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Best Credit Repair Companies – The Tokenist

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All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

Do you have bad credit? It has a way of hanging over your head like a financial curse. Bad credit can even prevent you from accomplishing major life tasks — like taking out a mortgage or buying your first car. Or it can stop you from taking out student loans, vacationing with your family, or worse.

In the most extreme cases, bad credit can make it hard for you to live a normal life.

It’s no wonder people look for assistance when they’re trying to get out from under the specter of bad credit. Credit repair companies are agencies specifically designed to provide this assistance.

They can work with you as you try to repair your credit and negotiate with credit bureaus on your behalf. While they can’t fix your credit for you outright, they can help share the load and make the burden manageable as you take steps to recovery.

Let’s take a look at some top credit repair companies and explain why they might be a great fit for your financial needs.

Top Credit Repair Companies


The following list is a result of more than 100 hours of research:

1. Credit Saint
Best Overall
2. Sky Blue
Best Premium Service
3. CreditRepair.com
Easiest to Use
4. Lexington Law
Excellent Customer Service and Reputation
5. AMB Credit Consultants
Best for Married Couples
6. The Credit People
Very Affordable
7. The Credit Pros
Best for Hands-On Repair

Best Credit Repair Companies

There are plenty of companies out there that can legitimately rectify your credit. Here’s our take on the top credit repair companies available.

1. Credit Saint – Best Overall Credit Repair Company

Pros

  • Provides customized letters to credit bureaus
  • Multiple packages depending on how much service you need
  • Provides plenty of online resources
  • Frequent progress reports

Cons

  • Prices can be a bit much if you don’t need that much help

Credit Saint is one of the best credit repair agencies you can find overall; they’ve really earned their name, as can be seen not only from our recommendation but from the A+ BBB rating they currently hold.

For starters, they’re priced pretty competitively, offering monthly packages between $79 and $120, although they do have some initial fees ranging between $99 and $195.

Still, they’re worth the asking price because they write custom arguments for all their clients. They don’t use pre-made templates when petitioning credit bureaus on your behalf; they’ll look at your situation individually and figure out a strategy that works best for your needs, then compose unique arguments to use on your creditors.

Even better, they offer a moneyback guarantee. You’ll be eligible for a refund if they can’t find any negative or questionable items to remove from your credit report within the first 90 days of your arrangement.

The packages offered included are:

  • Polish, which helps to repair medium levels of credit. It basically covers up to five items on your credit report every cycle, so it’s great if you don’t have super bad credit but still want to make significant improvements
  • Remodel, which costs a little more and has the firm challenge up to 10 items on your credit report. They’ll also tackle things like erroneous bankruptcies or repossessed items
  • Clean Slate is the most expensive, but it provides the most aggressive credit repair services. The credit repair firm will challenge an unlimited number of credit items in every cycle. It can be a great choice if you have lots of potentially negative items on your credit report that you need to be taken care of

You’ll also find lots of other things to like, such as a personal advisory team, several informative online resources you can use to educate yourself, and regular progress reports. Figuring out whether their repair services are worth your time is easy thanks to this transparency. 

2. Sky Blue – Best Value

Sky blue logo

Pros

  • Pretty good pricing all around
  • Good discounts for married couples
  • Provides free credit reports
  • Comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • Can’t customize the service/number of challengeable items

Sky Blue is another good choice, and they offer slightly better value for money if you don’t need a full-on, top-down credit repair overhaul. They’ve been in the industry for a long time, so they have a great track record and plenty of experience that they can bring to bear on your credit report needs.

They offer a single package that’s pretty affordable at $79 per month. The firm will dispute up to 15 items on your report, or 5 items per credit reporting agency, every 35 days.

They provide fantastic customer service that’s lauded by both customers on websites like the BBB. They provide all new subscribers with basic evaluations to show those new customers where they might be able to fix their credit report themselves without paying an extra cost. Sky Blue literally forgoes charging you money if it works better for your needs.

They also provide a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, without extra conditions or fine print. If you want to find a credit repair service as a couple, you get a $39 per month discount, too (but only if you’re married). They also don’t require you to pay for credit reports, so you get free credit reports as an added bonus.

It’s easy to see why Sky Blue has such high marks considering its ease-of-use, simplistic pricing scheme, and excellent value-forward initiatives.

3. CreditRepair.com – Easiest to Use

Pros

  • Very easy to track progress and sign up
  • Provides free access to your credit report
  • Has easy to follow three-step plan for challenging credit report items
  • Free consultation available

Cons

  • Tends to throw around potentially misleading average point gains for customers 
  • Don’t provide as much in-depth info as some other companies

CreditRepair.com is an ideal credit repair agency if you don’t want to deal with complex websites or difficult-to-follow credit repair procedures. This company provides a straightforward service and user-friendly guidelines that make it easy to see their value, even if you aren’t very technically or financially inclined. You can see what they offer by signing up for a free consultation that requires no upfront fee on your part.

