Do you know your credit score? Yours may be inaccurate because of mistakes on official reports. Fixing is a vast industry with dozens of companies offering to do the job for you. Choosing a provider is not easy. Follow our guide to make the right decision and increase your score as fast as possible.
The most reputable credit repair services are reasonably priced and offer substantial value. The experts pore over your records to identify the most damaging derogatories and work with banks, collectors, and bureaus to have them removed. While any US citizen may dispute reporting errors, doing this on your own is challenging and time-consuming. Delegating to professionals is popular.
What makes the best repair package? Your choice should not rely on a single factor. The credit repair services cost, the reputation of the provider, and its policies all matter. Make a balanced decision based on these five components.
The biggest repair brands have been in business for over a decade. However, the age of the company alone does not guarantee fair practices. Go to www.bbb.org to compare official ratings and customer reviews. The firms do not have to be accredited, but their status can say a lot.
First, the website will let you know about any lawsuits. Check how many negative comments are there, and how actively the company responds to them. The BBB site shows the number of closed complaints over the past 12 months. In addition, check the ratings on TrustPilot and www.consumeraffairs.com.
Usually, the cost of services comprises the initial payment and the monthly charge. Upon signup, you need to pay a setup fee, also known as the first work fee. Afterward, the company charges a fixed monthly payment depending on your service package and the length of the billing cycle. The latter varies between 35 and 45 days on average.
The standard monthly charge is between $79 and $129.95. The initial payment may be equal or different from this amount. To find the best value for money, learn what different service bundles include.
A universal package of services is a rare exception. Usually, the firms have a tiered structure with basic, intermediate, and advanced products. Customers should pick the best option for their needs. The most important distinction is the number of disputes you may open per billing cycle.
For instance, a basic package may only allow you to dispute five items per bureau, while this number is unlimited at the advanced level. The sooner you want a particular increase — the more you should pay. However, it is essential to understand that repair companies do not give any guarantees. If they fail to remove any derogatories, you may be entitled to a refund depending on the policy.
More advanced packages may include extras like the official FICO tracker, identity theft protection, advanced personal budgeting tools, etc. Only some companies can remove hard inquiries — entries created when your history is accessed.
In rare cases, the cheapest package provides guidance for self-repair, and the company will not work on your behalf unless you pay more. In comparison, Sky Blue Credit has a universal service package with just the core services — analysis and repair.
At different stages in the process, your provider will send different types of correspondence to the parties involved — lenders, collectors, and bureaus. By means of debt validation letters, it will request evidence from the banks. Cease and desist letters stop collection efforts, while dispute letters are sent to bureaus at the final stage.
How can you monitor the company’s progress? An overwhelming majority of providers have a web portal where you can check the status of your case. You should be able to call the staff during regular business hours. Some companies (for example, Ovation Credit Repair Services) offer customer service during shorter hours on Saturday, too.
Well-established businesses have unique mobile apps. These give instant access to updates. You are alerted whenever any changes are achieved.
The quality of customer service is telling. Customers should have easy access to their information. Do not settle for anything substandard — the quality of repair itself is likely to be low as well.
Only some repair companies provide refunds. For example, if you hire Lexington Law and find its performance unsatisfactory, you do not qualify for returns. Generally, though, the most common policy covers the first 60 or 90 days of use. It is voided if the provider removes at least one derogatory from your records.
At the moment, Sky Blue Credit Repair has the most attractive money-back guarantee. It is unconditional. This means you may get your money back within the first 90 days for any reason. This policy clearly shows that the company is confident in its ability to help you. Today, this offer is unmatched.
The Bottom Line
Trusted companies specializing in repair help millions of Americans improve their scores. They scrutinize reports to find the most consequential errors. These professionals are adept at liaising with banks and bureaus. Their work brings quicker results than DIY disputes unless you are a qualified expert yourself.
Pay attention to the status of the company, its prices, and services. It is important to be entitled to a refund if the results disappoint you. Customer feedback is a crucial indicator, too. Not all comments may be objective, but you can easily pinpoint recurring problems.