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30 Things You Need to Know to Build Credit



If you’re thinking about doing anything that requires someone to review your credit — like buying a home or car, taking out a loan or applying for a new credit card — you’ll want to make sure that your credit score is as high as it can be. What is a good credit score anyway?

Start by learning about credit scores and how they can help you climb the ladder of financial success. Once you understand the basics, you can put some credit-building strategies into action.

Click through to learn everything you need to know about credit and get your highest credit score yet.

1. Typical Credit Scores Range From 300 to 850

Your credit score is calculated using information in your credit reports, such as credit limits, loan amounts and payment history. Like other scoring models, the FICO credit score range is 300 to 850, and the average credit score for U.S. consumers is 695.

According to Experian, one of the three national credit bureaus in the U.S., a good credit score is anything from 670 to 739 on the FICO range. A score of 600 is generally considered fair, and 579 or lower qualifies as “very poor.” You might need tips to repair your score if you find yourself under 579.  The higher your credit score, the better shape you’re in to qualify for a loan from a lender.

2. Good Credit Can Save You Money

A good credit score starts around 700 and might get you offers of lower interest rates for mortgage loans, car loans and credit cards — which means more money you can keep in your pocket. Lenders also use the scores to disqualify consumers for the best, most competitive terms and rates.

3. FICO Is the Most Commonly Used Score

Of all the credit scoring models, the FICO score is the most popular. The FICO score is used in about 90 percent of credit decisions, according to Experian. You might have a slightly different FICO score from each of the three credit bureaus based on the different information in each credit report.


4. ‘FAKO’ Scores Are Just Non-FICO Credit Scores

A “FAKO” score is a term used to describe non-FICO credit scores such as the VantageScore, which was developed by the three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Despite the seemingly derogatory term used for these non-FICO scores, FAKO scores can be a trustworthy alternative to FICO.

5. Credit Scores Vary and Change Over Time

Different types of scores might vary, and scores can increase or decrease over time based on the information in your credit reports.

If you’re comparing different credit scores across the three bureaus, MyFICO recommends you access your scores at the same time. “Comparing a score pulled on bureau ‘A’ from last week to a score pulled on bureau ‘B’ today can be problematic as the week-old score may already be dated,” according to the site.


6. You Can Get Your Credit Report for Free

You should know what a credit report is — and what your own report looks like. Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’re entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus every year. You can order your annual free credit report online by visiting

Your free annual credit report does not include your credit scores, however. Instead, you can buy your credit score directly from the credit bureaus, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Your credit card company might share your FICO score with you for free, or you can turn to a third party that offers free credit scores. Note that checking your credit score yourself won’t hurt your score.

7. Different Lenders Use Different Credit Scores

A vast majority of lenders use the FICO credit score scale, but there are actually multiple versions within the FICO model. FICO released the latest version, FICO 9, in 2014. Many mortgage lenders haven’t updated to this version and are using older versions, however. You should ask your lender which version they are using so you can take the necessary steps to increase your credit score.

8. FICO Score Products Include Industry-Specific Versions

You have three basic FICO scores — one from each of the credit bureaus — but your scores might vary depending on whether you’re applying for a mortgage loan, auto loan or credit card. Although finding out your industry-specific scores might cost you extra, reviewing these scores before applying for a loan could pay off.

Many auto lenders, for example, use your FICO auto score rather than your basic FICO score when determining credit risk, CNBC reported. You don’t have to have a perfect credit score to qualify for most loans, and knowing the qualifying score for the specific type of loan you want will help you set your goal score.


9. Negative Items Stay on Credit Reports for a Long Time

Some negative items, including late payments, collections and foreclosures, can remain on your credit report for up to seven years, according to MyFICO. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on your credit history for seven years as well, but a Chapter 7 stays on your report for 10 years. Unpaid tax liens can stay on your credit report indefinitely, so it’s important to fix your credit score as soon as possible.

