Believe it or not, about 50 years ago it would have been illegal to see your own credit report. If you had a low credit score, you’d have to play the guessing game in order to remove negative items from your report.
Credit bureaus had full control of reports, giving little power to the consumer. Luckily, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) fixed that problem. Passed in 1970, The Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates the three credit bureaus and ensures accurate credit reporting.
Even though it’s easier to see your credit report these days, it can still be a challenge to remove items from your credit report. That’s why it’s smart to find a credit repair company to help you out.
Credit repair companies work with consumers to settle debt, file disputes, and other important credit services. We’ve put together this list of the best credit repair companies out there. Take a look at the options below to find the best credit repair company for your specific needs.
How does credit repair work?
If you have a low credit score or a credit report with a lot of negative items, credit repair companies can help you out. Credit repair companies usually have credit lawyers and professionals on staff to help you analyze your credit reports, file disputes, and communicate with credit bureaus.
So, how exactly does it work? When you work with a credit repair company, the team will first obtain your credit report. From there, they will perform a detailed analysis of each item on your credit reports. Inquires, debt, liens, collections, and foreclosures are all things that they will look out for.
The best credit repair companies also keep an eye out for positive items on your reports, so you know where your strengths lie.
Once your credit reports have been analyzed, credit repair companies determine if you should open a dispute on any of the negative items. Most credit repair companies will file disputes and communicate with credit bureaus and lenders on your behalf. The credit repair company will work with you until the issues are resolved.
Now, the best credit repair companies often bring about results in about 2-4 weeks. That said, these credit repair companies can’t solve everything. For that reason, you’ll want to take advantage of a free consultation to see if the credit repair services are right for you.
If you find that the services don’t work for you, many credit repair companies offer a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Provides free resources and information on credit repair
Lexington Law is one of the most trusted credit repair companies available. This company has been in the credit repair business for over a decade providing ethical services for its clients.
Now, the reason this credit repair company stands out is due to its excellent staff. Lexington Law is composed of experienced lawyers and paralegals who are able to improve and repair low credit scores.
When it comes to credit repair companies, there are, unfortunately, a lot of scammers to look out for. When you work with Lexington Law, you can rest assured you are getting your money’s worth.
Lexington Law provides a customized plan for each client they work with. To date, this credit report company has removed over 1.5 million negative items from credit reports.
So, what is the process of repairing your credit with Lexington Law? Here’s how it works:
Credit Report Analysis: The first step in repairing your credit is a thorough analysis of your current report. This will help the credit repair team to identify negative items and create a plan of attack.
Dispute Negative Items: Next, the team disputes any negative items on your credit report. Lexington Law takes care of all correspondence with credit bureaus, so you don’t have to.
Continued Correspondence: If the team encounters any difficult items, they will continue to correspond with the appropriate parties until the issue is resolved.
Throughout the process, this credit repair service will make sure you have full access to your credit analysis so you can easily monitor your credit score. You’ll also have access to additional credit score counseling services.
Lexington Law Pricing: Lexington Law charges a monthly fee between $89-$129 for credit repair services. While it’s not the cheapest solution to a low credit score, it’s certainly the most reliable. The only downside to this option is that they don’t offer a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Can improve a credit score that is low due to debt
High rating from the Better Business Bureau
Free consultation for new clients
One of the most common reasons for a poor credit score is crippling debt. Unfortunately, heavy debt has become incredibly common. In fact, the vast majority of Americans are dealing with debt of one form or another.
If an unpaid debt is a reason for your disappointing credit report, National Debt Relief can be a big help. This company is extremely transparent about its result. You can check out a list of past debt settlements to see the company’s track record.
Now, one thing to be aware of when working with this company is that your credit score may temporarily go down. When you initially start working with a debt relief company, you may have to stop debt payments to save money for potential settlements.
That said, once your debt has been settled, you’ll find that your credit score is back to its original score or higher. Most importantly, you’ll be in a solid position to begin building your credit without the negative impact of debt.
When you work with National Debt Relief, you’ll have the following services available to you:
Debt Settlement: This option involves working with creditors to restructure your debt so that you repay less than what you owe. This company can work to negotiate with creditors on your behalf.
Debt Reconsolidation: This option can help to lower your overall interested rates by putting all of your debt into one account. This can help you get a lower monthly payment, but your overall debt balance will remain the same. National Debt Relief can assist you in this process.
