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Ovation Credit Services by LendingTree Review

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Experts often say that the best credit repair solution is education, and if any service embodies this approach, it’s Ovation Credit Services by LendingTree. The company offers much more than just credit repair in its plans, walking customers step by step through the dispute process and providing additional education and tools for better debt management.

But monthly fees aren’t cheap, even for the most basic plan. To see if the membership cost is worth it, we took a deep dive into the service Ovation provides. In this review, we’ll cover what customers can expect from their dedicated Ovation case advisor, how the company tackles credit disputes, and what current customers have to say about their experience with the service.


Pros Explained

Cons Explained

Types of Services

Credit repair services from Ovation are available at two plan levels, allowing you to choose the level of service best suited for your personal situation. However, there are a few services you can expect regardless of which plan you choose. Each member is assigned a case manager who will assist them throughout the credit repair process. This is something that not all competitors do, but it allows for better service as you know you’ll always be talking to someone who is already familiar with your case.

Ovation is also unique in that the company takes a more education-focused, hands-on approach to credit repair. While some companies simply collect your money and do everything for you, Ovation works with members to help them fully understand the credit repair process. This means you may be asked to do a bit more leg work than with other credit repair companies, but you’ll walk away better prepared for long-term success. Budgeting and debt management tools are included with all packages to help prevent future credit issues through better planning and education.

Essentials Plan

At $79 per month plus an $89 upfront fee, the Essentials Plan is Ovation’s entry-level credit repair service. The plan includes access to a personal case advisor who is assigned to your account and will guide you step by step through the process of filing disputes with the credit bureaus. However, your case advisor won’t be able to physically do much on your behalf, so you should expect a more hands-on experience. Members can also take advantage of a set of financial management tools through the Ovation web portal.  

Essentials Plus Plan

Ovation’s upgraded Essentials Plus Plan is priced at $109 per month with the same $89 upfront fee as the Essentials Plan. For the extra $30 per month, you’ll get access to everything included in the base package plus a few premium services designed to accomplish more of the work for you. Ovation will send unlimited letters to creditors on your behalf for the purpose of challenging debt. You can even request a recommendation letter from Ovation in the future to supplement loan applications. TransUnion credit monitoring is also included with this package.


Optional Add-Ons

Many credit repair companies sell optional add-on memberships with auxiliary services not included in their core packages. Ovation offers fewer options than some, but does provide one add-on for credit monitoring. Note that this plan can be purchased independently of credit repair services; you don’t need to be an existing Ovation member to sign up.

Credit Monitoring

Ovation offers credit monitoring through a digital platform that tracks and analyzes your credit score. The platform breaks down the different factors that affect your score and helps you understand how to improve your credit. You’ll also get notifications if anything changes, allowing you to identify and quickly respond to potential errors or signs of identity theft. This service is ideal for anyone planning to make a large purchase, such as a home or vehicle, in the next six months to a year.

All credit repair and monitoring services from Ovation require a free credit consultation prior to signup.

While there’s no commitment required for a consultation, be aware that some companies use these free sessions to upsell customers on services they don’t necessarily want. Never feel pressured to give out your credit card information or purchase a membership without giving it some thought.


Customer Service

Service from Ovation is generally provided via phone and email, with few digital options compared to competitors. There’s no live chat or mobile app to take advantage of, a bit of a disappointment due to Ovation’s association with LendingTree. However, an online portal is provided with 24/7 access to updates regarding your case. Once you sign up, you’ll be put into direct contact with your case manager, who will primarily communicate with you via email and the Ovation customer portal.


Company Reputation

Overall, Ovation is highly respected in the credit repair industry, which is unfortunately laden with less-than-reputable organizations. Ovation has no negative record with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and just two complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), good indicators that the company’s practices meet legal standards.

