Poor credit can make it difficult for you to buy a home, purchase a car, or obtain a loan. Your bad credit may not be your fault, but fixing the problem yourself is difficult. This is why credit repair companies are in business.
Credit repair companies work on your behalf to take negative items off of your credit report. These can include late payments, debt collections, and more. There are hundreds of credit repair companies out there, but we’ve created a list of the best credit repair companies for 2021.
Read our reviews for the best credit repair companies below!
Best 6 Best Credit Repair Companies for 2021
#1: Credit Saint: Best Overall Credit Repair Company – Our Top Pick
When compared to all the other credit repair companies on our list, we have chosen Credit Saint as our #1 best overall credit repair company. Credit Saint has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website. They’ve been in business since 2004, so they’re definitely one of the best credit repair companies out there.
Services and Pricing
Credit Saint has three main services that offer varying degrees of credit repair: Credit Polish, Credit Remodel, and Clean Slate.
Credit Polish ($79.99 per month and $99 first-work fee) is a “medium” level of aggressiveness when it comes to credit repair. With this tier, Credit Saint offers challenges to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). In Credit Polish, they also offer:
- Score Analysis
- Creditor Interventions
- Score Tracker
- Challenge 5 inaccurately reported items per dispute cycle.
Credit Remodel ($99.99 per month and $99 first-work fee)is a “high” level of aggressiveness for credit repair. Credit Saint offers everything that the Credit Polish package has, with the addition of inquiry targeting and Experian monitoring. With this package, they can also challenge 10 inaccurately reported items per dispute cycle.
Clean Slate ($119.99 per month and $195 first-work fee), the highest tier of credit repair offered by Credit Saint, is the most aggressive of the three tiers. It’s also their most popular package. It offers unlimited challenges to the three major credit bureaus and cease & desist letters, as well as everything else offered in the other two tiers.
One of the best parts of Credit Saint is their 90-day money-back guarantee for all services. Credit Saint boasts on its website that you’ll see the first signs of better credit as soon as 45 days from the time you start using their service. However, if you haven’t seen any improvements within 90 days, the company will return your money, no questions asked.
It’s unlikely, but to take advantage of this 90-day money-back guarantee, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Have active participation in the Credit Saint program for at least 90 days
- Have no new trade lines to your credit report after your participation begins
- Have no debts to Credit Saint in the 90 days (late payments void the guarantee)
All in all, there’s a reason Credit Saint is at the top of our list. They have a level of customer service that pales in comparison to other credit repair companies. They also have a great money-back guarantee, as well as reasonable pricing. If you’re looking for a credit repair company but you’re not sure where to start, a great place is Credit Saint.
#2: Sky Blue Credit Repair: Best Value
Our next credit repair company on the list is Sky Blue Credit Repair. We choose this service for the “Best Value” category because they only have one plan with a set monthly price. For that price, you can get excellent credit repair services, amazing customer service, and of course, a clean credit report. Let’s dive into this review, starting with an overview of what they have to offer.
Sky Blue Credit Repair cannot remove debts from your credit report. However, they can remove several things that can negatively affect your credit score. These include:
- Late payments
- Hard inquiries
- And more.
Sky Blue Credit Services offers the same features as any other company, but the pricing schedule is much simpler.
As said before, the pricing for Sky Blue Credit Repair’s services is a simple monthly cost. It’s only $79 a month, you get no charge for 6 days, and (similar to Credit Saint) you get a 90-day money-back guarantee.
The initial setup fee is $79, then you pay $79 per month with the promise of no extra service charges. The first consultation is free, and you get a money-back guarantee during your first 3 months of membership. Simply put: If you’re not happy with their credit repair service, you can get your money back.
Sky Blue Credit is a great value for the money. For one low monthly price, you can get so many features (with no extra or piggy-back charging!).
#3: The Credit Pros: Best Guarantee
There’s a reason why Credit Pros has an excellent rating on the Better Business Bureau’s website (A+). Founded in 2009, they have developed a model that lets them have the best money-back guarantee in the business. First, the consultation is free and the process begins within less than a week. Then, they have a 90-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. Let’s go more in-depth about their services and their money-back guarantee.
Services and Pricing
The Credit Pros (TCP) offers different services with each pricing tier. Their top tier, which covers all of their services, is called the Success Package and includes (but is not limited to) the following:
- Full credit monitoring with all three bureaus
- One-on-one consultations with FICO professionals
- Unlimited dispute letters
- And more.
Their pricing schedule is a bit complicated, but you can find more information about it on their website. Next, let’s look at their money-back guarantee.
Their guarantee is so great that they have an entire webpage dedicated to it. They guarantee first and foremost that they’ll value, listen, and respond to their clients with understanding. They’re committed to providing 5-star client support, so they’ve implemented a great guarantee policy:
- You can cancel the service at any time
- Nobody will over-promise specific outcomes
- Your information is safe
- You’ll be treated with kindness and respect
- All your requests will be responded to promptly
The Credit Pros is a great service to go to if you’re looking for the best guarantee above all else.