Signing up for the service will have you follow three major steps. The company first looks over your credit reports from all three bureaus, then begins to send letters challenging those disputes over the following week.

CreditRepair.com regularly follows up on those letters and will repeatedly challenge the same items over and over if needed. This can make them a great choice if you know that there are improper negative items on your credit report that bureaus may be unwilling to change because of bureaucratic legwork. Sometimes insistence is key, and this company provides it in spades.

The company also provides you with a way to easily follow their progress online through your account portal. Furthermore, their pricing is pretty decent at about $100 a month. They also give you free access to your credit report summary, which is a nice bonus in any credit repair agency.

Signing up for the service is easier than with many other companies, as you can fill out a mobile application on your phone or tablet. You can also use these devices to track your progress even while on the go.

4. Lexington Law – Best Customer Reputation and Experience

Lexington Law Logo

Pros

  • Several discounts available for military or spouses
  • Provides you with a personalized credit repair expert
  • Lots of financial tools to take advantage of
  • Has a long history of getting results for their customers

Cons

  • Pricing can be a bit high for some

Sometimes, the best credit repair agencies are those who have lots of experience. Lexington Law is one of those companies. They’ve been in business since 1991 but have focused on credit repair exclusively ever since 2004.

Supposedly, they’ve removed 10 million negative items from their customers’ credit reports just in 2017 – these are good predictions for further success.

All customers get to pick between three packages: basic, moderate, and advanced. Pricing ranges between $89.95 to $129.95. They also include a first work fee of the same price of whatever package you decide to pick.

A free consultation is provided, however, which is nice since things can get pretty pricy with both charges added together. Even better, they provide a 50% off discount if you are a veteran or active military. Furthermore, spouses get a one-time 50% discount when their partner signs up for their service.

Lexington Law provides a mobile app so you can check your progress reports on the go and keep in touch with the company as they represent your interests. They attach you to a personalized representative, so you can give them details about your situation and so they can figure out the best negative items to work on for your credit report.

Their staff is extensively knowledgeable, and if you pay for one of the higher-priced plans, you’ll get several personal-finance tools to help you tackle your debts and stay on top of how the credit repair company is performing.

All told, it’s a well-constructed and comprehensive credit repair service. They’ve got a good track record and plenty of expertise under their roof in exchange for relatively high prices.

5. AMB Credit Consultants – Best for Married Couples

AMB Credit Consultants Logo

Pros

  • Good prices overall, but especially for couples
  • Has a single but comprehensive package with unlimited disputes
  • Provides some credit educational materials
  • Has a moneyback guarantee 

Cons

  • Free cancellation only lasts for three days, then there’s a fee

AMB Credit Consultants are another good choice if you want an agency with experience – they have 13 years of it. They’ve also got an excellent A rating with the BBB, and only six complaints as of 2020.

They offer 1 credit repair package, making it simple to apply for their service. Sometimes it can be irritating to have to pick between several services when you just want someone to help you with your negative credit report items.

This repair package can be purchased for a one-time fee of $99 and an additional $99 fee for every month you want to subscribe. You can also pick up joint accounts for $149 (one time and monthly), which is pretty affordable compared to other credit repair agencies on the market. As a result, it’s affordable for married couples or any joint account; you don’t have to be legally intertwined to take advantage.

The service provides unlimited and advanced disputes for all the major credit bureaus, plus a secured account management portal so you can track your credit repair service progress. Credit educational materials, cease-and-desist letters and templates, and inquiry disputes are all included with this comprehensive package.

We also like that they offer a moneyback guarantee up to six months if they can’t find or fix any items after that time frame. You’ll also be able to cancel without any penalty within three days of signing on to the package. All in all, it’s a great credit repair company for just about everybody, but an especially good choice for couples or joint account holders due to its affordable prices.

6. The Credit People – Best Price

The Credit People Logo

Pros

  • Very affordable overall
  • Offers a pricing model for indefinite assistance
  • Has a great moneyback guarantee
  • Good monthly rate as well

Cons

  • Not as many new features as other companies

Need a credit repair agency but can’t afford to shell out lots of cash? The Credit People might be the perfect choice. They’re a bit newer than other agencies on the market, but they have a lot to like.

For starters, you can try out their package for $19 over seven days. This is a pretty reasonable fee for what essentially amounts to a trial period. The only downside, of course, is that credit improvements are unlikely within this timeframe for any credit repair company.

However, if you decide to stick with them, you can opt to pay a one-time flat rate of $420 to get everything they offer indefinitely. You read that right.

You’ll never need to pay another dime for their credit repair services. You can also choose a month by month payment plan of $79 a month, which is pretty affordable and at the lower rate for average charges in this industry.