Debt Resources: National Debt Relief offers several resources for specific types of debt, including medical debt, divorce debt, retiree debt, and more. You’ll also have access to free debt calculators to help you form a debt settlement plan.
National Debt Relief Pricing: Signing up for National Debt Relief is totally free. You’ll also get an initial consultation at no cost. Once your debt has been settled, you can expect to pay around 15%-20% of your total debt. The good news is, this cost is built into your payments for the program and is due as a monthly fee. Be sure to ask about a 90-day money-back guarantee before getting started.
Empowers clients to improve their own credit score
The credit repair services are free
A+ BBB rating
If you’re on a tight budget, TransUnion is a great option for credit score repair. That’s because this credit repair company gives you all of the tools you need to repair your credit score on your own.
Now, this option certainly takes more time and effort on your part. When you work with a paid credit repair service, they take care of all disputes on your behalf. With this option, you’ll be in charge of handling all disputes on your own.
Luckily, TransUnion provides all of the necessary information for you to repair your credit report by yourself. You’ll get access to free credit reports when you sign up for this credit repair service.
Here’s what you’ll get with TransUnion credit repair services:
Learn how to read your credit reports.
Learn how to identify inaccuracies and negative items.
Learn how to submit a dispute to the creditor.
As mentioned earlier, this method takes some serious time and effort on your part. If you’re willing to learn the ins and outs of credit reports and disputes, you can save money and see results in about 30 days. TransUnion has an A+ BBB rating and is accredited with the Better Business Bureau.
TransUnion Pricing: TransUnion offers free credit reports and credit repair services. You don’t have to worry about payments or a monthly fee. You can sign up and access all of the free credit resources without paying a dime.
Ovation Credit Services comes from the trusted company, Lending Tree. This is widely considered the best credit repair company by many and boasts an A+ BBB rating. Ovation Credit Services has helped well over 100,000 people with credit services and credit restoration.
Ovation Credit Services goes through each item on your credit report to make sure that everything is accurate. With this credit restoration plan, you’ll get:
Unlimited dispute letters
Unlimited goodwill letters
Official recommendation letter
Credit monitoring at all times
This is one of the best credit repair companies because it not only helps you remove negative items but also it helps you form a solid plan for tackling your low credit score.
You can work with Ovation Credit Services to go over every detail of your credit report. Unlike other credit repair companies that only look at the negative items, this credit repair company looks at every item, both good and bad, to fully assess your standing.
From there, the company will give you professional guidance on when to file a dispute and when you should settle. In order to get started, you’ll need to get a copy of your official credit report. From there, the credit repair company will analyze your reports and find any negative items that impact your credit score.
Once that’s taken care of, you can begin the dispute process. You’ll also have access to the following services from this credit repair company:
Personalized credit repair advice
1-on-1 consultations for the credit repair process
Tips on how to improve your credit score
Credit education from seasoned experts
Ovation Credit Repair Services Pricing: Ovation Credit Repair packages range in price from $79-$109 charged as a monthly fee. It’s not cheap but it can certainly help you fix your credit. If the service doesn’t work for you, they provide a money-back guarantee.
When it comes to top credit repair companies, Credit Saint is one of the best. Not all credit repair agencies are accredited with the Better Business Bureau, so this credit repair company really stands out with its A+ BBB rating.
These credit repair services are so highly regarded for several reasons. Unlike other credit repair companies, the team at Credit Saint makes sure to look at your credit report along with your credit habits.
Rather than just focusing on negative items, Credit Saint shows you how you can improve your credit score for the long run. Get advice on identity theft protection, debt settlements, and more.
Credit repair packages from Credit Saint include cease-and-desist letters, goodwill letters, and dispute letters. With this credit repair company, you’ll also get:
Credit Score Analysis
Credit Saint is one of the best credit repair companies because it tailors its services to what you need. Whether you need help with an inquiry removal or disputes, this credit repair company has the tools to help you. Credit Saint uses top-of-the-line credit repair software to get your credit back on track.
Credit Saint Pricing: Because Credit Saint is so effective, it is not a cheap service. The credit repair packages from this credit repair company charge a monthly fee of about $80-$120 depending on your needs. Credit Saint offers a free consultation before charging the monthly fee. If you don’t see results, you have a 90-day money-back guarantee.
