Best Credit Repair Companies of October 2023

In today’s world, maintaining a healthy credit score is more important than ever. Whether you’re applying for a loan, securing a mortgage, or simply trying to get a new credit card, your credit score plays a pivotal role in determining the opportunities available to you.

Unfortunately, errors and inaccuracies on credit reports are all too common, and they can severely impact your score. That’s where credit repair companies come in—they are the superheroes of the financial world, swooping in to challenge and remove incorrect information from your credit report and help improve your score. But with so many options out there, how do you pick the best one?

5 Best Credit Repair Companies

In a sea of options, finding the right credit repair service can feel overwhelming. You need a company that is trustworthy, effective, and aligned with your financial goals. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and sifted through the myriad of options to present the best rated providers of credit repair.

Listed below are the five best credit repair companies, breaking down their services, pricing, and unique selling points. Prepare to empower your financial future by partnering with the best in the business.

1. Credit Saint

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  • Price
    $79.99 per month
    $99 setup fee
  • Experience
    Over 16 years
  • Contract
    None
    Cancel at anytime

Established in 2004, Credit Saint has solidified its position as one of the leading credit repair companies in the industry, boasting a history of serving over 200,000 satisfied clients worldwide. Their rich experience and clientele trust is a testament to the quality of services they provide.

Expert Guidance with a Personal Touch

When you choose Credit Saint, you’re not just selecting a service; you’re opting for a partner. The journey of credit repair can indeed be daunting, and it’s understandable if you’re apprehensive.

Credit Saint’s process is meticulously designed to ease your concerns and provide clarity:

  1. Setting Up: Initially, the company pulls your credit report—free of charge and without affecting your credit score. This ensures all actions taken are based on the latest information.
  2. Reviewing: Once they’ve pulled your report, their specialists meticulously go through your credit history. They pinpoint the items you might contest and which are potentially damaging your credit score.
  3. Analyzing & Optimizing: The team then delves deep, assessing the positive aspects of your credit and employing financial techniques tailored for your individual circumstances to optimize your report.

Customized Packages Tailored to Your Needs

Understanding that every individual’s credit situation is unique, Credit Saint offers three distinct service packages, each designed to cater to a different level of credit repair requirement:

  • Clean Slate:
    • Price: $119.99/month with an initial working fee of $195.00
    • Features: Challenges to the 3 Credit Bureaus, Score Analysis, Creditor Intervention Letters, Score Tracker, Inquiry Targeting.
    • Aggressiveness: Very High
  • Credit Remodel:
    • Price: $99.99/month with an initial working fee of $99.00
    • Features: Challenges to the 3 Credit Bureaus, Score Analysis, Score Tracker.
    • Aggressiveness: High
  • Credit Polish:
    • Price: $79.99/month with an initial working fee of $99.00
    • Features: Challenges to the 3 Credit Bureaus, Score Tracker.
    • Aggressiveness: Medium

It’s worth noting that all of these programs come under Credit Saint’s renowned 90-day Money-Back Guarantee, providing an added layer of security and trust to clients.

Recognition and Trustworthiness

Credit Saint is not only BBB accredited but also garners high ratings from Consumer Advocate and Consumer Affairs. Their transparent operations, customer-first approach, and a solid money-back guarantee make them a top choice for those seeking to rebuild their credit.

Bottom Line

If you’re on the lookout for a reliable, experienced, and customer-friendly credit repair service, Credit Saint emerges as a leading contender.

Their extensive experience, a wide range of packages, and unwavering commitment to client satisfaction make them an ideal partner in your credit repair journey.

Read our full Credit Saint review.

2. Lexington Law

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  • Price
    $99.95 per month
  • Experience
    Over 18 years
  • Contract
    Month-to-month
    Cancel at anytime

Emerging as one of the industry’s most trusted names since its inception in 2014, Lexington Law has cemented its reputation as a go-to destination for those seeking to revitalize their credit. With nearly three decades of unparalleled expertise, they have successfully assisted hundreds of thousands in their journey to improved credit.

A Blend of Expertise and Integrity

As a licensed and bonded law firm where required, Lexington Law is a trusted leader in credit repair. At the time of this review, Lexington Law has around a dozen in-house lawyers and a network of Of-Counsel lawyers, each with a depth of experience and licensure around the country.

