by false information.

Quick Recap: Best Credit Repair Companies 

Bottom Line: Best Credit Repair Companies

Think of credit repair companies as a convenience to fulfill an unfortunate need. Credit mistakes happen all the time – but when a bureau gets your report wrong, it’s up to you to find and dispute the mistakes. While you can do it for free by yourself, if you want a hand on your credit recovery journey, a credit repair company may provide the resources and peace of mind you need.

Methodology: How We Reviewed 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, reputation, and customer service. Simplemoneylyfe relies on credible sources, rigorous product testing, and first-hand experience to support our rankings, analysis, and work. These sources include government reports, trusted government databases, white papers, academic institutions, expert interviews, and authoritative financial publications. Read more about our rating methodologies for credit repair companies and editorial guidelines.

 

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli

Kim Pinnelli is a Senior Writer, Editor, & Product Analyst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been a professional financial writer for over 15 years, and has appeared in a myriad of industry leading financial media outlets. Leveraging her personal experience, Kim is committed to helping people take charge of their personal finances and make simple financial decisions.