Struggling with poor credit scores? With so many scam credit repair companies out there, it is hard to know which are the best credit repair companies for credit help. Will they really repair your credit history? Are they trustworthy enough to not mess up your relationships with your lenders? Are they going to charge you a bunch of money and only raise your credit a point or two? All are valid questions and ones that I asked myself when I was researching and reviewing the different companies for credit help. I have found that there are a few credit restoration services that stand out above and beyond all the other services. While they all are rated highly in my own research, they have a lot of unique features that make them quite different services. Which one should you use? Here’s a breakdown of what each services offers:
|Rank||Credit Repair Service||Best For||Monthly Fee||Expert Rating|
|1||Lexington Law Credit Repair||Overall Coverage||$89.95||★★★★★|
|2||Sky Blue Credit Repair||Value for Price||$69||★★★★★|
|4||The Credit People||Trial Period||$89||★★★★|
|5||Pyramid Credit Repair||Customer Service||$99||★★★|
Simple. Thrifty. Living. does receive compensation for some of the services that we recommend, although we have strict editorial guidelines and only recommend services that we truly believe are the best.
Lexington Law website | (844) 259-3376
Lexington Law Cost: Lexington Law has an initial fee of $99.95, plus $10 so they can pull your credit reports. After that, it is $89.95 a month for the basic package, as well as a paralegal that gives you other ways to help raise your credit score and deals with your account. There are upgrades if you want more features: the Concord package, at $109.95/month, and the Concord Premier package, which is $129.95/month.
Features: The basic package offers the repair basics, including fixing mistakes on your credit report, sending good faith letters to your lenders and looking for legal loopholes, but the Concord package also offers extra scrutiny when it comes to the FTC regulations that lenders must follow when reporting to the credit bureaus. If they aren’t following those regulations, Lexington Law can request that derogatory information be removed from your report. The Concord Premier package includes that, as well as monthly credit monitoring and identity theft protection.
Reputation: If you want the best credit repair service on the books, Lexington Law is your best bet. It has been around longer than most of the other credit repair services, and it scores an “A-” with the Better Business Bureau.
Guarantee: Lexington Law’s guarantee relates to the work they promise to do for you, so make sure you read over your agreement before you sign anything. On the plus side, Lexington Law only charges for the work it has already completed. On the downside, it is not a 100 percent guarantee like Sky Blue’s. Here is a full Lexington Law review.
Sky Blue website | (888) 534-1510
Price: Sky Blue is the cheapest (trustworthy) service that I found. Most services have a large initial fee that usually tops $100 or more, but Sky Blue’s is only $69. Even better, the monthly payment for Sky Blue is also only $69, and most services claim to be able to raise your score within six months, so you won’t be paying that indefinitely.
Features: Because of the low price, Sky Blue doesn’t have all the fancy bells and whistles that other services have. They don’t monitor your credit. But they do give you straightforward repair services, including fixing mistakes on your credit report, sending good faith letters to your lenders and looking for legal loopholes to get your credit score back to where it should be, as well as a great set of online tools to help you track your progress.
The coolest feature? You can pause your service at any time if you want to take a break or can’t afford a month or two of service. No other credit repair service offers this feature. (Generally with other services, you have to cancel service and then re-sign up if you want to start again.)
Reputation: Sky Blue has one of the highest Better Business Bureau ratings that we saw for a repair service, with an “A+” score. The service is transparent in what they offer and has 20 years of experience in the credit repair industry.
Guarantee: The best part about Sky Blue is that is has a 100-percent, 90-day guarantee that will give you a full refund if you are not satisfied. Doesn’t matter the reason, they will give you a refund within 90 days of when you sign up if you don’t think they have done their job. That’s a pretty strong feature to offer in the world of scammy services. Here is a full Sky Blue review.
CreditRepair.com website | (844) 764-9863
A personalized dashboard and visual representation of your credit score helps you develop a game plan for fixing your credit. Creditrepair.com helps manage the dispute resolution process to remove negative items from your credit report. On average, they report a seven-percent decrease in the number of questionable negative items for their clients each month. Like many online investment sites, CreditRepair.com gives you a great online dashboard to track your progress. You can find out more from our full CreditRepair.com review.
Price: CreditRepair.com is now offering an affordable option for people looking for credit repair help without breaking the bank. The price is $49.95 per month, and while this plan offers less of the perks that most credit repair companies offer, it can be a step in the right direction for anyone looking for affordable credit repair. CreditRepair.com also offers a standard service for $99.95, which offers the standard credit repair work along with credit report monitoring and credit score analysis.
BBB Rating: A+
Guarantee: CreditRepair.com will not charge for any work that it has not completed, and you can cancel at any time, but it does not offer any money-back guarantee.