10. Spread disputes over a period of time

According to Trans Union,  by law credit agencies can refuse to investigate a dispute if they seem to be excessive, or irrelevant. This red flag can be avoided by disputing inaccuracies one at a time, instead of all at once.

11. You Can — and Should — Dispute Credit Report Errors

There’s no quick answer to the question of how to fix a credit score, but removing errors from your credit report can help improve your score. If you believe some of the information in your credit report is inaccurate, you should dispute the credit report errors.

To file a credit report dispute, the Federal Trade Commission recommends writing a letter to the credit reporting company and the information provider addressing the information that is inaccurate. The FTC offers sample dispute letters and more tips to help you get started.

12. Tax Liens Can Be Withdrawn From Credit Reports

A federal tax lien is basically the government’s legal claim to your property if you fail to pay a tax debt. If a tax lien is on your credit report, it can prevent or limit you from getting credit.

Fortunately, the IRS allows you to have a tax lien withdrawn if you pay it in full or enter a direct debit installment agreement. The latter allows you to pay the lien in direct debits, but you have to meet some requirements first. For example, you must owe $25,000 or less, and you must pay the tax lien in full within 60 months. Making sure you meet these requirements can be a helpful step toward improving your credit score.

13. Low Credit Utilization Can Help Repair Your Score

Another way to boost your credit score is to keep your credit utilization ratio low. That means you should focus on keeping the amount of credit you have available relatively high. For example, if you owe $1,000 on a credit card that has a $10,000 credit limit, your ratio is pretty low at only 10 percent. But if you owe $5,000 on that credit card, your ratio jumps to 50 percent, which can damage your credit score.


14. You Should Avoid Using Credit Cards With Balances

Stop using credit cards that carry an existing balance if you want to boost your credit score. Charging credit cards that already have balances will only further increase your credit utilization ratio, which is something you don’t want to do. If you want to start building good credit, be extremely careful and smart about how you handle and pay off your credit cards.

15. Emergency Funds Can Prevent Credit Card Usage

An emergency fund in a separate bank account can prevent you from resorting to using your credit cards when an emergency strikes. With some money in savings, you won’t have to risk using more of your credit and increasing your credit utilization ratio. Building an emergency fund is easy to do, but it does take some preparation in advance.

16. Paying Bills on Time Can Boost Your Score

One of the quickest ways to improve your credit score is to consistently pay all of your bills on time. Your payment history alone accounts for 35 percent of your total FICO score.


17. Paying Off Balances Early Creates a Good Payment History

If you don’t carry balances, using your credit cards periodically for purchases you can afford to pay off before the payments are due can help establish a good payment history without accruing any interest charges. When in doubt, pay off credit cards early.

18. Technology Can Help You Pay Bills on Time

A budget and a calendar, as well as text or smartphone alerts, can help you pay bills on time and avoid unnecessary late fees and bank fees. You can also set up online bill payment or autopay on many accounts to minimize the time and effort you spend paying bills.

19. Make Your Teen an Authorized User to Help Build His Score

Using credit cards can help your teenager learn how to build credit and increase his or her credit score. Making your teen an authorized user on a parent account that you control is a good way to build a positive credit history.

Just remember: If you have a bad credit history, it could reflect poorly on your teen. And if your teen owes money on the credit card, that means you owe money, too.

20. Hard Inquiries Can Impact Your Score

Frequent hard inquiries can decrease your credit score if it looks like your lifestyle is credit-dependent. Hard inquiries occur when potential lenders review your credit because you’ve applied for credit with them.

Credit checks when you’ve applied for a credit card, car loan or mortgage all count as hard inquiries and each type of credit check counts as one inquiry. Checking your credit scores and reports, however, does not result in a hard inquiry.

21. Student Loan Debt Can Hurt Credit Scores

Just like with any debt, having too much student loan debt isn’t good for your finances. And making late payments on your student loans can hurt your credit score, as well.

If it’s too hard to manage all of your student loans, consider consolidating them. Equifax warns that because consolidating your student loans triggers a hard inquiry, your credit score could take a small hit. But if consolidating helps you make on-time payments moving forward, the long-term benefit could be a higher score.

