Have you been second-guessing your credit score? Afraid that a poor credit score might prevent you from financially standing out to lenders? Credit scores indicate the risk that individuals present to lenders. Ranging anywhere between 300 and 900 (depending on the country), a higher score generally suggests a lower perceived risk, allowing individuals to possibly handle their finances with poise. Matter-of-factly, the better the credit score, the more likely credit card issuers, auto dealerships, and mortgage lenders will be when it comes to providing financing .
Unfortunately, something so small as failing to make a payment on time can easily deteriorate such scores. Even avoiding using and paying off a credit card might force the score to drop to lower levels. Due to these reasons (and several others), 11.1% of American consumers are believed to have credit scores below 550, which is nearing poor . What can be done to help people in such a situation? Our editorial team went on a massive credit repair scavenge and discovered 14 companies that might help to reverse the damaging effects of poor scores.
The purpose of this guide is to provide insight into possible means of rectifying credit scores. Above all, this guide is intended to give hope to everyone who once thought that there’s no going back after a score has plummeted. Let’s get started with our top picks for Credit Repair Services in 2021!
The Top 14 Credit Repair Services Impossible Not to Notice
There are several credit repair services available online, and to think that our team was able to narrow down to 14 is petrifying. Why? Well, this should suggest the vigorous research that went into finalizing our list, namely, from the ranking criteria down to the specifics of each one of these services. Hence, summarized below is a sneak-peek into each service and its irreplaceable missions.
Credit Karma believes in offering products that provide value to consumers, whether it be savings, rewards, or in our case, debt relief. Through this platform, individuals can access their respective credit scores and reports from TransUnion and Equifax, with weekly updates. Once updated, the team affirms to provide tips and tricks on how to bring scores back up. Interestingly, their credit monitoring service is trusted to pinpoint spot errors, inconsistencies, and/or signs of identity theft before the situation can even worsen. Talk about maximum protection without having to break our heads, right?
Since 2014, the team at Credit Monkey has been helping people to repair their credit. With millions of people facing inaccurate or unfair negative items that are continuously hurting credit scores, Credit Monkey avows to challenge any questionable items with all three bureaus. Specifically, they will ask creditors to verify uneasy items, and if they can’t, creditors are supposedly required to stop reporting them. From there, the team will continue to keep their eye out on credit reports, while addressing any more issues.
As for the pricing, it depends heavily on the number of inaccurate items to be caught. For instance, Plan A costs $99 per month for Credit Monkey to pinpoint up to 5 negative items. Plans B ($159), C ($199), D ($299), E ($399), and F ($499) include up to 10 negative items, negatives and inquiries, unlimited judgments, public records, and negative items, and public, negatives, and inquiries respectively. By signing up online today, individuals can either get a free 10-minute credit analysis or a free consultation with Credit Monkey!
As suggested in its name, CreditRepair.com is a credit repair service on a mission to provide personalized solutions that rectify one’s credit score. The team insists that over 70% of past members saw a significant score hike after six months of using their services. Precisely, members on average were able to increase their score by 40 points in just six months. Sure, it might not seem so high at first, but rectification requires more work than deterioration, right?
Regarding the CreditRepair.com service itself, individuals are asked to verify their identity, and once confirmed, the team will set forth on preparing reports summarizing credit score and negative item breakdowns. Based on the latter report, CreditRepair.com will then recommend any one of three services on a case-by-case basis.
Operating for over 15 years, Credit Saint is a BBB accredited business that aims to reverse the negative impact of poor credit scores. First, the team will create a credit monitoring account with CreditSquad.com. Then, they will cover the specific details pertaining to credit history, identifying primarily the damaging items. Finally, Credit Saint will analyze positive credit and expound on means of optimizing one’s report using proven techniques. Deemed a worry-free service, Credit Saint offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, making its entirety completely risk-free.
As for pricing, it depends on whether individuals want their credit scores polished ($79.99/month + $99.00 initial work fee), remodeled ($99.00/month + $99.00 initial work fee), or slated ($119.99/month + $195.00 initial work fee). For instance, the basic of the three plans challenge the 3 credit bureaus, offer a score analysis and tracker, and entails creditor interventions. This might be for anyone in need of a couple of tweaks, whereas the latter two packages involve complete transformations.
