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Improving a low credit score can be overwhelming. But by selecting the right credit repair company, consumers can take the steps to improve their credit report.
Legitimate credit repair companies have the experience and expertise to improve individuals’ credit on their behalf. But credit repair doesn’t happen overnight, and credit reporting laws are specific about the types of information that can be removed from credit reports. It’s important to keep this in mind when comparing credit repair companies. We’ve reviewed several credit repair firms and narrowed down the selection to include our top picks.
Best Overall: AMB Credit Consultants
BBB Rating: A+
In its 13 years in business, AMB Credit Consultants has attained an impressive A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and only has a total of six complaints with the bureau in the past three years (as of January 2020).
AMB Credit Consultants offers a single credit repair package with a range of services nationwide. Individual customers pay a one-time enrollment fee of $99, and then pay $99 per month for the service. Joint accounts pay $149 to enroll and a monthly fee of $149. The enrollment fee covers account set up, a credit report audit, and consultation.
The monthly fee covers a comprehensive list of credit repair services including:
- Unlimited and advanced disputes to all three major credit bureaus and data furnishers
- Access to a secured account management portal
- Credit education
- Cease and desist letters
- Inquiry disputes
Per credit reporting laws, AMB Credit Consultants does not guarantee specific results but does offer a money-back guarantee. If no inaccurate, unverifiable, or incomplete items are removed after six months, the company will refund six months of service fees or provide an additional six months of services at no additional charge.
Customers can cancel with no penalty within three days of signing the contract. The company doesn’t have any pending regulatory action.
Best Price: Sky Blue Credit Repair
BBB Rating: C
With over 30 years in business, Sky Blue Credit Repair beats the competition when it comes to pricing. All customers who sign up for Sky Blue’s services will pay a $79 setup fee, then $79 per month starting six days after services begin. Plus, customers can add a spouse or partner at half off—for a total of $118.50 per month.
Sky Blue Credit Repair disputes five items per credit bureau every 35 days. That’s roughly 15 total disputes every month. Plus, the firm automatically sends customized re-disputes. This customization is key since credit bureaus are allowed to disregard repeat disputes as frivolous.
Blue Sky provides additional services including debt validation, goodwill letters, cease and desist letters, and debt settlement negotiations.
Customers receive a 90-day guarantee for fees paid in the first 90 days and users can pause their membership any time if they need to take a break. The company doesn’t have any pending regulatory action, and it’s not accredited by the BBB.
Most Years in Business: Ovation Credit Services
BBB Rating: A+
Acquired by LendingTree in 2018, Ovation Credit Services has over 44 years in business. Ovation has earned BBB Accreditation, which is designated for companies who include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.
According to its website, Ovation Credit Services makes an average of 19 improvements per month and has corrected more than 120,000 credit profiles as of January 2020. The firm offers two service plans with a monthly fee of $79 or $109 and a first-work fee of $89 for both. The lower-tiered Essentials plan includes personalized dispute letters, while the higher-tier Essentials Plan offers unlimited challenge validation letters, and goodwill letters.
Customers have the option to cancel anytime and avoid charges for that particular month, making the firm relatively flexible compared to others who require completion of the contract. In addition to credit repair services, Ovation Credit offers credit education and credit monitoring to help customers keep their credit in the best shape. While there are customer reviews on the company website, Ovation Credit does not guarantee specific results.
Best Value: Credit Saint
BBB Rating: A+
Headquartered in New Jersey, Credit Saint is a BBB Accredited Business that has credit repair services in every state except South Carolina. The firm offers three credit repair packages for consumers to choose from, ranging in price from $79.99 to $119.99. New customers are charged a first-work fee of $99 or $195 depending on the plan level.
Each package features increasing levels of severity applied to the account and the types of public records addressed. Consumers with repossession or lawsuit judgment in their credit history might opt for a higher tier plan. Once enrolled, customers can monitor the progress on their account via an online page.
Credit Saint offers a 90-day, money-back guarantee that entitles customers to a refund if they don’t have any items removed from their credit report within 90 days. Certain restrictions apply. For example, the guarantee is invalid if users don’t create or cause any new derogatory items on their credit report participation when the program begins. Per the credit repair laws, individuals are allowed to cancel their contract with no penalty by midnight on the third business day after signing.
Most Recognizable: Lexington Law
BBB Rating: C
Lexington Law is arguably the most recognizable credit repair company. While the firm has been in business since 1991, they’ve focused exclusively on credit repair since 2004. Lexington Law doesn’t guarantee results but touts 10 million negative items removed from consumer credit reports in 2017 alone.
Customers can choose between a basic, moderate, and advanced service package, with pricing ranging from $89.95 to $129.95 and a first-work fee equivalent to the monthly service fee. A free consultation is included. As an added benefit, Lexington Law offers 50% off the first-work fee for veterans and active military and provides spouses with a one-time 50% discount when a person and their spouse sign up for service.