#4: Pyramid Credit Repair: Best Customer Service
Customer service is important for any company. Credit repair services are unique in that most of the time, you’re working directly with a representative to get your credit back on par. Pyramid Credit Repair is a relatively new company, but they’ve established themselves as the company to beat when it comes to customer service.
Services and Pricing
Pyramid Credit Repair has two tiers of service: A Singles Plan ($99/month) and a Couples Plan ($198/month). Each one includes personalized service for either one or two people, a personalized game plan, 24/7 phone support, and no contracts (meaning you can cancel anytime).
You can also add on the “24/7 Protection Plan” in which you can monitor three scores and get reports for them, as well as get dark web monitoring and $25k in identity theft insurance. This option is $29.99 per month.
In terms of discounts, veterans and active duty can receive up to 20% off each month. Teachers can take advantage of 15% off each month as well.
Pyramid Credit Repair also has an in-house team of licensed attorneys ready to answer any questions you may have about the process. They also offer 24/7 phone support so anytime you need to ask a question (even if you’re not a customer) you can call.
Lots of reviews online state that they’ve got the best customer service in the business. This is why we recommend them if you’re looking for a personal touch for your credit repair services.
#5: Lexington Law: Best Legal Expertise
Lexington Law is a credit repair company that knows the ins and outs of credit repair. Composed primarily of real lawyers, they’re qualified to keep up with evolving laws in the credit industry. They also have an amazing dedication to keeping up with the federal standards. Let’s start this review by going over their services.
Services and Pricing
Lexington Law offers three tiers of service: Concord Standard ($89.95 per month), Concord Premier ($109.95 per month), and PremierPlus ($129.95 per month). In their highest tier, they offer bureau challenges, creditor interventions, score analysis, report watch, a FICO score tracker, identity protection, and personal finance tools. In their lower tiers, the features aren’t as comprehensive.
The first consultation with Lexington Law is free of charge and you have five days to cancel without penalty.
The fact that Lexington Law uses real lawyers is a BIG plus because you know you’re getting the best and most up-to-date knowledge in the business. During the first consultation, a representative will walk you through the services and features for each tier. Then, you’ll learn more about what you’ll need so you can decide on one plan.
Lexington Law is the best credit repair company to go with if you’re concerned about keeping up with the latest laws regarding credit repair.
#6: Ovation Credit Services: Best Cancellation Policy
Hopefully, once you’ve established yourself with a credit repair company, you won’t need to cancel your subscription. However, stuff happens and if you need to cancel, you don’t want to have to jump through hoops to make it happen. Ovation Credit Services by Lending Tree offers a no-risk refund policy that keeps you covered in case you need to cancel.
Services and Pricing
As with most credit repair companies, the first consultation is free. In terms of services, Ovation has two tiers: The Essentials and The Essentials Plus. The Essentials plan costs $79 per month ($89 first work fee) and includes everything you need for most standard credit restoration issues.
The Essentials Plus plan ($109 per month, $89 first work fee) includes everything from The Essentials with the addition of more cutting-edge components. This plan is better for those with more extreme or negative items on their credit report.
As said before, Ovation has an incredible refund and cancellation policy. They’re committed to building relationships of trust so you can cancel services at any time with no hassle or hoops to jump through.
Also, if they fail to provide the agreed-upon services to you, they won’t charge you. This makes cancellations so much easier since if they don’t complete what they promise, you won’t have to go through the process of requesting that money back.
We recommend Ovation to those who are skeptical of the credit repair process and want a simple way out, just in case the process doesn’t work. However, we believe that you won’t need to cancel your subscription because their service is amazing.
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that you may have questions regarding credit repair. Here are some frequently asked questions that people often ask when inquiring about credit repair.
What is the best credit repair company?
As stated in our list, the best credit repair company overall is Credit Saint. They offer amazingly comprehensive services for a reasonable price, have stellar customer service and expertise in the area, and a great cancellation policy. Credit Saint is also the top recommend company by credit expert Steven Millstein of CreditRepairExpert.
Does credit repair really work?
Credit repair is not some magical way to raise your credit score, but it does work! First, credit repair companies work to find inaccurate information or mistakes on your report. Then, they contact the credit bureaus to report these errors for resolution. Once the inaccuracies are removed, it corrects your credit score and raises it.
How can I avoid credit repair scams?
Credit repair scams from sketchy credit repair agencies are becoming increasingly common. Here are some ways to avoid being deceived and find the best credit repair companies:
- Question the credit repair company thoroughly before giving them information. Make sure the representative you speak to can explain the specifics of the services and what they cost.
