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Best Credit Repair Companies: Top 7 Services of 2020



When buying a home or car, your credit score is a key metric that companies use to determine how much money in interest rates you’ll pay. If you have too many negative items on your credit report, it also increases the chances that a company will deny you for a loan altogether.

Although it is possible to repair your credit score by yourself, it takes a lot of time and can be a real frustrating process, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why so many people turn to credit repair companies for help.

Credit repair services work on your behalf to remove any inaccuracies in your credit file and identify negative items from your credit that can be challenged such as late payments, charge offs, identity theft, bankruptcies, foreclosures, hard inquiries, and more.

The Credit Repair Advisors reviewed over 20 of the best credit repair companies in the industry and evaluated them on a variety of factors including company reputation, services offered, years in business, success rate, price, and guarantee.

Here are our top choices for the top credit repair services.

Top 7 Best Credit Repair Companies of 2020

#1: Credit Saint – Best Overall Company

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Credit Saint is our top choice for the best credit repair company. This credit repair agency has been in business since 2004 and has had an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau for the past 10 years. Credit Saint is the most aggressive credit repair service in the industry, which is why they’re the top rated company by many independent review sites.

Credit Saint can work with you to remove a variety of harmful items from your credit report including collections, charge offs, late payments, inquiries, liens, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and more.

Here is how credit saint works:

Credit Saint will help you retrieve your credit report and then go over it with you to identify harmful items that are damaging to your credit score. They’ll also analyze your positive credit and provide helpful tips on how you can improve your score by paying certain bills, opening credit, or closing credit.

This consultation is completely free and you are under no obligation to buy anything.

Credit Saint will then contact the three credit bureaus to challenge items in your credit report that you disagree with. The credit bureaus will investigate these challenges and press your creditors to defend the harmful items that you’ve identified.

Credit Saint will provide you with an online dashboard so you can monitor the progress and stay up to speed on what’s going on.

Packages Offered

Credit Saint offers several distinct packages, depending on the level of service you need. Here is a run-down of what they offer:

Credit Polish Package – Includes 5 challenges to the 3 credit bureaus per dispute cycle, score analysis, creditor interventions, and a score tracker.

Credit Remodel Package – Includes everything above plus 10 challenges per dispute cycle, inquiry targeting, and Experian credit monitoring.

Clean Slate Package – This is the most aggressive option from Credit Saint, which includes everything above plus unlimited credit agency challenges, as well as cease and desist letters.

With a free consultation, 90 day money back guarantee, and an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau, Credit Saint is the gold standard when it comes to credit repair.

  • A+ BBB Rating For The Past 10 Years

  • Most Aggressive Credit Repair Company

  • Free Consultation and Credit Score Analysis

  • Online Dashboard To Monitor Your Progress

  • 90-Day Money Back Guarantee

Click Here To Visit The Official Credit Saint Website

#2: Sky Blue Credit – Best Value

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Sky Blue is one of the best credit repair companies if you’re looking for a flat-rate affordable price and excellent value. Besides offering one of the lowest rates of services in the credit repair industry, Sky Blue Credit offers a 90 day money back guarantee, which is one of the longest in the industry.

After signup on their site, Sky Blue Credit will conduct a personalized analysis of your credit reports and send dispute letters to credit bureaus depending on your report’s specific problem areas. Sky Blue Credit will dispute up to 15 items within a 35 day period and will repeat this process as many times as the client desires, all of which is included in the monthly fee. Plus, services offered by Sky Blue Credit also include debt validation, debt settlement, dispute letters of goodwill, and cease and desist letters.

Unlike many other credit repair companies available today, Sky Blue Credit does not offer multiple credit repair packages featuring different levels of service. Instead, Sky Blue Credit offers a comprehensive list of useful services for a single low monthly fee, making high-quality credit repair more accessible to a wider range of clients.

For one low monthly fee of $79, Sky Blue Credit offers their full suite of services which includes pro analysis of your credit reports, 15 item disputes per 35-day cycle, debt validation, goodwill letters, and cease & desist letters.

Sky Blue Credit provides comprehensive credit repair services to clients looking for a low price and a simple approach. For this reason, Sky Blue is a great fit for anyone looking for cheap credit repair that delivers excellent value for the cost.

