The 6 Best Credit Repair Companies of August 2021 – Money

One of the key steps to take when you’re trying to repair a bad credit history is removing inaccurate information from your credit report. And, while you can do this yourself, the process can be frustrating and time-consuming.

Enter credit repair companies — these services will do the heavy lifting you, analyzing your credit reports and disputing errors directly with your creditors and the three major credit bureaus.

So, if you’re ready to leave poor credit behind, check out Money’s top 6 credit repair companies of 2021 below.

Our Top Picks for Best Credit Repair Companies

Best Credit Repair Reviews

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Monthly fee: $79.99 – $119.99

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  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Options for every budget
  • Clear pricing policies
  • Online sign-up available
  • Limited availability
  • First work fees between $99-$195
  • No online chat

Credit Saint is our pick for Best Overall because of its clear pricing policies and array of affordable and comprehensive package options.

The packages — which range from $79.99 to $119.99 — differ in how many claims they’ll dispute a month, from five claims with the basic “Credit Polish” plan to an unlimited amount with the premium, “Clean Slate” plan.

Credit Saint offers a free consultation to evaluate your particular situation, your credit scores from the three major bureaus and identify the next steps you should take. Once you sign up with them, the company assigns an advisory team to your case and schedules calls to keep you informed.

Credit Saint also offers a score tracker to alert you to any changes in your credit report, and a 90-day money-back guarantee if you don’t see any changes in your credit history after three months.

Credit Polish
$79.99 p/m
Credit Remodel
$99.99 p/m
Clean Slate
$119.99 p/m
$99 one-time initial work fee $99 one-time initial work fee $195 initial work fee
Dispute up to 5 items per monthly cycle Dispute up to 10 items per month Unlimited monthly disputes
Goodwill intervention letters to creditors Experian monitoring Experian monitoring
Goodwill intervention letters to creditors Goodwill intervention letters to creditors
Escalated information requests Escalated information requests
Disputes for bankruptcies and repossessions Judgment disputes

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Monthly fee: $79 – $119

  • 90-day money-back guarantee, no conditions
  • 50% off a month for couples discount
  • Repair up to 15 items every 35 days
  • Online sign-up available
  • No monthly credit monitoring
  • No financial tools, such as budgeting
  • Monthly disputes limited to five per bureau every 35 days

Sky Blue Credit Repair has a two-tier pricing model that allows you to take advantage of all its services for a flat rate of $79 a month, or $119 a month for couples (both married or unmarried partners).

Their credit repair plans include:
Disputes for 15 negative items per each 35-day cycle (5 per bureau)
Debt negotiation consultants
Credit score assistance and other credit score rebuilding programs
A condition-free 90-day-guarantee

According to the company, the credit repair process takes approximately six months to complete and you cancel any time without incurring penalties. Although Sky Blue is no longer registered with the Better Business Bureau (companies have to pay annual fees to stay accredited), they boasted an A+ rating when they were, and consumer comments were largely positive.

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Monthly fee: $79 – $109 per month

  • Multiple available discounts
  • Cancel any time
  • Financial management tools available with both plans
  • Parent company LendingTree has a solid reputation
  • Credit monitoring only provided with Essential Plus
  • Phone-only application process
  • No 24/7 support

Ovation Credit Repair stands out when it comes to discounts. They offer a 20% couples discount and 10% discounts for seniors and members of the military. They also offer a one-time credit of up to $50 if you switch from another credit repair agency or refer a friend.

Ovation Credit Services offers two levels of credit repair:

Essentials Plan – $79 p/m Essentials Plus Plan – $109 p/m
$89 one-time initial work fee $89 one-time initial work fee
Free consultation with a credit expert Free consultation with a credit expert
Personalized credit dispute options Personalized credit dispute options
A case advisor that will oversee the process from start to finish A case advisor that will oversee the process from start to finish
Personalized dispute options Unlimited dispute and goodwill letters to creditors
Personal case advisor TransUnion credit monitoring
Financial Management Tools Official Ovation recommendation letter for future potential lenders

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  • Financial management tools and credit monitoring included with every plan
  • Live chat available
  • Certified FICO professionals
  • No setup fee
  • Basic credit repair package only includes one credit dispute
  • 24/7 phone support isn’t available

Monthly fee: $69 – $149

The Credit Pros offer really useful financial management tools, even with its least expensive package. Most other companies offer these perks only if you select the most expensive plans.

Tools include bill reminders, a budgeting system service and real-time account sync. Each plan has a complimentary credit monitoring solution, but The Credit Pros also offer multiple tools to track inaccurate personal finance information, from dark web monitoring to social security number trace and payday monitoring.