The Credit People website | (844) 528-2246
The Credit People charges $89 a month, but it also has some incentives that can help keep costs down. First, you can sign up for a seven-day trial for only $39, so you don’t have to commit to anything long-term and can try out the service first. The Credit People also offers a lump-sum option of $299 for six months of service, which saves you over the monthly rate. The Credit People also offers a guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the work.
What Does It Cost?
$89 a month for the monthly service. $39 for a seven-day trial of the services. You can cancel your service at any time. Here is a full The Credit People review.
Pyramid Credit Repair website | (866) 634-9255
Price: Pyramid Credit Repair has straight-forward pricing, with one plan that costs $99 per month. You can sign up for the service as a couple, which is expectedly $198 per month, but comes with a 50% discount on the first month. On the plus side, Pyramid does not charge an initial fee like most credit repair services.
Features: Outside the normal credit repair features, like fixing credit errors and negotiating with lenders, Pyramid offers an easy-to-use website and mobile site to help you easily track your credit progress. It also offers dedicated account managers to each customer to help manage the progress and any questions you may have along the way.
Reputation: Pyramid has a pretty stellar online reputation, which has a lot to do with its excellent customer service and dedicated account managers. Pyramid scores close to 5 stars in most online reviews, although it is not registered with the Better Business Bureau, so there is not comparison with other credit repair companies when it comes to the BBB.
Guarantee: Just like Sky Blue, Pyramid Credit Repair offers a 90-day 100% money-back guarantee, which is a great feature to offer. There is, of course, no guarantee when it comes to credit repair, but if you are not satisfied in any way, Pyramid will refund your money.
Although relatively new, Ovation has established a solid reputation in credit repair since it started in 2004. An A+ rating with the BBB and a 100-percent money-back guarantee, Ovation offers the opportunity to try their service with no risk. Unlimited disputes, direct submission to the credit bureaus and personalized service with an action plan all give you the tools needed to help learn how to clean up credit.
What Does it Cost?
Ovation offers two basic plans with some customization options.
The owner of Credit Assistance Network has years of experience in the field, offsetting the relative newness of the company. It started in 2004, and there is little information about actual success. The site does detail the list of services, but does not mention much about reasonable expectations. Be sure to read the FAQ to get more detail on what you can expect from this service.
What Does it Cost?
In an industry where transparency is a key indicator of trustworthiness, Credit Assistance Network does not post their pricing. To get pricing, you must fill out a request for a “free credit analysis.”
Most credit repair companies will accomplish all of the following:
Related article: Best Credit Card for Your Credit Score
Credit repair and credit help can be complicated. Since we are dealing with people desperate to fix their bad credit, many credit repair companies will try to take advantage of that. There are hundreds of credit repair programs and companies in existence, from online products to how-to videos to so-called “credit hackers”. So how did we pick the best? We looked at a couple of different factors: reputation, legal compliance and customer reaction.
Legal compliance: The easiest to look at is legal compliance. The U.S. government enacted the Credit Repair Organizations Act which sets strict laws and guidelines that all credit repair companies must abide by. In general terms, companies that abide by these guidelines are typically on the up-and-up and can be trusted. Those that don’t are probably a scam. Things to look for:
Reputation: As seen in recent news, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does go after, fine and prosecute any credit repair agencies that are practicing unfairly, in other words, scams. So any company that has been around for decades and hasn’t been investigated or fined by the CFPB usually means they are practicing fair credit repair. There are also independent sites and agencies that review credit repair companies to see how reputable they are, such as the Better Business Bureau, which gives all the companies we’ve reviewed an A- or higher.
Customer reaction: One of the most important parts to look at is the credit repair company reviews left online. The BBB helps with that because it lists how many complaints a company has against it. Take most of these with a grain of salt; many people that leave credit repair company reviews are upset if a credit repair company does not drastically improve their credit score, and will file a complaint because of that, but as we said, there are no guarantees when it comes to credit repair.
We’ve also had people on our own site tell us what they thought of the services we recommended after they signed up, which is a great anecdotal way to find out which credit repair companies that customers like most. (See comments at the end of this article to see our readers’ reactions.)
Credit repair companies can be very effective at helping improve your credit score, but just how effective depends on the credit repair company and your credit report. To help raise your credit score, credit repair companies first obtain your credit report and evaluate what they find.
Among the information on a credit report are a history of your credit accounts, credit inquiries, and public records and collections. Your credit accounts are added to your report by the lenders you’ve gotten credit from. They report what type of account it is, when it was opened, your credit limit or loan amount, the balance of the account, and a history of your payments. The credit inquiries section holds a list of who has accessed your credit report in the past two years, whether it was because you were seeking a line of credit or a lender was looking to pre-approve you for one. Public records include information such as any lawsuits or bankruptcies, and collections information comes from collection agencies as well as courts.
Credit repair companies identify information on your credit report that is harming your score and could be contested or negotiated away. Sometimes the information is a simple mistake that was reported in error by a lender, but even when it’s not, credit repair companies can often work with your lenders to change or remove the items that are dragging your credit score down. Credit repair can also involve utilizing loopholes in credit reporting rules and regulations to have negative items removed.