  • No Charge For The First 6 Days

  • One Flat-Rate Price For All Services

  • Fastest 35-Day Dispute Cycle Among All Companies

  • Discounts For Couples

  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee

Click Here To Visit The Official Sky Blue Credit Website

#3: Lexington Law – Top Rated Credit Repair Service


Lexington Law has established itself as one of the best credit repair companies for over 30 years. Lexington Law has a team of lawyers and paralegals that analyze your credit reports to spot possible inaccuracies and negative items that can be challenged, including charge offs and late payments.

Lexington Law is a genuine law firm as opposed to a company dedicated to credit repair; this means you will have every possible standard of the law leveraged against credit companies and debt collectors in your favor. 

They will perform a detailed analysis of your credit history and pinpoint errors such as misplaced accounts, duplicate accounts, inaccurate accounts, and incorrect inquiries. Then, they will dispute these discrepancies and work with you to find the best legal action to take in order to improve your credit in a manner that lasts.

Lexington Law’s entry package is called Concord Standard and is a great fit for those attempting to rectify an isolated incident with their credit summary as it only includes challenges to the credit institution and creditor interventions.

The Concord Premier package, however, offers bureau challenges and creditor interventions as well as InquiryAssist services, in-depth score analysis, ReportWatch technology, and TransUnion alerts.

For an even more advanced and detailed approach, the PremierPlus package includes everything within the previous package as well as personalized cease and desist letters, a FICO credit score tracker, certified identity protection, and personal finance tools to maintain your improved credit moving forward. This is our recommended plan for anyone that has been a victim of identity theft.

Lexington Law’s service packages range from $89.95 to $129.95.

Lexington Law is an exceptional company for those seeking great value and personalized service, especially if you have bad credit. You can rest assured knowing that Lexington Law knows credit and debt law inside and out and can provide you with personalized, in-depth credit repair services.

  • Free Credit Report Consultation

  • #1 Rated Credit Repair App

  • Real Law Firm With Over Two Decades of Experience

  • 10 Million Items Removed Since 2017

Click Here To Visit The Official Lexington Law Website

#4: – Best Credit Repair App


With nearly 2 million successful removals of negative items from client credit reports since 2012, is a clear leader in the credit repair industry today. boasts a relentless approach when it comes to challenging incorrect information on client reports and getting fast results.

In order to clear your report of negative items and improve your credit score, performs a comprehensive 3-step process.

First, your representative will analyze your Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax reports to gain clarity regarding your credit history. Then will challenge the negative items on your report by sending letters to the primary credit bureaus. Finally, will monitor your reports and repeat the second step as many times as necessary until your report is changed. offers 3 service packages, the standard package starting at $99.95, to suit a wide variety of clients based upon budgeting and specific needs. While the Basic package is recommended for those with one or two negative items on their credit report, the Moderate package is designed for those with a few more negative items to contend with.

For those facing an overwhelming amount of negative or false items on their report or have had their identity stolen, the Aggressive package can provide’s most in-depth service. is an excellent site for clients that value on-the-go capabilities and a well-designed, easy to use app for mobile devices. Despite its app-based function, offers highly personalized service that rivals other top credit repair companies.

  • Free Personalized Credit Report Consultation

  • 1.8 Million Removals Since 2012

  • 3 Different Service Levels, Depending on Your Needs

  • Includes TransUnion Credit Monitoring

Click Here To Visit The Official Website

#5: The Credit People – Fast Credit Repair

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Since 2001, The Credit People have been providing high quality credit repair service and reliable information to clients of all kinds. Designed to service a wide client base, The Credit People provides the option of a pay-as-you-go monthly fee or six month commitment with a flat rate. The Credit People are known for their speedy service as well as tangible results, providing improved credit files for a variety of specific situations.

The Credit People will analyze your credit reports from the 3 credit bureaus and work tirelessly to remove harmful items such as late payments, bankruptcies, foreclosures, charge offs, identity fraud, and much more. You can track The Credit People’s progress at any time with their mobile app, and most clients see an estimated increase of 53-187 points on their credit score.

