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Having a poor credit score makes life expensive. If you have a low rating, then you probably pay a higher price for your car insurance, rent, and loans. Companies may also force you to pay deposits for your utilities, smartphone account, and apartment. Companies justify charging you higher prices and extra deposits because your credit score marks you as a big risk.
Hiring a credit repair company could make your life more affordable. But how long will it take credit repair professionals to improve your credit score?
More than 20% of Americans have inaccurate items on their credit reports. Those items can drag down their credit scores. Luckily, you can dispute inaccuracies and have them removed from your credit history.
Changing your credit history takes some time, though.
When a credit repair company discovers a potential error, it has to send a report to the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian).
Once the agencies get notified, they have 30 days to start investigating the dispute.
In most cases, you will wait for at least one month before the error gets corrected.
Keep in mind that the agencies’ investigations may not find any errors. If an agency disagrees with you, you can add a statement to the report. The statement will tell others that you dispute the item. You can also hire a lawyer to represent you in court. Some credit repair companies provide lawyers for an additional fee.
One of the other main things that a credit repair company does is dispute negative items on your credit reports. How does this work?
When you first sign up for a credit repair service, you will talk with a representative who will go over your credit reports with you. They will talk you through the process and together you will pick the items that you first want to dispute.
The agency then sends letters to the credit bureaus that contest the negative items that you chose. The credit bureaus, again, have 30 days to respond to those letters.
So why don’t credit repair agencies just dispute all of your negative items at once and get it over with? The credit bureaus actually frown on sending too many requests at once and can reject the requests if there are too many. This is why credit repair companies pick and choose the best items to dispute first, send a round of letters, and then move on once they get a response from the first round.
This process can obviously take months, which can be frustrating, but it is the safest and easiest way to potentially get results.
Removing an incorrect item from your credit report can make your score jump within a couple of months.
Most credit-improvement strategies take longer. When you work with a credit repair company, they will probably give you advice that includes:
You won’t see an immediate improvement in your credit score. These strategies can take several months or years before you see significant results.
Still, each positive step that you make will move you a little closer to a good credit score. Your score may only improve by a couple of points per month. Use that as motivation to stay focused on your goal!
If you are looking to improve your credit but only have a limited amount of money to spend, looking at the cost of the service vs. how long it will take is a good way to stay in budget. Credit repair can be a months-long process, and in fact, most services say it can take six months to see real improvements. Taking the six-month range into account, here is what the most reputable, affordable credit repair companies will cost for that time period.
Sky Blue: Sky Blue only has one tier of service at $79 per month, plus a $79 initial fee to get things started. For six months of service, that would cost you $474. Sky Blue also offers a couple’s discount, where your partner gets 50% off the price, so the total for two people at six months would be $711. Check out our Sky Blue Credit Repair reviews to learn more.
Lexington Law: Lexington Law is one of the more expensive credit repair options. The first tier of service starts at $89.95 per month, with an initial fee of $99.95, which would be $349.80 for six months. The next two tiers are $109.95 and $129.95. These would be $649.70 and $749.70, respectively. Our Lexington Law review gives more details about pricing and what services to expect from one of the top names in credit repair.
Credit Saint: Credit Saint costs a little more at $79.99 per month, with a $99.99 initial fee. For six months, you would be paying $499.94. It offers two other tiers, at $99.99 and $119.99, which for six months would be $599.94 and $794.95, respectively. (The top tier has an initial fee of $195.)
The Credit People: Like Sky Blue, The Credit People charges $79 per month. Its initial fee, though, is only $19, except it only covers the first seven days, compared to the first month with Sky Blue. For six months (and seven days) with The Credit People, you would pay $493. The Credit People does offer a six-month upfront payment at a discounted rate of $419, but we advice against that since you should test out a credit repair service before you commit to six months.