22. Co-Signing Loans Can Also Hurt Your Credit

You should think twice, maybe even three times, before co-signing loans of any kind — including student loans or car loans — for your kids or grandchildren. If they miss a payment or default on the loan, your credit could be at risk.

23. Check for Identity Theft Frequently

Identity fraud and theft can ruin your credit score quickly. Signs of identity fraud include accounts you didn’t open, purchases you didn’t make and services you didn’t order, which might appear on your credit report and affect your scores negatively. Check your credit report frequently to keep an eye on any unusual activity.

24. Keeping Unused Credit Cards Can Pay Off

One of the best ways to build credit is to keep all your credit cards open. Keeping paid-off or unused credit cards can help boost your credit score because you are keeping that unused credit and, thus, improving — that is, lowering — your credit utilization ratio.

Closing credit cards is equal to eliminating some of your available credit, which results in increasing your credit utilization ratio, according to MyFICO. Keep your accounts open as part of a strategy to get good credit.

25. Credit Repair Companies Can Do the Work for You

Although you can repair your credit and boost your score yourself, a reputable credit repair company that has expertise in dealing with the credit bureaus can more efficiently identify derogatory items on your credit reports that can be changed. A credit repair company can challenge those items and confirm that errors or negative items have been removed to boost your score faster.

26. The Longer Your Credit History, the Better

Your average credit age — the average age of all your accounts — is another factor in your credit score. Although there’s no set amount of time required to have a good score, the general rule is that a long credit history is better because the length and track record reflect your experience with building credit and demonstrating responsible credit usage.

There’s no way to build credit fast — it has to be done over time. FICO scores factor in average credit age by considering how long your specific credit accounts have been established and also how much time has passed since you used certain accounts.

27. Account Mix Matters

Credit mix accounts for 10 percent of your FICO score. This means all your credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans are taken into consideration. These credit types generally fall under one of two categories: installment or revolving.

Installment credit is debt paid in installments over time. Student loans, personal loans and mortgages fall under the installment category. Banks and financial institutions offer revolving credit — lending you money up to a maximum amount with the credit line remaining open for your access whenever you need it.

A home equity line of credit and retail charge cards are considered revolving credit. Your credit account mix can show diversity in the type of credit you use and how you choose to build your credit.

28. Keep Cards With the Most Spending History

Once you have your first credit card, keep it handy for as long as you can. 15 percent of your credit score is determined by longevity, so that credit card you opened in your early twenties is playing a very important role.

With that being said, there are different variables to take into consideration when determining the longevity of your credit. It’s best to play it safe if you are a younger person building credit to keep a hold of your old cards.



29. Pay Off Past Due Fines at the Library

Out of all the things that could damage your credit score, not paying your fines at the library is the most surprising. To stay safe, make sure all municipal debts are paid off when trying to build a healthy credit score — and get inventive with using your credit card to make money to try and counteract those fees.

30. Don’t Have a High Credit Ratio

If you’re using all of the credit that is available to you, it tells creditors that you may be living on credit and that you are at a higher risk of not paying back what you borrowed.

Credit utilization rate takes up 30 percent of your credit score rating. Making sure you have a lower utilization ratio will improve your credit score greatly.

More on Money

Priscilla Aguilera contributed to the reporting of this story.

This article originally appeared on 30 Things You Need to Know to Build Credit

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Credit Repair Companies

La Reyna Del Credito Helping People Defeat the Financial System by Improving Their Credit Scores



La Reyna Del Credito Helping People Defeat the Financial System by Improving Their Credit Scores

Financial freedom is somewhat an alien word where Ivonne Arvizu comes from, and she made a solemn promise to make it happen for herself and as many others as possible. With a work rate that has cut across different clients with varying professions such as medicine, entertainment, business, legal, real estate, financial professionals, police officers, and thousands of other people who needed credit report at one time or the other, Ivonne Arvizu has created a strong impression about La Reyna Del Credito. Ivonne acquired her credit repair knowledge a long time before she established her credit repair company, and she started helping people fix their credit while she worked at a bank. The bank was against her offering such services due to a conflict of interest. Ivonne, not willing to let herself get tied down in some banking bureaucracy she didn’t agree with, resigned from the bank and made her company into a full-fledged, official credit repair business.