If you choose The Credit People’s monthly membership option, you can create your account for just $19 and then pay an enrollment fee of $79 for as long as you want to continue service. If you know or suspect that you’ll need credit repair service for at least several months, the six months membership option can save you money at a flat rate of $419 with no hidden work fees and satisfaction guaranteed.

The Credit People can provide high-quality credit repair service to anyone, but those seeking a higher credit score fast will find their speediest results with The Credit People. With unlimited disputes offered through each of their comprehensive plans, The Credit People will deliver noticeable changes in your credit report within just a few months of use.

  • Access To All 3 Credit Reports

  • Pay As You Go, Just $79 A Month

  • 24/7 Online Dashboard To Monitor Your Progress

  • Over 17 Years of Industry Experience

Click Here To Visit The Credit People Website

#6: Pyramid Credit Repair – Best Customer Service


Pyramid Credit Repair has been successfully improving credit scores for almost 10 years and has experienced a huge amount of steady growth since its inception in 2011. With a personal case manager handling each individual account, you’ll always have someone in your corner to call on through phone, email, or text with Pyramid Credit Repair.

Pyramid Credit Repair’s approach can be boiled down to three distinct steps. First, the inquiring client will work with a representative to understand all of the factors involved in credit scores and what needs to be done to improve their report. Next, the company will assign you a case manager that will design a plan of action based upon your unique credit history. Finally, this company will rigorously challenge credit companies until all negative items have been successfully removed.

Pyramid Credit Repair is one of the only credit repair companies to offer plans designed for married couples as well as single clients. At $99 per month for the Singles plan (no setup fee) and $198 for the Couples plan, this company offers extremely personalized service with 24/7 access to phone support and the ability to cancel anytime penalty-free.

Based upon high customer ratings and their 24/7 customer service offering, Pyramid Credit Repair is best for those looking for a highly personalized approach with an impressive level of customer support provided. This provider also offers thorough information regarding how your working relationship with your case manager will be structured and exactly what the process will entail.

The major benefits of working with this company includes:

  • Plans designed specifically for married couples as well as singles

  • Dedicated account managers to keep personalized progress on track

  • 100% money back guarantee

  • $99 per month with no contracts

  • Option for flat-rate price for a commitment of 6 months

Click Here To Visit The Pyramid Credit Repair Website

#7: Ovation Credit Services – Best Guarantee


Ovation Credit Services is highly regarded in the credit repair industry for its high level of customer support and exceptional cost effectiveness. This company makes a point to build connections with clients and create personalized plans for their specific needs.

Ovation Credit Services has corrected over 120,000 client credit reports with their specialized processes. After a trained credit analyst reviews your credit history free of charge, you will be assigned a personal case representative that works on your behalf to successfully dispute and remove inaccurate items on your credit report. Additionally, your case advisor will keep you updated constantly on the progress of your case.

Ovation Credit Services keeps it simple with the option of two service plans: the Essentials plan and the Essentials Plus plan.

At $79 per month, the Essentials plan includes access to your personal case advisor, disputes for every negative item on your credit report, and a host of financial management tools to help you maintain good credit moving forward.

At $109 per month, the Essentials Plus plan goes farther by including unlimited dispute challenge validation letters, unlimited goodwill letters to creditors, official Ovation letters of recommendation for future lenders, and credit monitoring authorized through TransUnion.

Because of their exceptional money-back guarantee, Ovation Credit Services is a great fit for those that are new to credit repair and are working to glean important information and assistance from a variety of sources. Additionally, clients still shopping around among credit repair companies will appreciate the high level of personalized customer service and privacy that Ovation Credit Services has to offer.

Some of the main perks featured on the Ovation Credit website include:

  • Free credit consultation offered

  • Advanced tools for online credit monitoring and identity theft prevention

  • Education sources for credit report information

  • A+ Rating From The Better Business Bureau

Click Here To Visit Website

How Do Credit Repair Companies Work?

In order to fix your credit issues and more deeply understand your credit history, good credit repair companies will analyze your credit reports from each of the 3 primary credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax).

Though everyone has access to their free credit reports at any time, credit repair experts can help you to better understand the implications behind your credit file and what needs to happen for your score to improve.

Your credit repair service will perform a thorough review of your credit reports to spot errors and negative items that are causing your low credit score. Once these have been identified, the company will work to correct the problems by disputing them with the credit bureaus.

