Repair professionals help clients correct their credit histories. Unfortunately, data stored by TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax may be blatantly inaccurate. Mistakes range from misspellings to false bankruptcies, and experts may have them all removed. This pushes the score up, improving your status in the eyes of lenders, insurers, landlords, and employers. But which company is the best?
Today, when the repair is such a large industry, choosing the right provider is a challenge. Your decision must be based on a set of factors. According to creditfixed.com, the best credit repair companies offer reasonable costs and money-back policies. Here are the top 5 aspects.
1.Reputation and Quality
Companies with the best services may or may not be accredited with The Better Business Bureau. Still, this monitoring site is a source of invaluable data. You can see whether the company can remove negative items as it promises.
Check the number of complaints against the provider within the past 3 years. You can also see if and how the company replies to criticism. These indicators are quite telling. As of this writing, Lexington Law has garnered over 669 complaints and pending government action, while Sky Blue Credit has only 8 negative reviews.
Visit TrustPilot and consumeraffairs.com for more feedback. You may also find expert reviews on trusted websites like Investopedia. Based on this research, you can see whether the experts are competent, and how soon your report may be cleaned. In general, the duration varies between 1,5 months and half a year. Every bureau replies to a dispute letter within 30 days, so you can do the math.
2. Service Packages
An overwhelming majority of big providers have tiered pricing. Their services are divided between packages, from basic to advanced. Customers may choose a bundle that suits their case.
The least complex situations may be resolved with just a few dispute letters — in this case, an entry-level package should suffice. On average, it allows five disputes per bureau. The length of the billing cycle may also vary between 30 and 45 days.
Core services include analysis of your score and reports, prioritization of inaccuracies, collection of evidence, and formal disputes. The company may send different types of correspondence to creditors and bureaus — dispute letters, debt validation letters, cease and desist letters, etc. Make sure the range covers your needs.
3. Reasonable Pricing
The costs include a setup fee (often, but not always) and a monthly payment. Usually, customers are charged upfront before the company gets down to work. You may or may not be offered a free introductory consultation. The setup fee is also known as a first work fee. It may be equal to or higher than the monthly payment. The latter varies between under $80 and over $120 on average.
Make sure you will be getting the optimal value for money. As a rule, there aren’t any contracts, so you can stop paying at any time. If the quality of repair does not meet your expectations, refunds may or may not be possible. This depends on the company’s policy. Learn more below.
4. Money-Back Guarantee
Only some companies pay your money back if they fail to delete any items. Commonly, this is possible within the first 60 or 90 days. On the other hand, Sky Blue Credit Repair has an unconditional policy. It returns money for any reason, which gives it an edge over rivals like Lexington Law. This firm does not give any guarantees or refunds.
5. Online Resources
Few providers have proprietary apps, but many render services via their web portals. Some packages include tools for personal budgeting, score monitoring resources, etc. Big companies not only allow you to track the progress. They help improve your financial literacy overall.
Trustworthy firms provide a wealth of online educational resources. Their clients learn how their score is calculated and used, and how it can be raised in the future. At the very least, you should be able to see the status of your case online.
Can’t I Repair My Score By Myself?
This is possible but challenging. The law allows you to collect your own reports from all three bureaus once a year. Until April 20, 2022, the service is accessible weekly on www.annualcreditreport.com. Downloading the data is a matter of minutes, and you do not have to contact the agencies separately. However, disputing the mistakes is a hassle.
Consumers have to navigate legal intricacies, collect relevant evidence and compose formal letters of a particular format. If the bureau is not convinced, it will require additional proof, prolonging the process. Professionals repair credit scores daily. They are well-versed in it, so progress is accelerated, while you can just sit back and track it.