Ivonne Arvizu has always been about excellence and flying the flag high all her life. Despite coming from a humble background and a poor family that never fulfilled the American dream, Ivonne set out to make a difference. She became a homeowner at the age of 20 and has dedicated more than 18 years of her life helping the Latino community elevate its financial status. Ivonne has been featured in Spanish programs on television networks like Telemundo, Univision, Radio Nueva Vida, Radio Inspiracion, and other broadcast services educating the public about financial freedom. Through La Reyna Del Credito, Ivonne is changing lives and shaking things up in the financial world.

La Reyna Del Credito was established on the premise of “Life happens, and anyone can get into a bad credit situation.” In Ivonne’s words, “Nobody ever hopes to have bad credit. It just happens, and it does not discriminate. There are so many variables that cause people to have bad credit and fortunately for them, ‘La Reyna del Credito’ exists.” Beyond fixing bad credit scores, La Reyna Del Credito helps people get their mortgage credit within days so they can buy their dream homes without stress. The company established a FICO program that ensures this guarantee, and it has boosted La Reyna Del Credito’s credibility in the Latino community.

La Reyna Del Credito has proven to be a game-changer for the Latino community and has pushed its members to focus on becoming more financially stable in their retirement age.  With more than 1,087 real estate deals closed in 2018 alone and a money-back guarantee on all credit fixes if the company does not deliver the score, La Reyna Del Credito has given people more confidence in its services as it continues to deliver excellent results. The bulk of the company’s clients are Spanish-speaking Latinos who migrated to the United States without knowledge of how credit scores work, and they need guidance. Ivonne Arvizu has built something outstanding, and she’s willing to see it through till she has fixed the finances of hundreds of thousands of people.

Learn more about La Reyna Del Credito on the company’s official website.

Media Contact
Company Name: La Reyna Del Credito
Contact Person: Ivonne Arvizu
Email: Send Email
Phone: (213) 434-9873
Country: United States

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Improve Your Credit Score with a Credit Repair Company



Securing a loan for your home or business investment can turn out to be quite overwhelming for individuals and businesses out there. People with poor credit scores often struggle with their loan applications, as it gets a bit challenging to have your loan application approved at a low interest. In fact, a credit score happens to be the first thing a bank or a financial institution is likely to notice when reviewing your loan application.

Sometimes, simple things such as late payments and irregular bill payments can lower your credit score significantly. Even if you manage to find a private lender who’s willing to approve your loan application, there is a good chance they will charge you a high interest for the loan.

Why Do I Need to Hire a Credit Repair Company?

It isn’t always your utility bills or debt payments that lower your credit rankings, but sometimes, you might end up with a bad credit score because of a small error on your credit report. Regardless of the complexity of the issue you are facing, you can’t deal with the problem on your own. It is important that you seek help from a credit repair company to look into the matter and fix the issue quickly. As the name suggests, the credit repair company is in charge of fixing the errors in your credit report and removing the items that might be lowering your credit score. This includes charge-offs, late payments, liens, debt collections, and so on.

With a large number of credit repairing companies claiming to offer high-quality and cost-effective services, the decision of choosing the most reliable company could be a little overwhelming. Each company offers a set of unique services that are designed to improve your credit score in different ways. You might have to apply for a loan to finance emergency health requirements, your dream home, a startup, business capital, child’s education, and other requirements. Here are a few other reasons why you must hire a credit repair company:

·      Fix Inaccuracies on Your Credit Reports

Research shows that more than half the population of the United States report inaccuracies and unnecessary errors in their credit reports every year. These errors occur due to the miscalculation is wrong information. As mentioned earlier, it isn’t always your debts and late payments that affect your credit rankings.

