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Best credit repair services 2021

Best credit repair services 2021
(Image credit: Getty)

If you need to fix your credit score fast, the best credit repair services are where to turn. They’ll be able to boost your score to give you the best possible chance of securing finance that may once have been out of reach, and whether you’re unsure why you’ve been refused credit, are never offered the best rates or have made financial mistakes in the past, the best credit repair services will have the solution. 

They’ll take a close look at your financial history, trawling through your credit report to identify where improvements need to be made and, crucially, uncovering any potential errors that could be holding you back from the best finance deals. Given how long derogatory marks last, this can be a vital step to get your credit score back on track, and the best credit repair services will even speak with the credit bureaus on your behalf to get the errors expunged – and many guarantee that your score will improve as a result. 

Of course, you could always spend the time to work on your credit report and dispute any errors yourself, but if increasing your credit score quickly is a priority, opting for additional support could be your best bet. Specialist services will have the kind of credit repair software that you won’t be able to access on your own, but it can still be difficult to know who to turn to, which is where this guide can come in. 

This overview outlines the very best credit repair services around, highlighting those companies known for speed, customer service, fraud and bespoke payment options, as well as the service with the most usable app and the top-rated service overall. Any one of them could help you transform your financial fortunes so you can access the very best mortgages, personal loans and any other form of credit, without a poor credit score holding you back.  

What the experts say

According to Lexington Law, which has made over 221 million credit report challenges since 2004, and oversaw the removal of 7 million negative items from the credit reports of its clients in 2020 alone, the reasons to approach a reputable credit repair service are many:

"Credit repair companies have the experience and knowledge to tackle credit issues that could be difficult to resolve on your own. This expertise makes the credit repair process easier for customers. Companies know what to look for, understand the process needed to fix inaccuracies, and are informed on what clients are legally entitled to request from both credit bureaus and creditors.

"Yes, you can repair your own credit, but you must make sure you’ve done your research to do it correctly. Legitimate credit repair companies should also inform you of that when you contact them. You can do anything that a credit repair company does. For example, you can contact the credit bureaus directly instead of using a credit repair company’s help.

"However, repairing your credit without the help of a credit repair company or financial expert can hurt you in the long run if you haven’t done your homework. There are a lot of things you can easily miss if you don’t have the experience or knowledge that they provide."

Best credit repair service

Credit Saint: Best credit repair service overall

(Image credit: Credit Saint)

Credit Saint

Credit Saint is our top pick overall for credit repair

SPECIFICATIONS

Cost: $79.99-$119.99 per month | Customer service: 24/7 | Contact: Phone, email, online chat | Credit report: Free

Reasons to Buy

Excellent results rate
Money-back guarantee
Truly unlimited disputes

Reasons to Avoid

Top service is not cheap

Credit Saint has one of the best success rates you’re likely to find, at 95%, and comes with a confidence inspiring 90-day money-back guarantee. Unlike some credit repair services, Credit Saint offers a truly unlimited amount of dispute letters, which are sent out immediately, meaning you should see results on your credit early. 

What customers say

Credit Saint receives an excellent 4.5 out of 5 stars across more than 100 reviews on ConsumerAffairs, with most customers happy to share the vast improvements they’ve seen in their credit rating because of Credit Saint’s efforts. The company is also accredited and rated A at the BBB. 

With three distinct credit repair plans on offer - Polish, Remodel and Clean Slate - there should be an option that is suitable for everyone. And while the all-in Clean Slate package isn’t the cheapest credit repair option around, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck, including the ability to challenge items relating to judgements and bankruptcy, and access to the company’s most aggressive repair service. If the lighter touch is what you’re after, the basic package covers late payment, identity theft, charge-offs and collections.

There’s a free consultation to get you started that lets you know your credit situation and potential actions to take, and if you then follow through and sign up, you'll have 24/7 access to your case status online and access to in-house legal staff. The three step process that Credit Saint operates makes the service incredibly easy to follow, and with an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and excellent testimonials, it's clear most customers are very happy with Credit Saint. 

