Having a bad credit score can make life extremely difficult, and repairing it can be a huge and stressful job. So, if you’re in this situation, what do you do? But, if the priority is getting your credit score back into shape, you might want to hire a professional team at a credit repair agency to help you.
If you decide to take the credit repair route, it’s important to choose a company that has a good reputation. That’s why we’ve researched the credit repair industry and compiled a comparison report on six of the top credit repair companies.
- Credit Saint: Best Overall
- Lexington Law: Best Professional Experience
- Sky Blue Credit: Best Value
- The Credit People: Best Budget Option
- The Credit Pros: Best Financial Management Tools
- Ovation Credit: Best Discounts
Best Credit Repair – Company Reviews
Credit Saint is one of the most trusted credit repair companies in the business, with an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It’s been in operation since 2004 and are based in New Jersey. Once you’ve signed up for a package, you can monitor your progress online.
Credit Saint offers an initial free consultation over the phone and three different credit repair packages:
- Clean Slate (Aggressiveness: Very High)
$195 initial fee and $119.99/month thereafter
Includes unlimited challenges of inaccurate reporting items, as well as score analysis, creditor interventions, score tracking, and inquiry targeting.
- Credit Remodel (Aggressiveness: High)
$99 initial fee and $99.99/month thereafter
Includes up to 10 challenges of inaccurate reporting items, as well as score analysis, creditor interventions, score tracking, and inquiry targeting.
- Credit Polish (Aggressiveness: Medium)
$99 initial fee and $79.99/month thereafter
Includes up to 5 challenges of inaccurate reporting items, as well as score analysis, creditor interventions, and score tracking.
Lexington Law Firm is comprised of a team of lawyers and paralegals who have been in business since 2004. It offers a free credit assessment and different focus tracks depending on your situation. It also has extensive resources to help you learn about managing your finances, including a mobile app for immediate access to their score analysis, counseling plan, and any updates.
Unfortunately, its reputation has been dented by recent legal action brought against it by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) over telemarketing methods. Lexington Law’s three credit repair packages include:
- Premier Plus: Intensive ($139/month)
Includes bureau challenges/disputes, creditor interventions, inquiry assistance, ID theft assurance, DebtHandler, report watch alerts, TransUnion FICO scores, lost wallet protection, personal finance manager, and junk mail reducer.
- Concord Premier: Moderate ($119.95/month)
Includes bureau challenges/disputes, creditor interventions, inquiry assist, ID theft assurance, DebtHandler, and report watch alerts.
- Concord Standard: Fair ($95.95/month)
Includes bureau challenges/disputes, creditor interventions, inquiry assistance, ID theft assurance, and DebtHandler.
Sky Blue Credit has been in business since 1989 and offers a one-size-fits-all credit repair plan. It’s based in Boca Raton, Florida. On sign-up, the company will take a look at your credit report and offer a line-by-line review. This will include details of any potential errors and suggestions for ways you can optimize your score and rebuild your credit. Its online education center can help you understand all the ins and outs of credit repair.
Sky Blue’s $79/month service includes:
- Pro credit score analysis
- 35-day dispute cycles
- Custom disputes
- Statute of limitation research
- Score assistance
- Credit rebuilding
- Debt validation
- Goodwill letters
- Cease & desist letters
- Coaches on call
The Credit People has been in business since 2001 and is based in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. It’s among the most affordable of the credit repair agencies we’ve researched, with a starting fee of just $19. It offers either a monthly membership or a flat rate six-month membership (which saves you $74). There’s also a full money-back guarantee on this 6-month membership if you’re not satisfied. The service includes:
- Full credit repair service
- Credit score analysis
- Online progress tracking
- Dedicated team or single representative as desired
The Credit Pros has been ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. It uses AI-driven software to deliver personalized credit repair services and advice. The agency offers financial management tools as standard in all its packages and provides you with an updated credit report every 60 days. It has three packages, which include:
- Success Plus ($149 starting fee and $149/month)
Credit bureau challenges, creditor interventions, cease and desist letters, letter of reference, credit builder loan, three-bureau reports and scores, one-bureau reports and scores, ID Cover Dark Web monitoring, TransUnion alerts, real-time account syncing, bill reminder, and budgeting system.
- Prosperity ($119 starting fee and $119/month)
Credit bureau challenges, creditor interventions, cease and desist letters, letter of reference, one-bureau reports and scores, ID Cover Dark Web monitoring, TransUnion alerts, real-time account syncing, bill reminder, and budgeting system.
- Money Management ($119 starting fee and $69/month)
One-bureau reports and scores, ID Cover Dark Web monitoring, TransUnion alerts, real-time account syncing, bill reminder, and budgeting system.