Common credit report mistakes to be corrected include inaccurate personal information, incorrect balances, and errors in data management as well as outdated statements of debt.

Why hire a professional for repairing your credit instead of contacting the credit bureaus yourself? The best credit repair companies will gather evidence and build a convincing case in your favor with their company’s reputability backing up their claims.

Additionally, credit bureaus are legally obligated to respond to credit repair company disputes within 30 days, so you’ll no longer be kept waiting indefinitely for website updates on whether or not the credit bureau has corrected the errors in your report. 

Factors to Consider Before Choosing A Credit Repair Service

Setup Fee

According to the Credit Repair Organizations Act, companies can’t charge you upfront for services that haven’t been performed yet. Therefore, you should avoid any credit repair service that requires you to pay an upfront setup fee.

However, it’s important to note that most credit improvement services charge a first work fee. A first work fee is typically collected about 7 days from the time you sign up, after some initial work has been completed for you. Make sure you understand how much a company charges for the first work fee before you sign up, as this amount can vary between credit repair companies.

BBB Rating

When it comes to legitimate credit repair companies, reputation is everything. Make sure to check out a company’s BBB rating before deciding whether or not to use their services. Although most credit repair companies have a fair to good rating from the Better Business Bureau, some companies that you see online have a terrible rating. You should avoid any credit repair company that has less than a C rating at the Better Business Bureau.

Customer Reviews

Taking a look at credit repair company reviews is one of the quickest ways to see if a company is legitimate or not. When reading credit repair reviews, look for answers to these questions:

  • How many negative items were removed from their credit reports?

  • How long did the credit repair process take? 

  • How was their customer service?

If you’re unable to locate any reviews for a credit cleaning service, that’s a good sign that you should look elsewhere.

Money Back Guarantee

One of the most important things you should consider when hiring a credit repair agency is their money back guarantee policy. Any legitimate credit repair company should have their refund policy easily visible from their website. Some of the best credit repair companies offer a 90-day money back guarantee, while others do not offer a customer satisfaction guarantee.

Company reputation

Make sure to thoroughly read customer reviews and ratings before placing your trust in a credit repair company. Not only will you gain important knowledge about whether or not the company delivers on their promises, you will better understand whether or not the company can accurately fix your specific credit issues.

Number of items disputed per month

Most credit repair agencies decide how many items on your credit report can be disputed per cycle, depending on which of their service packages you’ve chosen. Reputable credit repair companies will tell you honestly how many negative items exist on your report, and therefore how many items you need disputed per cycle, during your initial credit analysis in order for you to make an informed decision on which package is best for you. Make sure you understand the limit your package has on the number of disputed items per month.

On-going credit monitoring

When shopping for a credit repair company, it’s important to choose one that offers on-going credit monitoring. This feature will allow you to stay up-to-date on every change that occurs within your credit report, big or small, even after your service period with the company has ended.

Monthly price

Though a month-to-month payment option may seem more convenient, you can actually save money by paying a flat fee for multiple months at once. During your free consultation with your credit repair company, ask about the differences in package pricing and whether your credit repair needs warrant a more long-term solution or a pay-as-you-go plan.

Free consultation

Free credit score consultations benefit everyone, even those with good credit. A free consultation can provide important insight regarding where you can improve your credit score as well as identify any items that are dragging down your score, including tax liens and late payments. Plus, since these consultations are complementary and low-pressure, you can easily gather multiple opinions from multiple credit help companies commitment-free.

Alternatives to Hiring A Credit Repair Specialist

Credit repair software – Priced between $400 and $600, credit repair software can provide you with useful tools to repair your credit on your own, including letter templates and contact information for the 3 major credit bureaus.

Credit counseling – Credit counselors can review your credit reports for free as part of the credit repair process and help you devise a plan to remove negative or incorrect items. However, this route includes much less one-on-one guidance than a paid credit repair company.

Debt consolidation – Debt consolidation refers to consolidating high-interest debts into lower-interest loans. Though this can lead to a better credit score temporarily, closing too many debt accounts at once can damage your score later.

Are Credit Repair Agencies Worth It?