Best credit repair customer service

Sky Blue: Best credit repair customer service

(Image credit: Sky Blue)

Sky Blue

Sky Blue excels in credit repair customer service

SPECIFICATIONS

Cost: $79 per month, couples $119 per month | Customer service: 24/7 | Contact: Phone, email, mail | Credit report: Free

Reasons to Buy

Couples discount
Excellent customer service
90-day money-back guarantee

Reasons to Avoid

Basic website

Sky Blue is a credit repair service that has some of the best customer reviews around. This is thanks to decent pricing and a 90 day money-back guarantee but also superb customer care. A free consultation means there's no pressure guidance at the start, and then if you do sign up, you'll get 15 inquiries made every 35 days across the three bureaus following an expert credit report review. 

What customers say

Customers wholly endorse the credit repair service that Sky Blue has to offer, and readily award extremely rare - but well-deserved - full five star reviews. On ConsumerAffairs, an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 stars is earned across more than 130 ratings submitted in the past year, including acknowledgments of the “best service ever”. 

The pricing at Sky Blue is kept simple, with a flat rate charge of $79 per month. There’s a special offer for couples who both think their credit could do with some specialist attention, and the added safety net of a 90 day guarantee too. The company even promises to let you know at the start if it thinks you’d be able to sort your credit problems yourself. 

Unlike some services, Sky Blue promises to fully personalize correspondence with the bureaus to ensure they know all the details specific to your case. What’s also customized are plenty of the educational materials that help teach you how to improve your FICO score now and in the future, in the hope that your improved credit rating stays that way. 

Best credit repair service for speed

The Credit Pros: Best credit repair service for speed

(Image credit: The Credit Pros)

The Credit Pros

The Credit Pros are the top pick for a fast credit repair fix

SPECIFICATIONS

Cost: $19 - $149 per month, or individual deletions at $100 each | Customer service: 24/7 | Contact: Phone, email, text | Credit report: Free

Reasons to Buy

Private consultation
Cease and desist letters
24/7 access portal

Reasons to Avoid

Top plan is expensive

As the name suggests, The Credit Pros offer all the expertise you might need to fix your credit. Employing FICO professionals and licensed attorneys, The Credit Pros provides access to some of the best-informed credit repair guidance that there is. What is more, the swift action that they take can result in some of the fastest credit report changes you will find. 

What customers say

The Credit Pros service overall is widely appreciated by past customers. An average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars at ConsumerAffairs is accompanied by plaudits for the company’s professionalism. An A- rating is awarded to the service by the BBB, where it has been accredited since 2011. 

So confident is The Credit Pros in its ability, the company promises that if you don't have at least one negative item removed from your credit within 90 days, you can have all your money back. There’s round-the-clock access to your full credit report so that you can keep an eye on progress, while unlimited disputes can be made if you pay monthly. 

The cheapest $19-a-month plan may only allow you to look at your report and monitoring services, but there are various options available all the way up to the most comprehensive package at $149 monthly. Negative items relating to late payments, collections, repossessions, inquiries, and student loan late payments are all commonly removed. 

Best credit repair service for fraud

Pyramid Credit Repair: Best credit repair service for fraud

(Image credit: Pyramid Credit Repair Services)

Pyramid Credit Repair

Pyramid is the pinnacle of fraud repair

SPECIFICATIONS

Cost: $99 per month | Customer service: 24/7 | Contact: Phone, email, text | Credit report: Free

Reasons to Buy

Personal account managers
Money-back guarantee
Real-time updates

Reasons to Avoid

Cheaper options are available

When it comes to fixing fraud on your credit report, Pyramid Credit Repair is one of the best credit repair services around. The service might be at the higher end of the pricing bracket - the Singles plan costs $99 a month - but you will get a personal case manager, real-time credit updates, and a money-back guarantee. There's no start-up charges either and everything is crystal clear as to exactly what you’ll need to pay.

