As the name suggests, a credit repair company helps consumers clean up inaccuracies that may be hurting their credit scores. They can also help them negotiate directly with creditors to settle debts and set up payment arrangements, if necessary. While it’s possible to do some of this work on your own, hiring a credit repair company can be helpful for those with limited time or who lack the experience or expertise to do so. However, not all companies are created equal, and some should be avoided like the plague. Look for red flags like high upfront fees and promises that seem overblown, such as claiming that they can guarantee you an improved credit score.
The best credit repair companies will typically provide a free consultation and perform a thorough analysis of your credit reports before charging you. They will identify questionable items, such as hard inquiries that never should have been on your report or negative information that should have already fallen off. They will then work to dispute these errors with the credit bureaus in order to get them changed or removed from your report.
While you can file disputes on your own, it’s easier to do with the help of a credit repair company that has a deep understanding of the credit bureau systems and data furnishers’ systems as well as experience filing disputes on behalf of consumers. They can also help you understand the credit reporting laws and what the law says about your rights.
Although no credit repair service can promise that your credit score will improve, the best ones should be able to reduce the number of inaccurate items on your credit reports. They can also work to lower your utilization rate, which is the percentage of your available credit that you’re using. This can increase your credit score.
If you want to avoid shady companies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has an online database that lists complaints against credit repair services. Additionally, you can search the Better Business Bureau and state attorney general and corporate commission offices for complaints against particular companies in your area.
The Credit People, which has been around for 12 years, stands out among other credit repair companies as the best of the bunch. Its team of highly-trained specialists is able to examine your credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian for any inaccuracies and then file them with the credit bureaus to get those errors fixed. Its pricier plans include credit monitoring, and its lowest-price plan includes a first work fee of only $19.
Other notable features of The Credit People include an A+ rating with the BBB, affordable rates, a money-back guarantee, and multiple ways to communicate with customer support. It can also send debt validation letters and cease-and-desist letters on your behalf, and it offers a mobile app to track credit score updates and progress in real-time. It is important to note that even the best credit repair companies won’t be able to remove all inaccurate information from your credit report, and you should expect to see some improvement within a few months. best credit repair company