You’ll also get a moneyback guarantee – this comes in the plate if you don’t see any positive results within 60 days, which is a generous period compared to other moneyback guarantees.

There are a few downsides to all this affordability. They only provide customer care during central time zone business hours, and they also don’t offer additional features like identity theft protection that more established companies can boast.

Still, they provide solid credit repair services for all the major credit bureaus and can help you find and repair negative items on your credit report for affordable prices. They might be a great choice for you if your budget is tight, but you need to start fixing things soon.

7. The Credit Pros – Best for Hands-On Credit Repair

The Credit Pros Logo

Pros

  • Provides several packages ranging from basic to comprehensive services
  • Decent prices across the board
  • Provides you with a FICO expert
  • Lots of educational resources and bonus features

Cons

  • A bit more hands-on than other credit repair companies
  • May require a bit more time investment on your part

Those looking for a credit repair company that they can work with more as a partner will appreciate The Credit Pros. This agency gives you a one-to-one relationship with a certified FICO professional who acts like your personal credit repair expert. They’ll work with you to create a plan to repair your credit over time and they can be an invaluable resource for pointing out where you can avoid going wrong in the future.

But you’ll also get budgeting tools, prescription discounts, store lines of credit, payment reminders, and plenty of other bonus goodies to make them worth your while.

They also have lots of innovative benefits like identity theft restoration, cease-and-desist letter templates, and will even go above and beyond by writing goodwill letters to various creditors. They’re extremely easy to sign up with, requiring only about 90 seconds to register. Once in the site, you’ll benefit from a detailed blog that has plenty of credit education resources to help you maintain good credit over the long haul.

Your client portal provides you with live updates on your credit scores and any progress that your FICO expert is making at the moment. They offer several comprehensive packages that range between $69 a month all the way up to $149 a month. But they also have a basic credit monitoring package for $19 a month if you just want to keep an eye on your credit score and don’t need extra assistance. 

A Buying Guide to the Best Credit Repair Companies

How do you know whether a credit repair company is legitimate? What purpose do these companies actually serve? Let’s dive into credit repair companies in more detail.

How Do Credit Repair Companies Work?

In a nutshell, credit report companies work for you by getting negative items from your credit report taken off in exchange for fees. Negative items are any incidents on your credit report that lower your overall credit score.

In this way, credit repair companies don’t deliberately add more points to your credit score. They just remove negative influences so your whole score goes up.

Pro tip 💡: The best way to keep your credit from dropping even further is by carefully watching it. While this is quite labor intensive to do yourself, there are a number of top credit monitoring services that will do this for you — automatically.

What Do Credit Repair Companies Actually Do?

Credit repair companies do this by ordering credit reports and reviewing them for various errors or negative items they think they can contest. In lots of cases, minor negative events on your credit report can be contested with the credit bureaus and they’ll remove them just to avoid the hassle of a fight. In other incidences, there really are negative items on your credit reports that were improperly placed and can be removed after a review.

Some of the negative items credit repair companies can get removed include:

  • charge-offs
  • bankruptcies
  • late payments
  • tax liens
  • and more

Credit repair companies will send direct communications to various creditors to contest these charges or get the items removed. This may involve sending letters to dispute the information, sending cease-and-desist letters to debt collectors personally, and requesting validation for certain items on your credit report.

They’ll also normally begin their services to you by asking for your personal information, especially so they can compare it against items on your credit report.

What credit repair companies can’t do is arguably just as extensive. Knowing what they can and can’t do is one way you can spot a credit repair scam before you fall for their tricks. Credit repair companies cannot:

  • replace your credit file with a new one
  • charge fees if you cancel
  • charge upfront fees before they perform a service
  • promise specific results, especially within a certain timeframe
  • force credit bureaus to get rid of negative items – they can only ask or point out incorrect information
  • advise you to make false statements, like claiming that an accurate negative item on your credit report is inaccurate for the purposes of boosting your score

Furthermore, credit repair companies can’t do anything you can’t do by yourself. Their value comes from other factors, not from unique skills that only they possess.

Why Use Credit Repair Companies?

Credit repair companies can be worthwhile in the long run because, even though they don’t do anything you can’t handle yourself, they provide expertise and more man-hours to work on your credit score. Think of it as hiring specialists to help you improve your credit score over time instead of a fix-all approach.

Credit repair companies are staffed by financial or crediting experts. They spent every day negotiating with various creditors and credit bureaus, so they know exactly who to contact and what channels to use if you want to dispute an item on your credit report. They also know exactly what to look for.

For instance, you might be boggled at the number of items on your credit report. A credit repair agency can scan that list and find areas where there might be incorrect information or places where you can quickly improve.

