Selecting a credit repair company can be a time-consuming process. If you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, and your legal rights, you might end up choosing the wrong services for your needs. If you want to improve your poor credit score or to fix any errors in your report, here are the Best Credit Repair companies of 2021 according to Money.
The 4 Best Credit Repair Companies of 2021
What Exactly Do Credit Repair Companies Do?
A credit repair company is an entity that specializes in finding and disputing mistakes on your credit report. In exchange for their services, these companies generally charge a monthly fee ranging from $79 to $120. When your credit score has been improved to your satisfaction, you can discontinue the service.
Best Credit Repair Company Reviews
The companies listed below have a solid reputation, offer reasonable turnarounds, competitive prices, satisfaction guarantees, and a variety of complimentary credit monitoring services, to help you fix your poor or bad credit. Before hiring a credit repair company, make sure you understand what can and can’t be removed from your report, to determine whether this is the best option for you.
Credit Saint Review
BBB Rating: A
Monthly fee: $79.99 – $119.99
Credit Saint offers three credit repair packages: Credit Polish, Credit Remodel, and Clean Slate, which vary in aggressiveness.
Credit Polish package:
Allows you to dispute up to 5 inaccurate items per monthly cycle, including late payments, transactions related to identity thefts, account charge-offs, and debt collections.
Credit Remodel package:
You get everything included in the Credit Polish plan, in addition to 5 more disputes per month, escalated information requests, and disputes for additional items, such as bankruptcies and repossessions.
The Clean Slate package:
The most comprehensive credit repair package, featuring everything that’s offered in its two other plans, plus access to disputing judgments. In addition, you get unlimited disputes each month, which speeds up the credit restoration process.
When you subscribe to Credit Saint, the company assigns a specialized advisory team to monitor your case closely, schedule calls periodically to keep you informed, and answer any questions you may have. You can cancel the company’s services at any time, and there’s a 90-day money-back guarantee if you don’t see any changes in your credit history after three months.
Sky Blue Credit Review
BBB Rating: Not BBB Accredited
Monthly fee: $79 – $119
Sky Blue Credit has a simple pricing model that allows you to take advantage of all its credit repair services for a flat rate of $79 a month, or $119 a month for couples (both married or unmarried partners).
Sky Blue’s credit repair plans include:
An initial analysis of disputable items
Identifying and reviewing potential errors in your report
Dispute 15 negative items per each 35 days cycle
Access to debt negotiation consultants
Credit score assistance and other credit score rebuilding programs
A condition-free 90-day-guarantee
According to the company, each credit repair process takes approximately 6 months to complete and cancellation is allowed at any time without incurring any penalties.
The Credit Pros Review
BBB Rating: A
Monthly fee: $69 – $149
The Credit Pros offers some of the most affordable prices in the industry, with monthly services starting at just $69. The company has 3 different packages available for their clients: :
Money Management plan:
Includes access to updated credit reports every 60 days
Identity theft restoration insurance
Cease and desist letters to creditors
Access to the company’s legal network
Personalized action plans with certified FICO professionals
Prosperity Package and the Success Package:
Include the same features as the Money Management plan
Both packages include discounts on medication and products from affiliate websites, like National Credit Direct.
Each of these plans features other finance tools such as real-time account sync, bill reminder, and a budgeting system service. Although all of these selections offer some sort of complimentary credit monitoring solution, The Credit Pros took it a step further by offering several tools to track inaccurate information about your personal finances, from dark web monitoring to social security trace to pay-day monitoring.
Another thing worth noting is that the company’s free consultation is available in both English and Spanish — something not common in the credit repair industry.
Ovation Credit Repair Review
BBB Rating: A
Monthly fee: $79 – $109
Ovation Credit Repair was founded by attorneys and offers two levels of credit repair: the Essentials Plan and the Essentials Plus Plan. Both plans include:
A free consultation with a credit expert
Personalized credit dispute options
A case advisor that will oversee the process from start to finish
The two other plans (Essential, and Essential Plus) provide other aggressive tactics to fit the needs of their consumers such as:
Essential Plus Plan:
Unlimited Challenge Validation letters
Unlimited Creditor Goodwill letters
Official Ovation Recommendation Letter
Transunion Credit Monitoring
Aside from its many credit-related services, Ovation Credit Repair also stands out when it comes to discounts. These include a 20% couple’s discount, a credit of up to $50 on your next monthly payment for referring a friend or switching from another credit repair company, and discounts for seniors and members of the military.
Things You Should Know Before You Pay for a Credit Repair Company
Credit repair takes time
It can take from three months to a year to see an improvement on your credit report.
Not everything can be removed
Late or missed payments, charge-offs, and debt collections can only be removed if they can be verified as inaccurate.
You have to do some of the legwork
You still have to provide credit repair agencies with information and evidence about your accounts.
Most companies have setup fees
Most credit repair companies charge a first work fee. A first work fee is a one-time fee charged for opening the account, ranging from $15 to $200.
How Credit Repair Agencies Work
Each credit repair company has its own way of doing things, but most of them follow this four-step process:
1. Free Consultation
Walk you through the credit repair process
Pull up your credit report from all three bureaus
See if you’d be a good candidate for a credit repair
2. Power of Attorney and Consent If they find inaccuracies, they will:
Send you a document that lists possible errors for you to evaluate.
Send you a written contract establishing a power of attorney or another form of consent
Send dispute letters or challenge these inaccuracies legally on your behalf
3. Challenge Items
After having your legal consent, the company then proceeds to challenge these items with both creditors and the credit bureaus, through letters and phone calls.
If they’re able to verify that the challenged items are in fact errors, they’ll have to remove them from your credit profile.
