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A credit score can be the one number in someone’s life that makes or breaks their financial opportunities. They impact every part of an individual’s life, including where they live, how much they pay for insurance, and how much money they have to spend to set up utilities whenever they move. It can impact future life decisions as well, restricting individuals with a low score to fewer or more expensive opportunities.
Credit repair services can be incredibly helpful to individuals since it helps them to restore the health of their credit score with time. With the right service, a score that was once 450 could rise to over 700, but what exactly do all of these numbers mean? What impact can a credit repair service have? Are these services necessary or helpful?
In this guide, consumers will quickly learn what these companies can do for them, as well as what credit can impact as their life progresses. No one should have to deal with bad credit, and the right moves can turn everything around.
Rankings for the Best Credit Repair Services in 2021
After browsing the different credit repair services available, this guide ultimately narrowed down the top options on the market to:
Sky Blue Credit
The Credit Watcher
The Credit People
Read on below to learn a few extra details about these credit repair services.
Sky Blue Credit
Sky Blue Credit’s services are available for $79 per month, though users will have access to a free trial period for the first six days to make sure that it is the right match for their needs. This company is one of the long-standing options for consumers today, and it has been around since 1989. They also look for problems in the user’s credit that most companies don’t focus on for better odds of an improvement.
This service allows users to get professional analysis of their score, as well as quicker resolution to disputes. The disputes can be customized to the user’s experience, and they can process up to 15 items every month. Plus, there’s access to state law research, and they focus completely on supporting their customers.
Credit Saint helps to restore credit by guiding users through the process of correcting inaccurate credit data, and it allegedly is the top service to do so. There’s a free consultation available for new customers, which means that consumers can get a better idea of what they will be benefiting from.
Like a few other companies on this list, this service provides users with 90 days to get their money back if it doesn’t work for them. Furthermore, the private dashboard gives users a complete view of the different details that they need to know about their current credit situation, helping users to improve their credit score with educational materials that provide better guidance.
Lexington Law is one of the longest-standing credit repair institutions in the world today. The repair process is backed up by an actual law firm, though it can take a little time for consumers to see the changes happen. Good repair is not a fast process, but the legal expertise offered with this service can make an incredible impact.
As users launch these services for themselves, they start off with researching exactly what makes the user’s credit score so low. They examine the user’s credit report and determine which negative items could be incorrectly adjusting the user’s score. Each of these items are disputed by Lexington Law directly, forcing the creditors to prove that each claim is valid. They also monitor the user’s credit score over time to deal with issues as they arise.
The company boasts plenty of experience with repairing credit services, and it was originally founded in 2004. Since its launch, it has already helped over 70 million erroneous and inaccurate items to be removed from credit reports.
CreditRepair.com has more free perks than other companies on this list, allowing users to have free access to their credit score and a summary of their history. It also reviews negative items for free and provides a free improvement plan to rebuild a healthy credit score. These services are not currently available to other providers on the list, but users are able to get full access to the repair services after paying a subscription fee as well.
The services offered by CreditRepair.com are fairly similar to what is offered by other top-rated providers, seeking out the inaccurate entries and challenging the items. The lenders are required to remove improvable items, helping to boost the user’s credit store.
Since the company launched in 2012, they have already helped to removed 1.8 million incorrect items, and they’ve challenged 19 million items in the process. Just in 2019, the company sent over 1 million interventions, and they have a reputation amongst customers at one of the top repair services options. They also offer flexible pricing options for customers to choose from.
TransUnion, though it is a credit bureau, is also an opportunity for individuals to repair their credit and protect their future changes in their credit. Primarily, TransUnion provides the chance for users to track their credit score as their main money-making business, offering subscription services for individuals that want to improve their score gradually.
With a $25 monthly subscription, users will get access to different services, like Credit Lock Plus and CreditCompass. While Credit Lock Plus allows users to protect credit reports, CreditCompass shows users how to redirect their credit correctly. These defenses protect the user’s credit score if their personal information is ever compromised.
One more unique service of TransUnion is the ID theft insurance that they offer. If the user’s information is ever used by someone else, they are covered by a $1 million policy.
Credit Sesame provides users with information about their current credit score, along with tools that they can leverage. It can easily be accessed on a mobile app with the same login information, which is available on both Android and iOS devices.
The main purpose of this service is to allow the user to manage their credit directly. Customers are able to get a clear view of any issue that may be on their credit report for free at any time, and they can get exclusive information about what their credit score actually means.