Sometimes, small errors in the report could have a profound impact on your credit score. It is, therefore, important for businesses and individuals to get their credit reports reviewed once in a while. Only a credit repair company has the expertise and skills it requires for reviewing the credit reports thoroughly and fixing the errors. The sooner you get these errors fixed, the faster you will be able to apply for a home loan.

·      Job Opportunities

Many reputable companies ask applicants to attach a copy of their credit reports with the job application so that they know their staff is trustworthy. A good credit score increases your chances of getting hired by a reputable company.

·      Insurance Policies

You can’t secure the best and low-priced insurance policy with a bad credit score. It’s important to work on your credit score to get the best deals on insurance policies. That’s because a majority of insurance providers offer insurance plans based on your credit reports. A reliable credit repair company will help fix your credit score, saving you a significant amount of money on an insurance policy.

Best Credit Repair Companies

There is no denying that good credit repair companies can help improve your credit reports by erasing the negative items and fixing the inaccuracies. Here are a few popular credit repair companies you can count on for premium services.

·      Credit Saint: With more than 10 years of experience in this industry, Credit Saint tops our list of the best credit repair company. The Better Business Bureau has rated it A+ for the variety of services it offers. The company has undoubtedly improved the credit rating of a large number of customers successfully over the past few years. It reviews your FICO credit score, evaluates the negative items, and fixes the damaged credit score.

·      Sky Blue Credit: If the price and quality of the services are your main concerns, Sky Blue Credit is your best bet. The company has kept a fixed price, which is $79 a month, for an extensive range of credit repair services.

·      The Credit Pros: With over 200,000 customers based across different parts of the world, The Credit Pros is a 12-year old company that has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. You can enroll in its monthly plan that costs a flat fee of $49 or choose the prosperity package – whatever fits your preference and budget.

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7 Best Credit Repair Companies in 2021: Top-Rated Credit



San Diego, CA, April 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Credit repair companies work on behalf of their clients to improve their credit report by removing negative items, such as debt collections, late payments, and bankruptcies. There are significant differences between credit repair companies in terms of the methods they use for payment structures and to repair credit scores.

To determine the best credit repair services to use, we compared factors such as reliability, effectiveness, and value for money. Based on these specifications, and the pros and cons of each company, here are the best credit repair companies in 2021.

1. Credit Saint – Best Credit Repair Company Overall

Credit Saint is the overall best credit repair service because it has a long and solid record of helping thousands of people to improve their credit scores. The company’s success is evident as the Better Business Bureau has given this service an A+ rating for more than 10 years.

Customers receive a free consultation from Credit Saint to talk about their credit score and identify any negative items. It is possible to use this service free without any obligation.

If a user chooses to proceed based on the initial consultation, Credit Saint then contacts the credit bureaus on the individual’s behalf. The aim of this communication is to remove any inaccurate information from the customer’s credit report.

Some of the negative items this company can potentially remove from credit reports include:

  • Late payments
  • Judgments
  • Collections
  • Repossessions
  • Bankruptcies
  • Credit inquiries
  • Liens

Credit Saint recognizes that their customers have differing needs, which is why they offer three packages. The first option is the Credit Polish package that includes a free score analysis, challenges of five negative items per cycle to three major credit bureaus, and a credit score tracker too.

The next level package is the Credit Remodel package. This option features everything from the Credit Polish model above. However, users receive 10 negative item disputes per cycle and ongoing Experian credit monitoring as well.

Credit Saint’s most aggressive option is the Clean Slate package. Along with everything in the other two packages, this one includes unlimited challenges on inaccurate items, and the company will also send out cease and desist letters on the customer’s behalf.