Client-Centric Services

The firm’s commitment to client welfare is evident from the moment one approaches them. Lexington Law offers a free credit report evaluation without any obligations.

This includes providing your credit score at absolutely no cost. Such a gesture speaks volumes about the company’s confidence in its services and its desire to offer genuine assistance.

They offer a generous 50% discount on the First Payment to couples, household members, and active military members, showcasing their drive to make credit repair accessible to all.

Flexible and Affordable Packages

Lexington Law stands out not just for its expertise, but also for its transparency and flexibility. Clients are never locked into lengthy contracts. They have the liberty to opt for services on a month-to-month basis and can cancel whenever they wish.

To further cater to a diverse clientele, Lexington Law offers three tailored packages:

  • Concord Standard ($99.95/month):
    • 15 challenges per cycle across all three bureaus
    • Creditor interventions
    • Inquiry Assist
    • ID Theft insurance
    • DebtHandler
  • Concord Premier ($119.95/month):
    • 15 challenges per cycle across all three bureaus
    • Creditor interventions
    • Inquiry Assist
    • ID Theft insurance
    • DebtHandler
    • ReportWatch
  • Premier Plus ($139.95/month):
    • 19 challenges per cycle across all three bureaus
    • Creditor interventions
    • Inquiry Assist
    • ID Theft insurance
    • DebtHandler
    • ReportWatch
    • TransUnion FICO Score
    • Lost Wallet Protection
    • Personal finance tools

These packages are curated to serve a range of needs, ensuring that every client finds a solution that aligns with their specific requirements.

Bottom Line

Lexington Law’s combination of unparalleled expertise, vast array of services, flexibility, and affordability makes it a leader in the credit repair industry.

With a proven track record and a deep commitment to client welfare, it stands tall as an optimal choice for those in search of quality credit repair services.

Whether you’re looking to make minor adjustments or need comprehensive support, Lexington Law has you covered.

Read our full Lexington Law review.

3. Sky Blue Credit Repair

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  • Price
    $99 per month
    $99 setup fee
  • Experience
    Over 30 years
  • Contract
    None
    Money-back guarantee

Celebrating more than 30 years in the credit repair industry, Sky Blue Credit Repair boasts of a legacy that few can match. Their commitment to affordability without compromising on quality, combined with impeccable customer service, makes them one of the most reputable credit repair companies in the business.

Affordability Meets Quality

In the domain of credit repair, price points can vary significantly. With Sky Blue Credit Repair, clients can enjoy premium service at an affordable monthly fee of just $99.

Even more enticing, they’re currently offering a special couples promotion priced at $149, giving the second member an impressive 50% discount.

Service Beyond Reproach

One of the standout qualities of Sky Blue Credit is their unrivaled approach to credit repair. The company is renowned for its expertise in helping clients decide precisely what to dispute on their credit reports.

Their nuanced understanding of laws governing credit repair ensures that clients always get the best advice and support.

The company’s commitment to client satisfaction is reflected in their A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, a testament to their dedication to maintaining the highest standards of service.

Accelerated Dispute Process: A Notable Edge

While the industry norm involves credit repair companies starting with a handful of disputes, Sky Blue Credit adopts an aggressive strategy.

They challenge up to 15 items, translating to 5 items per credit bureau, every 35 days. For clients with numerous derogatory marks, this accelerated process can lead to quicker and more effective results.

All-Inclusive Service Model

Sky Blue Credit is committed to ensuring that clients never feel the need for upgrades. The all-encompassing services they offer include:

  • Faster disputes: A rapid 35-day dispute cycle ensures swift results.
  • Custom disputes: Each dispute is tailored to the specific situation, ensuring better outcomes.
  • Score assistance: Strategic score optimization to enhance credit scores.
  • Credit rebuilding: Assistance with opening new accounts.
  • Debt validation: Rigorous challenge and verification of debt.
  • Goodwill letters: Direct appeals to creditors to foster goodwill.
  • Coaches-on-call: On-demand sessions for any queries or guidance.

Clear and Transparent Pricing

A transparent pricing structure ensures clients are never caught off guard:

  • Sign up: $0 today
  • Review/Setup fee: $99.00 due in 6 days
  • First monthly fee: $99.00 due in a month

Peace of Mind with a Money-Back Guarantee

While Sky Blue Credit is confident in their services, they understand the importance of customer peace of mind.