The company’s free consultation is available in both English and Spanish, something not common in the credit repair industry. Do note, however, that their initial work fee is higher than many other competitors’ — $119 for their low- and medium-tier plans and $149 for their premium plan.

There are 3 packages to choose from:

Money Management
$69 p/m
Prosperity Package
$119 p/m
Success Package
$149 p/m
$119 one-time initial work fee $119 one-time initial work fee $149 one-time initial work fee
One credit dispute per month Same features as the Money Management plan Same features as the Money Management plan
Updated free credit reports every 60 days Unlimited number of monthly credit disputes Unlimited number of monthly credit disputes
Goodwill letters Discounts on medication Discounts on medication
Debt validation letter No credit line Discounts for National Credit Direct products
Cease and desist letters to lenders Credit line from National Credit Direct
Access to the company’s legal network
Personalized action plans with certified FICO professionals
Credit line from National Credit Direct

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Monthly fee: $79 or $419 six month flat-rate

  • Simple pricing structure
  • FCRA-certified consultants
  • Low one-time first work fee ($19)
  • 24/7 account access and online enrollment
  • No credit monitoring
  • No financial management tools

The Credit People The Credit People have two credit repair options and a clear-cut pricing structure: $79 a month or a $419 flat rate membership for a six-month plan.

What sets it apart from other credit repair companies is its satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with The Credit People’s services, you can cancel without paying for that month and receive a refund for the previous month’s payment.

Both memberships include the following credit repair services:

  • $19 first work fee
  • Unlimited credit disputes
  • Debt and inquiry validation
  • 6-month satisfaction guarantee for flat-rate membership
  • Creditor communication
  • Support beyond credit reports

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Monthly Fee: $89.95 – $129.95

  • Long, proven track record
  • Online contact options
  • Employs attorneys and paralegals
  • Free credit report consultation
  • Credit monitoring only available with the priciest plan
  • Financial management tools only available with Premier Plus plan
  • Pending legal action from the CFPB
  • No satisfaction guarantee

Lexington Law is well-known in the credit repair industry, with years of experience and almost nationwide availability (every state except in Oregon).

Because it’s a law firm and its staff is mostly attorneys and paralegals, the company is said to explore every legal avenue to correct inaccuracies in your credit report. Their account reps — often paralegals — offer personalized support over extended hours, seven days a week.

The company also uses credit monitoring software and has a highly rated mobile app where users have 24/7 access to their credit score analysis and counseling plan.

However, Lexington has also had its share of legal problems. It’s the subject of multiple lawsuits — including legal action filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, alleging that the company uses unfair telemarketing practices. The company claims that the practices were actually carried out by third parties they contracted.

Despite this, Lexington Law remains a powerful player in the industry and does offer the advantage of having an experienced law firm handling your case.

Available credit repair packages:

Concord Standard
$89.95 p/m
Concord Premier
$109.95 p/m
Premier Plus
$129.95 p/m
Bureau challenges Bureau challenges Bureau challenges
Creditor interventions Creditor interventions Creditor interventions
InquiryAssist InquiryAssist
Score analysis Score analysis
ReportWatch ReportWatch
TransUnion alerts TransUnion alerts
Cease & desist letters
FICO score tracker
Identity theft protection
Personal finance tools

Other Companies We Considered

As we researched the credit repair industry, there were some companies that didn’t quite meet the standards we’d set. This may interest you : Remembering the Bluesfest stage collapse – CBC.ca. These are some of them:

CreditRepair.com

  • Simple process
  • Educational blog
  • Zero info about their staff’s qualifications
  • Pending legal action from the CFPB
  • Unclear information on their three plans

AMB Credit Consultants

  • 6-month money-back guarantee
  • Online enrollment available
  • Discounts for couples
  • One easy-to-understand plan
  • Extra fee for third-party credit monitoring
  • Higher than average fees
  • Expensive one-time enrollment fee of $149

Pyramid Credit Repair

  • 50% discount for couples on their first month
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Extended customer service hours
  • No upfront fees
  • More expensive than the industry average
  • Higher than average fees
  • Expensive one-time enrollment fee of $149
  • Not available in some states
  • Sparse information

Pinnacle Credit Repair

  • Two Fast Track options for results within 15 or 60 days
  • Fast Track Elite option gives access to personal credit mentor
  • Connects account members to their network of lending partners
  • Fast Track tier costs between $1,500 and $2,500
  • High first-work fee of $199
  • No free consultation available
  • Limited information on the website

Creditfirm.net

  • Low monthly fee of $49.99
  • Cancel any time
  • Unlimited disputes to creditors
  • 24/7 service
  • Monthly credit monitoring not available
  • No guarantee
  • No debt settlement services
  • Outdated website makes it hard to navigate
  • Customers must send in credit reports themselves