Other points in Credit Saint’s favor include good value for money and that they offer a 90-day money-back guarantee. Overall, the positive features of Credit Saint are:

  • More than 10 years of A+ Better Business Bureau rating
  • Three different packages
  • Free, no-obligation consultation with a credit repair expert
  • Real-time progress monitoring via an online dashboard
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

2. Lexington Law – Most Experienced Credit Repair Company

One of the top credit repair services in terms of experience is Lexington Law, as it was founded in 1991. Now, it is the United State’s biggest credit restoration company. In 2017 alone, Lexington Law had more than 100,000 negative items removed from their customers’ credit reports.

This company has a team of lawyers and paralegals that protect your credit using specific laws. Some of the issues that can impact a person’s credit score negatively, with which they help their customers, include:

  • Divorce
  • Medical bills
  • Identity theft
  • Student debt
  • Military service

Lexington Law has three packages available to accommodate the different needs of users. The most basic of these is the Concord standard service, and this includes challenging negative items with the customer’s creditors and the three major credit bureaus.

The next level is the Concord premium package. In addition to the services from the standard model, the person also receives TransUnion alerts and a score analysis. They also benefit from having hard inquiries removed.

Finally, the PremierPlus package is the most thorough credit repair service Lexington Law offers. In addition to the services of the other packages, this package includes personal finance tools, identity theft protection, and the FICO score tracker.

Although Lexington Law is a little more expensive than most other credit repair companies, they are one of the most experienced companies, and the quality of their work is outstanding.

The main benefits of using their services are:

  • Many independent review sites rank Lexington Law as the best option
  • Over 56 million removals since 2004
  • Help offered with charge offs, late payments, foreclosures, and collections
  • More than 500,000 active clients

3. – Best Credit Repair App has some of the best reviews from former customers of all the credit repair services. Founded in 2012, this company has removed more than 1.8 million harmful items from its customers’ credit reports. This credit repair company’s app is available for iPhones and Android devices.

After signing up with, customers will have their credit report retrieved and analyzed to identify misleading, inaccurate, or invalid items. The team then creates a customized credit repair plan to help rebuild positive credit, and they employ various methods to achieve this. offers customers three different packages, so people can choose the package that best meets their needs. Direct is their entry-level package and the cheapest option. It is ideally suited to people who have only a handful of negative items. The package includes 15 negative item challenges and three creditor disputes each month.

Those who opt for the Standard package also have cease and desist letters sent on their behalf, 24/7 credit monitoring, hard inquiry challenges, and quarterly credit score analysis. The cost of this service is in-line with the average for credit repair services.

The most comprehensive credit repair package offers is their Advanced package. Along with the services of the other packages, this package offers a monthly FICO score, identity theft insurance and protection, an array of personal finance tools, and up to 19 negative item challenges each month.

Some of the best features of include:

  • Effective and aggressive repair programs
  • Free credit analysis
  • Discounts if you sign up family and friends
  • 15+ negative item challenges monthly
  • Three credit repair packages to choose between

4. Sky Blue Credit – Good Value for the Money

For those who need a service offering good value for money, Sky Blue Credit is one of the best options. They have transparent pricing, free services for the first six days, and there is a 90-day money-back guarantee. Therefore, Sky Blue Credit is a great choice for people who have a limited budget.

Unlike other credit repair services that offer different packages, Sky Blue Credit offers all its services for a monthly flat rate. The services include disputing five items per each of the three major credit bureaus every 35 days.

After signing up to Sky Blue Credit, customers receive an analysis of their credit history, and any harmful errors are highlighted. The experts from this company then send dispute letters on their clients’ behalf and check the statute of limitation for any debts.

Some of the main features of Sky Blue Credit include:

  • One low monthly rate for all services
  • No fee for the first six days
  • Customers can cancel at any time
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

5. The Credit Pros – Good for Speedy Credit Repair

The Credit Pros have been in business for more than 12 years, and they have helped more than 200,000 people across the United States to improve their credit rating. It is consistently ranked as one of the best credit repair services by independent review sites, and it has maintained an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

There are three packages available from The Credit Pros to meet differing repair needs. The entry-level option is the Money Management package, which includes identity and dark web monitoring and TransUnion monitoring. It also includes the CashRules finance manager, which allows customers to integrate banks, track transactions, get alerts, and set budgets.

