Credit repair companies help consumers improve their credit by disputing errors on the credit bureaus’ reports. This process can take time, and there are many different companies out there that offer services. Choosing the best company to work with depends on your specific situation and what you’re looking for from a credit repair service. To help you choose, we’ve reviewed customer reviews, company history and available educational resources from top companies in the industry to create our rankings.
A credit repair service can be an invaluable resource, but it’s important to understand what they can — and cannot — do for you. While some companies make inflated claims, legitimate services abide by the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), which prevents predatory behaviors like demanding payment upfront and making misleading statements. The best credit repair companies will be transparent about their pricing and provide a contract outlining the terms of your arrangement, including a three-day right to cancel services.
Generally, a credit repair company begins with an initial consultation and a review of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Based on this information, the company will develop a strategy to address errors and negotiate with creditors on your behalf. Some credit repair companies also offer a range of additional services, such as credit monitoring, personal finance tools and a credit builder loan.
The best credit repair companies offer a variety of services and packages to fit different needs and budgets. For example, Credit Saint offers tiered levels of service that vary in aggressiveness and the number of inaccuracies they check for each month. The most expensive plan, called Clean Slate, is designed to remove any inaccurate items that are hurting your credit, such as late payments, account charge-offs, liens and collections.
Another way to fix bad credit is to adopt responsible financial habits and seek credit counseling from a nonprofit organization. While this can be an effective solution on its own, it may not be as fast or convenient as using a credit repair service.
Some people prefer to use a credit repair service for the simple fact that they’re more equipped to handle disputes with credit bureaus and creditors than are individual consumers. This is especially true for those who have little or no experience with navigating the complicated world of credit reporting. Regardless of the reason, there are many ways to improve your credit score without a credit repair company. These include reviewing your credit reports and disputing errors, developing a spending plan and seeking debt management plans from non-profit organizations. If you’re still skeptical, try a free trial to test out the services of a credit repair company before signing up for a full-service plan. It’s also worth noting that even the best credit repair company won’t be able to remove red flags from your report if they’re a result of past mistakes you made. That’s why it’s so important to check your credit reports regularly.