Credit Repair Service Reviews
Find the Best Credit Repair Companies
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does credit repair cost?
If you do it on your own, it’s free. Credit repair companies typically charge an upfront fee and a monthly fee. According to data gathered by The Balance for our list of the best credit repair companies, enrollment fees range from $4.95 to $299 for basic services for individuals, with the average being $117. Monthly fees on top of that range from $19 to $135, averaging out at $79. A couple of companies use only one-time fees ($399) and one charges $50 per item deleted instead of adding a monthly charge.
How does credit repair work?
Credit repair companies can only get inaccurate items removed from your credit report. Once you’ve signed up with one, it will look for errors on your credit reports, such as accounts incorrectly reported to the credit bureaus as delinquent, closed accounts reported as open, or accounts that falsely list you as an account owner. They then submit disputes to the credit bureaus on your behalf, and if a bureau isn’t able to verify the disputed information on the report, they must fix or remove it entirely. The process usually takes three to six months.
How can I repair my credit myself?
Get the latest copies of your credit reports for free by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. Look over them for errors, such as accounts that aren’t yours, payments that have been incorrectly reported as late, or closed accounts that are open. Contact the creditors associated with the errors and ask them to remove the errors. If needed, file a dispute with the credit bureau, either online or by writing a letter. The credit bureau has 30 to 45 days to investigate the dispute and take action.
How long does negative information stay on your credit report?
Most negative information stays on your credit report for seven years. Credit bureaus are required to remove delinquencies, foreclosures, and student loan defaults after seven years. However, they can leave bankruptcies on for 10 years, and civil suits and judgments can remain for seven years or until the statute of limitations has expired, whichever is the longer period. Hard inquiries drop off your credit report after two years.
Your credit report is a record of your current and past debts, and contains the information used to calculate your credit score. It shows credit card and loan account histories, including when you opened the accounts, your credit limits or loan amounts, balances, and payment history. Bankruptcies are also listed.
Credit bureaus, also called credit reporting agencies (CRAs), are companies that produce consumer credit reports with information they get from lenders and public records. The three major CRAs in the U.S. are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. CRAs sell your information to companies with whom you've applied for credit.
AnnualCreditReport.com is a website where you can go to get a free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus every year. The site is sponsored by the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—to satisfy a federal law that says you’re entitled to such reports once every 12 months.
Credit Card Delinquency
Credit card delinquency is a status indicating that your payment is past due by 30 days or more. A delinquency can affect your credit score and impact your ability to get approved for any new credit-based applications.
A charge-off may appear on your credit report when you fail to make payments for several months—usually six months in a row. It occurs when a creditor writes off the debt as a loss in their accounting books, cancels your account, and demands that you pay the past due balance in full.
A credit check is something a lender, bank, or service provider performs when they need to check your financial history. It involves them checking your credit reports for information about your existing and past credit, payment habits, and types of loans so they can assess your risk level as a borrower.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that details how consumer credit information can be collected and used. Under the FCRA, consumers have a right to view the information in their credit files and to dispute inaccurate information.
A tradeline on a credit report is a credit account. Credit card accounts, personal loans, and mortgages are all examples of tradelines that would appear on a credit report. Tradelines play a key role in determining an individual’s credit score.
Bad credit is usually defined as a credit score under 580. A person with bad credit is considered a risky borrower, usually due to owing large amounts of money or having a history of unpaid bills and debts. Having bad credit can make it hard to get a credit card, mortgage, or other loans, too.
Credit Repair Organizations Act
The Credit Repair Organizations Act is a federal law to protect consumers from dishonest credit repair companies. Among other things, it restricts credit repair companies from lying or advising you to lie about your credit history to creditors, and says you don't have to pay for services in advance.