If you’re ready to tackle improving your credit, a credit repair service can help save you time, energy, and a whole lot of hassle.
Credit repair companies challenge items on your credit report that are inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable. It is possible to handle this on your own, but it requires hours on the phone, sending letters, and working with each of the three credit bureaus. That’s why we recommend going with a credit repair service.
Compare the Top 5 Credit Repair Companies
Read More About the Top 5 Credit Repair Companies
Credit Saint Pricing
- $95-$195 Setup fee
Pros of Credit Saint
- 90 day money-back guarantee
- Free consultation
- Consistently rated #1 across the web
- Cancel anytime
Cons of Credit Saint
- Not available in Georgia, Kansas, or South Carolina
Credit Saint’s programs are the most aggressive in the industry. Credit Saint also offers a 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee. If you don’t see any improvements in the first 90 days, you get a full refund. With an A+ from the BBB and consistently high customer reviews, Credit Saint is our overall best credit repair company recommendation.
Credit Saint offers users a personal advisory team dedicated to their case, informative online resources, and a timeline and progress report to help you track the company’s work on your credit. You’ll also get regular calls from your team to keep you in the loop and on track for success.
The New Jersey-based company comes with monthly packages ranging from $79.99 to $119.99 and “first work fees” between $99 and $195.
Lexington Law Pricing
Pros of Lexington Law
- Lawyer-backed credit repair
- Proven results
- Free consultation
Cons of Lexington Law
- More expensive than other option
- No money-back guarantee
Lexington Law, a lawyer-backed credit repair company, has been a leader in the industry for nearly three decades. In 2020 they helped remove over 7 million negative items from credit reports for their clients.
Lexington Law offers packages from $89.85 to $129.95 a month. The price is dependent on services included with the most expensive package including cease and desist letters, identity protection, credit score tracking and more.
Lexington Law’s staff can be knowledgeable and helpful partners as you seek to rebuild your poor credit.
Sky Blue Pricing
- $79 Setup fee
Pros of Sky Blue
- 90 day money-back guarantee
- Quick turnaround time
- Cancel anytime
Cons of Sky Blue
- Not BBB Accredited
Sky Blue offers stress-free sign-up. You can enroll online, and if you’re unsure about whether credit repair is right for your situation they encourage you to call for pressure-free advice. As a client, Sky Blue will also coach you on the little things you could be doing to keep your credit score in better shape.
The company gets to work within 48 hours and typically turns out at least five disputes per cycle (each cycle is 35 days) on your behalf.
Note that although you can enroll for free, there is a $79 review/setup fee that is automatically billed after 6 days.
- $14.95 Setup fee
Pros of CreditRepair.com
- Free online credit evaluation
- Online sign-up
Cons of CreditRepair.com
- No money-back guarantee
- Not BBB accredited
CreditRepair.com offers a 100% online signup process that includes a credit score, report summary, and negative item breakdown free of charge. They will also recommend the best package based on your negative item breakdown.
CreditRepair.com is a tech-forward company and provides tools like personal dashboards, score trackers, mobile apps, and text/email alerts.
Ovation Credit Pricing
- $89 Setup fee
Pros of Ovation Credit
- Same day service option
- A+ BBB Rating
Cons of Ovation Credit
- Limited weekend hours
Ovation Credit by Lending Tree is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating.
Ovation Credit builds a personal connection with its clients and customizes its strategies based on each individual’s needs. Customers are given full transparency in their personal online portals which include access to all disputes that the company is actively working on and the results of every completed dispute.
If you’re in a hurry, Ovation Credit also offers a same-day service option which is impressive because most credit repair companies need at least two days to get your case up and running.
Ovation offers two packages: the Essentials plan ($79/month) and the Essentials Plus plan ($109/month) which includes unlimited challenge validation, recommendation letter, credit monitoring, and goodwill letters for any negative items that are accurate.
If you’re unable to devote time during the week to credit repair, it is important to know that Ovation has somewhat limited weekend hours. They are currently open 10-4 pm ET on Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Other Trusted Credit Repair Companies
- The Credit People: Best for Low-Cost Credit Repair
- Pyramid Credit Repair: Best for Married Couples
- CreditFirm.net: Best for Strong Reputation
- The Credit Pros: Best for Financial Tools
- Pinnacle Credit Repair: Best for Fast-Tracked Credit Repair
Why We Recommend Working With a Credit Repair Company
Credit repair is a specialized profession. We liken credit repair companies to a plumber: you can spend the time and effort into figuring out how to fix your leak yourself, but if you don’t want the hassle, a pro may be the best option.
Legal experts at credit repair companies spend all day every day negotiating with creditors and seeking resolutions to mistakes. They know what to ask for and how to make sure your credit files and payment histories get updated.
Our Tips for Working With Credit Repair Agencies
- Remember that you have rights when it comes to your credit score. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Credit Repair Organizations Act of 1996 are built to give you access to your credit report for free, require credit repair companies to communicate clearly and honestly with you, and more.
- Feel empowered to ask a lot of questions! Credit is a complex topic and the best thing you can do is ask questions to make sure you understand your credit repair company’s strategy and your role in it.