What customers say

Pyramid Credit Repair has no listing or accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, but its customers think highly of the service that it provides nonetheless. An excellent Trustpilot score of 4.4 out of 5 stars sees a whopping 92% of reviewers award an Excellent rating, amid praise being informative, helpful and clear in the plans that are put in place.   

As already mentioned, Pyramid Credit Repair is great if you suspect fraud, with the company renowned for its expertise in both identifying where potential scams may have had an effect, and then clearing up the mess that’s been created. 

In terms of speed, Pyramid says it hopes to see credit changes within 45 days - give it a little longer, and if you're not happy with the service across the first 90 days, you can also claim your money back. An online support service offers 24/7 access to your case, while blogs and FAQs will educate you on everything credit related in the process, to help you steer clear of problems in the future. 

Best credit repair service app

CreditRepair.com: Best credit repair service app

(Image credit: CreditRepair.com)

CreditRepair.com

CreditRepair.com is top for credit repairs on the go

SPECIFICATIONS

Cost: $99.95 per month | Customer service: 24/7 | Contact: Phone, email, online chat | Credit report: $14.99

Reasons to Buy

Excellent pricing
Great online tools
Can manage by mobile app

Reasons to Avoid

No guarantee

The CreditRepair.com service is great if you need your credit fixing but like the impressive things that the best tech has to offer too. As well as the app and online 24/7 access to your account status, you get a free credit consultation initially. 

What customers say

Some caution might be wise given the suggestion of some unsavory past practices, but an excellent rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot means there are plenty of happy customers out there too. Praise is reserved especially for the speed at which improvements have been made and the standard of service. 

If you take up the offer, you will pay a fixed $99.95 per month - it's as straightforward as a pricing structure can get, and while not the cheapest, you will get credit alerts as your score improves, access to educational materials and round-the-clock support. 

The formulation of a 'Game Plan' means you know exactly where you're heading, with most customers finding it takes six months to reach their credit destination. Education is a big deal at CreditRepair.com too, with the more usual FAQs and process insights sitting alongside a score estimator and centers focusing on savings and loans. 

Best credit repair service for bespoke payments

The Credit People: Best credit repair service for bespoke payments

(Image credit: The Credit People)

The Credit People

The Credit People have great credit repair payment options

SPECIFICATIONS

Cost: $79 per month or $419 for six months | Customer service: 24/7 | Contact: Phone and email | Credit report: Free ($19 setup)

Reasons to Buy

Affordable payment options
No hidden fees

Reasons to Avoid

Few past reviews
Limited educational material

The Credit People is the ideal credit repair company if you need choice over how you pay for your service. There's a free consultation, but then importantly, the option to pay monthly or enjoy a discount if you sign up for six months - it's up to you. 

What customers say

The Credit People enjoys a favorable rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars at ConsumerAffairs across around 40 reviews, with the company’s professional approach to credit repair, and the swiftness of any progress made, regularly flagged as positives. 

If you don't get results, you can cancel and get some of your money back, but with a long list of services on offer, including the option of a dedicated account manager and unlimited disputes, it's likely The Credit People will succeed. 

Email updates and a 24/7 online portal makes keeping an eye on progress easy - here you’ll find details of client requests and the actions taken, alongside pie graphs illustrating exactly what’s been repaired with each bureau. And with the company adopting a team approach to credit repair, there should be some credit improvement for you to see. 

Best credit repair services advice

How to choose a credit repair service 

According to a Federal Trade Commission study, around one in five people who had an error on at least one of their credit reports were successful in getting it corrected after it was disputed. If the errors are more extensive due to identity theft or debt collectors adding multiple entries, a credit repair service can dispute inaccurate information on your behalf. They also work with your creditors and the credit reporting agencies to remove inaccurate, redundant or unfair information from your credit reports. Hiring a credit repair company could be seen as an investment, so here are a few guidelines to help you find the best fit for your situation.