Feedback from Ovation customers is notably above average for the industry. The company is just short of four-star ratings from both Google and the Better Business Bureau, fairly impressive scores when stacked up next to competitors. Most complaints involve difficulty getting ahold of case managers, which is a common downside of signing up for this type of credit repair service. Since advisors work limited hours and handle multiple cases simultaneously, they may not always be readily available to answer messages.

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

Ovation has been the subject of only two CFPB complaints in the past three years, one of the lowest complaint rates in the credit repair industry.


Contract Duration

Ovation’s credit repair memberships require no commitment and can be canceled at any time. All you need to do is cancel before the end of your billing period and you won’t be charged for the next month. If you simply want to take a short break, putting the membership on pause is an option as well. While there’s no money-back guarantee, Ovation advertises a unique policy that if the company fails to deliver on promised services, you won’t be charged a fee for that month–although the company is unfortunately vague on what exactly qualifies as failure to deliver. 


Cost

Both Ovation credit repair plans require an $89 upfront fee that covers the initial discovery period as your case manager reviews your credit reports. Subsequent monthly fees are either $79 or $109 depending on the plan you choose. Pricing is in line with most competitors that charge both upfront and monthly fees as part of their cost structure.

 Upfront FeeMonthly Fee
Essentials Plan$89$79
Essentials Plus Plan$89$109

The Competition: Ovation Credit Services by Lending Tree vs. Lexington Law

Ovation Credit Services often faces competition from Lexington Law, another major credit repair company. Assuming an average six-month service period, Lexington Law is a bit less expensive than Ovation. Ovation’s monthly fees are slightly higher, and they charge an upfront fee. Lexington Law also beats Ovation in the tech space with a smartphone app that gets rave reviews.

However, Ovation wins in the areas that matter most. Lexington Law has been the subject of 44 complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the past three years, dwarfing the two complaints associated with Ovation. The company has come under fire for alleged deceptive marketing practices and was even named in a CFPB lawsuit on the subject. Even if it costs a few extra dollars per month, we’d recommend going with Ovation for a better experience from a more reputable company.

 Ovation Services by Lending TreeLexington Law
Year Founded19761991
Services OfferedCredit repair, credit monitoringCredit repair
Customer Service TouchpointsPhone, email, client portalPhone, email, client portal, mobile app
Upfront Fee$89$0
Monthly Fee$79 to $109$89.95 to $129.95



How We Review Credit Repair Companies

The credit repair industry is rife with misleading claims and frequent scams, but for consumers who feel overwhelmed by the process of fixing errors on their own credit report, their services can be valuable. We rate credit repair companies based on their trustworthiness and transparency when it comes to fees, services, and contracts. Our scoring model also looks at the value companies offer through tools and resources.



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Credit Repair Companies

The 21 Year-Old Looking To Help 1,000 Families Raise Their Credit in 2021

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Vernell Watts is a credit repair expert, author, founder of Fortune800 – a credit repair company that has already helped hundreds to fix their credit score and develop healthy credit habits. His career started at a well-known credit repair company. Realizing that their techniques weren’t the best, he took time to study and build his own company. Currently, through his business, videos and his new book “The Credit Reset,” he is looking to help 1,000 families to permanently repair their credit in 2021.

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Vernell Watt is well ahead of his years. At the young age of 18, he started working for a nationwide credit repair company. He was a natural. Landing hundreds of clients and building good relationships, he earned good money and lived a comfortable life. “I was making amazing money and was able to buy myself a new car. I loved it.” some may have been content with their success, but Vernell began to dig deeper. He heard from his clients that they were not happy with the results of the service. Less than one percent of the clients he signed to the service saw any improvements in their credit score. “I couldn’t believe it. I knew I had to do something.” And he did. He left his job and began to study. After some time of studying, he realized that this company and many others were not offering the best solutions to their customers’ needs – he found his new niche. Build a credit repair company that actually helped it’s customers improve their credit score.

