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By Norma RodríguezHeidi Rivera and Andrea Agostini
Updated: April 8, 2021 8:03 AM ET | Originally published: April 7, 2021
broken credit card sewn together by a loose thread
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Improving a poor credit score or fixing credit reporting errors can be a time-consuming process. Credit repair companies can take that load off your mind, but you need to know your legal rights and what services to look for.

To choose the best provider for your needs, check out Money’s 6 top credit repair companies of 2021 below.

Our Top Picks for Best Credit Repair Companies

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Best Credit Repair Reviews

Credit Saint – Best Overall

Monthly fee: $79.99 – $119.99

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

Credit Saint earns best overall because of its clear pricing policies and package options at different budget levels, which will vary in aggressiveness.

Before subscribing, Credit Saint offers a free consultation to evaluate your credit scores and identify the next steps you should take. When you subscribe to Credit Saint, the company assigns a specialized advisory team to monitor your case closely, schedule calls periodically to keep you informed, and answer any questions you may have.

You can cancel services at any time, and there’s a 90-day money-back guarantee if you don’t see any changes in your credit history after three months.

Available packages:

Credit Polish: $79.99 per month

  • $99 one-time initial work fee
  • Goodwill intervention letters to creditors
  • Dispute up to 5 items per monthly cycle
  • Credit Remodel: $99.99 per month
  • $99 one-time initial work fee
  • Dispute up to 10 items per month
  • Experian monitoring
  • Goodwill intervention letters to creditors
  • Escalated information requests
  • Disputes for bankruptcies and repossessions

Clean Slate: $119.99 per month

  • $195 initial work fee
  • Experian monitoring
  • Goodwill intervention letters to creditors
  • Escalated information requests
  • Unlimited monthly disputes
  • Judgment disputes
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Sky Blue Credit – Best Budget Option

Monthly fee: $79 – $119

Pros Cons
90-day money-back guarantee, condition-free No monthly credit monitoring
50% off a month for couples discount No financial tools, such as budgeting
Repair up to 15 items every 35 days No free credit consultation prior to enrollment
Online sign-up available

Sky Blue Credit has a simple pricing model that allows you to take advantage of all its credit repair 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:

  • An initial analysis of disputable items
  • Identification and review of potential errors in your report
  • Disputes for 15 negative items per each 35-day cycle
  • Access to debt negotiation consultants
  • Credit score assistance and other credit score rebuilding programs
  • A condition-free 90-day-guarantee
  • According to the company, each credit repair process takes approximately 6 months to complete and cancellation is allowed at any time without incurring any penalties.
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The Credit Pros – Best Bonus Features

Monthly fee: $69 – $149

Pros Cons
Financial management tools and credit monitoring included with every plan Basic plan only includes one credit dispute
Live chat available Unavailable in four states
Certified FICO professionals No 24/7 support
No setup fee

The Credit Pros credit repair package features useful financial management tools, no matter which package you purchase. Other companies offer these perks only if you select the most expensive plans.

Tools include real-time account sync, bill reminder, and a budgeting system service. 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 trace and pay-day monitoring.

The company’s free consultation is available in both English and Spanish, as well — something not common in the credit repair industry.

There are 3 packages to choose from:

Money Management: $69 per month

  • $119 one-time first work fee
  • One credit dispute per month
  • Updated free credit reports every 60 days
  • Identity theft restoration insurance
  • Goodwill letters
  • Debt validation
  • Cease and desist letters to lenders
  • Access to the company’s legal network
  • Personalized action plans with certified FICO professionals

Prosperity Package: $119 per month

  • $119 one-time first work fee
  • Same features as the Money Management plan
  • More than one dispute per month
  • Discounts on medication
  • Success Package: $149 per month
  • $149 one time first work fee
  • Same features as the Money Management plan
  • More than one dispute per month
  • Discounts on medication
  • Discounts for National Credit Direct products

Ovation Credit Repair – Best for Discounts

Monthly fee: $79 – $109 per month

Pros Cons
Multiple available discounts Credit monitoring only provided with Essential Plus
Cancel any time Phone-only application process
Financial management tools available with both plans 24/7 support unavailable
Parent company Lending Tree has solid reputation

Ovation Credit Repair stands out when it comes to discounts. They offer a 20% couples discount, a credit of up to $50 on your next monthly payment for referring a friend or switching from another credit repair company, and discounts for seniors and members of the military.

Ovation Credit Repair offers two levels of credit repair:

Essentials Plan: $79 monthly fee

$89 first work fee

  • Free consultation with a credit expert
  • Personalized credit dispute options
  • A case advisor that will oversee the process from start to finish
  • Personalized dispute options
  • Personal case advisor
  • Financial Management Tools

Essentials Plus Plan: $109 monthly fee

  • $89 first work fee
  • Free consultation with a credit expert
  • Personalized credit dispute options
  • A case advisor that will oversee the process from start to finish
  • TransUnion credit monitoring
  • Unlimited dispute letters to creditors
  • Unlimited goodwill letters to creditors
  • Official ovation recommendation letter for future potential lenders
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The Credit People – Best Guarantee

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

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

The Credit People have two membership options with a clear-cut pricing structure — monthly membership for $79 a month or a $419 flat rate membership for a 6-month plan. What sets it apart from other credit repair companies is its satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with The Credit People’s services, you cancel at any time 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

Lexington Law – Best for Legal Expertise

Monthly Fee: $89.95 – $129.95

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

Lexington Law is well-known in the credit repair industry, with years of experience and nationwide availability.

