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How Long Do Things Stay On Your Credit Reports?



In many ways, a credit report is a lot like a living thing: It grows and strengthens over time, and when something bad happens, it will eventually heal. The duration of that healing process depends on the severity of the damage.

We’ll get into the nitty-gritty in a minute, but as a starting point, most negative information will remain on your credit reports for seven years with the one major exception being bankruptcies, which can stay on your credit reports for ten years – depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. (You can get a free credit report snapshot on to see which items are dragging down your scores.)

Positive information can stay on indefinitely; however, most closed accounts that were paid as agreed “age off” (as it’s known in the industry) of your credit reports after ten years. As for specific items, like a missed payment or collection account, well, let’s take a deeper dive into how long stuff stays on your credit report.

Here’s the bad news: If you make a mistake or run into financial obstacles that result in negative items on your credit report, those derogatory marks will remain there for years. The good news is they will carry less weight in credit scoring formulas as they get older.

Let’s take the dreaded credit score killer bankruptcy as an example. According to a study from FICO, a person with an average credit score of 680 could expect said score to fall around 130 to 150 points once a bankruptcy gets posted to their credit report.

As we mentioned earlier, most bankruptcies can remain on credit reports for up to ten years (more on this in a bit). However, so long as that person doesn’t have any new negative information hit their credit file, they can expect to be back to that 680 in roughly five years, FICO says.

In other words (and this extends beyond bankruptcy), assuming you start instituting healthy credit habits, like making on-time loan payments and keeping low debt levels, your score won’t bear the brunt of a misstep for the entire time an item is on your credit reports.

Pro-tip: Post-bankruptcy, you’ll want to check that all the debts discharged as a result are reported that way on your credit report. And you may want to look into getting a secured credit card as a means to re-establish a good payment history. (Find more on getting a credit card after bankruptcy.)

To reiterate what we said earlier, any positive information on your credit report can remain there indefinitely. An account that was paid as agreed will likely be removed from your credit reports ten years after the date of last activity.

That varies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) explains the limits on reporting the different kinds of derogatory marks, though some of these limits vary by state law. Here’s how long incidents of negative credit history generally remain on consumer reports, as mandated by the FCRA.

Several different types of credit accounts show up on your credit history. Credit accounts include installment loans including auto loans and student loans, mortgage loans, bank credit cards, retail credit cards, gas station credit cards, and all other types of credit you have qualified for.

How Long Do Late Payments Stay On Your Credit Reports?

Late payments can be reported for up to seven years from when the delinquency occurred. Say you missed a credit card payment several years ago, and you still use that credit card. After that late payment is seven years old, that delinquency legally cannot be included in the history of that account on your credit report.

If the account containing late payment information is closed, the entire account will be removed after seven years.

Pro-tip: If you miss a payment on accident, call your issuer to see if it’ll refrain from reporting it to the credit bureaus and/or waive the late fee. Most credit card companies will agree to do so if your payment history was stellar up until the misstep.

How Long Do Charge-Offs Stay On Your Credit Reports?

An account you did not pay as agreed, like a charged-off credit card or installment loan balance, can remain on your credit report for up to 7 years from the date the debt was charged off. (A charge off is essentially when the creditor officially writes your debt off its books as a loss.)

Keep in mind that just because a creditor has written off your unpaid debt as a loss does not mean you do not still owe the debt. Your creditor will likely sell your charged-off debt to a collection agency for pennies on the dollar, which brings us to another negative item on credit reports that we’ll get to shortly.

How Long Does a Foreclosure Stay On Your Credit Reports?

foreclosure can remain on your credit reports for seven years from the date the foreclosure was filed. The same goes for a short sale, which could show up on your credit report as a charge-off, a settlement, a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or “settled for less than the full amount due.”

However it’s reported, a short sale is considered a derogatory event and can remain on your reports for seven years.

How Long Do Inquiries Stay On Your Credit Reports?

There are two kinds of inquiries, and only one — hard inquiries — hurts your credit scores. A soft inquiry, like an account review by your current credit card issuer, will show up on your credit reports but is not factored into your credit scores.

Other examples of soft inquiries include requesting your own credit reports or credit scores, promotional inquiries from companies that may want to send you a credit offer and an inquiry from an insurance company (provided it’s legal in your state for credit scores to be used in determining insurance rates.)

Hard inquiries occur when you apply for credit, like a new credit card, and your potential lender is evaluating your application. A hard inquiry will slightly ding your credit score, but it won’t last too long. Hard inquiries only remain on your credit report for two years, and hard inquiries only affect your credit score and credit history for 12 months.

