Does Credit Repair Work?
Jack Ryder | On 06, Jun 2013
You’ve seen the ads claiming to be able to fix your bad credit, but do credit repair products really work? Honestly, many of the companies are a scam. But the credit repair services that have been around for a couple decades know the rules surrounding credit repair and know how to navigate those rules to either raise your credit score or give you your money back. That of course doesn’t mean that it works for everyone. There is no magical formula to raise your credit score in a hurry, but there are a few instances where credit repair can help you give your score a deserved bump.
When Credit Repair Actually Works
If you have legitimate errors on your credit report: The main function of any credit repair service is to remove errors from your credit report. These could range from errors in reporting from lenders to simple errors in your personal information. A good amount can actually effect your credit, so if you believe there are errors in your credit report, you can benefit from a credit repair company correcting those errors for you.
If you have errors that can’t be verified: A little known fact about your credit report is that every detail in the report needs to be verifiable. For example, if you have a negative item on your credit report from a lender who was bought or went out of business, there is a chance that if the credit bureaus were to call to verify the information on your report, they would get no answer. In that case, they are required to remove it from your credit report. This is a loophole that credit repair services will use to raise your score.
If your lenders are willing to work with credit repair agencies: The credit repair agencies that have been doing this for a while know the tricks of the trade, so they have the experience to negotiate with your lenders on your behalf. Does this always work? No. Some lenders don’t like working with credit repair services. Some lenders aren’t willing to negotiate. However, for the lenders who are willing to listen, this is a good way for credit repair services to raise your score.
The Most Reliable Credit Repair Companies
Best Overall: SkyBlue Credit Repair
SkyBlue is the most affordable and reliable credit repair option that we looked at. SkyBlue has streamlined their credit repair service to offer you the basics of credit repair for only $59/month and just a $59 initial payment which is far and above cheaper than all of the other credit repair services. They also have an “A+” rating from the BBB, which is the best score we’ve seen from a credit repair company.
Guarantee? SkyBlue is one of the only credit repair servies that offers a full 90-day refund no matter what the reason. You can sign up for SkyBlue Credit Repair here.
Best Reputation: Lexington Law
The best part about Lexington Law is that it is an actual law firm that specializes in credit law, which means they know what they are doing when dealing with lenders. It also has an “A” rating from the BBB, and has been around longer than most other credit repair services. Lexington Law is on the cheaper end at $59.95 a month, with a $99.95 initial fee, which includes all of the bells and whistles that come along with their credit repair plan, including a guarantee.
Guarantee? Lexington Law doesn’t charge you anything until they’ve completed all the work that they agreed to. You can check out more about Lexington Law here.
Most Personal: Credit Assistance Network
Credit Assistance Network amazingly has had no complaints from the BBB over the past 4 years, which is pretty unheard of, especially for a credit repair service. They also offer an extremely personalized credit repair experience, with actual agents holding your hand along the way during the process. They also offer two pricing plans, depending on how much repair you need. There is a $49/month plan (which has a $49 initial fee) that includes the basic credit repair services. You can also sign up for their $139 a month plan (which has a $399 initial fee) and that includes access to an online portal that tracks the progress of your account, identity theft resolution assistance, goodwill letters sent to your lenders and credit building tips.
Guarantee? Yes, Credit Assistant Network offers a performance guarantee, although I’m a little unclear on what that means. You can sign up for Credit Assistance Network here.
Best for Credit Monitoring: CreditRepair.com
CreditRepair.com actually has a relationship with TransUnion, so they can actually pull your credit score for you, which is extremely helpful. They also have an “A” rating from the BBB. The only downside to CreditRepair.com is the cost. They charge $89.95 a month, although they don’t have an initial fee like most other credit repair services. With the $89.95, you get your standard credit repair services, as well as monthly credit monitoring, a score tracker and analysis, mobile apps and text and email alerts.
Guarantee? CreditRepair.com offers a guarantee if they don’t complete the work that you agreed upon. Sign up for CreditRepair.com here.