Their 90-day money-back guarantee ensures that if a client isn’t satisfied within the first 90 days, they will promptly refund the entire amount. This commitment further amplifies their dedication to customer satisfaction.

Bottom Line

For those in search of a trustworthy and affordable credit repair service, Sky Blue Credit emerges as a prime contender. Their blend of experience, aggressive dispute strategies, and unparalleled customer service ensures clients always have the best shot at credit repair.

Whether aiming for a mortgage, a car loan, or simply wanting to rebuild credit, Sky Blue Credit stands out as a beacon of hope in the credit repair industry.

Read our full Sky Blue Credit review.

4. CreditRepair.com

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  • Price
    $69.95 per month
    $14.99 TransUnion
  • Experience
    Over 10 years
  • Contract
    Month-to-month
    Cancel at anytime

Navigating the world of credit repair can often feel daunting. CreditRepair.com emerges as a ray of hope, showcasing a blend of innovation, efficiency, and a keen understanding of the needs of today’s consumers.

A Holistic Approach to Credit Repair

With a surge in popularity among those with credit challenges, CreditRepair.com offers a comprehensive solution that caters not only to repair but also to ongoing credit score monitoring.

Their platform ensures customers are always informed, with both email and text alerts signaling significant changes to one’s credit report.

Years of Credible Service

For over 10 years, they have been providing top-quality service and assisting people with getting their credit back on track.

Unique Features that Set Them Apart

  • Up-to-the-minute monitoring: With 24/7 credit monitoring, customers never miss a beat when it comes to their credit status.
  • Proactive challenges and disputes: They offer up to 11 challenges and up to 2 disputes every month, ensuring that discrepancies are addressed promptly.
  • Comprehensive credit analysis: Armed with FICO credit scores and thorough credit score analysis, customers are always in the know.

Transparent Pricing and Packages

CreditRepair.com is committed to clarity, especially when it comes to pricing. Here’s a breakdown of their package offerings:

  1. Direct Package ($69.95/month)
    • Up to 15 negative item challenges per cycle across all bureaus
    • Up to 3 creditor disputes monthly
    • Inquiry assists
    • Quarterly credit score updates
    • TransUnion credit monitoring
  2. Standard Package ($99.95/month)
    • Up to 15 negative item challenges per cycle across all bureaus
    • Up to 3 creditor disputes monthly
    • Inquiry assists
    • Quarterly credit score updates
    • TransUnion credit monitoring
    • FICO® credit score
  3. Advanced Package ($119.95/month)
    • Up to 19 negative item challenges per cycle across all bureaus
    • Up to 6 creditor disputes monthly
    • Inquiry assists
    • Monthly credit score updates
    • FICO® credit score
    • Cease and desist intervention

To kick-start your credit journey, they offer a free credit evaluation which includes a free credit score, a summary of negative items, and a recommended credit solution.

CreditRepair.com has worked with over 850,000 members with their credit since 2012.

Bottom Line

CreditRepair.com is not just another credit repair company; it’s an institution that understands modern credit challenges.

With tailored packages, cutting-edge technology, and a dedicated team, it offers a seamless and effective path for those aiming to rebuild and enhance their credit profile.

Read our full CreditRepair.com review.

5. The Credit People

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  • Price
    $79 per month
  • Experience
    Over 18 years
  • Contract
    None
    Money-back guarantee

For almost two decades, The Credit People have embodied trust and reliability in the credit repair industry. With a steadfast dedication to helping customers repair their credit, they have positioned themselves as a front-runner among credit repair services.

A Risk-Free Promise

The Credit People are bold in their customer-centric approach, ensuring that if clients are dissatisfied with the results, they simply don’t pay. Their model is transparent and instills trust, highlighting their confidence in delivering top-notch service.

A Blend of Affordability and Effectiveness

While the journey of improving one’s credit score can often be plagued with doubts, especially when it comes to costs, The Credit People provide a cost-effective and robust solution.

Their service structure is designed to accommodate individuals wary of monthly fees, yet eager to witness tangible improvements in their credit scores.

One of the distinct advantages they offer is the procurement of initial credit reports and scores at no cost. This alleviates the hassles for those eager to kick-start their credit repair journey.