4. Progress Report
The credit repair company keeps track of the different processes and sends updates on the status of each disputed item
After the dispute is resolved, the credit repair company will send you a progress report along with an updated copy of your credit report
You can then review the changes
Debt Settlement vs Credit Repair
Though both are in the personal finance sphere, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between settling your debt and using a credit repair service to fix your bad credit. While the former falls under credit counseling, aiming to advise on managing your money and debts, credit repair looks to challenge negative information on your report.
If you’re interested in using a credit counselor, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling offers free help.
Resolving your debt and making a deal to pay it off at a reduced amount
Identifying and fixing mistakes on credit report
Negative impact on credit for up to 7 years
Hurts chances of getting loans or credit cards
Increases the possibility of being approved for loans and credit cards
Things to Pay Attention To When Hiring a Credit Repair Company
When signing the dotted line, pay close attention to the conditions that are being stipulated, to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate company that won’t violate your rights or take advantage of you in the future.
If a credit repair service does any of the following, they might be taking advantage of you:
Asks for upfront payment before doing any work for you. The CROA explicitly forbids companies to request or receive payment until they’ve completed the promised services.
Avoids or refuses to explain your rights to you or asks you to waive those rights. Credit repair companies are required to give you a copy of the Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law and a copy of the contract to view before signing. Luckily, the CROA automatically voids any waiver of rights.
Promises to remove ALL negative information from your credit report. While a credit repair company can remove incorrect information from your report, they can’t legally take off negative data if it’s accurate.
Tells you to give false information or dispute accurate information. Some scammers advise clients to claim they’ve been the victim of identity theft to get negative items taken off — even if no such thing occurred. This is illegal and could land you in serious trouble.
Tells you not to contact the three credit reporting bureaus. Everybody’s entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the credit reporting companies.
Promises a new credit identity or asks you to create one. Some shady services give you a nine-digit identification number they call a CPN (credit profile or credit privacy number). Another tactic is asking you to apply for an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. Sometimes they’ll even illegally sell you a new Social Security Number, often stolen from children. They then ask you to apply for credit using these new numbers. This is illegal and a scam.
The contract is missing key information, such as:
the fees charged
a breakdown of the services to be provided
the time period in which said services will be provided
the company’s name and business address
a section in the contract notifying your right to cancel it within three days of signing
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is a credit repair agency?
A credit repair company is a for profit organization that analyses your credit report and disputes errors to collectors on your behalf.
2. Are credit repair companies a scam?
Credit repair companies are legal. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) was established to provide protection to the consumer, making it illegal for credit repair companies to lie to you and charge you for services they have not provided. In addition, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to protect the consumer’s personal information and avoid identity theft or the wrongful use of personal information.
3. How to avoid credit repair scams?
A deceitful credit repair company will falsely promise to erase loans, bankruptcies, and other negative items from your report. On occasions, these companies promise to give the consumer a new credit identity, and ask for money upfront. This can lead you to commit illegal actions such as identity theft and fraud.
If a credit repair company makes any of these promises to you, it is most likely a scam.
4. Can you really pay someone to fix your credit?
You can pay a credit repair company to help you fix your credit. Credit repair companies cannot delete accurate information from your credit report but they can help you by disputing errors on your behalf.
5. How to verify a credit repair company?
To avoid credit repair scams it is important to research different companies, Federal Trade Commission recommendations, Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, and reviews left by other consumers.
The Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) requires credit repair companies to provide a written contract explaining in detail the services they will provide, how long it will take to help you, guarantees, and the total cost for their services.
6. What does credit repair cost?
The cost of a credit repair company depends on the services you need. Some credit repair companies charge their clients a monthly fee while others charge based on the specific services they provide.
7. Is credit repair worth the cost?
Depends on the services you need and the time you have available to dispute the error on your credit report, a credit repair company is worth the cost. Credit repair agencies offer a variety of packages at different prices to fit the needs of their customers.
8. Do credit repair companies hurt your credit?
The purpose of credit repair companies is to fix your credit, not to hurt it. However, you need to be aware that credit repair companies can only dispute errors on your report and cannot erase accurate information.
9. Can I repair my own credit?
Yes, you can DIY your credit repair. However, you must have some basic knowledge in order to succeed. You can dispute errors on your credit report as part of the services offered by Experian. Using their website you can dispute, explain and send your dispute to the bureau’s system. If there was an error, the bureau will remove it by the next cycle.
10. What if I have an error on my credit report during the Coronavirus pandemic?
If you notice any errors on your credit report, or if you feel a late payment was reported unfairly, you must contact your lender to get an answer.
11. In what ways can I manage the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on my credit ?
The CARES Act signed into law on March 27 provides homeowners with protection against foreclosure and mortgage forbearance for borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the USDA, and the VA until December 31st, 2020. You can obtain an extension and a forbearance of 180 days.
Student loan debtors received additional relief by having loan payments suspended, collections and defaults put on hold, and interest rates set to zero until December 31st, 2020.
The three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) are offering access to a free credit report weekly through April 2021. Now is as good a time as any to check your reports for errors and, if there were any present, to use the services of a credit repair company to fix them.
How We Found The Best Credit Repair Companies of 2021
Once we concluded this phase, we selected those companies that stood out from the rest in each of the following categories:
Best credit repair financial tools
Best pricing for credit fixing services
Best credit repair service guarantee
Reputation and Customer Experience
The companies in our list have been around for over ten years and have a strong reputation across different consumer-review platforms, like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Google Reviews.
When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.
However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.
What is Sallie Mae?
Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.
In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.
However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.
In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).
At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.
What is the difference between private and federal student loans?
With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.
On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.
Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.
As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.
Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?
In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.
However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.
If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.
With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.
The bottom line
Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.
Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.
PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have.
1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually
You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.
With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.
The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.
4. Savings and Retirement Accounts
The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.
A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies.
Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan.
Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito.