How Much Does It Cost To Repair Credit? – The Truth About Credit Repair Services
Over the years, more and more credit repair companies emerged to offer their services and help consumers restore their ratings. While it’s certainly easier to deal with your credit yourself without paying any fees, the big question is – how much does it cost to repair credit?
It costs anywhere between $20 and $150 per month to use credit repair services offered by renowned companies. Assuming you are willing to spend that kind of cash on credit repair companies, this guide will help you figure out what exactly you are paying for.
We’ll deal with some of the most important services offered by these companies, and how it all works when you hire someone to help you restore your credit.
What Are Credit Repair Companies?
Credit repair companies are organizations that interact with your lenders and credit reporting agencies on your behalf. If you have no experience working with your score, and you have no idea how to dispute negative information, these companies can be of great help.
They often offer free consultations, so you can get insight into what they offer to do for you. Of course, there are many scam companies in every niche, so it’s important that you choose a reputable one.
The credit repair cost also varies based on the company of your choice. That’s why you might have to pay as little as $20 and as much as $150.
These companies also offer different membership tiers, depending on the services you need to perform. If you have bad credit, they will look into your credit reports and prepare a strategy.
One of the main responsibilities of credit repair companies is to dispute negative information from your credit reports. If you have any debt payments still listed on the credit report, and you’ve paid the debt amount, they will dispute it on your behalf to try and remove it from your credit report.
Sometimes these services are more effective than trying to repair your credit yourself. They are familiar with consumer law and regulations so they might find a loophole to remove negative information.
Of course, everything is done according to the law, unless you use a shady company. There are companies that only wish to snatch money from your pocket, and they offer nothing in return.
That’s why the Credit Repair Organizations Act protects you by regulating the work of credit repair firms.
Services Offered By Credit Repair Organizations
The credit repair company will mainly negotiate the removal of negative information from your report. However, there are many other services offered by these companies, and they also depend on the service package of your choice.
Here’s a list of credit repair services you can expect to get depending on the company and selected repair model:
1) Credit Disputes
One of the fastest ways of boosting your credit scores is through credit disputes. Most credit repair companies specialize in this field, and it all starts with your credit reports.
The companies will go over reports from all three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Next, they will look for all the negative information listed on your report.
Going through the reports line by line, the agencies interact with your lenders to confirm the authenticity of information sources.
They will deal with collection accounts by getting in touch with the collection agencies and negotiating the terms. Of course, the account can only legally be removed as you repay the debt.
Still, with the help and reputation of prominent credit repair companies, you can get the best deal and set up a repayment plan.
The company will see to it that you get the collection account removed from your report as soon as you repay the funds. Collection agencies then stop reporting the listing to the bureaus, and it gets taken off of your credit report.
While you can file a credit dispute yourself, it’s not all that easy. You have to know the legal limits and have some knowledge of how reported listings work.
Sometimes it’s just easier to have a credit repair company do it for you. Once they submit dispute letters to three major credit bureaus, the bureaus will have 30 days to investigate and remove the item if the source of information can’t be verified.
2) Credit Monitoring Services
If you are paying higher monthly fees, you can also get a credit monitoring service from the agency. It’s sometimes worth paying what repair companies charge for this service since it gives you a monthly overview of your reports.
You only have the right to get one free credit report per year from every bureau. However, you would have to pay either way to get to follow up on your report frequently.
By using a credit monitoring service, you not only get to see your report standings but your FICO score as well.
Of course, it all depends on what the company offers, so make sure to check everything during the free consultations.
You can get regular monthly updates on your score and reports, as well as get some comments and advice on what’s changed every month. Most importantly, credit monitoring will reduce the chance of mistakes in reporting and identity theft.
These happen more frequently than you may think, and the credit repair organization will inform you in case your identity gets stolen. Also, they will inform you about any false reporting in case there’s simply a mistake on the side of the creditor.
So, by using their credit monitoring service, you always have some peace of mind that your credit reports are being monitored. It makes it much easier to track the changes and act quickly in case of any unwanted scenario since the company will get in touch with your creditors and the bureaus.
3) Credit Repair Consultation Plans
It makes perfect sense to use a credit repair service in case there’s just too much to comprehend on your credit report. If you are not a financial expert yourself, you’ll be working with a team of experts to fix your score.
Again, the agency will go over your reports and come up with a credit repair strategy. They will observe the items that bring down your credit score. Of course, there just isn’t a magic trick to solve your credit problems.
You’ll still have to repay the debt on your maxed-out credit cards to see an increase in your score. However, you can get a detailed plan to rebuild your credit, and it might be easier than doing it yourself.
Credit repair services cost a bit more with the credit monitoring and planning included. Even so, it makes sense to use them if you just can’t figure things out on your own.
They might come up with a debt repayment plan that refers to the order in which you should repay your debt. Also, they can negotiate with lenders on your behalf in an attempt to get lower interest rates over a longer period if that suits you better.
These are called “credit counseling” services, and it can be your ticket out of bad credit if you aren’t familiar with credit repair yourself.
How To Avoid Scam Companies?
There are always going to be scam credit repair agencies – it just can’t be helped. However, now that you know what they can offer to do for you, you can use that knowledge to avoid scams.
Here are some things that might be promised by the agency which serve as an instant red flag for consumers:
- Guaranteed credit fix
- Offer to build a new financial profile for you
- Upfront payments
- Ask you to change your address in the payments and lie
Unlike these scam companies, other credit repair companies that do their job legally won’t ask for any upfront payments. They need to take a look at your credit reports before taking any money or guaranteeing credit repairs to consumers.
Sure, there are some legal regulations that only these agencies know which can get negative information legally disputed.
However, if they ask you to change your address or identity, or offer to build a new financial identity for you, it’s surely a scam company.
The credit repair industry grows by the day, and you can use the reputation of prominent companies to avoid scams.
Still, it’s also a good thing that the Credit Repair Organizations Act protects you as a consumer, and gives you rights under these regulations that protect you from scams.
Know Your Rights Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act
You don’t have to know much about the best credit repair companies or their services. After all, you are using their service to help you repair credit if you don’t have time to deal with it yourself.
Even so, you need to know your rights under the Credit Repair Organizations Act. It’s a regulation passed down by the US government to regulate the operation of credit repair companies.
Scam companies only looking to get your money and doing nothing in return are one of the main reasons behind this act.
One of the main regulations from this act is that no credit repair company can ask you to pay upfront fees. It first takes initial contact and reviewing your credit report before the agency can offer its services.
At this point, the contract should be in written form, and the agency can’t guarantee any results or services before reviewing your file.
So, if you run into agencies stating something like “guaranteed credit improvements” you should back away. Under the written contract, you should also be given termination rights.
You can get the help of your lawyer before signing the contract, to make sure everything is according to the CROA. If the agency fails to realize the collaboration according to the contract and the CROA, you can sue under the act.
Also, there’s a section of the act that reflects on the relationship between the credit repair company and the credit bureaus.
Namely, the agency can’t provide any inaccurate or misleading information to the bureaus on your behalf. They can’t guarantee that you’ve paid for a certain debt if that isn’t the case in reality.
So, the agencies can’t lie to you or the bureaus, and you should always maintain your right to contract termination in case the CROA gets violated.
When Does It Make Sense To Use Credit Repair?
After learning everything about credit repair companies, there’s one question that stands out – how much does credit repair really help? You can mostly do all the repairs offered as their services by yourself.
In that light, these are the situations where it makes the most sense to use credit repair companies:
You Don’t Have Any Time To Deal With Your Credit
Let’s face it – most consumers just don’t have the time to spend hours every week on the credit repair process. That’s where the services offered by a credit repair agency come in handy.
They do everything for you and should inform you of all the steps along the way. Working with the company, you’ll get credit monitoring updates every month, and you’ll work to pay your debt according to the credit counseling plan.
For a monthly fee, a legitimate credit repair company can help you a lot if you don’t have the time or knowledge to tackle your credit score improvement yourself.
They can act as your credit advisors and invest the time you don’t have into making things right on your report.
There Are Too Many Items On Your Reports
Think of it this way – trying to repair your credit without any help is like trying to repair your car by yourself.
If you are not a mechanic, there will still be some things you can do on your own.
However, it’s impossible to fix complex problems, and that’s where professional help kicks in.
These guys are professionals and it’s as simple as that. If your credit report has too many tax liens, charge-offs, collection accounts, and other debt reports, it might be your only way of getting things resolved.
Using the service of a credit repair company makes much more sense in cases where you just can’t figure out how to tackle the credit accounts and in which order to tackle them for the benefit of your credit score.
Credit Repair Cost Based On Reputable Brands In The US
When looking for the best credit repair service to go with, it’s impossible not to turn to one of the more prominent services. These represent the legit companies that you can trust based on their reputation alone.
So, here’s a list of legitimate credit repair companies that can help you get a good credit score according to the CROA:
1) Lexington Law
The Lexington Law Firm is a reputable credit repair company that has thousands of satisfied customers. They deal with credit disputes, credit counseling, and credit report analysis to help you achieve a higher score.
The good thing is – you get a free consultation as a new customer. However, their fees might be a bit higher than those of some competitors.
If you are just aiming for credit dispute help, you can opt-in for their starting package which costs $99.95 per month. They also offer a full-scale service with counseling plans and personal finance tools starting from $139.95 per month.
2) Sky Blue Credit Repair
Sky Blue Credit Repair is yet another prominent US company that deals with credit score fixes. Their monthly plan is a bit more convenient, starting at $79. You also get the chance to use a 90-day money-back guarantee according to the contract.
The first consultation is free, and you get a line of creditor interventions accompanied by finance tools at your disposal. They have been in business since 1989, which vouches for their authenticity.
3) Ovation Credit Repair
Another candidate among legitimate credit repair services in the US is Ovation Credit Repair. Their plans range from $79 per month to $ 109 per month, depending on the services you wish to use.
The initial package costs less and it still gives you access to credit disputes and financial analysis of your reports. However, the premium package also includes goodwill letters and a full credit monitoring service to keep track of your credit reports and credit score.
This company gives you the chance to choose between three service packages based on the services offered. They range from $49.95 to $119.95 per month.
They even send you a report with negative items on your report to review. You can also get a customized credit repayment plan based on the information from your report.
They send credit dispute letters and act as a credit counselor by providing strategic repair plans.
5) Credit Saint
Using the credit repair service of Credit Saint will come at a credit repair cost of $79.99 per month to $119.99 per month. It all depends on the credit repair service of your choice since there are three tiers.
There’s the Credit Polish option which includes interacting with the credit bureaus to dispute negative information and plans to maintain your scores.
You can also use the Credit Remodel package which includes credit monitoring.
Finally, there’s the Clean Slate option for those that have already rebuilt their credit using the service.
It gives you unlimited challenges as you dispute inaccurate information, and also some personalized financial advice.
Hopefully, this guide helped you understand the essence of the credit repair service and what you should expect to pay for it. Credit repair firms charge different sums for different services, so it’s worth going through the recommended firms.
That way you can find the best option for your credit scores and calculate the total credit repair cost based on the exact package. Overall, these companies don’t have a magic wand to make your poor credit go away, but they are experts in the field which can be quite useful.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Is it worth paying someone to fix your credit?
It’s worth paying someone to fix your credit if you don’t have time or knowledge to deal with it yourself. Credit repair services may also let you get access to monthly credit monitoring and credit repair software you can use to maintain your score.
How much does it cost to get your score fixed on average?
Credit repair companies charge between $20 to $150 per month, depending on the exact package and credit repair service listed within it.
How long does a credit repair take?
Credit repair takes anywhere from 3 to 4 months to a few years, depending on your debt and the information in your report. Credit repair services can’t make these listings go away, but they can help with consultations and build you a stable repayment plan so you can recover your score.
How can I repair my credit fast?
You can repair your credit fast by using credit repair services to get a repayment plan and pay off any existing debt, collections, and tax liens to get out of debt and achieve a stable payment history.
Rory AckermanHi, I'm Rory! I've worked in the banking industry for quite some time and wanted to help provide my expertise with all things credit related. In my spare time I like to play video games and collect sports cards.
Debt Repair Solutions – The Ultimate Guide
In times of financial hardships, you'll need to have the right approach as there can be just a few debt relief options. This can easily turn into a chess...