Credit Sesame came into existence after the last financial crisis to protect consumers from future hindrances. Presently offering their services for free, the team affirms to assess negative items reported by credit bureaus and will challenge them accordingly. Most of all, importance has been placed on offering personalized advice and recommendations likely to improve one’s secret scores. Seeing the interconnectedness between cash and credit, Credit Sesame also launched the first-ever online bank account that allows cash and credit to work synergistically.
Despite being in the business for over a decade, the team insists that they’ve made many changes with the sole goal of prioritizing the democratization of finances. Ultimately, an account with Credit Sesame implies free credit score and monitoring, complete protection against identity theft, and maximum savings recommendations. In other words, individuals will have access to “the benefits of bank-level analytics developed with scientists from UC Berkeley and Stanford.”
Based in Florida, CuraDebt has been providing nationwide debt relief since the year 2000. Whether individuals are seeking relief for unsecured debts, and/or tax debt issues, this service is the one to go to. Speaking of debt relief, the team can help with credit cards, personal loans and lines of credit, medical bills, collections and repossessions, business debts, IRS debt and back taxes, and even certain secured debts. What drew us to this company, besides decades of experience, is that it is a member in good standing of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), one of the largest and oldest associations for debt relief there is.
To get started, individuals are recommended to sign up for a free consultation that focuses on providing expert assistance, timely advice, and solutions unique to one’s financial needs and goals. It is important to note that any appointments made will not only be free but also completely confidential.
Powered by ScoreSense, FreeScore360 provides interactive tools and a comprehensive learning center that educates consumers on the impact that credit has. Additionally, all the necessary actions that need to be taken to protect one’s score will be provided. Through this service, everyone will learn how to correct errors on credit reports, and with FreeScore360’s guidance, these issues will be reported and, hopefully, rectified. Other benefits include access to reports and scores monthly, a $1 million identity theft insurance, and good interest rates. For a limited time, individuals can sign up for a free 7-day trial to better understand the different layers of FreeScore360. If by the end of the seventh day the trial is not canceled, a charge of $29.95 will be automatically made to the original payment method.
Leap Credit allegedly provides support to any consumer needing any level of credit repair. Based on the claims made, this company has been known for its simple application processes, speedy approvals, and other incentives. To get started, individuals will be asked to verify their identity and income. Once confirmed by the Leap Credit team, the loan amount will be granted. As interesting as this all sounds, we ask that everyone carefully analyzes Leap Credit, as their website suddenly went offline. Furthermore, many complaints have been listed on BBB.com that might give a sense of the common issues one can avoid beforehand.
Lexington Law offers free credit report consultations that include access to one’s TransUnion report summary, a free negative item preview, a free FICO® credit score, and recommended solutions. Surely, questionable negative items are likely to hurt one’s credit, and so, removing them can provide significant improvements. The Lexington Law team insists that they work with consumers to identify these hurting items, which are then challenged with the bureaus and creditors. Finally, every step will be taken to meet all credit goals, no matter how long it takes.
Presently, three credit repair plans are available, i.e., standard, moderate, and aggressive. With the standard plan, individuals will get bureau challenges and creditor interventions. For just $40 a month more, access to InquiryAssist, score analyses, ReportWatch, TransUnion alerts, cease and desist letters, a FICO® score tracker, identity protection, and a series of personal finance tools will be granted.
Having supported consumers for over 20 years, myFICO aims to lessen the steep learning curve that comes with understanding credit scores, reports, and alerts provided by all three bureaus. Over 90% of lenders agree that FICO® scores are the best to rely on and so, myFICO provides said scores based on Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax reports. An account with this respective service provider implies access to a side-by-side comparison of reports, regular updates, important changes (i.e., inquiries, new accounts, address changes, late payments, etc.), identity protection, and full support to meet set financial goals. Out of the three programs available today, the basic plan provides one Experian coverage, monthly updates, FICO scores, scores for mortgages, auto loans and more, credit reports, score and credit monitoring, $1 million identity theft insurance, and a 24/7 identity restoration. The basic doesn’t sound so basic anymore, does it?
