Debt Relief is more important now than ever before. Across the country, millions of people are finding it more and more difficult to meet their financial obligations. As mortgage interest rates rise, Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) payments skyrocket. Credit card late fees continue to climb higher. Lenders keep offering credit to people who are in desperate need of help, but this only prolongs the problem, and often ends up simply increasing the total debt owed by a person.
Credit repair companies typically charge a one-time setup fee between $15 and $100 plus monthly fees between $60 and $150. Many companies offer a discount for couples who both need affordable credit repair services. Some credit restoration companies charge per successfully deleted item, and others charge a flat-rate fee for a specific term, usually six months. Keep in mind that legitimate credit repair companies won’t request service payments until they do some work for you.
After you download your credit reports, it takes several hours to review them for errors. Then, you must gather documentation and draft dispute letters, which could take up to a week or more if you aren’t already familiar with your records. Depending on the item and the reason it's in your credit history, this could involve writing a short letter or performing significant amounts of research.
You can also get your free Experian credit score and a credit report card that are updated every 14 days on Credit.com. Your credit report card shows where you stand in the five key areas that make up your score—payment history, credit utilization, account mix, credit age and inquiries. Your report card also gives you tips on how to improve your standing in each area if needed. And checking your report card and score doesn’t hurt your credit in any way.
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.
"Without a doubt I was at the end of my rope and profoundly desperate to turn my credit score around. I was tempted to consult with individuals who were promising and guaranteeing quick results for an astronomical fee. After speaking with a CreditRepair.com representative, I felt comfortable and was willing to give them the opportunity to assist me and I have been exceptionally satisfied with their service."
When the bureaus and data furnishers receive the dispute and supporting information, they then work with the credit repair company to determine if the item should be removed from your credit report. The major law governing your rights when it comes to credit reporting is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but it isn’t the only law on your side when it comes to credit repair.
Become familiar with the information contained in each of your credit reports. They'll all look very similar, even if you've ordered them from different bureaus. Each credit report contains your personal identifying information, detailed history for each of your accounts, any items that have been listed in public record like a bankruptcy, and the inquiries that have been made to your credit report.
"My credit had been bad for a while because of bad decisions. I just came to the point where I said this can be better. I heard your radio commercial and your customer service walked me through the whole process and explained and answered all my questions. I am very thank you for you helping me raise my scores to a respectful. It’s been such a journey. Thank you"
If your debt feels overwhelming, it may be valuable to seek out the services of a reputable credit counseling service. Many are non-profit and charge small or no fees for their services. You can review more information on selecting the right reputable credit counselor for you from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Credit counselors can help you develop a Debt Management Plan (or DMP) and can negotiate to reduce your monthly payments. In many cases, you'll be responsible for only one monthly payment to the credit counseling service, which will then disburse funds to all of the accounts you owe on.