Flexible Pricing Models

A quick glance at their pricing structures showcases The Credit People’s dedication to flexibility and customer convenience:

  1. Standard Package ($79/month):
    • Pay as you go model
    • Inclusions: All 3 Credit Bureaus, Unlimited Challenges, and Both “Before & After” Credit Scores.
  2. Premium Package ($99/month):
    • Pay as you go model
    • Comprehensive services: All 3 Credit Bureaus, Unlimited Challenges, “Before & After” Credit Scores, Monthly Refresh of All 3 Reports & Scores, Creditor Interventions, and Escalated Disputes & Validations.
  3. Premium Flat Rate ($499 for 6 months):
    • A one-time fee designed for those averse to monthly payments, especially suitable for those requiring extensive credit repair.
    • Services include everything from the Premium Package but at a flat rate for 6 months.

Unbeatable Guarantees and More

The Credit People emphasize their dedication to customer satisfaction through their unbeatable satisfaction guarantee. It’s clear they prioritize the client’s peace of mind over everything else.

To ease the credit repair journey further, they offer:

  • A free, no-obligation evaluation, guiding interested individuals about their credit score.
  • Continuous updates with 24/7 online access, ensuring clients remain informed throughout.
  • Assured results in less than 60 days, complemented by an online account to monitor their progress.

Bottom Line

The Credit People have crafted a reputation not merely as credit repair experts but as trustworthy partners on your journey to better financial health.

With transparent pricing, extensive services, and an unwavering focus on client satisfaction, they emerge as a go-to choice for anyone seeking credit repair expertise.

Read our full The Credit People review.

Tips for Comparing Credit Repair Companies

When it comes to finding the best credit repair service for your situation, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of options out there. With so many credit repair companies to choose from, finding the right one for you can take some time.

That’s why it’s helpful to be aware of the fundamentals that all the best credit repair services will aim to meet. The points below will separate the good credit repair companies from the best.

Free Credit Consultation

Many credit repair agencies offer a free credit consultation to help you understand how their services might fit your unique needs. Credit repair agencies will use this opportunity to review your credit reports and check for incorrect items before you sign up for any service.

The best credit repair companies won’t take your money until they’re sure they can help you. As part of your free consultation, many companies will also include free credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies.

Number of Monthly Disputes

Depending on the state of your credit score and your credit report, you may want to work with a company that offers a high number of monthly disputes. Some companies will only offer a limited number of these per month, so make sure to consider your needs and the number of disputes offered as you research companies.

Money-Back Guarantee

A good credit repair agency will usually offer a money-back guarantee. This is a strong indication that you’re dealing with a well established business with a history of success.

However, it’s always important to read the fine print on any money-back guarantee. There are usually stipulations and conditions to these, and while the best credit repair services will be honest about their terms, other credit repair companies may not be.

Monthly Fee

The majority of credit repair companies will charge a monthly fee for their services. Depending on the agency and the package or services you sign up for, it’s usually around $50 to $150 per month.

Some agencies will also charge for setup as well as a monthly fee, but this can also result in a lower monthly fee payment. It’s a good idea to factor in a monthly fee to your budget before you look through your credit repair options.

Credit Monitoring

Some of the top credit repair services will provide credit monitoring and other personal finance tools to keep you informed of your credit score and overall situation. This usually looks like an online dashboard and mobile app where you can keep track of your credit score, evaluate your credit report, and monitor your progress.

The best credit monitoring services will be easy to read, and can help you to better understand how your financial habits influence your credit report. The higher the quality of any included services, such as credit monitoring, the more likely you are to pay a higher monthly fee. If credit monitoring is important to you, then remember to factor that into your budget.

BBB Rating

In our quest to identify the best credit repair companies, one of the primary resources we leaned on was the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. The BBB, a nonprofit organization, has long been a trusted name when it comes to assessing the credibility, transparency, and ethical conduct of businesses across a multitude of industries. Their detailed and comprehensive evaluations are based on various factors, including customer complaints, advertising practices, and business transparency, among others.

You can also look into any formal complaints lodged against any credit repair business through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Using both of these resources is best practice when considering credit score repair companies.

The Truth About Credit Repair

Having bad credit can cost you a lot of money. For example, did you know that a typical home can cost you between $50,000 and $100,000 more in interest if you buy a home with bad credit?

On average, you will end up paying about $1,500 to $5,000 more for a car if you have bad credit.

Having a poor credit score will make it harder for you to rent an apartment, get an auto loan, a home loan, credit cards, a cell phone, or even go back to school. It also means paying higher insurance premiums and can even prevent you from getting a job.