Another good analogy is to liken them to a tax specialist. You can file your taxes yourself. But tax specialists have college degrees qualifying them to look at tax forms and find you tax breaks that you would otherwise miss.

So many people use tax specialists to net a greater return at the end of the year. You should look at using a credit repair agency the same way.

Are Some Credit Repair Companies Illegitimate?

Yes. Some credit repair agencies are actually scams or may not be legitimate business entities. There are some ways in which you can spot these scams, however, including:

  • if the agency doesn’t inform you of your rights – specifically, they should provide you with a written disclosure called “Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law
  • if they don’t put your agreement in writing. Never trust any financial organization that relies on word-of-mouth for their agreements
  • if they demand payment before doing any work – this is explicitly illegal
  • if they can remove any legitimate or accurate information from your credit report
  • if they swear or “guarantee” that they can increase your credit score by a set amount. No credit repair company can provide guaranteed results; they just increase the odds of you improving your credit score over time and can possibly provide some benefits

Aside from all these bad signs, you can also check out the customer reputation or history of a credit repair company through resources like the Better Business Bureau or our guide. See what other people have to say before forking over some cash.

All in All, is Credit Repair Worth the Money?

Overall, credit repair companies can be worth your time and money. But you shouldn’t expect them to magically repair your credit score alone. In fact, we’d recommend working on your credit score through DIY measures in conjunction with the services a credit repair agency can provide.

This will put extra pressure on your credit score and help you maximize the improvement you can make in a short period of time. Credit repair companies can also sometimes save you time that you might otherwise have to spend investigating your own credit report or negotiating with creditors and credit bureaus yourself.

However, if you’re strapped for cash, there’s no reason why you can’t improve your credit score by yourself. Again, everything credit repair agencies do, you can do yourself, and almost always for free. Consider your budget and any debts you might need to pay off before paying for a credit repair company.

What Other Measures Improve Credit?

There are lots of ways you can “DIY” your credit repair efforts and find debt relief.

The most obvious of these is paying off your debts and making payments to your credit cards and other debt obligations on time. This will slowly but surely drag your credit score back up into the positive numbers. However, this takes a lot of time and you may need to eliminate negative items before you can see real growth.

To that end, it could be helpful to look into credit repair software. These software solutions can cost several hundred dollars, but they let you look into your own credit reports and provide you with several of the same tools, letter templates, and lists of things to look out for that credit repair companies already use in a professional context.

It’s essentially an automated assistant to help you do the credit repair company’s job, but on your own time. You still have to negotiate with the creditors yourself, of course.

You can also look into credit counseling, which may even be free if you find someone to help you from a nonprofit organization. You have to be careful about scams just like with credit repair agencies, though.

Credit counselors are essentially financial specialists that can review your free credit reports and help you figure out a credit repair plan. They don’t negotiate with creditors for you but give you insight into your problems and possible DIY solutions.

When it comes to managing your debts, you can consolidate lots of your high-interest debt into a low-interest loan through debt consolidation. Our guide on debt consolidation can tell you more; it’s a great way to increase your credit score and make lots of debt significantly easier to manage.

Debt settlements are an option, too. Settlements relieve you of existing debt by deleting charges like late fees and the like. But be careful when using these, as they may show up as charge-offs or otherwise hurt your credit score in the long run.

Does Paying Off Collections Improve Credit?

Debt collection accounts are credit report entries that show that you defaulted on a previous debt or loan. Your creditor eventually sold the loan to a collection agency or a debt buyer, who is now more than likely trying to collect your debt with frustrating persistence.

Naturally, collections debts and their associated accounts are extremely bad for your credit score. However, paying off collections doesn’t directly increase your credit score; it just stops more negative items from accruing over time.

How Can You Raise Your Credit Score By 100 or 200 Points?

Remember that building credit takes a lot of time. Credit bureaus usually only collect the payment information that they use to build their scores once a month. This means that your score will only update once a month, and not by very much.

Raising your score by 100 or 200 points (or even more) is likely to take you several months, even with more aggressive credit repair efforts. However, the best ways to raise your credit score significantly include:

  • paying all recurring payments on time
  • paying off debts procedurally and aggressively
  • not taking on additional debt
  • not opening new credit cards
  • closing credit cards or credit accounts you don’t use
  • eliminating negative items on your credit report

Doing all these things, with or without the help of a credit repair company, will go a long way toward progressively raising your credit score over a couple of months.

How Long Do Closed Accounts Remain on Your Credit Report?

It depends on whether the account was in good or bad standing with the credit bureau in question. Most credit bureaus remove any closed accounts after 10 years if the accounts were in good standing. They remove accounts that were in bad standing (i.e. with a history of late payments) 7 years from the date of the account’s closure. All this is to say that your closed accounts can still affect your credit score positively or negatively for a long time, so treat every account you open carefully.

What Credit Score is Acceptable for Buying a House?