Pro-tip: Most credit scoring models will group inquiries for the same type of loan (like a mortgage) for 14-45 days (depending on the credit scoring model) to allow borrowers to comparison-shop among lenders. That way you won’t get hit each time you apply for a mortgage loan through a different lender.

A loan that has been turned over to a third-party debt collection agency because the borrower failed to make the monthly payments and didn’t assume the responsibility for their loan is known as a collection account. Once a loan is in collections, the collection agency will take over the job of collecting the debt for the original creditor. Collections show up as negative items on your credit history.

How Long Do Collections Accounts Stay on Your Credit Reports?

collection account can remain on your credit report for seven years plus 180 days from the date of the delinquency that immediately preceded collection activity. Let’s say you were really inconsistent with your cable bill — you missed it in January but caught up in February, only to miss it again in March and April.

At that point, your cable company sends the bill to a debt collector. That collection account can remain on your credit report for seven years plus 180 days from the date your bill was due in March.

Here’s the part a lot of people don’t like: Whether or not you paid the collection account, it can still stay on your report for that 7-year (plus 180 days) period.

Some credit scoring models do not factor in collection accounts once they’re paid, but many do. Also, of note, paid collections generally weigh your score down less than unpaid collections.

Pro-tip: Sometimes collection agencies are willing to remove accounts that have been paid, but you do have to negotiate this. This is called pay for delete, or payment for deletion.

If you do manage to negotiate this with the collection agency, make sure you get something in writing stating that the account will be removed so that you can use it as proof when disputing the account with the credit bureaus.

A public record that you will find on your credit report is bankruptcy. You may also find tax liens and other judgments as well, and they will show up as negative items on your credit report. Depending on the chapter of bankruptcy filed, the timeline for it getting removed from your credit history may vary.

How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit Reports?

Bankruptcies show up in the public records section of credit reports. Chapter seven bankruptcies may be reported for ten years from the filing date, and discharged Chapter 13 bankruptcies are generally removed after seven years.

How Long Does Eviction Stay On Your Credit Reports?

An eviction itself does not appear on a credit report, but trade lines related to it can. If the landlord sent your unpaid rent to a debt collector, it would appear under collection accounts, and if they sued you over the unpaid rent, it could appear as a judgment. We’ve already covered how long collection accounts stay on your credit report, and we’ll get to judgments in a minute.

How Long Does a Tax Lien Stay On Your Credit Reports?

If you fail to pay your taxes, the government could file a tax lien, which shows current and future creditors that the government has a right to your property until you have paid or otherwise gotten rid of the lien.

A paid tax lien can remain on your credit reports for up to 7 years from the date the government filed it, but you can speed up that timeline if you qualify for a lien withdrawal or the IRS Fresh Start program (you can learn how to apply on the IRS website).

An unpaid tax lien can remain on your credit reports indefinitely.

How Long Do Judgments Stay On Your Credit Reports?

How long a judgment remains on your credit report heavily relies on the state in which you reside. In most cases, a paid judgment will continue to show up on your credit report for seven years from the date filed. That’s technically also true for unpaid judgments, but an unpaid judgment can be renewed, which would indefinitely extend its life on your credit reports.

If the statute of limitations on judgments is longer than seven years in your state, then that time frame is how long the judgment can remain on your credit report.

There are some exceptions to the rules above:

New York Residents

  • A paid judgment can remain on your credit report for no longer than five years
  • A paid collection account can remain on your credit report no longer than five years from the date of last activity

California Residents

  • A paid or released tax lien (the IRS releases the lien 30 days after the debt has been satisfied) can remain on your credit reports for seven years from the release date or 10 years from the date filed. An unpaid or unreleased tax lien can remain on your credit reports for ten years from the date filed.

Pro-tip: If you discover a creditor/collector is suing you for a debt, it’s best not to ignore the summons. Failure to show up in court can result in a summary judgment against you, which can lead to garnishment.

All of these timelines assume the information on your credit report is fair and accurate. If you think a collection account is listed more than once or the date is wrong, for example, you may have grounds to dispute the item and get it removed from your credit report, which can improve your credit score quickly.

You can do this yourself through all three of the major credit reporting agencies and, under federal law, the credit bureau has to respond to your dispute within 30 days, generally.

If you have multiple items you want to dispute, or just don’t want to do the work, you can also hire a reputable credit repair company to help. (You can read more about how to spot a good credit repair company.)

Article first published on March 14th, 2017. Updated October 26th, 2018.