Having Good Credit Can Help You Save Money

Over your lifetime, the cost of having to pay higher interest rates can really add up. And the money you pay lenders is money that you could use to live a better life.

Having good credit saves you money. Instead of paying banks thousands of dollars in interest, you can take more vacations, send your kids to college, live in a nicer home, or drive a better car.

Many people believe that once they have poor credit, they are stuck with it. They believe they will have to wait up to seven years for it to come off, and there is nothing they can do about it. However, that’s simply not true. There are things you can do to start fixing your credit today.

Why We Recommend Credit Repair Companies

We understand that most people don’t have the time that’s required to fix their own credit. It takes many hours of research and work that is required to repair your credit on your own competently.

The process must be done correctly, and that’s why we have compiled this list of the top credit repair companies. So, if you are not 100% sure about what you are doing, it’s much better to let the professionals take care of it for you.

You usually only have one chance to get it right, and getting it wrong can do further damage to your credit score. Therefore, you should avoid certain things when trying to repair your credit to get the most favorable results possible.

We think you will be happy with the results. But, if you’re not, for any reason, you can cancel after 30 to 60 days. Some credit repair companies offer a money-back guarantee, and none of the companies we’ve listed have contracts. So if you’ve got bad credit, it’s worth giving them a shot.

What You Should Know Before Hiring a Credit Repair Company

Before signing up with a credit repair company, it’s imperative to be well-informed. Understanding the intricacies of the credit repair process helps set clear expectations and ensures a smoother journey. Here’s a deeper dive into key points to consider:

1. The Timeline of Credit Repair

While many hope for a quick fix, credit repair is more of a marathon than a sprint. The process might span several months. It’s crucial to stay patient and be prepared for the long haul.

2. Limitations on Negative Item Removal

Don’t fall for over-promising advertisements. Some negative entries, such as certain bankruptcies or unpaid taxes, have a set shelf life on your credit report. Even the best credit repair company can’t expedite their removal.

3. Your Role in the Credit Repair Process

A credit repair company isn’t a magic wand. They’ll take on the major tasks, but you’ll often need to assist, whether by furnishing essential documents, tracking communications, or following up on actions.

4. Initial Costs: The Setup Fees

It’s common for credit repair companies to charge an initial fee, sometimes termed a ‘setup’ or ‘onboarding’ fee. Ensure you’re aware of all costs upfront to avoid unexpected expenses.

5. Payment Regulations: No Advance Charges

By law, specifically the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), credit repair companies cannot bill you before they’ve rendered their promised credit repair services. This ensures consumers get what they pay for.

6. The Importance of the Consumer Credit File Rights

Every legitimate credit repair company should provide you with the Consumer Credit File Rights. This document outlines your rights regarding your credit data, ensuring you’re empowered in interactions with both credit bureaus and credit repair agencies.

7. Right to a Change of Heart: The 3-Day Rule

You’re not bound by your decision immediately. The law ensures you have a grace period. If you opt to terminate your agreement within three business days, you should face no penalties.

How to Avoid a Credit Repair Scam

As the credit repair market has grown, so too has the number of dishonest service providers looking to make a quick buck. Below is a short list of some red flags to watch out for that might indicate a fraudulent credit repair organization.

  • Upfront charges: Credit repair companies are prohibited from charging customers upfront according to Federal Law. No reputable credit repair service will ask for your money upfront.
  • Guaranteed outcomes: While many legitimate companies will offer a 90-day money-back guarantee, no credit repair firm can realistically guarantee results.
  • Pressure to buy: Many untrustworthy credit repair agencies will push hard for your business, and encourage you to sign up for their services. No reputable agency will ever feel the need to chase your custom.
  • Low BBB rating: A poor Better Business Bureau rating doesn’t mean a credit repair agency is a scam, but it is a strong indicator that a company isn’t doing a good job overall. Look for credit repair companies with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau when you shop around.

Credit Repair FAQs

What is the best credit repair company?

