Amber Brooks is a Contributing Editor at Digital Brands. She spends her days consulting with financial experts to bring readers the best recommendations and tips on the web. She's interviewed financial leaders from all around the world. With a background in writing, she's uniquely suited to diluting complex financial jargon into terms that are easily understood. When not obsessively budgeting out her days, Amber can often be found with her nose in a book.
Credit Repair Consultants also proudly proclaims that they offer a refund policy on your monthly fees. The catch? You have to be a customer for a full 12 months before you can request an evaluation of your account; if the service has successfully removed or improved your account, you may not get a refund at all. They will claim a credit of $60 for every deleted or improved item on your credit report, and then compare it to the fees you've paid. In other words, if you've paid for 12 months at nearly $60 and they've removed or improved 12 things on your credit report, you're not entitled to anything back.
Looking at MSI's "C" grade with the Better Business Bureau, you may be surprised to find them ranked where they are in our review. Here's what we found: across hundreds of independently-verified reviews on other sites, MSI proved to be extremely responsive to their customers, both those that were extremely satisfied with their credit repair results and those who gave one-star reviews. And, most of the low reviews appeared to have been written in error or maliciously, even by customers who had no record of ever being paying clients of MSI. From our vantage point, MSI Credit Solutions stands by their service, issues refunds when they can't deliver, and takes the time to personally respond to each client. You won't find that kind of mom-and-pop service with any other credit repair company we examined.
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.
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.