Can a credit repair company really help you improve your credit score? The answer is yes. You don’t have to work with one, of course; you can try to tackle any of the previously mentioned issues on your credit report by yourself. Unlike credit cards, a mortgage or online loans, there is no approval process for credit repair. However, most professional services have a better understanding of how credit works, how to communicate and negotiate with lenders, and how to get these things done efficiently and effectively. Credit repair can be a lengthy process, and leaving it to a professional can help you avoid both frustration and failure.
If you think your credit score is suffering from issues with identity theft, using an identity theft protection service would be a better option than credit repair because those companies can help warn you of future attacks before anything can happen to your credit score. Check out our Lifelock Review to see how these services work, or look at our comparison of Lifelock vs. Experian to review identity protection services side by side.
Essentially, yes. People do tend to think of credit repair and credit restoration as two separate ideas, though. Credit repair is often used to refer to only companies that you can hire to repair your credit. Credit restoration, on the other hand, is more thought to refer to restoring your own credit, without the help of a company. Both terms can refer to any type of credit fixing, whether it be on our own or with the help of a company.
First, the company will assess your credit situation by looking at your credit reports, which you generally will have to provide. Second, the company will give you a plan of action that it thinks is best to improve your credit score, whether it be fixing errors, negotiating with your lenders or contesting items that can easily be removed. Once you’ve agreed on a plan, the company will start taking action. Keep in mind, it may seem like things are moving slowly, but too many inquiries and contentions all at once can raise red flags with the credit bureaus, so it’s better to move slowly at first. Repair companies do not help you with your credit card debt, though, which some assume it does. If you are looking for debt relief, check out this Freedom Debt Relief review or this Accredited Debt Relief review to get a better idea of how debt relief services work.
This really depends on your credit report. If you have a lot of errors on your report, whether they are factual errors or misreporting from your lenders, the service will prioritize fixing those errors. If you have had a solid history of credit usage in the past or have a good track record for the past few years, the service will probably try to negotiate with your lenders to get some of the negative items removed from your credit reports. If you have negative items from lenders that are traditionally unresponsive, the service may try to contest those items, since the credit bureaus only have 30 days to verify the information. If they can’t verify it, the items must be removed from your report. There are a number of ways credit repair services can attack negative items on your credit report, so it just depends on the plan of attack you choose.
This also depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a more affordable company that just does the basics of credit repair, a company like Sky Blue is a great choice because they have the cheapest monthly price and offer great results. If price isn’t an issue and you want extras like monthly credit monitoring and identity theft protection, companies like Lexington Law and CreditRepair.com both offer those along with a great track record. If you are worried about being scammed, both Sky Blue and The Credit People offer a 100-percent guarantee if you aren’t satisfied in any way. Sky Blue’s guarantee expires after 90 days, but The Credit People’s guarantee has no time limit.
This depends on what you mean by “better”. It is definitely cheaper to do it yourself, but it requires a lot more work than hiring a credit repair company. There is also the question of experience and effectiveness. The top credit repair companies have been doing the same work for years and have a better grasp on credit laws and how the credit bureaus work, giving them the upper hand when it comes to repairing credit. That being said, if you put in the work, did your research on credit repair and how it works, and remained persistent, it could save you a lot of money in the end to repair your credit yourself.
When many people hear the words credit repair, images of overpriced services and scam-like dealings can spring to mind, and, to be fair, there are a good amount of credit repair scams available to anyone who doesn’t do their research. There are, however, certain credit repair companies that can actually help you improve your credit score. The key is to knowing which companies can help and the best way to go about using those companies.
Finding a company: The best way to find a legitimate company to use is to look for one that plays by the rules. Credit repair services are required to follow certain guidelines under the law in order to comply with government standards. These include having the option to cancel at any time (which is why most offer month-to-month services), including all services provided in writing, and not paying upfront for work that has not been completed.
Know what to expect: Credit repair is not a magical fix to your credit problems. It is a highly-regulated practice that has to follow strict rules, which means that companies can’t just wave their magic wand and fix your credit. They can contest items on your credit reports, send letters to your creditors and other tools at their disposal, but whether the credit bureaus agree to remove those items is completely up to them. That said, credit repair has a different result for everyone. Your score can jump 100 points or maybe just 5 points. Knowing that credit repair is not a miracle fix helps you go into the experience with realistic expectations.
Don’t overpay: Credit repair companies charge by the month, which is convenient, but the process can also take a long time. Companies can only challenge a small number of items on your credit report each month (per credit bureau rules), so it can be a slow process. Some companies will try to prolong the process to charge you more in the long run. If it’s been a couple months and there has been no progress, it might be a good idea to cut and run instead of spending more money on something that may not fix your credit.
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