This service is completely free, even though the majority of other providers require that users pay a fee to even access a credit report. The company also provides many personalized offers (though some are affiliated with Credit Sesame directly) that will help users to leverage their credit.
Credit Karma is one of the most popular credit repair services on the market, featured in countless commercials and online advertisements. Though many people may be worried about the costs associated with this monitoring, Credit Karma is one of the few services that is completely free. Users are able to access Credit Karma through the website or the app, joining over 100 million members that already use the services.
Users will get access to credit card offers, as well as opportunities to sign up for loans, new accounts, savings accounts, financing for home or auto loans, and more. There’s no requirement to participate in these opportunities, but most of the offers are based on the user’s current credit status.
Rather than doing the work for the user, Credit Karma simply provides the opportunity to manage the user’s credit repair efforts. The process of disputing these incorrect items is rather easy, and users are updated on the status as changes are made.
The Credit Watcher
The Credit Watcher provides users with quick access to the three credit scores provided by the major credit bureaus. Users can get reports and updates to their score daily, and access to these details is provided instantly.
While it is not a full-service company to repair credit, it seems to primarily focus on monitoring and reporting. It provides users with the information that they need to track their credit improvements and avoid incorrect items.
One of the disadvantages to using this service sems to be the cost. While other companies offer relatively similar details, The Credit Watcher charges $39.90 per month for access to prevent information from being sold.
Credit Monkey ranges greatly in price ($99 to $499 monthly), but it is accessible in any state. They help consumers to remove erroneous entries, claiming that up to 89% of credit reports have mistakes and errors. They seek out errors as small as inquiries or as significant as collections issues and bankruptcies. All of these issues can have a negative effect on the user’s credit score.
The total cost that consumers will have to pay for their monthly Credit Monkey subscription will be determined by which of the six plans that the user offers. The plans are divided by the number and types of items that can be removed. Individuals on the basic plan can remove up to 5 negative items for $99. However, individuals that purchase the $499 monthly plan will be able to remove an unlimited number of negative items, establish a $10,000 credit line, secure 5 active credit cards, and more.
MyFICO is part of FICO, which uses information from all three credit bureaus to calculate an average score. Users are able to purchase one of two different subscriptions (up to $39.95) for constant monitoring each month to continually check for any potential errors.
The data collected by this service is considered to be an all-in-one solution for repairs, ensuring that customers know exactly what all of the bureaus have on record. Lenders already have access to the user’s FICO score, so users that enlist the help of their service will also know what is in the hands of the entities that create these financial opportunities.
Along with the coverage from all three bureaus, users of the subscription-based service will also have access to a $1 million identity theft insurance policy, constant identity restoration services, and constant monitoring of the user’s score and history. The frequency of the updates is determined by the subscription that the user chose, offering monthly updates (Premier) or updates every three months (Advanced).
CuraDebt has been offering relief services since 2000, showing users how to rectify problems with credit cards, medical bills, tax payments, and unsecured debts. They have free estimates that show how much users can save by using their services, which 200,000 customers have already elected to do. The team is well-versed in matters regarding tax debt, auditing, payment plans, and more. They even offer non-collectible resolutions.
The easiest way to improve an individual’s credit score is to simply reduce the amount of debt owed. Using a company for debt relief like CuraDebt can help users to raise their score as they reduce the amount of debt owed.
FreeScore360 offers a $29.95 monthly subscription to let users track their credit daily and receive alerts, though they also have a learning center to educate users on their credit. Users start off with a 7-day trial, but they will automatically receive a charge every month for the subscription after.
The credit monitoring and reporting offered by FreeScore360 is fairly similar to that of other repair services, though it hasn’t quite earned the reputation that others have. Individuals that want to save a little money on improving their credit may still be able to find what they need with its subscription.
The Credit People
The Credit People focuses on bringing the user’s score up by between 53 and 187 points when using the services that they offer. They have a quite positive reputation amongst customers on Consumer Affairs and other websites that review these types of services, and they’ve already removed over 1.4 million false items from credit reports. With the work they’ve done, approximately, 71% of the users have already been approved for home loans, and 78% have been able to secure auto loans with the changes.
Users that enroll in this service will be able to access their credit scores from all three bureaus, and they should see a massive change in their credit within just 60 days. The company has been working to better the credit score and report of customers for 15 years, starting at just $19 for support.
Leap Credit works with individuals of all credit levels to make it easier to procure loans, credit cards, and other financial solutions. It doesn’t take long to get approved, and the application process is rather simple. The only requirements of customers that want to sign up is that they need to have reliable income, an active checking account, and US citizenship. They must also be an adult to get a loan, and users will have the financial support that they seek within 2 business days.
