Credit repair is the process of disputing negative marks on credit reports to get them removed, which raises your credit score. Credit histories often contain inaccurate or invalid items that damage your score. If you check your credit and your score is lower than you anticipated, it could be because of incorrect information on your credit reports.
Scoring models consider how much you owe and across how many different accounts. If you have debt across a large number of accounts, it may be beneficial to pay off some of the accounts, if you can. Paying down your debt is the goal of many who've accrued debt in the past, but even after you pay the balance down to zero, consider keeping that account open. Keeping paid-off accounts open can be a plus in your overall credit mix since they're aged accounts in good (paid-off) standing. You may also consider debt consolidation.
When considering the fees, it’s important to weigh what you’re getting in return. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), credit repair firms can’t legally do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself. You just have to be willing to spend the time reviewing your credit reports for negative or inaccurate information, reaching out to the credit bureaus to dispute that information, and following up on those disputes to make sure they’re being investigated.
The services provided by The Credit People are as you'd expect with a credit repair service: disputes, inquiries, interventions and validations. We like that they focus their results not just on removing negative items from your credit history, but also specifically on improving your credit score - so that you can more easily qualify for a loan or be selected as a tenant for a rental. We also appreciate that their approach to working with their clients is "How can we help?" with situations like trying to get interest rates lowered or to get a referral letter, going above and beyond the issues associated with your credit report.
Digging around a little more, though, we were left with some question marks. First, several places on the site refer to a 6-month, prepaid package plan that comes with a 6-month guarantee but this isn't listed on the Pricing page. Then, we were happy to see lots of informative articles on the Credit Resource Section - but disappointed to find that the Regulations page was totally blank.
If you pay a charge-off in full, your credit report will be updated to show the account balance is $0 and the account is paid. The charge-off status will continue to be reported for seven years from the date of charge off. Another option is to settle charge-offs for less than the original balance if the creditor agrees to accept a settlement and cancel the rest of the debt.
With what they charge, is Lexington Law effective at helping people improve their credit history? As you'd expect with such a large business, the reviews are mixed. Most credit repair services are criticized for not making noticeable improvements in less than two months, but that's to be expected. But, Lexington seems to have a higher-than-average number of people who say that they didn't get prompt responses from company reps, not just that their reports didn't improve quickly. On the other hand, we found numerous people saying that their credit scores improved dramatically as they stayed with the service, usually for six months on average.
*Ranking information is based on a compilation of reviews from the following third-party review sites: Bestcompany.com, Credible.com, BadCredit.org, and TheCreditReview.com. Credit.com has examined each review on the third-party sites listed and compared those sites' findings with the individual credit repair services' websites to derive the Credit.com reviews shown here.
Opening several credit accounts in a short amount of time can appear risky to lenders and negatively impact your credit score. Before you take out a loan or open a new credit card account, consider the effects it could have on your credit scores. Know too, that when you're buying a car or looking around for the best mortgage rates, your inquiries may be grouped and counted as only one inquiry for the purpose of adding information to your credit report. In many commonly-used scoring models, recent inquiries have greater effect than older inquiries, and they only appear on your credit report or a maximum of 25 months.
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