At 19 years old, Vernell launched Fortune800, a new kind of credit repair company. Designed to actually produce results, Watts saw huge success very quickly. Within four months, he had scaled his business to 6 figures and achieved a 55% success rate in improving his customers score. One of his reasons for his success is his blended method. Based on his studies of credit and credit companies, he developed his “blended technique,” a technique that simultaneously helps remove negative credit history while building positive credit accounts. This method allows his customers to see long lasting results. “One thing that I think is important is focusing on building credit, not offering a quick fix.” The second reason for Watts’ success is his knowledge. He has realized that knowledge, not age or experience is the key to mastering credit. Whether a client purchases his repair service or one of his books, Watts looks to help them understand the way credit works and how to understand it.

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His new book The Credit Reset is the perfect resource for anyone looking to fix and build their credit. Whether you are looking to build credit, buy a home, or prepare for a large purchase, this book gives you everything you need to get results in repairing your credit. He presents very detailed information in a very simple, easy-to-read 100 page blueprint. When asked what his motivation was to help others, he responded, “Your credit can be your largest asset or your largest liability. I want to help people make it an asset.”

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Do credit repair services work?

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You probably already know about the importance of having a good credit score. It can increase your chances of getting approved for credit products and help you secure lower interest rates. If your current credit score is less than stellar, you’ve perhaps considered using a so-called credit repair company. But do credit repair services really work and are they worth it? We take a look.  

What is a credit repair company?

Simply put, it’s a company that offers to improve your credit score in exchange for a fee.

A quick online research reveals a large number of these companies. Some also advertise their services in print media, as well as on TV and radio.

The way most credit repair companies claim to work is by helping you remove inaccurate or unverifiable information from your credit report.

They will start by requesting a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). After going through the report, they will devise a strategy for disputing any errors or inaccurate information in the data that may have a negative impact on your score.

Do credit repair services work?

There are currently no reliable statistics regarding the effectiveness of credit repair services. There is also insufficient data on the impact these services have on customers’ average credit scores.

That isn’t to say they don’t always work. If you can find a legitimate credit repair company that is able to identify errors, mistakes and unverifiable data on your report, they can help you get it removed. This could raise your score. Of course, nothing is guaranteed.

Many credit repair companies will claim to have helped thousands, if not millions, of people by removing negative credit entries and improving their credit scores. But short of asking a close friend or family member who may have used their services and been pleased with the outcome, there is really no way to know for certain.

Are credit repair services really worth it?

That depends.

The reality is that most of the services that credit repair companies offer are things that you can do yourself. For example, reviewing and disputing errors on your credit report is something you can do without professional help.

That being said, the process of disputing claims can sometimes be tedious. You will most likely need to contact several parties, including lenders and credit reference agencies. You might also have to wait a considerable time for a response.

It’s understandable that you might prefer to focus your time on other things. That’s when contacting a credit repair company to do the dirty work for you could help.

Naturally, it is only worthwhile if there are actually mistakes or errors on your report and the credit repair company’s efforts lead to their removal.

Bottom-line

In a nutshell, some credit repair services can work, but whether you really need them is up to you. Before you contact them, take time to really think about whether you will be getting value for your money.

Just as importantly, don’t forget to do your homework to establish whether the company you plan to use is legitimate, particularly if they contacted you offering services. You can start by checking online reviews on sites such as Trustpilot.

The kind of services that a company is offering can also tell you whether a company is credible or not.

For example, be wary of companies that guarantee to improve your credit score. Also be sceptical if a company promises to remove negative but accurate information from your report before it’s automatically removed (such as bankruptcies, CCJs and IVAs).

Finally, companies that ask you to make full payment before it provides its services is best avoided.


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Is it Free to Repair Your Credit Alone?

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You can repair your credit score by fixing errors – for free – without the help of anyone. There are credit repair companies that can help you repair your credit, but those services come at a price. It’s also a great time to start your credit-repair journey alone because the credit bureaus have opened up access to track your progress yourself!

What Does a Credit Repair Company Do?

Credit repair is defined as fixing your credit reports to raise your credit score. Borrowers with negative marks on their credit reports are often tempted to enlist the help of credit repair companies, but the truth is, you can fix your own credit reports alone.