Ovation Credit, a LendingTree company, has an A+ rating from BBB and has been in business since 2004. It has an extensive online education center that publishes many articles about credit repair and credit building. Ovation credit services include a free initial consultation but the company does charge a starting fee if you decide to become a customer. Its two programs are customizable and include, as standard:
- Essentials Plus ($89 starting fee, $109/month)
Unlimited challenge validation letters, unlimited creditor goodwill letters, official Ovation recommendation letter, TransUnion credit monitoring
- Essentials ($89 starting fee, $79/month)
Personalized dispute options, expert team, financial management tools
Credit Repair Guide
What is credit repair and how does it work?
After receiving your free annual credit reports from the three main credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, you might notice errors. These can be mistaken personal details, debts still listed as active that you’ve already paid off, bankruptcies past the 7-year mark, and foreclosures or tax liens that aren’t yours. There may even be debts that have been taken out in your name by identity thieves.
These errors can damage your credit score and put you in danger of being refused loans, mortgages, or even jobs. Although you can dispute these credit issues yourself, the process can be long and complicated.
So, what is credit repair? Also called credit restoration, credit repair basically means disputing incorrect items or inaccuracies on your credit report, with the purpose of boosting your numbers, hoping to get a good credit score. Reputable credit repair companies will make clear that only inaccurate items can be removed — whether they’re charge-offs, missed or late payments, debt collections, or repossessions. You have the right to dispute any inaccurate information thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the three major credit bureaus must investigate and eliminate it from your report if it is, in effect, incorrect.
Credit repair agencies will contact your creditors on your behalf and can accompany you through the whole process of rebuilding your poor credit score, often with a dedicated case advisor. They may also offer personal finance tools to help you manage payments, or identity theft protection services for an extra fee. If you need money urgently, you could also search for some of the best loans for people with bad credit.
How long does credit repair usually take?
The amount of time credit repair takes depends on how many disputes you’ll need to open with your reports. However, most credit repair processes take around three to six months for the number of disputes the average customer needs to deal with. This is usually structured as a monthly plan. Credit repair with a company can include:
- an initial consultation (many companies include a free credit consultation)
- a review of your credit reports identifying errors
- sending goodwill and/or credit dispute letters to creditors
- awaiting responses (up to 30 days per dispute)
Be aware that any legitimate credit repair company you choose should also give you a written contract before receiving any payment, including a set-up fee, under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). Other than a first work fee, if a company asks for money upfront, it should be an immediate red flag of a possible credit repair scam.
Some credit repair companies will only undertake one dispute at a time, which can make the whole process much longer if you’ve got several disputes to resolve. In that case, it may be worth paying extra for a service that will investigate multiple disputes at once. Other companies offer unlimited disputes or service packages with additional features, such as score trackers or identity theft insurance.
The importance of having good credit
Having a good credit history is vital in today’s world. It can dictate whether you get a mortgage, a loan, or even land a job. This is why you need to learn how to fix a bad credit score.
Research shows that employers are increasingly checking potential employees’ credit history as standard. Although they won’t see your credit score, they will be able to see if you’ve had a history of missed payments. This gives an indication of your reliability, which can be important for roles in accountancy or finance.
How to DIY credit repair
If you don’t want to pay for a company to do so, another credit repair option is doing it yourself. Here’s how to DIY credit repair in 5 easy steps:
- Keep an eye on your credit score. You can get free credit reports from the credit bureaus. Everyone is entitled to one from each credit reporting agency annually, meaning you can stagger them across the year and get one every four months.
- Rebuild your credit. To boost your credit score, you can take out new credit and repay it promptly. One of the best ways to do this is with a secured credit card, where you’ll lose your security deposit if you don’t keep up with repayments. This acts as an extra incentive to prioritize the payments. Just make sure you check out the 10 mistakes to avoid when repairing credit!
- Here’s a no-brainer – pay off your debt. However, you’d be surprised at how many people get overwhelmed and fail to pay off overdue debts. Start with small payments, and you’ll get there eventually.
- Remove negative items on your credit reports. These can be due to identity theft or late payments. Some of these can be removed with a goodwill letter to creditors.
- Apply for a major credit card. Once your credit score is back to a good level, you can boost it further by applying for and being approved for new credit.
How We Found the Best Credit Repair Companies
We researched a range of review sites to investigate the practices, reputations, years of experience, and services offered by each of the credit repair companies in this report. We searched the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database, TrustPilot, Google reviews, news articles, and other sites focused on credit repair to compile the pros and cons of each company.