You've probably seen advertisements for credit repair on television or heard them on the radio. Maybe you've even seen credit repair signs on the side of the road. You don't have to hire a professional to fix your credit. The truth is, there is nothing a credit repair company can do to improve your credit that you can’t do for yourself. Save some money and the hassle of finding a reputable company and repair your credit yourself. The next steps will show you how.
Brittney Mayer is a credit strategist and contributing editor for BadCredit.org, where she uses her extensive research background to write comprehensive consumer guides aimed at helping readers make educated financial decisions on the path to building better credit. Leveraging her vast knowledge of the financial industry, Brittney’s work can be found on a variety of websites, including the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, US News & World Report, NBC News,TheSimpleDollar.com, CreditRepair.com, Lexington Law, CardRates.com, and CreditCards.com, among others.
After you’ve resolved the negative items on your credit report, work on getting positive information added. Just like late payments severely hurt your credit score, timely payments help your score. If you have some credit cards and loans being reported on time, good. Continue to keep those balances at a reasonable level and make your payments on time.
Advancements in technology make it much less difficult for credit repair businesses to quickly start operating a successful credit repair business. The latest software that people use in this industry is all “cloud-based,” and automates most credit repair related tasks. Thus, you can spend more time marketing and serving your customers. Also, an easy to use customer management screen will make it easy to find any customer’s credit repair history in one place.
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).
Credit repair companies can help when debt collectors attempt to collect an expired debt you no longer legally owe. Most credit repair companies employ lawyers to assist with these processes. The company’s employees send official cease-and-desist letters to get these collectors to stop contacting you. Negotiating with creditors may help remove inaccurate or out-of-date marks from credit reports, improve credit histories and increase credit scores.
"So far my experience with CreditRepair.com resulted in positive results. They have been working non-stop to help me repair my credit scores. I have hopes that in a few short months my score will continue to increase (which it has been steadily thanks to CreditRepair.com) so I will be able to start looking for my new home before the end of the year."
Once you have your credit reports, read through them completely. If you have a long credit history, your credit reports might be several pages long. Try not to get overwhelmed by all the information you're reading. It's a lot to digest, especially if you're checking your credit report for the first time. Take your time and review your credit report over several days if you need to.
Unfortunately, Credit Repair has lost some credibility within the industry. Why? According to the Better Business Bureau, the company was asked to prove their claims that the average customer sees progress every month while using their services - even seeing improvements in the neighborhood of 7% of questionable credit report negatives being taken off their credit reports every 30 days. As of the date of our review, the BBB was still reporting that they had not received proof of those advertising claims. Those claims are still prominently featured on the Credit Repair website.
A credit repair agency doesn’t technically do anything that you can’t do yourself, but the service is worth it for many people who find the DIY credit repair process time consuming and confusing. The best credit repair service combines financial education with proven techniques to remove negative items from your credit history. If your poor credit resulted from a complicated situation out of your control, such as identity theft, professional credit repair services save you time and effort.
A good credit repair company first pulls your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus in order to pinpoint your credit issues. Why all three? Because each credit reporting agency has its own “data furnishers” (aka lenders, credit card companies, debt collectors, etc.), that report your credit information to them. And there may be errors that appear on one of your credit reports, but don’t appear on the others
Credit scoring models usually take into account how much you owe compared to how much credit you have available, called your credit utilization rate or your balance-to-limit ratio. Basically it's the sum of all of your revolving debt (such as your credit card balances) divided by the total credit that is available to you (or the total of all your credit limits).