What factors can negatively affect my credit?
Working with credit repair agencies can help you seriously improve your credit. That said, it’s smart to understand what can negatively affect your credit as you continue your journey to a high credit score. Remember, the best credit repair companies can identify negative items on your list and help you remove them, but it’s up to you to continue with good credit habits. Here are some of the most common reasons for negative items on credit reports:
Identity Theft: Unfortunately, identity theft is a very common reason for bad credit reports. Identity theft can occur for a number of reasons, and if they use your identity to open a line of credit, you could be in trouble. When identity theft happens, your credit report may come back with inquiries that you don’t recognize. If identity theft goes too far, the person may even use a credit card and leave you in debt. If identity theft happens to you, the first step is to contact your bank. If you’re still struggling to fix your credit from the effects of identity theft, you can work with the credit repair companies on this list. A good credit repair company can also provide you with advice on identity theft protection.
Late or missed payments: If you’ve got credit card debt or other kinds of debt, late payments can show up as a negative mark on credit reports. Experienced credit repair companies can look at your credit reports and tell you how to approach your debt. Hiring a credit repair agency can help you fix your credit through debt settlement.
Collections accounts: If you leave a debt unpaid, a collection agency may start pursuing payments. If this happens, it can show up as a negative item on your credit reports. The best credit repair companies can help you dispute these items and write cease-and-desist letters.
High account balances: Another factor that can show up as a negative item on credit reports is a high account balance. Credit repair companies’ best practices dictate that your account balance should be at about 30% lower than your limit. The best credit repair companies can help you strategize to lower your account balance to improve your credit reports.
How much does credit repair cost?
The big question is, are credit repair companies worth the cost? Repairing credit on your own can be a complicated and time-consuming task. That’s why many people turn to the top credit repair companies for professional assistance.
The best credit repair companies can write important documents such as goodwill letters, dispute letters, and cease-and-desist letters. Many credit repair companies have legal staff who are willing to advocate for you to get negative items on your credit report removed. Credit repair companies will work with credit bureaus and credit reporting agencies to help you get the best credit score possible.
So, how much does credit repair cost? The prices vary according to which company you choose. Depending on which credit restoration services you need, the credit repair company will give you a personalized price quote.
Many companies offer a free consultation to see if they can help you in repairing your credit. Always look for a 90-day money-back guarantee before signing up for these services.
Tips for Choosing the Best Credit Repair Company
When it comes to choosing the best credit repair companies, there is a lot to look for. In the credit repair industry, not all credit repair companies are trustworthy. The Federal Credit Repair Organizations Act dictates that credit repair companies be transparent about what they offer but that doesn’t always happen.
Although the Federal Credit Repair Organizations Act prohibits credit repair companies from making false claims, it’s not uncommon for people to fall for a credit repair scam. In order to pick the best credit repair company for your needs, you should be on the lookout for a few things.
First, when working with a credit repair service, you need to check its standing with the Better Business Bureau. A good BBB rating can point you in the direction of legitimate credit repair companies. Without a solid BBB rating from the Better Business Bureau, you really can’t trust the credit repair services.
Next, you’ll want to do a free credit consultation to see if the credit repair company is right for you. During the free consultation, ask if the company is willing to send cease-and-desist letters as well as dispute letters on your behalf. Top companies will also offer services such as credit monitoring, score analysis, and inquiry targeting.
You’ll also want to make sure the company offers a money-back guarantee. Lastly, the credit repair companies you work with should have legitimate legal professionals on staff.
Best Credit Repair Services- Conclusion
If you’re desperate to repair your credit, there’s no need to panic. With the right credit repair agency, you can begin to remove negative items from your credit report and boost your score. Most credit reporting agencies will work with you to communicate with the three credit bureaus and advocate on your behalf.
Be sure to take advantage of the free credit consultation to ensure the credit repair companies offer the right services for you. The best credit repair companies offer a money-back guarantee if they’re unable to help you.
Remember, there are some illegitimate businesses in the credit repair industry. Always check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company is legit.
Once you work with a credit repair service to fix your credit, it’s up to you to keep your credit score high. Avoid unpaid debt, and take precautions against identity theft. Take a look at the services above and start preparing your report in no time.
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.