Sky Blue Credit
Evidently trusted as a credit repair services provider since 1989, Sky Blue Credit aims to dispute even the most subtle and risky items that might harm one’s credit score. What makes this service desirable is the several facets that individuals will be introduced to for a minimum fee of $79.00 monthly. In addition to the aforesaid disputes, this fee will provide consumers with speedy disputes (5 per bureau) tailored to one’s situation, state laws about debt collection matters, score assistance, guidance toward credit rebuilding, verifying one’s debt, goodwill letters that make appeal direct to the creditor and cease and desist letters.
How can anyone neglect their 90-day guarantee, a benefit that is rarely offered by credit repair companies? Nevertheless, to get started, all that’s required of everyone’s a little overview of themselves and the necessary billing information. Finally, no charge will be made for the first 6 days, talk about a free trial of sorts!
The Credit People
The Credit People aim to provide all the compulsory tools that literally helps to clean up one’s credit report of late payments, collections, charge-offs, bankruptcies, repossessions, foreclosures, tax liens, identity fraud, student loan, and judgments among others. The beauty of this service rests on The Credit People’s shoulders as they generate credit reports and scores and investigate disputes as they come. Consumers are simply asked to review all their activities online. Specifically, upon every improvement and/or change, an alert will be immediately sent out. Taking everything into account, results can be witnessed anywhere between 60 days up to 180 days depending on the situation. Imagine the confidence 3,409 people must have had to all join just last month!
The Credit Watcher
The Credit Watcher believes that it is vital for everyone to spot potential inaccuracies affecting credit scores. This is allegedly an issue that many Americans have no idea about and through The Credit Watcher, everyone will attain essential education on all matters debt relief. Does reading your credit reports seem nonsensical? The Credit Watcher will provide a thorough breakdown. Particularly, the team will compare scores across the three widely known bureaus, making it easier to pinpoint improper differences. In all truth, the team avows to sending alerts when an improvement or change has been made. Regarding the main perks to creating an account, they include 24/7 access to credit scores, automatic 3-bureau credit monitoring, and a summary of all activities. To get started, individuals will need to complete a personal inquiry form and the rest lies in confirming one’s identity and verifying the provided details.
By becoming a TransUnion member, individuals will get unlimited access to scores and reports with daily updates, recommendations that point everyone towards the right direction, and access to TransUnion and Equifax reports. Additionally, this service offers free identity protection called TrueIdentity and $25,000 in identity theft insurance at no extra cost. Above all, the team has created a series of educational materials that ensures everyone is knowledgeable on credit topics, and the Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act (FACT ACT) to say the least.
One facet unique to TransUnion is its ability to tailor to different financial needs. In particular, people who are hoping to get help for free will be able to generate their own annual credit report, freeze and dispute credit reports, activate fraud alerts, active-duty credit monitoring, and the aforesaid, TrueIdentity. As for premium services with fees attached, they include credit monitoring, protection and compass, and a score simulator.
The Ranking Criteria: Credit Matters and So Do Several Factors
Several factors went into narrowing down our top picks for credit repair services. Reviewing each one is important and allows for optimal differentiation between the worse and best companies out there. Bear in mind that the following can be adjusted to one’s liking and serves merely as the basic requirements. In all truth, we inspire everyone to add to our list before arriving at their own final pick(s). All things considered, let’s cut right to the chase:
Credit Scoring, Reporting, and Monitoring
The goal of a credit repair service is to pledge improvements in credit scores, otherwise what is the point of paying subscription and initial work fees? Upon investigating all the official websites, we were keen on finding services that affirm challenging credit bureaus and guarantee negative items are not only questioned, but possibly prevented from scarring one’s report. Another feature crucial for such services is having a thorough program that guides consumers on a step-by-step basis. This will help people who aren’t entirely versed in attaining debt relief.
Transparency & Reputation
Companies that make bold statements without any substance are not worth investing in. Instead, it is best to go with a company that lays out the steps to improving credit scores, what their role will be in the process, and the actionable steps that consumers will be required to take for utmost results. If they go as far as providing educational material to ensure everyone is well-versed in debt relief, then they should definitely be considered. How can anyone neglect companies that have a lasting reputation for serving the public and any noteworthy awards? Ultimately, more information guarantees fewer doubts and concerns!