- Make sure they inform you of your rights, such as your right to get a written contract outlining what the arrangement is. Remember that you don’t have to ask credit repair agencies to dispute credit history errors; if they say you need them to make disputes on your behalf, you may want to consider a different company.
- If they ask you to misrepresent information, run. Some companies will suggest inventing a new credit identity for a new credit report; this is illegal.
How much does credit repair cost?
First and foremost, the cost of credit repair services varies based on whether you get a company to do it for you. Credit repair doesn’t cost you anything if you do it yourself. However, if you choose to get a company to do it for you, you can expect to pay between $20-200 per month. This cost changes based on the level of service and the company you choose.
How long does it take to repair your credit?
The time it takes to repair your credit varies based on how many errors are on the report. If it’s just a few errors, it can take around two to three months. If there’s more than just a few errors or the errors aren’t small enough to be resolved quickly, it can take between six and nine months.
Are credit repair companies worth it?
Credit repair agencies are worth it if you don’t have the time, energy, or resources to fix your credit yourself. You can dispute credit history errors yourself without a company. If you’re too busy or the process is too difficult to do without the help of professionals, however, it’s worth it to get one of the hundreds of credit repair agencies to do it for you.
Bad credit can be scary. It can affect your ability to buy a home or car, take out a loan, or even get a job. However, bad credit can be fixed. Disputing inaccuracies on your credit report yourself is possible, but it’s worth it to hire a company to act on your behalf. This way, the company is the one hounding the credit bureaus to fix their mistakes while you can sit back and watch your score get corrected.
These are just a few of the top credit repair agencies out there, but they’re among the best and you can’t really go wrong with Credit Saint or Sky Blue. We’re certain that with our guidance and comprehensive list, you’ll be able to make the best, most educated decision possible for which company to select for your needs.
3 credit habits that you need to break
Are you using your credit card responsibly? Or do you have a few bad habits? Take a look at three common bad habits that people have with their credit cards and the best ways to stop doing them.
Habit 1: Pushing the limits
The first bad credit habit is pushing your outstanding balance close to its limit. What’s wrong with that? The first problem is that you’re giving yourself a larger debt load to contend with every month — one that accumulates interest the longer that it sits. It could be very difficult to pay down, and it could even lead to you maxing out your card.
The second problem with this habit is that it leaves you vulnerable to emergencies. You’ve taken up the majority of your available credit, so you can’t depend on it for unexpected payments. What if you need to pay for an urgent repair and there’s not enough room on your card? What can you do?
To avoid that difficult situation, you could apply for an online loan to help you cover the emergency costs and move forward. See how you can apply for an online loan in Ohio when you have no other safety nets to fall back on. It’s important that you only turn to this solution when you’re dealing with an emergency. It’s not for everyday purchases or small budgeting mistakes.
In the meantime, you should try your best to keep your credit utilization at 30% or lower — this means that your balance should be below the halfway point of your limit.
Habit 2: Paying the minimum
You pay your credit card bills on time, but you only give the minimum payment. While this habit can stop you from racking up late fees and penalties, it can still get you into hot water if you’re not careful.
Only paying the minimum for your bill will make it very difficult for you to whittle down the balance, especially when you’re continuing to charge expenses on your card. You’re only taking $20-$25 off a growing pile.
So, what can you do? If you’re paying this amount by choice, stop it — you’re only making things harder for yourself down the line. If you’re paying this amount because you don’t have any more funds, look at your budget to see whether you can cut your monthly costs to get more savings and use them to tackle your balance.
Habit 3: Using it for every single expense
You don’t need to put every single expense on your credit card. Your morning coffee? Your afternoon snack? Putting these small, everyday expenses on your card is a habit that can make your balance climb quickly.
You also don’t want to put some very important expenses on there, like mortgage payments. For one, these payments are large and will take up a significant amount of your credit. Secondly, if you need to use a credit card to make these payments on time, you need to reinvestigate your budget to see whether you can actually afford your living space.
So, what you should you do? Use a debit card, cash or checks to pay for the items above. Only put expenses on your credit card that you’re positive you can pay off in a reasonable timeframe.
Don’t let these bad habits drag you down and get you into financial trouble. Break them now, before it’s too late.
Free credit reports have been extended; here’s why it’s important to check yours regularly
Typically, you’d be able to check your credit report — at least for free — just once annually through each of the three major credit reporting agencies. But thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, credit reports are now more accessible than ever.
Credit reporting companies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are all offering free credit reports weekly through April 20, 2022.
The move means better insight into your financial health during what, for most, is an economically challenging time. According to experts, it might also be a time that’s ripe for at-risk personal information and identity theft, too — even more reason consumers should be checking their credit on the regular.
Have you checked your annual credit lately? If not, here’s what you need to know about these free nationwide credit reports and how to get them. If you’re not sure where you fit on the credit score spectrum, you may want to start using a credit monitoring service to track changes to your credit score. Credible can get you set up with a free service today.