Avoid companies with high upfront costs
Credit repair services that have a high upfront cost are best avoided. The high cost could be an indication that they are a scam. Credit repair services should only charge you for the work they have performed. 

Know your rights
A reputable credit control service will inform you of your rights. The CROA, which governs what credit repair services can and can’t do, states clearly, “No credit repair organization may charge or receive any money or other valuable consideration for the performance of any service which the credit repair organization has agreed to perform for any consumer before such service is fully performed.” This means companies shouldn’t ask for payment before any work is completed. The CROA also requires that credit repair services include “the terms and conditions of payment, including the total amount of all payments to be made by the consumer to the credit repair organization or to any other person” in the initial contract to protect you against surprise fees and expenses.

Only use a service that informs you of these rights.

Educational resources
The best credit repair companies offer a wealth of educational resources to help customers learn about credit, credit scores, credit reporting and credit laws. It’s extremely helpful to have all the answers you need compiled in one place, especially if you have little to no knowledge about credit. It will also save you a lot of research. We preferred services that offer a variety of educational resources, as different people learn in different ways. For example, Lexington Law offers email subscriptions, eBooks, videos, articles and other educational mediums. 

Beyond online resources, your point of contact should also educate you on your rights according to the CROA. Under the law, a credit repair company is required to disclose the Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law, which briefly explains your rights, though we recommend looking over the CROA in its entirety before hiring a credit repair company.

Use credit monitoring
Credit monitoring will allow you to see how the changes affect your overall report and credit score over time. Know how your credit report is changing is an important step in your journey toward better credit. Most accurate derogatory marks stay on your credit report for seven to 10 years, but with corrective behaviors, after a year or two the marks have less impact on your report. Most of the credit repair companies we recommend provide credit monitoring with their services. 

Customer service
Most credit repair companies either assign a specific individual to work your case or split the work up between a team of people. We preferred companies that assign an individual case adviser, as it lets that person become more familiar with your case and establishes a single point of contact if you have questions or want to check on your progress. Companies that route your queries through a team of customer service agents work fine, but probably aren’t as convenient. A personal case adviser is also generally better for building a relationship with a customer, particularly as talking about sensitive personal information can prove uncomfortable - trust is important.

How long does credit repair take?

It usually takes three to six months for the top credit repair services to resolve your disputes. This varies depending on the complexity of your case because credit repair services sometimes have a maximum number of disputes they handle each month. If you have more disputes, it’s a good idea to send multiple disputes in the same letter and to investigate the number of disputes the credit repair service can file on your behalf each month. Some companies offer higher tiers of service that allow for more disputes per month and cost more money. In these cases, you must weigh the cost of a higher monthly fee against the cost of potentially employing the service for a longer contract. The credit bureaus have 30 days from the receipt of a dispute letter to respond and, in some cases, they may request further information from you. In accordance with the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), the credit repair company should give you an estimated timeline or completion date in your service agreement.

Accurate derogatory marks on your credit report can stay there for up to 10 years, depending on the type. Late payments, charge-offs, student loan delinquency or default, repossession and foreclosures can stay on your report for up to seven years. Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on your report for up to a decade. Still, even with these marks on your report, you can work to raise your credit score by making on-time payments and lowering your utilization rate – two key factors that affect your credit score. Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way to repair your credit; it takes some patience.

Understanding your FICO® Score 

While credit repair can make a huge difference in your credit score by correcting inaccurate derogatory marks on your credit report, there are several other things you can do to improve your credit. The first step you should take is to learn how credit scores work. Lenders usually use FICO® scores to judge your creditworthiness. Your FICO® score is calculated based on five components: payment history, number of credit inquiries, credit mix, credit utilization and credit account history. 

