If you pay a charge-off in full, your credit report will be updated to show the account balance is $0 and the account is paid. The charge-off status will continue to be reported for seven years from the date of charge off. Another option is to settle charge-offs for less than the original balance if the creditor agrees to accept a settlement and cancel the rest of the debt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Credit Pros have some indicators of a good reputation: an "A+" rating as an accredited business with the BBB, along with some positive customer comments. We also like that they offer a solid satisfaction/refund policy: you can cancel your service at any time, and you can get a full refund if they don't force the removal of any errors on your credit history within the first 90 days of your service.
"I like that you are helping me to improve my credit, even though the price is a little high but it's worth doing it for my future. I just wish it would improve a little faster and also get rid or lower the interest rate on the federal loan, hopefully I can see a better score next month or so. I do plan on getting a new car some time next year or so depending on the status of my credit."
"I went and got a new car in Feb 2013 signed the contract and drove off with my new car. A few weeks later I get a call that the financing had fell through or that's what I was told so I returned the car after realizing it wasn't worth it with an interest rate at 22%. I decided to go ahead and start the process of having a house built but found out my credit score had been knocked down by 100 points so I called CreditRepair.com. I'm so happy with the outcome - I can't wait to see my results for the month of April."
If you find information that is incorrect, you can file a dispute. Remember too, that items on your credit report that you don't recognize could also be potential signs of fraudulent activity — someone working to secure credit in your name for their own use. Make sure you're clear on items that could potentially be fraudulent, versus those that may simply be inaccurate.