The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) is a federal law that became effective on April 1, 1997, in response to a number of consumers who had suffered from credit repair scams. In effect, the law ensures that credit repair service companies:
The CROA adds transparency and due diligence to the credit repair process, making it less likely that consumers will be taken advantage of. However, regulators have still found wrongdoing among credit repair companies.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sued several credit repair companies over the years for requesting prohibited upfront fees, misleading customers about their ability to fix credit and more.Can You Pay to Have Your Credit Fixed?If your credit file has information you feel is incorrect, credit repair companies may offer to dispute the information with the credit reporting agencies on your behalf. Credit repair companies typically charge a monthly fee for work performed in the previous month or a flat fee for each item they get removed from your reports. However, Experian does not charge consumers or require any special form to dispute information, so this is something you can do on your own at no cost.
And again, credit repair companies can't do anything that you can't do on your own for free. As a result, it's a good idea to consider working to fix your credit first before you pay for a credit repair service to do it for you. How to "Fix" Your Credit by YourselfThere is no quick fix for your credit. Information that is negative but accurate (such as missed payments, charge-offs or collection accounts) will remain on your credit report for seven to 10 years. However, there are steps you can take to start building a more positive credit history and improve your credit scores over time.Check Your Credit ReportTo get a better understanding of your credit picture and what lenders can see, check your credit report and learn more about how to read your Experian credit report. It's also a good idea to order your free credit score from Experian. With it, you'll receive a list of the risk factors that are most impacting your scores so you can make changes that will help your scores improve.
If you want to skip a month of service without canceling your subscription, you can request a pause online. You won't be charged monthly payments while your account is paused, and you can resume the subscription when needed. This could save you some money on startup fees, which most credit repair firms charge whenever you start using services.
Most credit repair companies offer a 90-day money-back guarantee. Others only refund you for the last month of service. The Credit People, on the other hand, lets you cancel your subscription whenever you want and refunds both the last and previous month's payment.
The company's low startup fees set it apart from competitors. While other credit repair services charge around $79 or more to set up your account and pull your credit report, The Credit People only charges $19. After your account is ready, you can either pay $79 a month until you get the result you want or pay a flat fee of $419 for a six-month plan.
Ovation Credit Repair, also known as Ovation Credit Services, stands out when it comes to discounts. It offers a 20% discount for couples and a 10% discount for seniors and military members. It also provides a one-time credit of up to $50 if you switch from another credit repair agency or refer a friend.
The company offers two credit repair options: the Essential and Essential Plus. With the Essential plan, a case advisor will guide you through the dispute process and advise you on improving your overall credit situation. You'll also get access to financial tools for budgeting and building a debt repayment plan.
Why we chose this company: While many credit repair companies offer extra perks only with premium plans, The Credit Pros offers useful financial management tools even with its least expensive package.
Why we chose this company: Credit Versio is a low-cost alternative to traditional credit repair services and simplifies the often complicated process of repairing your credit yourself.
Pyramid Credit Repair has over ten years of experience. It's one of the few credit repair companies offering a discounted plan for couples and 24/7 customer support. However, its setup fees are higher than many of our main picks.
The Credit Assistance Network's website is outdated and hard to navigate. There's little to no information regarding the company's reputation on third-party party review sites. Additionally, the company doesn't offer credit repair services. Instead, it forwards you to The Credit Pros, one of our main picks. With this in mind, we recommend signing up with The Credit Pros directly.
A credit repair agency may help you improve poor credit by working on your behalf to remove inaccurate or outdated information. However, many companies make false claims and lure customers into paying for services that won't deliver any results.
Credit repair involves checking your credit reports for inaccurate information and disputing any mistakes by filing complaints with the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) or creditors. This is something you can do on your own at no cost. However, the process can be tedious, especially if your reports have multiple errors.
Credit repair services check your reports for inaccuracies and contact credit bureaus and creditors on your behalf. The companies might ask you for evidence to back up the claim and then send letters challenging the negative items listed on your reports.
Most credit repair companies charge an initial fee (also called setup or first work fee) that can range anywhere between $15 to $200. This fee is used to set up your account, which may involve gathering your personal and financial information and creating a strategy plan for your particular credit situation.
When evaluating credit repair companies, you should compare the services they offer and their upfront and monthly fees. Consider how many items they dispute per month and if they offer any additional perks such as free consultations or personal finance tools. You can also gauge a company's reputation by reading online consumer reviews and checking whether it has any lawsuits against it.
Companies must provide a written contract explaining in detail the services they will provide, how long it will take for them to get results, any guarantees they offer and the total credit repair cost for their services.
Reputable credit repair companies will list their prices and services clearly, so consumers can select the right package for their needs. Turnaround time should be reasonable, and the company must keep you updated about the progress.
Besides their standard credit repair services, some credit repair agencies offer personal finance tools like bill reminders, budgeting software and credit monitoring. Additionally, they may offer free credit consultations, satisfaction guarantees and identity theft protection services.
The companies in our list are reputable credit repair services that have been around for more than ten years and garner mostly positive customer reviews across different platforms. We looked for any history of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) violations and searched the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Database to check their history of customer complaints or enforcement actions.
A credit repair service assumes responsibility for writing letters, communicating with lenders and credit bureaus and disputing any incorrect negative items in your credit report. Multiple pricing options, additional financial tools, expert advice and service guarantees helped some companies stand out from the competition.
Credit counseling agencies are companies that can help you analyze your finances and find realistic solutions for your debt and credit issues. Credit repair companies look at your finances and suggest opportunities where you can save. They may also contact your creditors on your behalf and negotiate your payment amounts.
If you decide that you want to work with a credit counseling agency, or alternatively look into a credit repair company, be picky with your selection. Ask about fees, specific pricing, services and products and avoid companies reluctant to provide upfront information on their pricing structures or debt-reduction tactics.
So not only are credit repair companies expensive (often around $50-$100 per month, according to Experian), but you can do it on your own. And if you really need credit help, you can always seek affordable assistance from a nonprofit credit counselor through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
If you have errors on your credit report, you may want help to get it back on track. While you can repair credit reporting errors on your own and save money in the process, there are dedicated credit repair companies that can step in to help. While the success of credit repair companies is not guaranteed, this can make disputing errors and contacting each credit bureau a more pain-free experience.
Ovation Credit Services has been in business for 45 years. It has built a trusted reputation and supportive customer service. It helps its clients improve and repair their credit scores through two cost-effective packages.
The Credit Pros has been in business for 12 years. It offers an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven personal credit management and repair platform and includes credit monitoring at no additional cost. Other credit repair companies include credit monitoring as an additional service.
Sky Blue Credit has been in operation for over 30 years and offers a unique, one simple credit repair service option. Its service includes everything a customer needs to find and dispute errors on their credit reports and repair their credit scores. Unlike other credit repair companies on this list, there are no upgrades needed to more expensive packages. 041b061a72