Credit Assistance Network

  • Cancel anytime
  • No flat monthly payment, as you pay for concrete results
  • Issues cease and desist letters to collection agencies
  • High first work fee of $179 per individual, and $279 per couple
  • Complicated pay structure charges fees for each deletion
  • No monitoring
  • Contradictory and false information on its website
  • Unsecured website

Credit Glory

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Two options for victims of identity theft
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • High first-work fee of $199
  • Only removes negative items
  • No credit monitoring
  • Won’t pull your credit report

Credit Versio

  • Affordable fees start at just $19.95 per month
  • Letter generator so customers can fill in their own info
  • Video lessons
  • Smart system’s DIY process means work for the customer
  • No money-back guarantee
  • No free consultation
  • No credit repair consultants or live sessions
Not Enough
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Credit Repair Guide

What To Know Before You Pay for a Credit Repair Company

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It can take from three months to a year to see an improvement in your credit report.

 

Not everything can be removed

Late or missed payments, hard inquiries, charge-offs, and debt collections can only be removed if they can be verified as inaccurate information. For steps on how to deal with negative items that cannot be removed, read our guide on how to repair bad credit.

 

 

You have to do some of the legwork
You still have to provide credit repair agencies with information 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.

 

Legitimate credit repair companies should include a copy of the Consumer Credit File Rights
Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), credit repair companies must give you a written contract outlining their services before receiving any payment from you. The agencies must also give you a copy of the “Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law.” This document is separate from the contract and is meant to inform you of your right to order credit reports and dispute inaccurate information yourself.

 

You have the right to cancel any services without incurring any penalties within 3 business days
This is in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Cooling-Off Rule.

 

Credit repair companies can’t charge you in advance for their services
These companies can only charge you for services they have actually fulfilled, though they may charge a first work fee upfront.

How Credit Repair Agencies Work

Each credit repair company has its own way of doing things, but most of them follow a four-step process:

  1. Free Consultation. The credit repair company will walk you through the process, pull your credit reports from all three bureaus and determine if you’d be a good candidate for credit repair.
  2. Limited power of attorney and written consent. The company’s representatives will inform you if they find mistakes in your file, and send you a written contract giving them limited power of attorney, that is, the legal right to act on your behalf.
  3. Challenge items. With your legal consent, the company goes on to dispute inaccuracies with your creditors and the major credit bureaus. Once they’re notified, credit reporting agencies must then investigate within 30 days of receiving a dispute. Once they confirm them as errors, they’ll remove them from your credit profile.
  4. Progress reports. A good credit repair company will track the disputes’ progress and update you on the status of each disputed item. They will usually send progress reports along with an updated copy of your credit report so you can review the changes.

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How to choose the right credit repair company

Check for Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) compliance

CROA establishes clear directives that legitimate credit repair companies should follow, and it’s important to ensure the company you choose is compliant in every step of the process.

Companies must provide a written contract explaining in detail the services they will provide, how long it will take for them to get results, any guarantees they offer and the total credit repair cost for their services.

You have the right to walk away without penalty within three days of signing the contract if it does not satisfy your requirements.

Read customer reviews

Sources like Google Reviews, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Yelp are useful starting points in gauging customer experience. They each have their own way of offering feedback and evaluating companies, with the BBB giving an A-to-F grading system and Yelp offering its well-known star ratings, for example.

These websites are helpful, but we recommend complementing what you read with further research — after all, most people post reviews when they’re unhappy with a service, not when they’re satisfied.

However, if you read multiple reviews alleging similar types of issues, you should certainly consider it a red flag.

In our search for the best credit repair companies, we focused on those that received mostly positive consumer feedback across multiple review websites.

Check the Regulatory Agencies

The credit repair industry is tightly regulated and must abide by the provisions of multiple consumer protection laws.

One of the agencies overseeing the industry is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal organization that protects consumers from fraudulent or predatory practices by banks, lenders or any type of financial institution — including credit repair companies.

When searching for the right credit repair company, it’s a good idea to check the CFPB complaint database and check how many complaints — if any — have been filed against the company you’re considering.

Compare fees and turnaround times

Legitimate credit repair companies will list their prices and services clearly, so consumers can select the right package for their needs easily. Turnaround time should be reasonable, and the company must keep you updated about the progress.

Look for personal finance tools

Besides their standard credit repair services, many credit repair companies include features like financial tools, guidance and expert advice, satisfaction guarantees, credit monitoring, and identity theft protection services.

A free credit consultation can be particularly useful, because you can get a professional evaluation before committing to the service.

Difference between credit repair, debt settlement and credit counseling

As we said above, there are different ways to repair your credit.
Debt settlement, credit repair and credit counseling are all in the personal finance sphere, but it’s important to note the key differences between the three services.

