“A good credit repair company will scrub questionable credit report items against other laws—like the Fair Credit Billing Act, which regulates original creditors; the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which oversees collection agencies; and others that address medical illness, military service, student status and other life events,” Padawer said.
The Credit People offer a simple way to check out their services: pay an initial fee of $19, which includes your credit report (a service often not provided by credit repair services) and see what you think for the next 7 days. If you choose to continue using their credit repair plan, you'll pay a flat fee of $79 per month. The service can be cancelled at any time, and an "Unbeatable Satisfaction Guarantee" allows you to get a refund for one month's service fees (this is assuming you cancel as soon as you're unhappy, not months after the fact).
Other than updating their website, Credit Firm could rank higher among credit repair companies by offering a satisfaction guarantee. While $49/month is affordable and the service is easy to cancel, this provider could take it a step further by letting customers know that they're committed to achieving a specific level of results within a given timeframe.
Your loan balances also affect your credit score in a similar way. The credit score calculation compares your loan current loan balance to the original loan amount. The closer your loan balances are to the original amount you borrowed, the more it hurts your credit score. Focus first on paying down credit card balances because they have more impact on your credit score.
When shopping around for the perfect credit repair company, start with the basics: fees and reputation. As in any market, the price of credit repair services will vary by company and features. Checking the company’s reputation with the BBB and industry associations is a good way to determine their legitimacy, and ensure you’re not about to throw your money away.
HomePlus: they'll conduct the services in the Standard and Premier plans, along with disputing any questionable inquiries and recommend solutions specifically designed to help you qualify for a home loan. If you take out a home loan through one of the provider's approved brokers, you'll get a refund of every dollar you've paid to Credit Repair Consultants
But, if you're looking for straightforward pricing - $49.99/month, with no setup fees, cancel anytime - with a company that maintains an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau, Credit Firm could be what you want. Although you'll have to provide a credit report (or possibly pay Credit Firm to get it for you), your credit repair program is all covered by the monthly fee. Your monthly service includes the following:
You're also entitled to a free credit report if you've been turned down for credit because of something on your credit report, if you're currently receiving government assistance, if you're unemployed and plan to look for a job soon, or if you think you've been a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft. Some states even have laws that let you get an additional free credit report each year. All these free credit reports should be ordered directly through the credit bureaus.
Of course, if keeping accounts open and having credit available could trigger additional spending and debt, it might be more beneficial to close the accounts. Only you know all the ins and outs of your financial situation, and like thumbprints, they're different for each person. Make sure you carefully evaluate your situation; only you know what can work best for your financial outlook.