The best credit repair companies are definitely worth the cost. Although you can repair your credit on your own, is it really worth the hassle? You’ll have to comb through credit reports, write dispute letters, follow up with creditors, and more. This can be a very frustrating and time-consuming process, which is why hiring a credit repair specialist makes a lot of sense.

If you hire a reputable company, you’ll have a team of credit pros on your side that can handle the whole process for you. They have dispute letter templates that have been proven to work, they know who to contact, and they know exactly what to say to the credit bureaus to give you the best possible outcome.

The answer to whether or not credit cleaners are worth it is dependent upon how much you value your time. While anyone can handle the credit repair process on their own, a professional credit repair specialist will save you time, stress, and frustration.

How Long Does It Take To Repair Your Credit?

The average time it takes to repair your credit score is three to six months. This largely depends on if you’re doing it yourself or hiring a credit repair company to manage the process for you.

If your credit report only has a handful of mistakes that need to get fixed, it’s possible that credit repair can be done in as little as 30 days. But if you have a large number of items that need to be disputed or have been a victim of identity theft, the process will most likely take three to six months depending on the severity.

The reason why credit repair fixers can take up to 6 months is because by law, credit bureaus have up to 30 days to respond to each dispute. Additionally, some credit repair companies have a cap on how many disputes they will send per month on your behalf, while others offer unlimited dispute letters. So if you have 20 items that need to be disputed, but your credit fixing company only offers 5 disputes per month on your service plan, it will take 4 months to challenge all the items that are hurting your credit score.

How Much Do Credit Repair Companies Cost?

The typical cost to hire a credit repair company varies between $70 and $130 per month. Every credit repair company has their own pricing model and it’s important to understand their cost structure before hiring them.

While most of the best credit repair companies have a flat-rate pricing structure, some offer a pay-for-performance model that charges you for each item that is deleted from your credit report.

The pay-for-performance model can end up being more expensive, as these companies will charge you for each credit bureau they are able to remove the harmful item from. So if they charge you $50 for 1 item removed, you’ll likely have to pay $150 if they remove it from all 3 credit bureaus. That’s why we always recommend sticking with a flat-rate, transparent pricing model.

It’s also important to note that some credit repair companies have multiple service levels, depending on your unique needs. The higher-priced monthly service plans often have additional perks such as credit monitoring, cease and desist letters, and more disputes per month.

How To Tell If Your Credit Repair Company is Legitimate

While there are plenty of legitimate credit repair companies to choose from, there are plenty of scam artists you have to watch out for as well. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, here are some common signs of a credit repair scam:

Pressuring you to pay an upfront setup fee

By law, credit repair companies can’t request or receive payment until they’ve completed the services they have promised. Some companies circumvent this rule by using a first work fee, which is usually billed about a week after the project starts. The first work fee covers the work they’ve done in the first 7 days, which usually includes dispute letters and a full credit report analysis.

Guarantees to remove negative information from your credit report

Not even the best credit repair company can guarantee the removal of accurate information from your credit report. Instead, they work to challenge inaccurate, misleading, biased, incomplete, or unverifiable negative items that are hurting your credit score.

Fails to put your credit repair agreement in writing

Before the process to improve your credit score starts, you should receive a written contract from the credit repair company stating the exact services you’ll receive, how much those services cost, and how to cancel.

Avoids explaining your rights to you

If the company doesn’t clearly explain your rights and what you can do yourself for free, this is a warning sign. Disputing errors on your credit report is a legal right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. As such, it is not required to hire a company in order to clean up your credit score. Any company that claims that you have to hire a company in order to fix your credit is dishonest.

Final Thoughts – Which Credit Repair Company Is Right For Me?

When it comes to credit repair companies, you get what you pay for. Don’t just blindly pick the company with the cheapest services or the one with the best website. Take the time to understand each company’s credit repair options, so you can choose a plan that fits your financial situation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to repairing your credit.

If you’re looking for the best credit repair company, you can’t go wrong with Credit Saint. Their credit pros are the most aggressive when it comes to challenging items on your credit report and their A+ BBB rating speaks volumes to their customer satisfaction rates. They also offer an industry-leading 90 day money back guarantee if they’re unable to get any deletions for you within the first 90 days.