A credit repair company can’t randomly raise your credit score just because you paid them (if they advertise this, beware). What credit repair companies can do is help you remove inaccurate information and accounts from your credit reports. They can contact your creditors for you, and with your permission, look at your credit reports to see if there are errors that need to be corrected.

However, you don’t need a credit repair company to do any of this, because it’s your right to dispute incorrect information yourself and have it fixed for free.

Dispute Inaccuracies Yourself to Repair Credit

Is it Free to Repair Your Credit Alone?Credit repair by a dispute is the process of correcting errors on your credit reports with the goal to improve your credit score. For example, say you had an account in collections and you paid it off, but it’s been a few months and the credit bureaus haven’t reported it as resolved yet. You can file a dispute with that credit bureau, send proof that you paid that collection account off, to have it accurately reported on your credit reports to improve your credit score.

It doesn’t cost you anything to file a dispute – except maybe your time and energy. If you have multiple errors on your credit reports and don’t have the time to resolve them, then a credit repair company may be worth your time. But if you only have a few things that need to be corrected, then doing it yourself saves you money.

If your credit reports are littered with inaccuracies and you don’t have the time or know-how to resolve them, then visit our resource center for more information on credit repair companies.

What Can I Fix on My Credit Reports?

For a dispute to be considered, you typically need to provide proof that the disputed account is inaccurate. This means you may not be able to “fix” every negative mark on your credit reports.

If you filed for bankruptcy and it’s reported as such, you can’t simply report that bankruptcy as inaccurate to remove it from your credit reports. The credit bureaus have up to 30 days to investigate the account you disputed, and if proven inaccurate, they remove it. If they find that the account is correctly reported, it stays on your credit reports.

Here are some examples of what you can dispute:

  • Accounts or information that were the result of identity theft or accounts that aren’t yours
  • Incorrect personal information such as your birth date or past addresses
  • Duplicate accounts
  • Payments that were reported late but were actually on time
  • Inaccurate loan balances
  • An account’s status (active, closed, past-due)
  • Hard inquiries that you never approved
  • Accounts that should have been included in bankruptcy

You can file a dispute online for free with all three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. In many cases, you need some kind of proof that a disputed account is inaccurate, so it may be wise to gather supporting documents such as receipts, verification emails, or screenshots to increase your chances of it getting removed. Sometimes, a credit bureau may not need any proof to remove inaccurate information, but that usually depends on what you’re reporting.

Checking Your Credit Repair Progress

Due to the pandemic, the credit bureaus are allowing all consumers the opportunity to request their credit reports for free each week. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request your free credit reports so you can keep track of your progress, check on disputed accounts, and make sure your credit reports remain accurate.

Normally, you only get one free credit report from each bureau every 12 months. The recent havoc has created the need for borrowers to keep track of their financial wellness, so weekly access is available until April 2022 – so jump on it while you can!

No Errors? Build Credit Other Ways

Errors can happen, but bad credit could simply be the result of past mistakes, financial instability, job loss, divorce, or just a lack of credit history. If your credit reports are accurate and you have nothing to fix, then building a credit history with new credit could be the path to take.

Installment loans are a great way to build a payment history since installment loans such as mortgages and auto loans typically last for years. If you completely pay off an installment loan without any mistakes, it could boost your credit score significantly and possibly increase your chances of getting future credit because you’ve proven your ability to repay borrowed money.

Many borrowers start off their credit history with a car loan, and other bad credit borrowers can get back on track with one, too. It’s not always easy to get approved for an auto loan when your credit score isn’t great, but we want to help.

Bad Credit Lending Opportunities

If taking on an installment loan to build your credit score is the route you want to take, let us guide your way at Auto Credit Express. We’ve spent over two decades cultivating a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that specialize in assisting borrowers with less than perfect credit. To get matched to a dealer in your local area, complete our free auto loan request form.

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