With a team of experienced attorneys, they guarantee clients an accurate credit report and will explore all the legal options to correct any mistakes. 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 useful mobile app where users have 24/7 access to their credit score analysis and counseling plan.

Available credit repair packages:

Concord Standard: $89.95 monthly fee

  • Bureau challenges
  • Creditor interventions
  • Concord Premier:$109.95 monthly fee
  • Bureau challenges
  • Creditor interventions
  • InquiryAssist
  • Score analysis
  • ReportWatch
  • TransUnion alerts

Premier Plus:$129.95 monthly fee

  • Bureau challenges
  • Creditor interventions
  • InquiryAssist
  • Score analysis
  • ReportWatch
  • TransUnion alerts
  • Cease & desist letters
  • FICO score tracker
  • Identity theft protection
  • Personal finance tools

Lexington Law is currently pending legal action from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

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Other Companies We Considered

CreditRepair.com

Pros Cons
Simple process Zero info about their staff’s qualifications
Educational blog D on the BBB
Lack of clarity about their three plans

AMB Credit Consultants

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

Pyramid Credit Repair

Pros Cons
50% discount for couples on their first month More expensive than the industry average
No upfront fees Not available in some states
90-day money-back guarantee Sparse information
Extended customer service hours

Covid-19 and Credit Repair

CARES Act protections

Forbearance, payment deferrals or pauses will not show up on your credit report and will not 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 and can apply for mortgage forbearance.

You can obtain an extension and a forbearance of 180 days. These protections are valid until June 30, 2021.

Student loans are eligible for suspensions on loan payments, collections, defaults and interest rates are set to zero until at least September 30, 2021.

Free credit reports

Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax are offering access to a free credit report weekly through April 2021. Take advantage now to check your reports for errors and, if there are any, consider hiring services of a credit repair company to fix them.

Credit reporting errors during COVID-19

Reporting mistakes happen and deferred payments due to COVID-19 can still show up as “late payments” on your credit report, so it is important to check your report regularly. If you notice any errors, contact your lender right away. If it is not corrected, contact the credit reporting agencies to begin a dispute process.

Credit Repair Guide

What You Should Know Before You Pay for a Credit Repair Company

 

Credit repair takes time

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

 

 

Not everything can be removed

Late or missed payments, charge-offs, and debt collections can only be removed if they can be verified as inaccurate.

 

 

You have to do some of the legwork

You still have to provide credit repair agencies with information and evidence 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 companies should include a copy of the Consumer Credit File Rights.

This outlines the legal extent of your rights in the face of any credit repair company, and should be given to you before signing any agreement.

 

You have the right to cancel any services without incurring any penalties within three business days.

This right cannot incur any penalties, in compliance with the FTC’s 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.

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

At a free consultation, the company will:

  • Walk you through the credit repair process
  • Pull up your credit report from all three bureaus
  • Determine if you’d be a good candidate for a credit repair

2. Power of Attorney and Consent

If they find inaccuracies, they will:

  • Send you a document that lists possible errors for you to evaluate
  • Send you a written contract establishing a power of attorney or another form of consent

3. Challenge Items

With your legal consent, the company proceeds to challenge and clean up the inaccurate items, through letters and phone calls.

  • They will contact creditors and the three major credit bureaus.
  • Credit reporting agencies must investigate within 30 days of receiving a dispute.
  • Once the errors are confirmed, they must be removed from your credit profile.

4. Progress Report

The credit repair company will:

  • Track the progress and updates the status of each disputed item
  • Send progress report along with an updated copy of your credit report, so you can review the changes
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Difference between credit repair, debt settlement, and credit counseling

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 service fee
Resolves your debt and makes a deal to pay it off at a reduced amount Identifies and repairs mistakes on 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

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

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 if you’d rather save the money, you can remove items from your own credit report, for free. Note that while contesting errors on your report will help your bad credit, it won’t automatically get you good credit.

How to choose the right credit repair company

Look for Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) compliance

CROA establishes clear directives that legitimate credit repair companies must follow. Make sure the company you select 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 to help you, guarantees, and the total credit repair cost for their services.

You have the right to walk away without penalty if the contract does not satisfy your requirements.

Research customer reviews

Sources like Google Reviews, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Yelp are a useful starting point to gauge customer experience.

We advise you to complement your findings with further research. Some platforms charge fees in order to feature the companies and reviews are generally not verified or authenticated.

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. Turnaround time should be reasonable and the company must keep you updated with the progress.

Look for additional features

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

A free credit consultation can be particularly useful, because you can get a professional evaluation without committing to the service.

Getty; Money

Credit Repair FAQs

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. When your credit score has been improved to your satisfaction, you can discontinue the service. Additional services may include financial tools, credit monitoring and expert credit advice. On average, it takes credit repair services 6 months to get incorrect items removed from your credit report.

Are credit repair companies a scam?

Credit repair companies are legal. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) was established to provide protection to the consumer, making it illegal for credit repair companies to lie to you and charge you for services they have not provided. In addition, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to protect the consumer’s personal information and avoid identity theft or the wrongful use of personal information.

How to fix your credit?

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.

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 of the best credit repair services have been around for over ten years and have a strong reputation and 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.

Summary of Money’s Best Credit Repair Companies of 2021

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