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Credit repair services will help fix mistakes on your credit report in exchange for a fee, but it’s easier than you’d think to do it yourself

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  • Credit repair agencies can help you remove incorrect information from your credit reports, in exchange for a fee. But you can also file a credit report dispute on your own, for free.
  • These companies generally give you access to your credit report for an an additional fee, but you can get your credit report for free each week through April 2021.
  • Remember that credit repair services aren’t miracle workers; they can’t make late payments disappear from your report if you indeed paid your bills late.
  • Consider the alternatives to credit repair, such as fixing your credit on your own, working with a credit counseling agency, or using a debt consolidation loan to get your finances back on the right track.

If your finances aren’t where you’d like them to be, it’s easy to let your credit score spiral out of control. After all, your payment history is the most important factor that makes up your FICO score, meaning just a few late payments can cause your score to plummet. Accounts in default and collections can hurt your score further, along with the total amount you owe in relation to your credit limits. And when you hurt your credit score, you’re damaging your chances of getting approved for new lines of credit, or for getting a favorable interest rate when you apply for a loan.

If you find yourself in a position where it seems like nothing is going right with your credit, you may be wondering if you need third-party help. Credit repair companies promise to help rectify any mistakes on your credit report, but before you sign up, it’s important to know what they can and cannot do. Advertisement


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What is a credit repair company?

Lexington Law, a credit repair company that also offers legal counsel, says that the expertise of credit repair companies is what makes the process easier for consumers. Credit repair companies “know what to look for, understand the process needed to fix inaccuracies, and are informed on what clients are legally entitled to request from both credit bureaus and creditors.”

While consumers can look for credit report mistakes on their own, having professional help could make the process easier and less stressful. After all, not all consumers are educated on credit, and having a helping hand throughout the process may even be required to keep some consumers on track.

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Credit repair versus credit counseling

Lexington Law also says that you shouldn’t confuse credit repair with credit counseling. Credit repair companies tend to be for-profit agencies that will help you repair your credit for a fee, whereas credit counseling agencies tend to be not-for-profit companies that help consumers create a plan to get out of debt and get their finances back on track.

What to consider before using a credit repair company

The most important thing you should consider when it comes to credit repair is the fact that, no matter what anyone says, credit repair companies cannot do anything for you that you cannot do yourself.Advertisement


The FTC points out that “only time and a personal debt repayment plan” can really improve your credit. Credit repair agencies can help you get incorrect information removed from your reports, but this is also something you can do yourself.

If you do decide to work with a credit repair company, you should know these details ahead of time:

  • The FTC notes that it’s illegal for credit repair companies to lie about what they can do for you.
  • It’s illegal for credit repair companies to charge you before they provide any help.
  • You have the legal right to a written agreement in writing before they perform any services.
  • You also have the right to know the exact costs you’ll pay, how long it will take to get results and any guarantees.
  • You have three days to cancel the agreement without any charge.

If a credit repair company doesn’t perform the services it promises, you have the right to sue them for your losses and to seek punitive damages. You also have the right to join a class action lawsuit against any credit repair company you work with.Advertisement


How much does credit repair cost?

You may want to work with someone who can help you repair your credit, but you should know that you could pay significant sums of money over time. Not only can you expect to pay a monthly fee while you receive credit help, but other upfront fees can also be charged to access your credit reports or get the work started.

While the charges from credit repair companies can vary, here are some of the most popular companies you can work with, and how much you can expect to pay:

Monthly fee Other fees
CreditRepair.com $99.95 $14.99 credit report fee
Lexington Law $89.95 to $129.95 N/A
Oak Credit Repair $85 N/A
Apex Credit Fix $99 $1 credit report fee
CreditUS $99 $99 first work fee; $48 for credit reports

Should you use a credit repair company?

Only you can decide if working with a credit repair company is worth it. However, it may be smarter to take the steps to get negative information removed from your credit reports on your own. After all, credit repair costs vary, but this assistance is never free.Advertisement


While it’s possible to get negative information removed from your credit reports if it’s incorrect, you likely won’t be able to get negative information removed from your reports if the data is correct. For example, you cannot make a late payment go away if you truly paid a bill late and that information was reported to the credit bureaus. Only time can make true negative reporting go away, notes the FTC.

In fact, most negative reporting stays on your credit reports for seven years, but bankruptcy will stay on your report for 10 years. “Unpaid judgments against you will stay on your report for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer,” reports the FTC.Advertisement


How to dispute a mistake on your credit report

If you do get a copy of your credit reports and you find negative information that’s incorrect, you can dispute it on your own. To dispute incorrect information on your credit reports, you should take the following steps:

  • Contact the creditor (such as your bank) that reported the negative mark on your report to try to resolve the issue
  • If you can’t resolve the issue with your creditor, contact the credit-reporting company that issued the report with the inaccurate negative mark
  • You’ll want to send the credit-reporting agency a letter using this format provided by the FTC

Consider alternatives to credit repair

You should also consider some other options for repairing your credit if you have room to improve. This can include the do-it-yourself method, which involves creating a plan to stay on top of your bills and pay down debt over time.Advertisement


To help repair your credit yourself, you should make sure all of your bills are paid early or on time, work to pay off any debts in default or in collections, and pay down debt in order to lower your credit utilization. You should also refrain from opening or closing too many accounts while you try to improve your credit score.