If you’re on a budget and looking for the best value, we recommend Sky Blue Credit. Rather than offering multiple packages, they offer all of their services for one low monthly fee. Sky Blue Credit is one of the top ten credit repair companies in the United States and their transparent, affordable pricing is something that separates them from other services.

If you’re looking for a highly reputable credit repair service, Lexington Law is your best bet. They’ve been in business since 2004 and have a large team of paralegals and lawyers that are experts in credit repair. Their service levels are a little more expensive than Sky Blue and Credit Saint, but the results are worth it if you’re willing to spend a little more.

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Credit Repair Companies

How to Remove a Charge Off From Your Credit Report



Charge offs are bad news when it comes to credit reports and scores. They’re considered major derogatory items (aka “major derogs”) and are among the worst types of entries you can have in your credit history.

In many cases, charged off accounts can remain on a credit report for up to seven years. But removing a charge off early is sometimes possible. Keep reading to discover three ways to remove charge offs from credit reports, along with other helpful details about these negative credit entries. 

Before we continue – If you want to avoid the hassle of removing a charge off by yourself and just want to hire a company to handle the process for you, our top recommendation is Credit Saint.

3 Ways to Remove Charge Offs from Your Credit Report

1. File a Dispute with the Credit Bureaus

The companies you do business can legally share details about how you pay your bills with the credit bureaus. Those credit bureaus, in turn, can gather information about you from multiple sources and package it together into easy-to-read reports. The credit bureaus then sell those reports to others who want to review your data to forecast the risk of doing business with you.

You also have rights when it comes to your personal credit information. One such right comes from the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Per the FCRA, a consumer can “dispute with the consumer reporting agency the accuracy or completeness of any information in a report.” 

When you dispute a charge off or any other item, the credit reporting agency that receives your request has 30 days to investigate. At the end of the investigation period, the bureau must take one of the following actions with the disputed item:

  • Delete it
  • Update/correct it
  • Verify that it’s accurate   

If your dispute is successful, they may remove the charge off from your file. But if the investigation doesn’t go in your favor, the account will stay put. 

2. Pay for Delete

A pay for delete is a type of deal you can sometimes make with the original creditor. It starts with an offer to settle or pay back the full amount of a charged off account or a collection. In exchange for the debt being paid in full, you ask the original creditor to have the bureaus delete the account from your file. 

A creditor can ask a credit bureau to remove a charged off account from your report any time it wishes. There’s nothing illegal about the practice since credit reporting is optional. The bureaus, however, frown upon pay for delete settlements. 

Credit bureaus instruct debt collectors that report information to the credit bureaus (aka data furnishers) not to request deletions of accurate accounts in exchange for payment. In fact, data furnishers sign agreements with the credit bureaus promising to follow these and other rules. If a data furnisher violates its user agreement and gets caught, it might lose its ability to submit customer data to the credit bureaus in the future. 

Credit reporting is important to many businesses. It helps creditors encourage customers to pay on time. For this reason, convincing a creditor to accept a pay for delete offer can be a long shot. If you negotiate a payment for deletion deal on a charge off, get the offer in writing before you make any payments. 

3. Hire a Credit Repair Company

The FRCA gives you the right to dispute inaccurate information on your own. However, you don’t have to manage the process by yourself. Some people prefer to hire credit experts to assist with getting a charge off removed.

Credit repair companies can dispute questionable and inaccurate information on your credit reports—charged off accounts included. And if your initial dispute is unsuccessful, an experienced credit repair company should be able to help you follow up again. 

Of course, there’s no guarantee that credit experts will be able to remove a charge off from your credit report. Any trustworthy company will be quick to point out this fact. But if you’re comfortable with the fees and you don’t want to send and track credit disputes yourself, working with the best credit repair companies might be a good fit for you. 

If you’re looking for a good credit repair company that gets results, our top recommendation is Credit Saint. They are the most successful company for getting negative items removed from your credit, including charge offs. Take advantage of their free credit consultation to see how they can help you.

What Is a Charge Off? 

When you borrow money from the original creditor, you promise to repay the debt, plus interest and fees, at a certain amount (or percentage) per month. If you miss a payment, the credit card issuer may report you as late to the credit bureaus. Miss enough payments and that same creditor could opt to charge off your account.