The mid-level option is the Prosperity package. In addition to everything from the entry-level package, users get a three-bureau credit repair, which includes:

  • Debt validation letters
  • Goodwill letters to debt agencies and creditors
  • Cease and desist letters
  • Unlimited dispute letters
  • A one-on-one action plan from a professional

The Credit Pros’ most thorough and expensive option is the Success package. Along with all the services from the other two packages, customers also have a guaranteed line of credit of $1,500. The credit repair service also reports repayments to TransUnion and Experian, which allows the customer to build a positive credit history.

When deciding whether The Credit Pros is the right company for them, potential users should consider the following positive features:

  • Free consultation with a specialist
  • Better Business Bureau rating of A+
  • AI-driven credit repair technology
  • Quick credit repair for faster results
  • Various packages available
  • Option for unlimited dispute letters available
  • Credit monitoring included with all plans

6. Ovation Credit – Best Customer Service

Ovation Credit Services has helped more than 12,000 people to improve their credit score, and the company has a reputation for its outstanding customer service. They take pride in building relationships with users and providing them with customized credit repair solutions.

This credit repair company is one of the most cost-effective options as the monthly fees are affordable. At the initial appointment, each customer receives a free consultation. During the meeting, the advisor takes an in-depth look at the client’s credit history to determine the best solutions for each issue.

Moving forward, an advisor from Ovation Credit Services files disputes on behalf of their client. The process may involve the advisor contesting late payments with creditors and writing goodwill letters. Ovation Credit Services also ensures clients have an accurate credit score by working with credit reporting bureaus.

The main reasons to consider using this company’s service are:

  • A+ Better Business Bureau rating
  • Excellent customer service
  • Free consultation
  • Customized credit repair solutions
  • A cost-effective option

7. The Credit People – Best Customer Satisfaction Guarantee

The Credit People has been in operation for more than 15 years, so they are now one of the leading credit repair companies. It offers customers the option of either a six-month, flat-rate service plan or a monthly pay-as-you-go option.

Since 2004, The Credit People has removed approximately 1.5 million negative items from their customers’ credit reports, and statistics show that the average customer sees a 32 percent improvement in their credit score.

For a small fee, customers have the option to try out the services for a week before deciding if they want to continue using it. The Credit People also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.

However, excellent customer service is what makes The Credit People stand apart from the competition. Some of the advantages of joining The Credit People include:

  • Toll-free customer support
  • Unlimited disputes each month
  • FCRA certification
  • Account access 24/7
  • Debt and inquiry validation

How Do Credit Repair Services Work?

The first step that most credit repair services take is downloading the customer’s credit report from the three major credit bureaus. Professionals then review the credit reports to identify errors. Common examples of mistakes include inaccurate personal information, incorrect balances, and data management errors.

It is not a simple process as the professionals must gather evidence to prove the information in the credit report is false. Doing so can take anything from a few days to several weeks.

Once the professionals have gathered the information they need, they send it to credit monitoring companies, and there is a 30-day window for them to respond. The credit bureaus will contact the credit repair service to say whether they have corrected the error or not and explain why.

Essential Factors To Consider When Choosing a Credit Repair Company

Before someone starts using a credit repair company, it is important they take the time to compare the options. Some of the factors to consider are outlined below.

Setup Fees

Companies should not ask for large upfront payments, as this is a violation of the Credit Repair Organizations Act. In most cases, legitimate credit repair companies do not have setup fees.

Free Consultations

Free consultations are beneficial, even for those who have good credit. If a free consultation is available from the service, it will help people to identify areas in which they can make improvements and what they are already doing well. It is an opportunity for people to learn good financial habits that will prevent them from needing credit repair services in the future.

Monthly Fees or Flat Rate Payments

Credit repair companies’ two payment types are usually either monthly fees or flat-rate payments. A customer must decide which is their preferred option when choosing the best service to meet their needs.