Deciding on the Rankings of the Credit Repair Services
No matter which credit repair service is chosen, all of these different companies say that they use reputable methods that are proven to help. Unfortunately, living up to the claims is a much different story. In creating this list, the guide considered the following factors.
Ability to improve the user’s credit score. The entire point of using a credit repair service is to improve the user’s score. The most important factor in determining the products on this list was the amount of points that users could improve their credit score. With the right match, consumers can potentially increase their score by hundreds of points.
Price and value of the service. Everyone has a different budget, but it shouldn’t dictate how capable they are of repairing their credit store. The price and value of each of the different services on this list were important factors in ensuring that anyone can get their finances on track.
Transparency towards clients. Far too many companies say that they can offer services that they simply cannot follow through with. Companies that say that they can increase a user’s credit score in one week are completely false, as there is no way to make this claim come to fruition. The services that came through on this list were honest about the expectation that users should have.
Accurate and realistic estimated increases for the credit score. Reliable companies tend to track the successful results that they have when working with their clients, averaging the increase that credit scores have gone up.
Repairing credit (rather than monitoring it). Credit monitoring is a service that allows users to keep an eye on the changes that occur in their credit report, but it won’t change the details. Credit monitoring services can be helpful, but the companies on this list had to specifically offer repair services in some way to even be considered.
Methods used to repair credit. Most often, companies will correct a credit report by challenging the data that is not necessarily accurate. This type of adjustment can be done by practically anyone by reaching out to one of the bureaus. The top companies that offer repair services will go above and beyond, challenging the bureaus to prove the erroneous claims.
Refund policy. Even though these services are known for their ability to help consumers to improve credit, these companies do not often guarantee that the improvement will occur. That’s why users are often provided with a satisfaction guarantee that gives a complete refund if they are not able to improve their score.
User-friendly dashboard. When signing into one of these websites, customers want to easily be able to navigate their dashboard and the interface of the website. The customer experience was heavily prioritized in the rankings, siding more frequently with companies that had better reviews.
Reputation of the company. The companies chosen for this list had to have a good reputation for accuracy and service. Some companies have survived decades, while others are just recently launched, but their reputation was still a factor.
Why Should You Check Your Credit Score?
A credit score will follow an individual for their entire life and checking this score for any necessary repairs can make a significant difference in their future. With a good score, renting or buying a home becomes much easier than to get approved. It can even help with the cost of auto or home insurance, and it removes financial restrictions when seeking a spouse or roommate.
Here are the top benefits of establishing repairs to a credit score, as well as the positive impact that a good credit score can have.
Marrying financial freedom. According to a recent survey by MarketWatch, over half of Americans would not want to wed someone that has significant debt already on their credit report. Nowadays, nothing seems to be off the table for dating, including checking a credit report on someone before getting too deep in a relationship. With a bad credit score, it may be a red flag that this potential partner does not have a good handle on their relationship with money.
Finding cheaper auto insurance. For an entire year of auto insurance coverage, the average cost is approximately $1,450 for Americans. If the individual has bad credit, they could pay much more each year, and auto insurance companies across the US can choose to use a credit report to determine the premium. Individuals that don’t have as high of a credit score are much greater of a risk to insurers, which is why they charge higher rates.
Getting access to better credit cards with higher limits. When someone improves their credit score, they will have a newfound opportunity to sign up for new credit cards that offer more credit. A good and repaired credit score shows these companies that repaying loans is not difficult for the individual, which makes them want to lend more money. While someone with a lower or newer score may only have a limit of $2,500, others may have a limit of $25,000 with perks and rewards as incentives to spend. Some of these perks may include cash back, frequent flyer miles, or no fees.
Easier approval odds when securing a mortgage rate. When it comes to buying a house, everyone needs to qualify for a mortgage (unless they are paying the entire balance in full). Without a good credit score, finding a lender that will approve such a loan can prove to be practically impossible. Even if the individual finds a company who will take on their risk, their bad credit could cause them to deal with much higher rates (which means thousands of dollars extra to buy their home). Making an improvement of even 20 points can have an incredibly positive effect on the cost of this mortgage.
Easier approval odds when renting a home. Though it is often easier to qualify for a rental agreement than a mortgage, good credit is still important to securing it. The majority of property management companies and independent property owners will get a credit report to show what the risk is of renting to someone new. With bad credit, finding a safe and affordable apartment or house to rent can be rather difficult. If competing with other applicants, these companies often side with an individual that has a better credit report.