Debt settlement service Credit repair service Credit counseling service
For-profit service For-profit service Non-profit, but may charge a service fee
Resolves your debt and makes a deal to pay it off at a reduced amount Identifies and repairs mistakes on your credit report Provides debt and money management advice, but does not renegotiate overall debt
Involves stopping debt payments until a settlement is reached. Communicates with creditors and reporting bureaus to get mistakes corrected and removed from your credit report Negotiates payment plans with creditors to protect you from debt collectors or late fees
Will impact credit negatively for up to 7 years Improves credit by removing reporting mistakes Improves credit with debt management plans
Hurts chances of getting loans or credit cards Increases the possibility of being approved for loans and credit cards Increases the possibility of being approved for loans and credit cards
Best as a last resort Best for people who don’t have the time to repair their credit themselves Best if you’re having trouble making payments and need some help

If you’re interested in using a credit counselor, The National Foundation for Credit Counseling offers low-cost debt counseling, debt consolidation, and debt management plans.

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7 Warning Signs of a Credit Repair Scam

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DIY Credit Repair

Credit repair companies come in handy if you can afford the service and don’t have the time to dispute the items, but you can also use their techniques to improve your own credit — and at no cost.

Free credit reports from the three main credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — are available at AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you examine your reports for any discrepancies or errors, you can go to each bureau’s website and file an online dispute. They will investigate within 30 days and, if they confirm it’s a mistake, will delete the item from your report.

They might also delete items from your report if your debtor cannot validate the debt and is unable to provide evidence that the debt belongs to you.

If you’re up to the task, check out our guide on how to remove items from your credit report.

Covid-19 and Credit Repair

Free credit reports

Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax are offering access to a free credit report weekly through April 2022. Take advantage to check your reports for errors and, if there are any, dispute them or consider hiring a credit repair company to do it for you.

Credit reporting errors during COVID-19

It’s important to watch out for erroneous “late payments” on your credit report — especially if you enrolled in a deferral program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Loan, mortgage or credit card payments shouldn’t be marked as late if your lender agreed to temporarily suspend them. Contact your lender right away if you notice deferred payments are being incorrectly labeled as late on your report. If your lender doesn’t resolve the issue, contact the credit reporting agencies to begin a dispute process.

CARES Act protections

If you obtained a forbearance on a federally backed loan during the pandemic, these are some things to remember:

  • Forbearance, payment deferrals or pauses should not show up on your credit report or bring down your credit score. This applies to suspended collections and defaults as well.
  • Homeowners with federally backed loans (HUD, FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are protected from foreclosure until July 31, 2021 and can apply for mortgage forbearance.
  • Student loans are eligible for suspensions on loan payments, collections, defaults, and interest rates are set to zero until at least September 30, 2021.

You can definitely DIY your credit repair, but it will take time, effort and patience. You can dispute negative information with the lender, and if that does not work, write letters of dispute directly to the reporting agencies. They are legally obligated to investigate and respond, at no charge to you.

What is a credit repair agency?

A credit repair company, also called a credit restoration company, specializes in finding and disputing mistakes on your credit report. Additional services may include financial tools, credit monitoring and expert credit advice.

Are credit repair companies a scam?

Credit repair companies are legal. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) were created to provide consumer protection against companies that lie about their services.

How can I verify a credit repair company?

Be well informed on what credit repair companies must comply with. Reading the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) beforehand can help.

Research company reviews online, customer complaints on CFPB’s database and look up any recent FTC violations.

Is credit repair worth the cost?

Most people can manage their credit repair for free with a bit of time and effort. However, if you don’t have the time to dispute credit issues and can afford to pay for the service, it may be worth it. Victims of identity theft or people with multiple reporting errors can also benefit. Credit repair agencies offer a variety of packages at different prices to fit the needs of their customers.

How We Chose The Best Credit Repair Companies of 2021

Trustworthiness

The companies in our list are reputable credit repair services that have been around for over ten years and have positive customer reviews across different platforms. We looked for any history of FTC violations and searched the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Database to verify any history of customer complaints or enforcement actions.

Product offering

A credit repair service essentially assumes responsibility for writing dispute letters, communicating with lenders and credit bureaus and ensuring removal of each item. It helps if the standard service is complemented with other features. Multiple pricing options, additional financial tools, expert advice, and service guarantees helped companies stand out from the competition.

Pricing Options and Service Guarantees

These were the two most common aspects throughout the companies we evaluated, so we decided to emphasize them further in our vetting process. As we researched companies, we made sure that their pricing options were as ample and/or varied as possible, and that their service guarantees were transparent and with little-to-no exceptions. This way we can offer choices for customers with different financial situations while assuring that each company stays true to their service promise.