Credit Repair Reviews

As with any service, reviews from former customers can help people to decide if a company is reliable, effective, trustworthy, and good value for money. The user should not simply rely on the reviews posted on the credit repair services’ websites but check elsewhere online to get an accurate overview of others’ experiences.

Another tip is to check with the Better Business Bureau, as this service helps consumers to find reputable businesses with positive reviews.

Customer Service

Although most credit repair companies offer similar services, one way that the best companies stand out from the rest is the customer services they offer. The top companies offer customer service from friendly and knowledgeable professionals who can guide people through the best credit repair options.

They will monitor their clients’ credit scores continuously so that the client achieves results quickly. Agents will notify clients about both improvements and challenges or disputes on their credit scores.

How Long Does Credit Repair Take?

Customers should not expect to see results immediately, as it can take between three and six months before progress is evident. However, if someone repairs their credit score annually or they only have minimal issues, then it may not take as long.

On the other hand, those who have lots of credit issues or who have never looked at their credit report may find it can take more than six months before they see improvements.

Is It Worth Using Credit Repair Companies?

One point to note is that a person can do everything that a credit repair company does and achieve the same results, which may cause people to question whether using a credit repair service is worth the money.

There are two benefits to using professional services rather than a person attempting to repair their own credit score. The first benefit is that it saves a person time, as the process is a heavy task. Second, using a professional service streamlines the process as they have experience of the different methods and they know how to get the best results.

In addition to saving time and achieving positive results faster, it is also worth noting that using a credit repair company can save people money in the long-term. If a credit score improves by a few points, it can save on mortgage repayments and loan or credit card interest rates.

What Does It Cost To Use Credit Repair Services?

The cost of using credit repair services can vary significantly, depending on the services the company offers. Although monthly fees typically range between $79 and $129, the industry average is approximately $99 a month. There is also the option to buy credit repair software, such as TurboScore Home, that reduces the time of navigating credit reports and bureaus.

Are Results Guaranteed When Using Credit Repair Services?

It is almost impossible for a credit repair company to guarantee results as credit reports are complex documents that change every time someone makes or misses a payment. Therefore, customers should be wary of services that make outlandish guarantees.

Avoiding Credit Repair Service Scams

Unfortunately, there are some scam credit repair companies out there. However, people can take steps to make sure they avoid such companies.

The first thing that people need to know is the Credit Repair Organization Act in 1968 prevents companies from making misleading statements about the services or products they provide. Furthermore, the services must provide written contracts that give consumers an opportunity to cancel the arrangement.

Legally, credit repair companies cannot collect payments until their services are complete. However, many get around this rule by having a setup fee followed by monthly payments to help spread the cost.

Apply caution if a credit company gives misleading information or they do not give straight answers to questions. For example, consumers should avoid companies that discourage customers from contacting credit monitoring bureaus. People should also avoid companies that create new identities or credit reports.

What Methods Do Credit Repair Companies Use To Get Items Removed?

Each company employs different methods to get items removed from a customer’s credit report. The following is an overview of some of the most common methods.

Goodwill letters: Credit repair services may write goodwill letters to creditors to encourage them to remove negative items from credit reports. Although it is not always successful, it works surprisingly often.

Debt validation letters: These letters request that creditors or debt collection agencies provide proof that a debt is valid. If they are not able to provide proof, then they must remove it from credit scores.

Negative item challenges: Consumers have the right to dispute questionable items on credit reports. Credit bureaus then have 30 days to respond. While some companies allow unlimited disputes in a billing cycle, others specify a maximum number of disputes.

Fixing inaccurate information: A method that is particularly useful for victims of identity theft is fixing wrong data. In most cases, credit repair companies assign a case advisor to a customer, and they will go through the customer’s credit report with them to look for inaccuracies.

Cease and desist letters: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that if a customer requests a debt collection agency stops contacting them, then the debt collection agency must abide. Many credit repair companies offer a service of sending out cease and desist letters to creditors and debt collection agencies on the customer’s behalf.

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