Estimated Credit Score Improvements
Companies that have been doing wonders tend to provide an insight into their track records. For instance, CreditRepair.com claims to have helped people improve their scores by an average of 40 points. Similarly, The Credit People affirms an improvement in credit scores between 50 and 190 points. While not everyone specifies such information, it is always nice to have when the services have monthly fees attached to them. It not only increases one’s confidence in the service, but it also might provide some reassurance regarding prices paid.
Access to Interactive Tools
Services, where individuals have very little to do, will need to come with interactive tools. As much as it might be nice to have someone oversee credit scores and reports, no one truly wants to completely hand over their finances. If changes and/or improvements are to be made, the first person who should be notified is the credit score owner. Additionally, they should be able to track progress made, otherwise, value for money cannot be fully assessed.
Value for Money
Speaking of value for money, the more facets within the service the better. This is especially the case for people who are starting off with poor credit scores and need all the help they could get. If one service charges roughly $40 and the other $80, the latter better offer a glorious credit score on a silver platter!
Finally, we have money-back guarantees, yet another feature worth adding to one’s list of criteria. For people who are doubtful of such services, being able to test it beforehand might give them a sense of relief. If not a money-back guarantee, at least a short-term free trial should suffice for consumers to fully assess whether a service meets set requirements.
The Significance of a Healthy Credit Score
A company devoted to gathering, analyzing, and processing data, all while promoting financial control, Experian  insists that there are six major benefits that stem from a healthy credit score. Here’s what they had to share:
Savings on Interest Rates on Loans
For people who are hoping to take out a large loan – whether it be to buy a home or to finance a vehicle – low-interest rates can make the biggest of differences. Simply put, they can “translate into thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a loan.” Borrowers who have a high credit score are certain to secure low-interest rates. One example provided by Experian goes as follows:
“A 30-year fixed mortgage of $250,000 at 5.5% will cost a borrower a total of $511,010 over the lifetime of the loan. If the same borrower can get a 4.5% interest rate […] they will pay $456,017 […] a difference of $54,993.”
Ideal Terms and Availability on Loan Products
The stronger the credit score, the more access individuals will have to loan and credit card products. The reason for this rests in the mere fact that lenders are more willing to give money to people who are expected to financially provide for themselves. In fact, higher dollar limits will also be unlocked to such people.
Access to the Best Credit Cards
The most rewarding credit card offers are given to people with high credit scores. This not only includes the lowest possible interest rates, but also a collection of rewards, cashback offers, travel incentives, and many more. Together, these factors represent significant savings over the course of time.
Discounted Insurance Deals
Insurance is typically offered for all, but the difference between the services for low and high credit score holders is that the latter will gain access to lower insurance premiums, particularly on car insurance.
Endless Housing Options
With rising values for rental properties, landlords are certain to conduct background checks on prospective tenants. To the former, a low credit score reduces financial trust. Hence, having high credit scores, not only guarantees rental property but also the opportunity to one day become a homeowner.
Security Deposit Waivers on Utilities
Credit scores are sometimes reviewed to assess one’s ability to pay bills on time. If individuals have a devastating credit history, a larger sum might be needed as a security deposit to initiate utility services.
Frequently Asked Questions About Credit Repair
Q: What is credit?
A: As defined by Experian , a credit is the ability to borrow money and/or access goods and services with the mandate that the sums will be repaid on a later date.
Q: What is a credit score?
A: Equifax  defines a credit score as a three-digit number designed to represent one’s credit risk. Furthermore, it represents one’s likelihood to repay borrowed sums and to pay bills on time. Many factors are considered in these ranges, some of which include payment history, outstanding balances, length of credit history, applications for new credit accounts, and types of credit accounts .
Q: What is a good credit score?
A: Currently, there are several credit scoring models available in the market, the most common model being the FICO® Score. Based on the latter, a score of 579 and below means “poor”, 670 to 739 means “good”, 740 to 799 means “very good” and anything above 800 means “exceptional” .
Q: What are credit bureaus?
A: Credit bureaus are responsible for tracking credit scores and producing credit reports. The three main agencies include Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion .
Q: What is a credit report?
A: A credit report lists bill payment history, loans, current debt, and other financial data. In addition, information pertaining to one’s employment, residence, arrests, and/or filing for bankruptcies are also summarized (if applicable) .
Q: How does a credit score differ from a credit report?
A: Based on the above, a credit score is a number that represents one’s standing among the crowd regarding financial stability and their capacity to pay off loans and existing balances, whereas a credit report summarizes line-by-line activities that might either boost or deteriorate one’s ranking so to speak.
Q: What does a negative item summary suggest?
A: A negative item summary includes things that negatively impact credit scores. These typically include late payments, charge-offs, collections, bankruptcy, debt settlements, and anything else that could be hurting one’s chances at a glorious score.
Q: What activities lower credit scores?
A: As explained by Equifax , activities that may negatively impact credit scores include late/missed payments, collection accounts, high account balances, credit card balances too close to credit limits, a short credit history, and having multiple accounts with high balances to name a few.
Q: How long are poor decisions reflected on credit reports?
A: The length of time that negative information is allowed to remain on a credit report varies based on the type of information itself. For instance, late payments can stay as long as seven years from the date they were missed, whereas bankruptcies may remain for up to 10 years. To find out more information, visit the official website for Experian .
Q: What is a FICO® Score?
A: A FICO® score is one method of generating credit scores. It helps lenders decide the odds of an individual repaying a loan. In turn, this will have a major impact on how much one is allowed to borrow, the timeframe in which the funds need to be repaid, and the applicable interest rates. These scores help millions of people gain access to the credit they require for education, home-buying opportunities, and to cover medical expenses .
Q: How is a FICO® Score calculated?
A: FICO® scores are calculated using different pieces of credit data. As this is being written, we can say with certainty that five categories are usually considered, namely, payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%), and a credit mix (10%) . Bear in mind that these categories are not fixed and that the proportions are said to vary by person.
Q: What are the negative impacts of a poor credit score?
A: To a lender, an individual with a poor credit score represents a big risk. In turn, more interest will be incurred on a loan, insurance premiums will go up, career opportunities will diminish, finding a rental property will become nearly impossible, and utility companies will not go easy .
Q: What is the minimum credit score requirement to buy a house?
A: The minimum credit score required for a mortgage is 680. However, the higher the score, the higher the odds of being qualified for one .
Q: Is it possible to get a free credit report?
A: Yes, everyone is entitled to one free copy of a credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting companies. To get started, individuals will have to visit annualcreditreport.com, as it is the only online platform that guarantees free reports .
Q: To what extent are credit repair services legitimate?
A: Yes, there are many legitimate credit repair services out there. However, there is an equal number of scam companies as well. We ask everyone to refer back to our list of 2021’s best credit repair services above.
Q: Is it possible to repair credit scores by oneself?
A: Yes, it is possible to repair credit scores on one’s own. The reason why outside help is usually sought is that they are experts in the field who can help to speed up the process. To get started, individuals will need to get their credit reports generated, and from there, time will be needed to fix possible errors, take actionable steps toward rebuilding credit, maintain a balanced debt-to-credit ratio, etc.
The Top 14 Credit Repair Services Final Thoughts
Credit scores are a big deal for people who are hoping to financially support themselves and their families. Above all, it is needed to secure loans essential for home-buying and/or owning a vehicle. Many people have the impression that once a credit score plummets, there is no turning back, but this is merely a myth. Fortunately, credit repair services exist for this exact reason. Precisely, they take the guesswork out of understanding and revamping credit scores, while educating consumers on the basics to the more advanced aspects.
Our Credit Repair Service top picks aim to serve the people by offering as many opportunities as possible to boost scores. To think that individuals can turn their lives around at a fraction of the cost is impressive! Sure, rectifying credit scores can be done on one’s own, but that requires a lot more time and effort, both of which can be used elsewhere. Until our next update on top credit repair services in the U.S., we hope our guide motivates everyone to give themselves a second chance.
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