Credit repair firms can help you identify errors and dispute inaccuracies on your credit report, which may be dragging down your credit score. Read our in-depth reviews to learn which credit repair services provide the best value.

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.

Key Terms