Free credit reports for all?
The nation’s three credit bureaus initially started offering free weekly credit reporting last year, just after the pandemic began. In early March, they announced they’d extended the offer for another year, this time through April 20, 2022.
To request your free credit reports and access copies, you can go to AnnualCreditReport.com and provide some basic information to verify your identity (things like your date of birth, Social Security Number, and address).
Once your report is ready, you should see a detailed list of all open and closed accounts in your name, your payment history, recent credit activity and more.
Protect yourself from identity theft
There are many reasons why checking your credit activity is important, but chief among them? That’d be the prevalence of data breaches in today’s world — not to mention the risk of identity theft they come with.
“In the past, it was perfectly acceptable for people to check their credit history once a year, but now with security breaches happening on a regular basis, consumers should be monitoring their credit more closely than ever,” said Clint Lotz, president and founder of TrackStar.ai, a predictive credit technology firm.
Lotz said the Equifax breach — which exposed over 147 million Americans’ personal information in mid-July 2017 — is the perfect example of why watching your credit report is important as far as identity theft protection goes. The pandemic, he said, adds an extra layer of risk to things.
“It took them [Equifax] months before they even realized they had been hacked, and considering that they hold files on hundreds of millions of Americans, it’s fair to say that many identities were stolen by the time they caught up to it,” Lotz said. “With many of us worrying about very serious issues not related to our credit, it’s a prime time for that stolen data to be put to work by bad actors in slow, methodical ways and in the hopes that nobody notices it.”
More reasons to check your credit
Checking your credit health often isn’t just good for detecting fraud alerts and to protect your identity, though. You can also monitor your report for errors — things like inaccurately reported late payments, for example — and then dispute those with the credit bureau.
If the error gets corrected, it could improve your credit score and make a jump from bad credit to a FICO score that’s more favorable. Not sure of your credit score? Head to Credible to check your score without negatively impacting it.
You can also use your credit reports and scores to monitor your financial habits — like the timeliness of your payments or how much debt you have left to pay off. Both of these factors can play a big role in your score, as well as how likely you are to get approved for loans, credit cards and other items.
“If you’re taking out a loan, getting insurance or even applying for a new job, checking your credit will allow you to see an overview of what would be seen by others looking at your credit,” said Leslie Tayne, a debt relief attorney with the Tayne Law Group. “Staying up-to-date on your credit reports and information allows you to know exactly where you need to improve.”
Want to be sure your credit is stellar before applying for a loan or insurance policy? Consider Credible’s partner product Experian Boost, which lets you use positive payment history on utilities, streaming and other bills to improve your credit score.
Set up a monitoring service, too
Though checking your credit reports manually is smart, you should also consider signing up for a credit monitoring service. These consumer financial services check your credit information and score regularly and alert you of any changes.
If you’re interested in monitoring your credit or improving your score, head to Credible and learn more about how Experian can help. You can also use Experian Boost to get credit for on-time bill payments.
Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at [email protected] and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.
Do Personal Loans Have Penalty APRs?
Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on links for products from our affiliate partners.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, for instance, has a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR, but the penalty APR is a variable 29.99% (see rates and fees). Penalty APRs usually last for at least six months, but card issuers often reserve the right to extend them — especially when you continue making late payments. A look at the terms for the Citi® Double Cash Card show us that the “penalty APR may apply indefinitely.”
Penalty APRs are certainly not a trap you want to fall into, but it’s not something you usually have to worry about if you have a personal loan. Personal loan lenders can, however, charge late fees upwards of $39 per late payment. Whether your loan charges late fees all depends on how good of a loan you qualify for, and that comes down to your credit score, borrowing history and ability to make your payments.
Personal loans also tend to charge lower interest rates than credit cards, too. The average personal loan interest rate for two-year loans is currently 9.46% according to Q1 2021 data from the Federal Reserve, compared to 15.91% for credit cards.
Typically, interest rates for personal loans range between roughly 2.49% and 24%, but personal loans for applicants with bad credit can come with even higher APR — so do your research before applying.
Other common personal loan fees include:
- Interest: The monthly charge you pay to borrow money
- Origination fee: A one-time upfront charge that your lender subtracts from your loan to pay for administration and processing costs
- Late fee: A one-time fee charged for each payment that you fail to make by the due date or within your grace period
- Early payoff penalty: A fee incurred when you pay off your balance faster than planned (because the lender misses out on months of expected interest payments)
As you can see, personal loans can be costly, even without a penalty APR. It’s obviously best to avoid paying extra fees whenever possible. That’s easier to do when you have a good to excellent credit score, since you’ll qualify for better loan options.
None of the loans on our best personal loan list charge origination fees or early payoff penalties, but some may charge late fees.
Find the best personal loans
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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