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.
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).
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.
"I just want to say how great it is working with CreditRepair.com and how much hope you guys have given me. You have made great strides in just a few short months and I am sure to reach my goal before this year is over. Whenever I call, and I call a lot, you are never too busy to talk to me and I knew from the very first interview that you truly care about your customers. With all my heart I am truly grateful."
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 Negotiating with creditors may help remove inaccurate or out-of-date marks from credit reports, improve credit histories and increase credit scores.
Here’s a good example of when a reputable credit repair service can help you do something you may not be able to accomplish yourself. If you have a collection account that’s been sold to a few different debt collectors, it can appear on your credit report multiple times. That information is accurate but having that one debt dinging your credit score multiple times doesn't meet the “fair” standard that Padawer mentioned.
A credit repair company initiates credit challenges to bureaus when they notice errors in your credit reports. Credit report disputes involve challenging credit bureaus, drafting goodwill letters to remove late payments and contacting data furnishers to verify old debts. Credit repair specialists review the results and, if necessary, escalate the dispute process.
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.
"My credit was at an all-time low and I did not know what I was going to do. CreditRepair.com got my credit reports straightened out and I can now go on with my life being able to afford the things that make life worth enjoying again like loans for a home at a reasonable rate instead of being turned down before I even get to first base. Thank you!"
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.
On the other hand, we found that their client reviews were not all positive. You pay a lot for this service, so you expect to have measurable results and competent customer service, but many of the complaints we found said that the attention received after signing on the dotted line was very different from the sales pitch beforehand. Company reps seemed to respond almost exclusively to compliments online, but we didn't see the same attention given to address problems or complaints.
Credit restoration specialists have the experience and expertise to navigate even the most complicated credit situations. For example, a credit repair agency can help victims of identity theft remove derogatory marks on their credit reports that resulted from fraud. However, a legitimate credit repair company can’t remove accurate marks just because they are negative.
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From there, Credit Repair's experts work with credit companies to implement your plan, and then they verify with the credit bureaus to make sure that those changes actually take effect. You can track your progress through your personal online dashboard and a mobile app, where you'll also see your score tracker and analysis of the changes to your credit profile.
In an industry like credit repair, reputation is everything when choosing which service to use. In that regard, Pyramid comes up short. To find out their track record with the BBB, we had to find them under their alternate business name, Credit Concierge Services LLC. The BBB lists that business as "NR" (No Rating) status until more data comes in; when we found that listing, there was only one review posted and it was negative. We found just over four dozen mostly-positive reviews specifically for Pyramid around the web, but in an age where we know that customer reviews can be faked (unlike what you find on TopConsumerReviews.com!), it's hard to know which ones are truthful without trusted validation like the BBB.
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