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Credit Repair Companies

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

Best Credit Repair 2

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

Tradebloc Inc. Unveils New Debt Relief Services – Press Release



Introducing Debt Settlement, Contract Cancellation, and Bankruptcy Services

LAS VEGAS – November 24, 2020 – (

​Tradebloc’s new debt relief department will be headed up by Jesse Kyle Ruzicka, J.D. Jesse is a member of Tradebloc Inc.’s in-house legal counsel. He excels in diverse customer relations and brings a warm and forthright presence to the team. He has vast experience in a number of fields of law including municipal, health, wills and trusts, insurance defense, debt settlement, and bankruptcy. Jesse is passionate about assisting others to rise above their challenges in life, especially breaking free from debt and bondage. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Finance within the top 10 percent of his class, from Brigham Young University – Idaho. He served in more than 10 societies during his time in undergrad and law school, including the School Body Presidency, Women in Law, Family Law Assistance Program, and Business Organizations Law Society.  Jesse obtained his law degree from the William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV.

About Tradebloc, Inc.

Tradebloc, Inc® is recognized as a top leader in credit repair and credit- identity theft monitoring with consecutive years of triple-digit growth. Tradebloc is the nation’s largest affiliate-based credit repair company and holds an A+ Rating with the Better Business Beuaru, adding thousands of new clients monthly.

For more information or questions, contact:
Tim Clark
(800) 554-7694

Related Links
Debt Relief Department
Jesse Kyle Ruzicka

Press Release Service

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Tradebloc Inc. Unveils New Debt Relief Services

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Credit Repair Companies

Credilife Credit Repair Review



Most credit repair companies simply file disputes on behalf of their customers, doing very little to address other factors that might contribute to poor credit. Credilife is a standout exception, pairing each customer with their own credit coach for what the company calls a “holistic approach” to improving financial wellness. But this service comes at a cost; Credilife’s fees are among the highest in the industry, and that’s not the only cause for concern. Keep reading to learn why you might or might not want to sign up for credit repair with Credilife.

Pros Explained

  • Financial wellness services cover more than credit repair: In addition to credit repair, Credilife offers debt management, financial planning, and homebuying assistance.
  • Options for small businesses: The company’s business credit program helps small business owners improve creditworthiness and get funding.
  • Library of free educational resources: Anyone can access Credilife’s free DIY guides for step-by-step credit dispute instructions.
  • Occasionally runs promotional discounts: From time to time, Credilife offers new customers discounts on their first work fees.
  • Positive customer reviews: Past customers have nothing but positive feedback regarding their experience with Credilife.

Cons Explained

  • Pricing not disclosed up front: Credilife doesn’t post its pricing online, which can be a red flag for transparency.
  • Extremely high fees: At $299, first work fees are higher than just about any other credit repair company. Monthly fees of $135 are also above average.  
  • Confusing service options: Credilife doesn’t do a great job of clearly explaining its various service packages.
  • Coaches work on a commission basis: Credilife’s coaches make money based on how much they sell, which may influence the recommendations they make to customers.
  • Few years in business: The company has only been around since 2017, which isn’t long compared to competitors with decades in the business.

Types of Services

Credilife offers a few types of services tailored to various specific goals. While the company’s standard credit repair package covers a broad range of needs, you’ll also find options for homebuying, student loan debt, and small businesses.

Credit Life Improvement Program

The Credit Life Improvement Program is Credilife’s core personal credit repair plan. While most competitors focus their services around credit disputes, Credilife takes a more organic approach that prioritizes consumer education and addresses many other contributing factors to credit health.

Customers who enroll in the Credit Life Improvement Program start with a thorough one-on-one evaluation of their credit report and financials with a coach. After this initial session, the company mails out a welcome kit that includes the Credit Builder Blueprint, a physical booklet personalized to each customer. This blueprint lays out a step-by-step guide to the individual’s credit repair plan created by their coach.

As you’d expect, Credilife handles credit disputes for any inaccurate information found on a customer’s credit report. But what you’re really paying for is ongoing access to a personal credit coach. The ultimate goal is to repair credit not just by removing inaccuracies but by addressing multiple areas that need improvement with better overall financial habits and an effective debt management plan.

RightWay to Real Estate Program

Oftentimes, prospective homebuyers sign up for credit repair in an effort to improve their credit score before applying for a mortgage. Credilife offers a specific program for those preparing to buy a home, which it calls RightWay to Real Estate.