Technically, you can buy a house with any credit score. Your credit score just affects the types of loans you might be approved for. Lower scores usually lead to lenders giving you loans with high-interest rates and extra fees. The reverse is true if you have high credit. 

In most cases, those with credit scores of 700 or above will enjoy excellent loan options. If you have a credit score in the 600s, you’ll likely have to deal with subpar loans. Anything below 600 and you may not be approved for a home loan at all – beware of scammers or bad mortgage deals if someone claims otherwise.

Is It Better to Use a Credit Repair Company or DIY Methods?

Ultimately, neither option is specifically better than the other. Credit repair companies have significant advantages that include:

  • the expertise of individuals who know what they’re doing
  • relieving you of the time and effort needed to fight for a better credit score
  • the advice of professionals who can tell you what to work on first
  • and so on

However, your credit score is your own responsibility and you shouldn’t shy away from taking some DIY steps to build your credit back up to a high score. We’d recommend using a credit repair company to some extent if you can afford it while also working proactively on your own credit repair efforts.

Credit Repair FAQs

How Much Does Credit Repair Cost?

This can vary dramatically from company to company. Most credit repair agencies will charge you around $70-$150 every month depending on how many actions they take. Remember that any legitimate credit repair company won’t charge you an upfront fee unless they fully onboard you into their services or make some progress with your report. If they ask for money before doing anything, like if they approach you unprovoked, they’re likely a scam.

How Long Does it Take to Repair Credit?

With or without the help of a credit repair company, it’ll take you between 3 to 6 months to repair your credit from a low (400-500) score to a middling to high (600-700) score, if you’re aggressive with paying your debts and use the help of a credit repair company. Of course, this timeframe can vary based on how many negative items you need to handle. Those with only a few errors might be able to repair their credit in as little as one month.

Can Credit Repair Companies Guarantee Credit Improvement?

No. If they do, they’re likely trying to scam you. Remember, a credit repair company could look at your credit report and find no item they can directly affect or contest, meaning they’d be no help to you at all.

Does Paying Off All Debt Immediately Fix Your Credit?

Not entirely. Paying off all your debts as fast as possible (or immediately if you get a sudden lump sum) will have a positive effect on your credit score. But some negative items, like bankruptcies or loan defaults, stay on your credit report for quite some time. It doesn’t immediately boost your score into the 700s if you eliminate all your debt.

Summary

All in all, credit repair companies can be valuable tools in your kit when you need to repair your credit and overcome your debts. If you have bad credit and don’t attempt to responsibly fix it, further problems could arise.

If you need to borrow, for example, you could be stuck with a bad credit loan. While there are some bad credit loans with guaranteed approval, their interest rates are far from ideal.

At the same time, credit repair companies aren’t magical miracle workers. Keep your expectations in check, look for and use credit repair companies wisely, and be prepared to do some legwork yourself. You’ll be well on your way to repairing your credit score.

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

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Credit Repair Companies

Other Auto Loan Possibilities if You Can’t Find a Cosigner

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Many auto lenders ask bad credit borrowers to have a cosigner, but not everyone has that type of advantage. Even if you find a cosigner, it’s not a 100% guarantee that you can drive away with a car. Luckily, there are other bad credit auto loan options for you to explore, and ways to improve your credit for when you’re ready to apply.

Get a Car Loan Without a Cosigner

If you’ve been asked to bring a cosigner when you apply for a car loan, it likely means you have a lower credit score. Cosigners help borrowers get approved for auto loans because they lend you their good credit rating, and lower your risk of default.

However, if you can’t find a cosigner, you’re not alone. Having a cosigner means finding someone that’s willing to put their good credit score on the line, and someone that has enough disposable income to qualify as a cosigner. Without a good credit score or enough income, a cosigner is no good and doesn’t improve your approval odds.

If you’re getting turned away for a car loan because you have a lower credit score and can’t find a cosigner, consider these three possibilities.

1. Give Yourself Some Time to Heal!

This may not be what you want to hear, but if your credit score is suffering and you can’t get approved for new credit, you could take some time to repair it.