The term charge off describes a debt on which you’ve fallen so far behind that the creditor no longer believes you will pay it back. So, the creditor writes the account off as a loss for accounting and tax purposes. 

A charge off, despite how it sounds, isn’t the same as debt forgiveness. If the debt is legitimate, you still owe the money you borrowed plus any interest and fees you agreed to pay. 

How Does a Charge Off Affect Your Credit Score? 

Derogatory information, like a charge off, has the potential to hurt your credit. To make matters worse, a charge off doesn’t just have the potential to damage your credit once. It might hold your score back to some degree for several years.

Should I Pay Charged Off Accounts? 

There are several factors to consider as you decide whether to pay a charged off account.

  • Are you expecting a credit score increase? Paying a charge off often won’t increase your score. If your goal is to boost your score, you may be better off to focus on bringing past-due accounts current, or paying down debt balances before you address charge offs. 
  • Do you plan to apply for new credit in the future? Some lenders may not be willing to work with you if you have outstanding, negative debts. A mortgage lender, for example, might want any charged off accounts on your credit report to show $0 balances before approving your application. 

If you decide to pay or settle a charge off in full, it’s important to keep good records. Get a copy of the debt balance you owe (or the debt settlement offer) from the creditor before you pay. Then follow up to get a receipt and zero balance statement afterwards.

How Long Does a Charge Off Stay on Your Credit Report? 

Credit reporting isn’t required. No law forces a company to report information about you to the credit reporting agencies. Nonetheless, many creditors do proactively opt to share customer data with Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. 

When a debt collector shares your information or includes it on a credit report, there are rules they have to follow. The FCRA limits how long negative information, like charged off accounts, can stay on your credit report. Charge offs in particular can only remain on a consumer credit report for seven years. 

Is a Charge Off Worse Than a Collection? 

Charge offs and collections represent two types of derogatory accounts that can appear on a credit report. According to FICO, both charge offs and collections are likely to have a serious negative affect on your fico scores. 

But is a charge off worse than being referred to a collections agency from a credit scoring standpoint, or vice versa? The answer depends on several factors. 

1. The Age of the Account

Credit scoring models, like FICO and VantageScore, consider many details when evaluating your history. The age, or rather the recency, of derogatory information on your report is one such detail. Negative information on your credit report that occurred a long time ago won’t affect your FICO scores as much as recent negative items from failing to pay back the debt. 

So, if you have a debt collection account on your credit report that’s one month old and a charge off that happened three years ago, the debt collection account will most likely hurt your credit score more. If a charge off on your credit report is more recent than a debt collection account, then the charge off will probably have a bigger impact. 

2. The Balance of the Account

The information on a credit report is broken up into different sections. When you review your credit report, you’ll usually find charged off accounts (if you have any) in the “credit accounts” section. This section may go by a different name, but it will contain details about your current and closed accounts. 

Because of the way a charged off account appears on credit history, it might show that you owe a past-due balance to a credit card company. Past due balances are negative factors in terms of credit scoring. 

A debt collection agency, by comparison, does not list past-due balances. And the balance of the collection account itself is not considered by many scoring models. The fact that your account was turned over to a debt collector is what hurts your score. 

The balance on a collection tends to be largely irrelevant. So, if you have a charge-off with a past-due balance on your credit report, it could potentially be worse for your score than a collection (assuming both accounts are the same age). 

How Many Points Does a Charge Off Drop Your Credit Score? 

It’s difficult to predict how much any specific action will affect your credit file. Credit scoring models don’t consider one item at a time when calculating your score. Rather, scoring models look at all of the information on your credit report together and predict your level of risk based on the overall picture. 

A new late payment to a debt collector, for example, won’t drop your score by 20 points. Likewise, the appearance of a new charge off on your report isn’t worth a specific number of points either.

The impact a charge off has on your credit history is influenced by factors like the recency of the event and whether the credit card account has a past-due balance. The other items on your credit report are also relevant. And, of course, the type of scoring model that is used to calculate your FICO score makes a big difference in the outcome as well.  

Will a Charge Off Affect Buying a House? 