Greater negotiating power. Someone with a bad credit score has very little in their favor to negotiate with a lender. There’s no positive reputation to back up the claim that they are a good bet, and they are at the mercy of the rates given to them by lenders. There are no bargaining options available, and lenders are well aware of it. By repairing credit scores and credit history, lenders will see that there is competition to secure the individual as a client, which puts the client in a much better negotiating position.
Better rates with cell phone companies. Just like auto insurance companies and mortgage lenders, the rates for cell phone companies improve significantly. Often, companies that see that the individual has a bad credit score will require a security deposit as compensation for establishing an account. Individuals who have bad credit even run the risk that they’ll have to use a prepaid phone or establish a pay-as-you-go plant that doesn’t have nearly as good of a rate.
Freedom from security deposits for utility. Utility companies will check their new customers’ credit scores online to determine if a security deposit has to be assigned to the account to establish service. These companies have an understanding that individuals that have a bad credit score are more likely to miss payments, and the deposits that they require often range from $100 to $300. Improving the credit score can eliminate these security deposits entirely, leaving the individual with more cash in their wallet.
Cheaper premiums for homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners insurance can be thousands of dollars annually to establish protection for a home. As with any insurance company, bad credit can lead to rates that are nearly twice as high as what is assigned to a customer with good credit. Insurers penalize individuals that have poor credit because they are a higher risk for the company to take on, and the higher rates allow them to compensate themselves before payments are missed.
Even with all of these financial advantages, most individuals with good credit are rather responsible. A good credit score shows others that they have control over a good financial future, even without having to brag.
FAQs About Credit Repair Companies
What exactly is credit?
Credit is a term that describes the exchange of money, services, or goods for the promise to pay it back in the future. This exchange often comes with added fees (or interest) during payback.
What is a credit score?
A credit score rates the individual on their trustworthiness and reliability as someone to lend to. The score is between 300 and 850, and it is calculated from the debts that the individual has taken on a paid back, how much credit they’ve used out of their total amount available, and the number of times an inquiry has hit their account. Other factors also play a role in this calculation.
What role does a credit score play in interacting with a lender?
Lenders use the credit score to determine what the risk would be if they were to issue credit to the interested client. Individuals will consistent missing payments or defaulted loans may be unable to get a loan or may have to pay higher rates to get one. By having a higher score, lenders will issue better rates because they can trust that the client will pay it back in the right amount of time.
What is considered a good credit score?
Anything over 670 is typically considered to be a good score.
What is a bad score?
A bad credit score is anything below the 670 thresholds.
What do customers do to lower their credit score?
A credit score can be lowered over time or rapidly, depending on the factors that cause this drop. Late payments, bankruptcy, or a mortgage foreclosure can have detrimental effects. Individuals should also avoid applying for too many credit-based accounts (especially in close proximity to one another) or consistently using too much of the available credit allotted to them on existing credit cards. Ignoring negative items that need attention will also be damaging to a credit score.
Once a negative item appearance on a credit report, how long will it stay there?
The specific type of account and the bureau to which is it reported will determine how long the problem stays on the credit report. Typically, items will be on the account for between 7 and 10 years.
How low can someone’s credit score be?
The worst possible credit score that someone can have is 300.
How high can someone’s credit score be?
A perfect credit score is 850. The score cannot exceed this number.
Why does one individual have three different credit scores?
Each of the three major credit bureaus track credit scores, and their criteria varies from one to the next (albeit slightly). These credit bureaus also have different types of account reported to them, so the records from one bureau aren’t necessarily the same records sourced by another. Still, the credit score should be relatively similar between the three bureaus.
What is a credit bureau?
A credit bureau is a private company that exists solely for the purpose of tracking credit history and credit scores. They watch every individual for changes in payments, their credit usage, and several other factors to make their determinations.
What bureaus track credit scores and credit histories?
The primary bureaus that calculate these scores are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
How will a lender check a possible client’s credit score?
A lender will need to contact one of the major credit bureaus to get a copy of the report. Typically, this type of search requires the potential client’s social security number.
How is a credit score different from a credit report?
While a credit score is a number that rates an individual’s likelihood to be a good borrower, a credit report is a detailed list of the actions that the individual has taken to impact their credit, including missed payments, collections accounts, and other data.
What is a FICO score, and how is it calculated?
A FICO score is similar to a credit score, issuing a three-digit number that is an average of the compilation of the three credit bureaus. This score is calculated by a private company (FICO), and it is used by 90% of lenders today. However, FICO doesn’t actually track an individual’s credit.