Building a good credit score can be hard if you’ve never borrowed before, and it’s hard to get approved for new credit in the first place if your credit score is low. The solution? Smart credit building strategies, such as:

  • Pay down your credit cards – Your credit utilization ratio is a large part of your credit score, and it compares how much you owe on your credit cards vs. how much you’re allowed to borrow. If your credit cards are over 30% of their spending limit (or maxed out), then it’s hurting your credit. Pay down your credit cards as much as you can, and then check your credit in a month, since lenders usually report once a month. You can request your credit reports for free at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Consider a secured credit card – Secured credit cards are usually pretty easy to get into, because they’re secured with your own cash. To get a secured credit card, you have to provide a deposit. The size of your deposit is usually the spending limit on the card. If you close the account while there’s still a balance, your deposit covers the amount, so there’s not much risk for the lender, making them much easier to get approved for over traditional credit cards. While you have to pay a deposit, these cards are reported like traditional credit cards so they can help build your credit history.
  • Become an authorized user – An authorized user is someone that’s allowed to use someone else’s revolving credit (credit card). If you were to become an authorized user, you typically get your own credit card that’s linked to the primary borrower’s account. Any activity done on the credit card is reported on your credit reports. This can be a great way to build your credit score if you can’t get approved for credit on your own, but you need someone to agree to it.
  • Review your credit reports – Mistakes on your credit reports can cause a lower credit score, so it’s worth it to review them and make sure everything is shipshape. If you find a mistake on your reports, you can dispute it and have it corrected. All three major credit reporting agencies allow you to submit disputes online. If you find multiple errors and you’re not sure where to start, you use a credit repair company that can dispute accounts for you, for a fee.

Regardless if you choose to wait until your credit score is the highest you can get it, you can still use these credit building tips usually anytime. Additionally, one of the best things you can do for your credit score is making all of your payments on time. Avoid getting any accounts sent to collections and getting late or missed payments on your credit reports that sour your credit score.

If you needed a vehicle yesterday, though, then consider the next two bad credit auto loan options.

2. Buy Here Pay Here Dealerships

Other Car Loan Possibilities if You Can’t Find a CosignerBuy here pay here (BHPH) dealerships are a one-stop-shop for many bad credit borrowers. The thing that makes these dealers unique is that they utilize in-house financing, where the dealership is also your lender.

In-house financing means there’s usually no credit check, which draws many bad credit buyers to these used car lots. If you can’t find a cosigner and you’re having issues getting approved by traditional lenders, then in-house financing may be for you because a lower credit score isn’t likely to stand in your way of an auto loan approval.

BHPH dealers require a down payment, sometimes around 20% of the vehicle’s selling price. With in-house financing, interest rates tend to be higher than average. However, the large down payment requirement and a higher interest rate could be seen as the trade-offs for getting into a car loan without the credit check.

However, since the BHPH dealerships don’t generally check credit reports, their loans may not be reported to the major credit bureaus, either. This means your auto loan wouldn’t be helping to boost your lower credit score. To improve your credit score, you’d have to use other credit building strategies. But if you need a vehicle quickly and don’t have time for credit repair, then a BHPH dealer may be just what you need in the meantime.

3. Subprime Auto Loans

Where traditional car lenders typically ask their borrowers to bring a cosigner if their credit score is below their credit score requirements, subprime lenders assist borrowers with credit issues. Subprime lenders are third-party lenders who are signed up with special finance dealerships.

Subprime auto loans are reported, meaning that your timely payments can rebuild your credit score – two birds with one stone (or car loan, rather).

There are many reasons why a borrower may have less than stellar credit, so when you apply with a subprime lender, they examine the many parts of your financial health alongside your credit score. This typically means requiring that you meet a certain income level, have had a stable residency and work history, have a down payment, and a few other things that prove you’re ready to take on an auto loan.

Subprime lenders are typically more concerned about your overall stability, ability, and willingness to pay for a vehicle rather than your low credit score. If you want to repair your credit and get the car you need, then subprime financing could be your next step.

Not Sure Where to Start Car Shopping?

Looking for the right lender or dealer can be stressful, and even more so when your credit score isn’t great. If you can’t find a cosigner to give you a credit boost, you don’t have to go it alone! Here at Auto Credit Express, we’ve made it easier to get the connections you need.

We’ve gathered a nationwide network of dealerships that work with bad credit, no credit, and even bankruptcy. To get matched to a dealer in your area for free, complete our auto loan request form.

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Credit Repair Companies

Startup Launches Virtual Live DJs Painting Classes During the Global Pandemic

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Paint and Sip Live, a New York-based company offers online wine-and-paint classes each week with professional instructors, live DJs, and a party atmosphere.

Although 2020 has been a tough year for some entrepreneurs, others have spotted opportunities.

In June 2020, three New York entrepreneurs teamed up to launch Paint and Sip LIVE, a Startup that offers virtual painting classes with live DJs, the only of its kind.

Faced with the global pandemic, Mike Wills, Jr., Constance McLeod-Wills, and Sharon Urena understood that people crave meaningful social interactions. The trio set out to develop an activity that enriches people’s lives while keeping them safe at home, socially distancing.

What’s the difference between Paint and Sip LIVE and other online art classes?

Other online painting classes teach you how to paint, but Paint and Sip LIVE teaches you how to paint in a party-like atmosphere featuring live music and a professional DJ.