- Ask to see a written contract before signing up so you can read through any fine print
- As the company builds a strategy based on each negative item, ask if they are prioritizing the quickest and most effective items for the most immediate impact. For example, if you have reporting errors, they should start there.
- Make sure to review your credit, even after negative items have been reviewed or removed. If the business is still reporting disputed information, make sure that the credit bureaus have placed a notice that you’re in the process of disputing.
Credit Repair FAQs
What’s the best credit repair company?
Based on our in-depth research, Credit Saint is the clear winner due to its excellent reputation, money-back guarantee, free consultations, and proven track record.
What is credit repair?
We break this down in our article: “What Exactly is Credit Repair & How it Works,” but the short answer is that credit repair is the process of reviewing, disputing, and negotiating negative items on your credit report that may negatively impact the credit risk tier you’re in and the loans and interest rates you qualify for.
Is it Worth Paying a Company Vs. Doing it Yourself?
There’s no doubt that credit repair as a whole is worthwhile. By repairing your credit, you’ll be positioning yourself to get better loan terms on big purchases in the future. In fact, according to a 2015 FTC report, “20 percent of consumers who identified errors on one of their three major credit reports experienced an increase in their credit score that resulted in a decrease in their credit risk tier, making them more likely to be offered a lower auto loan interest rate.”
Because of modern consumer protection laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) — and because we live in the smartphone era — you can definitely do your own credit monitoring.
Federal law guarantees you at least one free copy of your credit report from each of the leading three credit bureaus each year. If you’d like to see what you’re working with before committing to $100 or so a month, you can request your reports here or by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Most credit bureaus now include online tools to dispute items on your report but it is still highly recommended that you send it via certified mail instead.
As with most “is it worth it?” questions, it depends on how much you value your time, whether you’re willing to take on additional stress, and how comfortable you feel navigating the unknown. Many people are not well versed in the paperwork, processes, and conversations necessary to repair credit.
If you have inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated negative items on your credit report, we recommend using a credit repair company to save yourself time and stress.
All that being said, it’s definitely not impossible to positively impact your credit yourself through dedicated time, effort, and follow-up.
Consider Combining DIY and Paid Approaches
If budget is your main priority, consider going with a hybrid approach of DIY and professional help. You can get started by accessing your free credit reports, assessing which items are legitimate and which ones have inaccuracies or incomplete information, then bring in help from one of the leading agencies listed above.
Since you are more of a participant in the process, you’ll have a better understanding of your individual situation when you reach out to a credit repair company. Then, even if you can’t devote time every day to reaching out to credit bureaus and lenders, you can still track the trends in your score by monitoring your credit every few weeks.
This approach can also get you into the habit of monitoring your score on a regular basis so you can detect errors quickly in the future. Credit repair takes persistence and time whether you do it alone or hire a pro.
What do credit repair companies do?
A good credit repair agency should start out by determining exactly which items they can help you with. Doing this typically requires a copy of a credit report from each credit bureau — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
The company should identify the problems causing the most damage to your score. Typical problems arise from:
- Bankruptcies: Declaring bankruptcy can resolve short-term problems while also creating long-term credit issues.
- Tax liens: Whether local, state, or federal, a tax lien from the government can put a huge dent in your credit profile for the foreseeable future.
- Charge-offs: If a creditor has given up on collecting a debt from you and charged-off the debt, you can expect credit trouble for years without intervention.
The existence of these and other derogatory marks in your history doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve experienced these problems. Sometimes simple reporting errors can turn into charge-offs. Other times a tax lien may have been resolved in reality but not reported as resolved to one of the three credit reporting agencies.
What can credit repair companies not do?
Many people think professional help can undo any and all damage you’ve done to your consumer credit history. This isn’t true. In fact, according to the FTC, if you try to report accurate information the credit bureaus can stop investigating after notifying you that your claim was “frivolous” or “irrelevant.”
You should help yourself by doing what you can to improve your score (or you can at least stop making things worse). Be sure you’re:
- Paying Bills on Time: We all get a little behind sometimes but don’t let any bill get beyond 15 days late. Shoot for paying your monthly bills early.
- Limiting Inquiries: The more loans you try to open — even if you’re just co-signing for an adult child or a friend — the more trauma your score will experience.
- Acknowledging Past Mistakes: Ignoring old mistakes even when you can’t afford to pay off the debts will serve as dead weight on your credit report and complicate efforts to restore your score.
- Avoiding Over-activity: It’s human nature to close pesky accounts once they’re paid off. But part of your credit score is derived from available credit, meaning you can benefit by keeping a few paid-off accounts open.
While the professional companies on our list excel at disputing problems on your score, they shouldn’t — and the best credit repair services won’t — dispute aspects of your score which are absolutely true, such as a recent string of 30- or 60-day late payments.
However, if years-old credit issues still haunt your report, your agency may be able to help persuade the credit bureaus to pay more attention to your recent successes and scratch old problems off your list sooner.
How much does credit repair cost? Is it worth it?
Across our recommended credit repair companies, costs are between $80 and $130 a month, with a setup fee between anywhere from $15 to $100.