To calculate the score, FICO considers payment history (35%), the amount that the individual current owes back in credit (30%), how long their credit history has been established (15%), the mixture of different types of credit accounts (10%), and any new credit that they’ve established (10%).
What does an individual have to do to get a good credit score?
By maintaining on-time payments, reducing the amount of credit used, establishing different types of credit, and paying off debt, the average consumer can achieve a good credit score with ease.
If the credit score of a potential client is damaged, what can they do to fix it?
The first step that any client should take to rectify their credit is to eliminate entries on the report that have been posted in error, which is rather common. Eliminating the errors can drastically improve the individual’s credit score.
What records are included on an individual’s credit report?
A credit report will include the individual’s credit score, first and foremost. It also includes credit limits established by various accounts, names of lenders, lines of credit, information that identifies the individual, a complete history of accounts, collections, and late payments. It will also include public records for the individual.
Can an individual’s attempt to secure employment be impacted by a credit score?
Unfortunately, yes. Federal law permits employers to see a skewed version of the applicant’s credit report to determine how small or large of a risk an individual would pose if they were hired. Poor credit scores often reduce the likelihood that an individual will be hired or will qualify for promotion.
When seeking out a mortgage lender, what credit score should a new borrower attempt to reach?
The majority of experts agree that having a credit score of 620 is necessary. This is the lowest approval score that the majority of home lenders will accept. If an individual has a score below this threshold, some lenders may consider a co-borrower, which requires another individual to use their credit score to procure the loan instead.
When seeking out a car loan, what credit store should a borrower have?
Car lenders are a little more flexible, requiring a score of at least 550. Individuals with scores as low as 500 may still be able to get a loan, though the interest rates assigned to them will likely be higher.
How can an individual get a full copy of their credit report for free?
Every year, all three major credit bureaus are required to offer a single credit report for free by law. These credit reports can be viewed at www.annualcreditreport.com from all three providers. Individuals that would prefer to speak with a live agent can call 1-877-322-8228.
What is credit repair?
Credit repair is a process that helps to improve the credit score with the removal of items that negatively impact a credit report.
How does a credit repair company help consumers?
The purpose of a credit repair company is to start by alerting of any inaccuracies in the credit report before removing them. Many companies will challenge these entries to force the lenders who posted them to prove their validity. This verification is required by law, and any false or incorrect reports must either be proven to be accurate or removed entirely.
Are these types of services legitimate?
Yes. Many online providers exist that truly offer support to individuals who are trying to repair their credit. However, it is important to be careful in the selection of such a company since there are always bad actors that can negatively use credit data.
How long will users have to pursue credit repair changes to improve their score and history?
Credit repair is not a quick fix. While there are some adjustments that only take a few weeks, other changes can take a year to make a difference. Everyone has different concerns that they have to resolve on their credit report, but consistent work to improve the user’s credit can raise their score by 40 points in a matter of four months.
What does it cost to establish repairs to credit?
The cost will vary from company to company. While some people pay nothing, others pay thousands of dollars.
Is it possible to repair credit without an online service?
Absolutely. Consumers can contact credit bureaus directly to deal with any issues that they may find on a credit report. After accessing this report, reach out to lenders to remove the entries that are not accurate.
Will a student loan be harmful to an individual’s credit score?
Yes. Any type of loan can have a negative impact on an individual’s credit score. Paying back student loans will gradually promote a better score over time.
A credit score and credit history will follow individuals around for years, which is why it is so important to prioritize good financial habits. With bad credit, it is practically impossible to secure a good rate on a home or vehicle (if it is possible at all). Individuals that want to repair their credit to open the opportunity for changes and improvements that are hard to make without a little help.
After all the research and reviews of the best credit repair services in 2021, there is no doubt the following credit repairing companies and branded programs are your best bet to follow through with this year and beyond:
Sky Blue Credit - sign up directly today!
Credit Saint - sign up directly today!
Lexington Law - sign up directly today!
CreditRepair.com - sign up directly today!
TransUnion - sign up directly today!
Credit Sesame - sign up directly today!
Credit Karma - sign up directly today!
The Credit Watcher - sign up directly today!
Credit Monkey - sign up directly today!
MyFICO - sign up directly today!
CuraDebt - sign up directly today!
FreeScore360 - sign up directly today!
The Credit People - sign up directly today!
Leap Credit - sign up directly today!
By using one of the services listen above, consumers have a distinct advantage of having many opportunities to choose from.