While most painting classes tend to operate in a quiet and studious atmosphere,  Paint and Sip LIVE brings home the party. Classes feature step-by-step painting instructions of a photographed scenery and are led by a professional artist while a live DJ plays the hottest tunes. Each week, the company hosts theme nights such as Caribbean Fridays, R&B Sundays, and HipHop Saturdays. Even Halloween paint parties!

Paint and slip Event
Paint and slip Upcoming Events includes two Halloween parties.

Wills, an experienced entrepreneur who has launched and exited multiple startups, knew there was potential:

“The mix between an activity, like painting, and music has been a winning combination for Paint and Sip LIVE,” said Wills to The Scope Weekly. “Some of our guests are looking for a date night. Others are looking for a productive activity with kids or friends. We host a party while teaching genuine painting skills.”

Urena, a professional painter, welcomed the opportunity to share her knowledge.

“For me, it’s so much more than a business. It’s an opportunity to help people who may never have picked up a paintbrush to develop a creative mind,” said Urena.

About the team

Mike Wills and Constance McLeod-Wills, a husband-wife team, bring very different skills to the table. Over the last decade, Mike Wills, Jr. co-founded three New York City cleaning services, growing the businesses to earn $3+ million per year in revenue. He also co-founded a credit repair service that was once the fastest-growing credit repair company in the country, with revenue rising 500% in four months.  McLeod-Wills brings her years of project management experience for the City of New York to the table.

Sharon Urena is an accomplished designer serving as the Art Director of Paint and Sip Live, using her experience from the Parsons School of Design to guide and inspire the participants.

McLeod-Wills said, “Most of our attendees have zero or limited painting experience. They’re looking for a fun and productive night for birthdays, family events, and date nights.”

Photo credits:
Sip and Paint Live.

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Credit Repair Companies

USA Credit Repair Review

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Consumers looking into credit repair companies are faced with many different options, some better than others. USA Credit Repair falls short of meeting our standards in several areas, including quality of services, pricing structure, and sales practices. Our review breaks down these red flags and more to help you make the most informed decision when approaching credit repair.


Pros Explained

  • Free consultation: Get a credit repair consultation before deciding if you want to commit to services.
  • Offers an accelerated service: If you’re in a rush, you can pay for faster results.
  • Cancel anytime: USA Credit Repair doesn’t lock customers in with long-term contracts.
  • Online portal: Track your progress via a convenient account management portal.

Cons Explained

  • Misleading claims: USA Credit Repair makes several claims regarding fees and guaranteed results that could easily mislead customers.
  • Lack of pricing transparency: The company fails to disclose pricing online, forcing you to talk to a sales agent to get a quote.
  • Website difficult to navigate: It’s hard to find the information you need on USA Credit Repair’s website.
  • No educational resources: We typically like to see credit repair companies provide value with free educational materials, but USA Credit Repair doesn’t make these available.
  • Doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee: USA Credit Repair promises results within the first 30 days but doesn’t back this claim up with any type of financial guarantee.

Types of Services

USA Credit Repair’s services are limited to the bare minimum typically required of a credit repair company. There are no clearly defined service packages, just a single membership option with few opportunities for customization.

Credit report analysis

The first step in USA Credit Repair’s process is a credit report analysis. A credit expert reviews your credit reports in depth, looking for negative items bringing down your score. Each item is carefully examined to determine whether you might have grounds to dispute it with the credit bureau.

Credit disputes

If USA Credit Repair identifies items in your credit reports that are inaccurate, they’ll contact the credit bureaus on your behalf to initiate the dispute process. This includes filing appeals if a dispute is initially denied.

If you believe a credit reporting error comes from the lender’s side, you can also have USA Credit Repair send a validation request to ask for proof that the debt is legitimate. Finally, the company handles goodwill interventions, which can be an option for a small number of people with a single negative mark but overall good credit. If the item is accurate but an anomaly on your report, you may be able to have it removed just by showing an otherwise positive payment history.


Optional Add-ons

Credit repair companies sometimes sell add-ons to their core packages for an extra fee. For example, they may offer credit monitoring or identity theft protection to be used in tandem with their credit repair services. USA Credit Repair doesn’t make any of these available, although it does provide one optional service to speed up the credit repair process.

Accelerated program

Unexpected credit reporting errors can hold up time-sensitive processes such as applying for a mortgage. If you’re on a tight schedule, USA Credit Repair’s accelerated program provides faster results for an additional upfront fee. However, the company doesn’t say exactly how much more efficient its accelerated program is compared to standard service. Without any guarantees, it’s hard to say whether this add-on is even worth it.


Customer Service

Like most credit repair companies, USA Credit Repair stays in touch with customers via phone and email. Operating hours are somewhat limited, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. EST. The company also hosts an online portal where customers can log in and check the status of their credit repair case 24/7.