Read more: How to keep your credit score up when the economy feels uncertain

Also consider debt consolidation, which involves getting a debt consolidation loan or a 0% APR credit card that lets you pay off your debts at a lower rate, at least at first. Finally, consider reaching out to a credit counseling agency that can help you design a plan to pay down debt and change your lifestyle so you can avoid racking up more debt in the future.Advertisement


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Gov. Reynolds announces assistance to low-income Iowans in preventing eviction or regaining housing

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DES MOINES, Ia. (KMTV) — Statement from the office of Governor Kim Reynolds

Governor Reynolds today announced that a total of nearly $9 million in assistance is available to eligible low-income Iowans who are at imminent risk of eviction and individuals who have lost housing to quickly regain housing stability. The funding will also provide support for homeless shelter operations. The funds are made available through a supplemental appropriation to the Emergency Solutions Grant program through the federal CARES Act.

“Throughout the pandemic, our focus has always been on protecting the lives and livelihoods of Iowans,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The funds announced today will assist those at risk of eviction while also providing support to homeless shelters supporting Iowa’s homeless population at this critical time. I appreciate the continued collaboration with our federal partners in support of the state’s pandemic response.”

“Providing housing assistance for Iowans in need remains a top priority,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director, Debi Durham. “The ability for Iowans to thrive and prosper begins with a safe, stable place to call home and the program announced today will be essential in helping Iowans get back on their feet.”

The Emergency Solutions Grant program will help to prevent households from becoming homeless due to eviction, assist Iowans who have lost their home to eviction to regain rental housing as well as provide homeless shelters with financial support to assist with operations and outreach as they work to serve Iowans in need and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

To be eligible for eviction prevention assistance to avoid homelessness, Iowans must have an income of 50% of the area median income or less and be at imminent risk of eviction in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria. To be eligible for assistance in rapidly regaining housing, Iowans must be currently experiencing homelessness.

Examples of assistance available to eligible individuals include rent and utility payments, including in arrears, legal assistance, application fees, security and utility deposits, moving costs, case management and credit repair. All financial assistance is paid directly to landlords and service providers.

Individuals in need of assistance must apply through the Coordinated Entry helpline in their area, which is available along with additional eligibility and program information at iowahousingrecovery.com.

Thirty-five agencies were awarded a total of $8.8 million in Emergency Solutions Grant Program funds. The full list of awards is available here. The assistance will remain available until all funds are exhausted or September 30, 2022.

The Emergency Solutions Grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Iowa Finance Authority in partnership with participating Iowa service agencies.



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Dovly, the Credit Repair Engine, Welcomes Todd Davis, Co-Founder and Former CEO of LifeLock, to Advisory Board

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PHOENIX, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Dovly, the credit repair engine that tracks, manages, and fixes your credit, today announced the appointment of Todd Davis, co-founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of identity protection leader LifeLock, to its board of advisors.

“Todd is one of the most innovative marketers and business leaders in the personal finance industry,” said Nirit Rubenstein, CEO and co-founder of Dovly. “His unique understanding of consumer mindsets and financial technology enabled him to create and scale a transformational business. His insights will help us take Dovly to the next level.”

“Millions of Americans have at least one serious mistake on their credit reports,” Todd Davis, co-founder and former CEO of LifeLock, explained, “yet far too many of those people aren’t even aware of it, nor do they understand the impact these mistakes have on credit scores. Dovly is a game changer.”

After launching his career with Dell in the early 1990s, Davis co-founded LifeLock in 2005. Five years later, the company ranked eighth on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing companies in America, and in 2012, the company went public. By 2014, LifeLock had over three million subscribers and 700 employees. Symantec acquired the company in February 2017 for $2.3 billion. Davis now serves as chairman of the board of Kadenwood and Aesthetics Biomedical.

Dovly also welcomed Jacky Chiu, the former vice president of product of LifeLock, to its advisory board. Chiu is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Brightside, a financial technology company that recently secured a $35 million series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

About Dovly

Dovly is an advanced credit repair engine that tracks, manages, and fixes your credit. Dovly’s fully automated technology enables customers to get ahead financially by leveraging credit intelligence to repair credit scores. The company is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, and has increased its customer base by 160% this year alone. In June of 2020, Dovly raised a $2.25 million round of seed funding led by NFX, with participation from 1984 Ventures.

Learn more at www.dovly.com.

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Black Lives Matter job fair aims to provide economic opportunity in Polk County

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LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Black Lives Matter organizers in Polk County are putting together a database to help lead people on the path to economic opportunity.

“I do a lot of things. General contracting, general clean up,” Tony Jones, of Lakeland, told a local recruiter.

Tony Jones, who lives in Lakeland

Jones is a veteran looking for a job. He served four years in the U.S. Army.

He wants to work, just needs an opportunity.

“You can’t pay no bills and eat if you’re sitting at home waiting for somebody to hand you something. You gotta get out and get it,” he said.

Jones came to the Dream Center in Lakeland to try to take those steps at a job fair organized by Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk Inc.

Black Lives Matter advocates protested to end police brutality this summer in Lakeland and all across the world with the ultimate goal of social justice.

“What’s going to happen next with Black Lives Matter after the marching and the rally? For us, it’s providing economic opportunity,” said Jarvis Washington, President & Founder of Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk Inc.

Wednesday’s job fair event launched Washington’s economic initiatives.

“We’re going to be working on the personal growth of the individual. We’re going to be helping them on everything from the mentoring program, credit repair programs, teaching them money management,” he said.

BLM partnered with Civitas Recruiting for the event.

Susan Freebern created the organization a few months ago to help community leaders steer under-served communities to good-paying jobs.

“They don’t know where to go to get these kinds of jobs. They don’t feel like they’re offered these kinds of jobs through regular staffing companies. I’m just going to go find those jobs and bring them to them,” she said.

On Wednesday, Civitas Recruiting and Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk gathered information to recruit workers for future projects through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program.

“Nothing’s gonna be fixed overnight or taken care of. I think we just need to all strive together, make positive steps. That’s all you can do,” Jones said.

To sign up for the program click here.

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