Because there are three credit reporting bureaus and each bureau may have different information, it is possible to have multiple credit scores. According to Nancy E. Bistritz-Balkan, vice president of communications and consumer education at Equifax (one of the three credit bureaus), each company uses slightly different metrics. “Consumers frequently ask why their credit scores are different,” she explained in an interview. “Not all lenders, financial companies and credit card companies report their information to all three major nationwide credit bureaus. They may report to one, two, all three, or none at all. In addition, each credit bureau has its own credit scoring model, and each lender has typically had its own lending criteria... In addition, lenders, financial companies, and credit companies report account information at different times, which can also impact credit scores.” Even with these differences, however, “The factor that can most significantly impact a consumer’s credit score is payment history,” she told us.

Payment history
Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO® score, so one of the best things you can do to repair your credit is to make consistent, on-time payments. One way to make sure you pay on time each month is to schedule automatic payments, which are easy to set up for most credit accounts. Even a year of consistently on-time payments can do wonders for your creditworthiness to lenders. “A derogatory mark doesn’t mean someone’s credit history stops,” Bistritz-Balkan said, emphasizing the importance of practicing good credit behavior even if you end up with some negative items on your credit report. “Remember: When lenders, financial companies or credit companies check someone’s credit history, they want to see a good track record of making timely payments."

Credit utilization
Your credit utilization is both the amount of money you owe and the ratio of your debt to your available credit. This makes up 30% of your credit score. For example, if your limit on a credit card is $1,000, putting $300 on the card puts your utilization at 30%. There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule for how much credit you should be using to maximize your score, but generally, keeping your balances lower is better, as creditors consider regularly maxing out your card or carrying debt close to your credit limit to be irresponsible credit behaviors. Paying off debts and using credit cards less frequently are great ways to start getting your credit utilization percentages in order. 

Credit history
The total length of your credit history makes up 15% of your FICO® score. A longer credit history makes it easier for lenders to gauge your long-term financial behaviors and, therefore, results in a higher score. Someone who just opened their first credit account would lose points for this, though it is still possible to have a good credit score with a relatively short credit history. You can use this information to improve your credit by holding on to your oldest credit accounts.

Credit inquiries and credit mix
Your credit mix and your credit inquiries or new credit make up the remaining 20% of your FICO® score. Credit mix is the different types of credit you use, including credit cards and loans. Having a good mix tends to be better for your credit score than having a bunch of credit cards, for example. But if you have only one or the other, it’s not a huge deal. New credit and credit inquiries are the number of credit lines you’ve opened or applied for within the past year. Hard inquiries to your credit hurt your credit score, so you should apply for new lines of credit only when you need them.

Types of derogatory marks

Credit reporting errors can occur at any step of the information transfer process, from your initial application for credit to the information provided by credit reporting bureaus. Many happen because of human error, typos or misreading or misinterpreting information. In some cases, errors on your credit report stem from more malignant activity, like identity theft. However they might originate, errors on your credit report, particularly erroneous derogatory marks, affect your credit. A derogatory mark is an item on your credit report that negatively affects your credit score. Here’s a brief overview of the most common derogatory marks.

Late/missed payments
A late payment can cause a minor ding to your credit, but the longer it takes you to make the payment, the worse it is for your credit score. To mitigate this, set up automatic payments on your credit accounts or, if you forget a payment, make it up as soon as possible. A mark for late payment stays on your credit report for seven years.

Charge-offs
Sometimes lenders may charge off your account, which means they’ve given up on directly collecting the owed amount. In many of these instances, the lender then sells the debt to a third-party company, which tries to collect on the debt. A charged-off account stays on your credit report for seven years.

Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal procedure by which a person is relieved of certain debt obligations. Bankruptcy is a severe derogatory mark and can stay on your credit report for seven to 10 years, depending on what type of bankruptcy you file for.

Court judgments
Any legal judgments requiring you to pay a debt or damages can appear on your credit report for seven years. If it remains unpaid, it could stay longer, as local laws in some areas allow the debt clock to reset on unpaid judgments.

Foreclosure
If a borrower has stopped making payments, a lender may attempt to recover losses by selling the collateral used for the loan. This often happens with severely late payments on mortgages. A foreclosure can stay on your credit report for seven years.

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