Each customer is assigned a dedicated case representative who oversees their entire credit repair process from start to finish. While this is fairly common, not every company does it and it makes a big difference in the overall customer experience. With a designated case manager, you’ll always have someone to talk to who is familiar with your specific situation.


Company Reputation

USA Credit Repair’s reputation among customers is mixed. To the company’s credit, it has no complaints registered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which keeps a record of customer-reported issues related to poor business practices and potential legal violations. It also has an average 4-star rating on Google with mixed positive and negative reviews.

However, USA Credit Repair has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and a pile of concerning complaints. Many former customers claim that they were charged hundreds of dollars in advance for services that failed to produce results. There are also reports of harassing phone calls after discontinuing services with the company.

Just because a company doesn’t have any complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doesn’t make it automatically trustworthy. Most consumers don’t know about the CFPB complaint database, and it’s not uncommon for smaller companies like USA Credit Repair to have no complaints. In addition to vetting companies through the CFPB database, you should also look at other resources like the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau, and Google Reviews.

If you have a complaint about the services of a credit repair company, you can file a complaint with the FTC or call 877-FTC-HELP.


Contract Duration

On its website, USA Credit Repair advertises that it has no contracts and offers a “month to month” service that customers can cancel anytime. But according to testimonials from former clients, this isn’t exactly the whole truth. Many customer complaints allege that company representatives convinced them to pay for multiple months ahead of time in one lump sum, typically in three-month quantities. Although this may not technically be considered a long-term contract, it’s a problematic practice, to say the least.


Cost

Our most pressing concern while reviewing USA Credit Repair was its pricing structure. First and foremost, the company doesn’t disclose its prices online. This is typically a red flag, as it forces customers to talk to a sales representative just to get a quote, which opens up opportunities for pitfalls. Pricing may vary by individual and plan, although according to the information we received and reports from customers, base pricing is around $99 per month.

With that said, an overwhelming number of former customers claim that they were charged upward of $300 in advance for multiple months of service. This typically appears to happen after the customer calls in and is convinced by a company representative that their credit repair case will take a certain number of months to resolve. Those who enroll in the accelerated program can expect to pay an additional $350 fee on top of regular service charges.

USA Credit Repair also publishes some misleading information on its website regarding its fee structure. The company advertises no upfront fees, but this is a moot point since the Credit Repair Organizations Act makes it against the law for credit repair companies to collect payment before services have been rendered. To make things worse, hidden in the website’s fine print is a disclaimer that states “an initial setup work fee will be charged within the first week or once initial work is completed.”

One other item we found missing was a discount for couples. It’s fairly standard for credit repair companies to give couples a break on fees when signing up since their reports share much of the same information. With USA Credit Repair, couples have to pay full price for two individual memberships.

The one silver lining is that USA Credit Repair’s initial consultation is free. Not every credit repair company does this. A free consultation is a good opportunity to ask the company hard questions about whether any items stand out on your report as potential errors. If the representative is unable to point to any legitimate mistakes, credit repair may not be necessary for you.

Remember that credit repair companies can’t work magic. If all the information on your credit report is accurate and there are no errors to dispute, you’ll only be able to improve your credit by keeping debt low and making consistent on-time payments.


The Competition: USA Credit Repair vs. CreditNerds

To see if USA Credit Repair was worth the $99 monthly fee, we compared it to CreditNerds, a competitor that offers free basic credit repair. Instead of collecting fees from its customers, CreditNerds makes money by referring clients to affiliate partners.

We were unable to find anything significant in USA Credit Repair’s service offering that wasn’t available through the free CreditNerds plan. If that wasn’t enough, CreditNerds provides some of the most advanced educational tools in the industry—also without charging a dime. CreditNerds gives USA Credit Repair a run for its money and is absolutely worth considering before you sign up for a paid plan.

  USA Credit Repair CreditNerds
Year Founded 2004 2007
Services Offered Credit repair Credit repair, funding
Customer Service Touchpoints Phone, email, client portal Phone, email, client portal
Upfront Fee $99.00 $0
Monthly Fee $99.00 $0


Verdict

Overall, we aren’t impressed with USA Credit Repair’s limited services, especially given the company’s relatively high fee of $99 per month. Several competitors offer complete service packages at significantly lower prices, many of which take a more effective approach that includes credit education and long-term financial planning. Even if USA Credit Repair did provide better value, the company’s advertising practices and lack of transparency make us concerned that customers could easily be misled and fall into traps.



How We Review Credit Repair Companies

Since the credit repair industry is well-known for leading consumers astray, we take a highly critical approach to reviewing companies. Our scoring system analyzes quality of services and pricing, comparing them to industry standards and best practices. We look at each company’s marketing language and flag any misleading terminology. We also give higher scores to companies that provide educational materials to help customers achieve long-term financial success.

Learn more: Read our full Credit Repair Review Methodology here.



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