Determining the “best” credit repair company largely depends on individual needs, specific financial situations, and personal preferences. However, in general, a top credit repair company would possess the following characteristics:

  • Reputation: They would have a track record of successful credit repairs and positive feedback from clients. Checking reviews, testimonials, and ratings from trusted sources such as the Better Business Bureau can be informative.
  • Transparency: An esteemed credit restoration company would be upfront about their services, fees, and potential outcomes. They should provide clear contracts and ensure customers fully understand the process.
  • Certifications: Many top credit repair companies have certified professionals on staff. This can include credentials from recognized bodies, ensuring that the advisors or consultants have undergone training and adhere to industry standards.
  • Customer service: Quality customer support, where representatives are available to answer questions, address concerns, and offer guidance throughout the credit repair process, is a hallmark of a commendable service provider.
  • Results: Ultimately, the effectiveness of their strategies, reflected in improved credit scores and the successful removal of erroneous or disputed items, is a strong indicator of a company’s worth.

With that said, we have ranked Credit Saint #1 because of its excellent reputation, years of experience, and proven track record.

What is credit repair?

Credit repair, or credit restoration, involves fixing inaccurate information on your credit report. The goal is to improve your credit score.

It involves identifying questionable negative information on your credit report and challenging the negative items in question. But, it can also require following up with the three major credit bureaus to remove the negative items from your credit report. If you have been a victim of identity theft, you likely have multiple accounts that you need to dispute.

How does credit repair work?

The goal of credit repair is to dispute inaccurate or outdated information on your credit report to remove negative accounts. Reputable credit repair services can comb through your credit reports and often find details of an account that you may not have realized was inaccurate.

It may not be possible to remove every negative account from your credit report, and a legitimate credit repair company would never promise that. However, it’s not uncommon for people to have most or all of their negative accounts removed from their credit reports.

Is credit repair legal?

Yes, absolutely! It is your legal right to dispute errors on your credit report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FCRA was initially passed in 1970 and is enforced by the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

According to the law, the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) MUST respond to your disputes in a timely manner. But, the FCRA is just one of a handful of consumer credit laws designed to protect you.

Credit repair companies are governed by the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). The CROA states that they are not allowed to request or receive payment until the promised results are delivered. It also prohibits them from promising results.

How much does credit repair cost?

Working with one of the credit repair companies above, credit repair costs around $80 to $100 per month. Credit repair companies all have their own unique pricing model. However, most charge a first work fee or setup fee and then charge monthly fees. However, some credit repair companies charge flat fees, and some even charge per deletion.

Are credit repair companies worth the cost?

The best credit repair companies do a thorough and professional job. They can also save you a lot of time and hassle. Getting the job done correctly can save you months of back and forth with the three credit bureaus. Credit repair companies have years of experience and proven methods that they already know work very well.

How do credit repair companies work?

Legitimate credit repair companies use the laws mentioned above to hold the credit bureaus responsible. As noted above, the law is on your side, and the law requires that the credit bureaus prove that what they are reporting is accurate.

If they can’t prove that it’s accurate within 30 days, then they must remove it from your credit report.

The best credit repair companies offer a free consultation and start by pulling your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus. They will then have their professionals review your credit reports to look for errors. Then, they come up with a strategic plan to dispute them or use other proven tactics to have them removed from your credit reports.

From there, the credit repair companies wait for a response. If the negative items are not removed or updated, they respond accordingly with the next tactic.

Most credit repair companies charge an upfront set-up fee and monthly fees for each month that they work on your credit.

How long does it take to repair credit?

Repairing credit varies in duration depending on the nature and severity of the negative items on the credit report. Some minor issues, such as late payments or small collection accounts, can be addressed within a few months. How long it takes to repair your credit depends on your goals, credit situation, strategy, and numerous other factors.

Everyone has a unique situation, so the length of time it takes to repair their credit varies greatly. The credit bureaus have to respond to your credit report disputes within 30 days. In some cases, they get up to 45 days.

Removing negative items on your credit reports is only the first step. It’s also essential to have positive accounts on your credit reports. This may require getting a credit card and making your payments on time to establish some credit history.

What is a credit report dispute?

A credit report dispute is something you file to notify a credit bureau that you are challenging an account on your credit report. Disputes can be filed by mail, phone, or online at the credit bureau’s websites.

By disputing an item on your credit report, you request that the credit reporting agencies verify the information they’re reporting. If they are unable to verify that the information is accurate, they must remove it from your credit report. Essentially, you are requesting an investigation into an account on your credit report.

What kind of items can a credit repair company remove from your credit report?

A good credit repair company should be able to dispute a wide range of negative items with creditors. Below is a list of some of the most common negative items. A reputable credit repair company can help you remove the following inaccurate items from your credit report.