When determining if this is a cost-effective solution for your situation, you should factor in your time, the impact an improved credit score could have on future finances, and efficacy. Because credit repair companies do this day after day, they know the ins and outs in a way that most people don’t.
Some companies charge a flat rate while others employ a results-based approach in which you’d pay for each derogatory mark that’s removed from your record.
Your specific needs should be your guide here. If you have a dozen or so small problems to resolve, a flat rate could save you money. If you’re concerned about just a couple issues, you may prefer a company with a results-based pricing plan.
Though credit problems are common, your exact mix of credit problems is unique to you. Give your company time to find the right solutions to your problems.
Do Credit Repair Companies Guarantee Results?
We all like guarantees, especially with something as important as repairing poor credit.
But credit reporting — though it has grown more transparent — still involves nuance. Guaranteeing 100 percent satisfaction simply isn’t possible, and it’s actually illegal, per the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA).
That being said, you should be able to find a company that guarantees at least some improvement. Some even offer a money-back guarantee if they can’t steer your score in the right direction.
This may be as close as you can get to an actual guarantee of results from a repair company, credit software, or even a do-it-yourself approach.
In fact, if you see a company guaranteeing specific results such as a 100-point swing in your credit score, you may have found a bonafide scam.
How long does it take to repair credit?
Even when you’re hiring professional help, it’s important to understand credit repair takes time.
Due to the nature of credit repair, you should expect to wait for at least 45 days before seeing any progress. Waiting two to three months isn’t unusual. For more complicated problems, your company may need six months to a year to make progress.
How can you avoid credit repair scams?
Nefarious companies, by definition, won’t follow the law. They exist simply to convince consumers to hand over their credit card and Social Security numbers with no intention of ever helping. It’s easy enough to spot these outright scams and to choose a legitimate credit repair company. Just look for tell-tale signs like:
- Poorly Designed Websites: You may also notice unsecured servers (http:// instead of https:// in the URL).
- Strange Email Addresses: Email domain names that don’t match the website’s domain name or personal addresses like @hotmail, @yahoo, or @gmail should raise flags.
- Bad Third-party Reviews: Always check the Better Business Bureau or TrustPilot for reviews, or just do a Google search if you’re suspicious of a company.
- Upfront Payments: Though it’s not always a scam, a site asking for payment before doing any work should make you suspicious.
- No phone number: Even if you’d never call because you prefer to email, a company without a real phone number is often not a real company. If you’re not sure, call the number to see what happens.
Is The Credit Repair Company Legit?
It’s more difficult to detect a genuine credit repair company that simply can’t deliver on its promises. Be wary of firms that:
- Guarantee Specific Results: A money-back guarantee is one thing, but if a company says it can raise your score by 100 points or deliver overnight results, be wary.
- Prohibit Contact: If a company asks (or demands) that you don’t contact credit reporting bureaus or creditors yourself, stay away. You should always have the freedom to intercede on your own behalf.
- Rely Heavily on New Credit: While opening more accounts can improve your credit score, you’ll also take a hit on the inquiries which result from your applications. Over-relying on this tactic can backfire.
- Sell You Cards: A company that immediately suggests you open specific credit cards may be more interested in making commissions off your account than repairing your credit.
- Boast Inside Knowledge: Yes, these companies specialize in repairing your credit, but they should do so by offering persistence and efficiency, not secrets no one else knows. A company with a secret formula may not be for real.
If you come across a company you’re wary of, you can report it here,with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, to help prevent future consumers from falling for the act. You could also complain to the Federal Trade Commission on the FTC’s site.
Alternatives to Credit Repair
Although a good credit score can save you hundreds — and even thousands — of dollars in interest charges, some people simply don’t like the idea of paying for something they can do themselves. Each of the following options comes with its own pros and cons.
Credit Repair Software
You can spend about $400 to $600 on credit repair software but what software actually delivers is a set of tools to help you launch your DIY credit repairing project. You’ll get templates for letters to creditors and the bureaus and contact information for TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You’ll also get suggestions for how often to follow up.
What won’t you get? Any of the legwork that actually saves you time.
You can find some quality help for free from non-profit credit counseling organizations, but you can also fall into a scam or even a den of identity thieves if you aren’t careful. Be sure you’re working with an organization accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
A good credit counselor should review your free credit reports with you and then come up with a plan. But don’t expect the same level of care you can find from a paid credit repair service. If a non-profit credit counseling agency pressures you into providing personal financial data, don’t be afraid to take a step back.
You may be able to save money each month by consolidating some of your high-interest debt into a lower-interest loan. Don’t confuse these programs with credit repair services.
Eventually, consolidating your debt should lead to a better credit score, but the main goal is to better manage your debt. In fact, you could see a credit score drop if you close several accounts at once.
While you can talk a credit manager into deleting some late fees or rolling back some punitive interest rate increases, these settlements may end up hurting your credit score. Make sure your credit card company isn’t reporting your negotiated debt as a charge-off to the credit bureaus, especially if you’re spending a lot of money paying off a lump-sum debt settlement. Get the settlement — and its implications on your credit score — in writing before paying it off.