The program begins with Credilife’s credit repair service but takes a turn once credit reporting errors have been addressed. Credilife remains involved through the homebuying process, helping the customer apply for and secure a mortgage through a preferred lender. The company advertises up to $800 in cash back at closing, which can be put toward closing fees.

Shopping around for a mortgage is one of the most important parts of the homebuying process. Even a small difference in interest rate can translate to thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. There’s no guarantee that Credilife will get you the best mortgage rate; in fact, it’s more than likely that the company makes a commission for every referral they make. Always shop around on your own before settling with a recommended lender.

Student Loan Help

Student loans are a financial burden for many Americans. If you’ve struggled to repay your student debt, your credit score might suffer as a result. Credilife employs student loan specialists who undergo training in specific government debt relief and refinancing options. To take advantage of this service, customers simply need to request a Credilife coach who specializes in student loans upon signup.

Business Credit Program

Credit repair services are a dime a dozen, but Credilife is one of very few companies to offer a program for small businesses. The service works in two parts. First, participants work with a credit coach to build or establish their business’s credit. A funding coach then enters the picture to help secure credit or funding. The process can take anywhere from 30 days to 12 months depending on the business owner’s personal credit and available collateral.  

Optional Add-Ons

Although Credilife includes outstanding financial guidance with its Credit Life Improvement Program, customers can take advantage of one optional add-on designed for more long-term financial planning.  

Money Mastery

Most Credilife customers stay with the company for nine months on average. For affordable, long-term financial management, Credilife refers customers to Money Mastery, a third-party mobile app with a more affordable monthly subscription fee. The Money Mastery app tracks spending and helps customers follow a plan to eliminate debt and build wealth for retirement. Coaches are available to answer questions and offer guidance, although the process isn’t as hands-on as Credilife’s program.

Customer Service

Since Credilife bases its services around a personal relationship with a one-on-one coach, customer service might be a bit different from what you’re used to. The company’s central offices are open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. CST with representatives available by phone and email. However, each individual coach sets their own hours and may be available at different times based on request. If it’s urgent, Credilife does provide an option to request a call from the next available coach through its website.

One interesting thing to note is Credilife’s presence on social media. Most coaches are very active on Facebook, and several private credit help groups are open for anyone to join. A live chat powered by Facebook Messenger is accessible through Credilife’s website, which the platform lists as “very responsive” to messages.

With that said, we do have one significant concern about Credilife’s coaches. According to our research, these coaches are actually classified as salespeople, which means they earn a commission based on what they sell to customers. Unfortunately, this can create an environment in which coaches make recommendations based on what will earn them a higher paycheck, not necessarily what’s best for the customer.

The term “credit coach” is a fairly vague title that doesn’t carry much weight in the credit repair industry. A credit coach can be a qualified legal expert or a salesperson with a simple training course under their belt. The easiest way to tell the difference is to ask the company how their representatives are compensated. If they earn a commission, they’re in a sales role.

Company Reputation

While most credit repair companies face high volumes of complaints from customers, Credilife is notably absent from this list. The company gets outstanding feedback from past clients on most platforms, accumulating a 4.4-star rating on Google reviews and a 4.69-star average review with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Credilife has just one complaint on file with the BBB and none with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

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

Contract Duration

Credilife bills on a month-to-month basis and, in accordance with the Credit Repair Organizations Act, doesn’t charge customers until the end of each month. Services can be canceled anytime by contacting customer service before the start of the next billing period. According to Credilife, most customers stay with the company for around nine months.


The biggest drawback to Credilife is its high cost. First work fees run $299, far exceeding every other credit repair company we reviewed. Ongoing fees are also high at $135 per month; while some competitors sell plans in the same price range, most offer a cheaper option for customers on a budget. To its credit, Credilife does occasionally run promotions with discounted initial work fees.

The Money Mastery program is much more affordable at $19.95 per month and can be purchased alongside a Credilife service or on its own. Just keep in mind that this program doesn’t include any credit repair services and is best for long-term budget planning.

The Competition: Credilife vs. Credit Assistance Network

To see if Credilife is really worth its high fees, we compared it to Credit Assistance Network, a competitor with a slightly different cost structure. Credit Assistance Network charges a $179 first work fee, a bit over half what Credilife collects from customers.

But instead of setting a flat monthly rate for ongoing service, Credit Assistance Network bills $50 for every credit report deletion. Since this is a per-bureau fee, an item that appeared on all three reports will cost $150 to have removed. Customers who pay Credit Assistance Network to remove just one item from all three reports every month will have already exceeded Credilife’s monthly fee—and they won’t have any credit coaching to show for it. Credilife is easily the better value.

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