Mortgage lenders check your credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies when you apply for a home loan. If any of your reports contain negative information, like charged off accounts, it might cause some problems. For this reason, it might make sense to contact a credit repair company to see if they can help.

  • A charge off could affect your credit scores. Most mortgage lenders have a minimum credit score requirement that you need to satisfy before they will approve your loan application. Charge offs are negative. So, they might cause your credit score to drop to a point where you won’t qualify for a mortgage. 
  • An outstanding balance could hurt you. Some lenders may ask you to pay the balance on any charged off accounts (or at least settle them in full) before they’ll approve you for a mortgage. 

How Long Does It Take for a Charge Off to Be Removed? 

The credit reporting agencies must remove the charge off from your credit report after seven years from the date. It might be possible, using one of the methods above, to remove the charge off early. But there are no guarantees when it comes to getting items removed from your credit file. 

Trying to remove a charge off from your credit report can be a tedious process, especially if you’re not familiar with the FCRA and other consumer protection laws. But you don’t have to dispute charged off accounts alone. Credit Saint specializes in disputing errors that may be hurting your credit scores and showing you how to add positive information to your credit reports as well. 


How to Remove a Charge Off From Your Credit Report

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Credit Repair Companies

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Reader Advisory: The National Trade Association we belong to has purchased the below classifieds. Determining the value of their service or product is advised by this publication. In order to avoid misunderstandings, some advertisers do not offer employment but rather supply the readers with manuals, directories and other materials designed to help their clients establish mail order selling and other businesses at home. Under NO circumstance should you send any money in advance or give the client your checking, license ID, or credit card numbers. Also beware of ads that claim to guarantee loans regardless of credit and note that if a credit repair company does business only over the phone it is illegal to request any money before delivering its service. All funds are based in US dollars. Toll free numbers may or may not reach Canada.

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Tips to avoid being defrauded by credit repair companies – Latest News, Breaking News, Top News Headlines



In relation to the economic crises that have occurred in recent years, it is possible that your credit debts are increasing day by day, due to the use of credit cards, delays in paying mortgages, job losses, business closings , reduction of salaries among others. Reason why you could make the decision to go to a credit repair company thinking that they could support you with your credits. But before you could choose to request the advice of this type of companies, here are some tips to avoid being defrauded, according to what has been published by the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Users of Financial Services (Condusef).

Tips to avoid being defrauded by credit repair companies

Although you could be anxious to pay your debts, you should be careful, because just as there are credit repairers that are known, there are others that only engage in fraud.

1.- Stay alert

There are no credit repairers that request cash or that you transfer it by deposit to a personal bank account. If you are presented with this type of situation, it is likely that they will try to carry out a fraud, so it is convenient that you could look for other options.

Tips to avoid being defrauded by credit repair companies. Photo: My Pocket.

2.- Do not sign any type of document without having read

If you have in mind to sign a contract with the credit repair company, first read this document in detail and verify what the conditions and deadlines are, and check what penalties are applied in case of delay or abandonment of the program. If you are not 100% convinced, do not sign it.

3.- Repair companies do not clean your credit history

In the event that the credit repair company you go to tells you that it could clean up your credit history, it is probably not true, so your credit history will be negative and in the future it could be difficult for you to obtain a new credit. It is also important to mention that no repair company could erase you from the credit bureau, even if they ask for money, since no person or institution can carry out this procedure.

4.- Look for valid options to negotiate your credit

There are other organizations that you could go to to negotiate or settle your debts, such as your financial institution, where you could agree on a fixed payment plan or, failing that, restructure the credit and also you could not be presented with fraudulent situations, which could lead to affect your personal finances.

It should be mentioned that credit repairers are companies that perform the function of intermediaries between the debtor and the financial institution to which it could be owed and their purpose is to offer the person who has the debt, a kind of negotiation with the banking institution through options for credit settlement. It also tries to reduce the amount through discounts and modify the credit history in the credit bureau.

According to information published by the Condusef, there is currently no legal framework that regulates the operations of credit repair companies, which means that these companies operate independently and independently, for this reason some people may go with repair companies who are not accredited, existing the probability that they are victims of fraud, and in the event that this happens, the Condusef does not have the faculties to offer them support.

More content about loans and personal finances, in our Credits section.

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