  • Identity theft
  • Late payments
  • Collections
  • Judgments
  • Charge-offs
  • Bankruptcies
  • Items that are out-of-date
  • Repossessions
  • Foreclosure
  • Hard inquiries

How can I repair my credit myself?

Repairing your credit yourself can be a methodical process, but it’s entirely feasible with some dedication and the right tools. Here’s a step-by-step guide that mentions both the “credit builder loan” and “secured credit card”:

  • Obtain your credit reports: The first step is to get copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You’re entitled to a free report from each bureau every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Review your reports: Scrutinize each report for errors, inaccuracies, or any items you don’t recognize. This can include accounts you never opened, payment mistakes, or outdated information.
  • Dispute errors: If you find errors, initiate a dispute with the credit bureau that has the inaccuracy. You can usually do this online or via mail. The bureau generally has 30 days to investigate and respond.
  • Reduce debt: Aim to pay down any outstanding debts, particularly high-interest ones. Even if it’s just a little at a time, reducing your debt-to-credit ratio can positively affect your credit score.
  • Pay bills on time: Ensure that all your bills, not just loans or credit cards, are paid on time. Timely payments contribute significantly to your credit score.
  • Consider a credit builder loan: Credit builder loans are designed specifically for individuals looking to establish or rebuild their credit. The loan amount is held in a bank account while you make payments. Once the loan term is complete, you receive the money back, and your payment history is reported to credit bureaus, helping to boost your credit score.
  • Apply for a secured credit card: Unlike traditional credit cards, a secured credit card requires a cash collateral deposit that serves as a credit line for the account. As you use the card and make timely payments, these actions are reported to the credit bureaus, enhancing your credit history.
  • Limit hard inquiries: Every time you apply for credit, a hard inquiry is recorded on your credit report, potentially reducing your score. Be selective when applying for new credit.
  • Diversify your credit: Over time, consider having a mix of credit types, such as installment loans, retail accounts, and credit cards. This can positively influence your score, but it’s essential not to open unnecessary credit accounts just for the sake of diversification.
  • Regularly monitor your credit: Keep an eye on your credit reports and scores. There are various credit monitoring services, both free and paid, that can help you track your progress and alert you to changes.

What’s the difference between credit repair, debt settlement, and credit counseling?

Credit repair, debt settlement, and credit counseling are all closely related, but there are clear differences between them. Sometimes getting out of debt requires all three, since each addresses a different aspect.

First, credit counseling can offer useful and actionable financial advice from qualified professionals to help get you out of debt. Credit counseling is often the first step for those who aren’t sure how to begin navigating their way to debt-free finances. Credit counselors can help provide financial education, and help consumers to improve their financial habits, including budgeting and saving.

Credit repair focuses on improving your credit score by disputing incorrect items on your credit report. The best credit repair agencies identify and remove inaccurate items on your credit report to improve your credit score.

Debt settlement is usually the final option for debt management before bankruptcy. This involves working with a debt relief company to save and negotiate a lump-sum payoff with your creditor.

How We Chose the “Best Credit Repair Companies”

To create our list of the best credit repair companies, we researched established companies that offer nationwide services. While there are many more local credit repair companies (far too many to review), we focused on the national leaders.

We considered the following aspects to comprise our credit repair reviews and rankings:

  • Reputation
  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Customer reviews
  • Services offered
  • Pricing & value
  • Transparency

Unfortunately, the credit repair industry has seen many scams in the past. The credit repair scams tend to come from smaller, local companies. While many local companies do an excellent job, we recommend sticking with vetted and established companies from our list of the best credit repair companies above.

Final Word

Hiring a credit repair company may not be ideal, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. Credit repair services are especially helpful for those with bad credit who don’t have the confidence to repair it themselves. Dealing with damaged credit is a challenge and sometimes professional help can make all the difference.

It’s generally preferable to file your own credit disputes as far as possible. However, working with a credit repair company might be the quickest way to repair your credit if you’re in need of serious help. The top credit repair companies may not be able to provide a specific time frame, but they will start working on your credit immediately after signing up. Depending on your unique situation, you could see an improved credit score in as little as three months.

The right credit repair company can help you find your way out of a tricky credit situation and provide great service at the same time. Make sure to keep the key features of all good credit repair companies in mind while you conduct your research. Get a clear picture of what your needs are to find the best credit repair firm for you.