Clients get the added benefit of easy account accessibility via the mobile app. While there’s no guarantee that your credit will be repaired, clients can cancel their package at any time by calling customer service.
Lexington Law is currently facing pending government action for violations of telemarketing laws and for charging upfront fees on credit repair services.
What Is Credit Repair?
Credit repair is the process of eliminating negative information from a credit report in an effort to improve your credit score. It can involve disputing errors or unverifiable accounts with credit bureaus, negotiating with creditors to remove information, or allowing items to age-off a credit report based on the credit reporting time limit.
What Can a Credit Repair Firm Do?
With a person’s permission, credit repair firms can review credit information, determine which items are impacting their credit, and make a plan to tackle those negative items. They can send letters to creditors and credit bureaus on a person’s behalf to remove inaccurate, unverifiable, and outdated information from their credit report. Credit repair agencies can also request credit bureaus to correct incomplete information and keep individuals updated on their credit progress.
While credit repair companies can help, consumers have the right to a fair and accurate credit report and are allowed to perform credit repair strategies on their own.
What Can a Credit Repair Company Not Do?
Credit repair and telemarketing laws are specific about what credit repair companies are not allowed to do. For example, credit repair companies cannot:
- Receive upfront payment for services that haven’t been performed
- Misrepresent the cost and effectiveness of services
- Mislead customers about limits of any money-back guarantee
- Lie or advise an individual to lie about their credit history or identity
- Fail to disclose your right to cancel your signed contract within three business days
- Ask you to waive your rights under the Credit Repair Organizations Act
Consumers can file a complaint or lawsuit against credit repair companies who violate their rights.
How to Spot a Credit Repair Scam
While there are many companies that abide by the law and strive to offer legitimate credit repair services, there are others who seek to take advantage of vulnerable and less-informed consumers. Be on guard for signs a company is trying to pull a scam when shopping around for credit repair. Be wary if:
- There’s pressure to pay upfront fees before any services are provided
- The company guarantees it will remove items from a person’s credit report or that their credit score will rise by a certain number of points—no company can guarantee specific results
- The company doesn’t explain a person’s rights or says that they can perform credit repair services on their own
- The company asks the person to dispute accurate information from their credit report, or to lie about the accuracy of negative information
- A person isn’t provided with a copy of the contract which should include the name and address of the organization, the amount being charged, the services to be performed on their behalf, the time period to perform services, and a statement informing them of their ability to cancel within three business days
- The company has a low rating or multiple unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau
- The company asks an individual to use a Credit Privacy Number (CPN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) to apply for credit in the future
- The company asks a person to falsely claim identity theft or fraud to have items removed from their credit report
Is Paying for Credit Repair Worth It?
While a person can repair credit on their own, it may be worth it to hire an experienced company with a good reputation to help. It takes time to research and understand credit reporting law, become informed of your rights, and to send and follow up with the credit bureaus and creditors to remove false information from your credit report.
How We Chose the Best Credit Repair Companies
We considered 12 credit repair firms before narrowing down our list to the best five. To choose the best credit repair companies, we considered BBB ranking, consumer reviews, pricing, services provided, compliance with credit repair laws, and cancellation/money-back policies.
Better Business Bureau. "AMB Credit Consultants." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
AMB Credit Consultants. "Service Levels." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
AMB Credit Consultants. "Credit Restoration Service Agreement." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Sky Blue Credit Repair. "Sign Up." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Sky Blue Credit. "Sky Blue Credit." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Federal Trade Commission. "FCRA § 611 (15 U.S.C. § 1681I)." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Sky Blue Credit. "A Clear Guarantee." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Better Business Bureau. "Sky Blue Credit." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
PR Newswire. "LendingTree, Inc. Announces Agreement to Acquire Ovation Credit Services." Accessed Jan. 27 2020.
Better Business Bureau. "Ovation Credit Services." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Ovation Credit Services. "Services." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Crediful. "Ovation Credit Services." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Ovation Credit Services. "Credit Education." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Ovation Credit Services. "Credit Monitoring." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Ovation Credit Services. "Refund." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Better Business Bureau. "Credit Saint." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Credit Saint. "Terms of Service." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Credit Saint. "Packages." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Credit Saint. "Credit Saint 90 Day Money Back Guarantee." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Credit Saint. "Disclosure." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Better Business Bureau. "Lexington Law Firm." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Lexington Law. "Credit Repair Services." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Lexington Law. "FAQ." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Federal Trade Commission. "Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Files Suit Against Lexington Law, PGX Holdings, and Related Entities." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "CFPB Sues Credit Repair Company for Misleading Consumers and Charging Illegal Fees." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "CFPB Takes Actions Against Credit Repair Companies for Charging Illegal Fees and Misleading Consumers." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.
U.S. House of Representatives. "15 USC CHAPTER 41, SUBCHAPTER II-A: CREDIT REPAIR ORGANIZATIONS." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.