2 Methods of Free Credit Repair + Top 5 Services for Help & Advice

2 Methods of Free Credit Repair + Top 5 Services for Help & Advice
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Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Posted: November 30, 2016
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

Many of life’s little mistakes will resolve themselves in due time; that bad haircut will grow out, and a poor fashion choice will eventually be forgotten (except when old photographs are found — and mocked — by your children).

Unfortunately, a mistake on your credit report won’t magically repair itself, and the consequences can be much worse than some unfortunate pictures. Inaccurate information on your credit report may be dragging down your score and impacting the interest rates you receive when seeking new credit.

Errors, outdated information, and even some legitimate but negative accounts may be removed from your credit report through credit repair. Whether you choose to do it yourself (DIY) with a template or software, or hire a professional, mistakes on your report should be addressed as soon as you find them.

DIY Letters | Software | Top Companies (5) | Final Tips

Method 1: Using Templates to Help Write Letters Yourself

If you have a few simple mistakes, such as a misreported balance or even an incorrect name or address, you can simply write a letter to the credit bureau to have them correct the errors. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers an easy template you can use to draft a letter describing the error, and the bureau will open an investigation to fix the issue.

As with most of the modern world, the credit bureaus have also gone digital in many ways. Instead of drafting a letter, you also have the option to file your error dispute online through the bureau websites. Our experts have put together helpful guides on disputing your credit report errors online for each of the three major bureaus.

Whether you choose to dispute via mail or online, you’ll need to include any appropriate supporting documents when you file your dispute. The specific documents you need will depend on the nature of the error but may include things such as payment records or court documents.

Method 2: Download Credit Repair Software

Alright, so this method is only kind of free; that is, there are free credit repair software options, but mostly in the form of free trials or demo versions of paid software. The full version will likely cost between $50 and $300, or more, depending on the features it has. That said, the cost of credit repair software is still generally less money than hiring a professional credit repair company to handle the process.

The best program for you will depend largely on the state of your credit report and the nature of your disputes. The more advanced software options will have more bells and whistles, and may include things like credit report analysis and calendar alerts. Try our experts’ top 16 picks for credit repair software to get started on your software search.

The 5 Best Companies for Assistance

For anyone who has struggled with credit repair, or who simply feels more comfortable letting a professional handle the process, a credit repair company can be a great option. Pick a company with a solid reputation and transparent pricing to make sure you’re in good hands. Our experts have picked their top five companies below.

  • Toll-free number: 1-855-200-2394
  • Reporting clients see 85% of negative items removed
  • More than 3.3 million item deletions last year
  • No contracts
  • Free credit score summary provided
  • Phone support from licensed paralegals 7 days a week
  • More than 500,000 clients served since 1991
  • Click here for sign-up form, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Better Business Bureau In Business Since Monthly Cost Reputation Score
A- 1991 $79 - $99 10/10
  • Toll-free number: 1-855-200-2393
  • Three-step plan for checking, challenging and changing your credit report
  • Over 15 years of experience in credit repair
  • Registered with the Department of Justice
  • Online tools to help clients track results
  • Click here for sign-up form, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.0

Overall Rating

Better Business Bureau In Business Since Monthly Cost Reputation Score
A+ 1997 $99 9.5/10
  • Toll-free consultation: 1-855-393-3667
  • Unlimited disputes of credit report items
  • Costs $89 for initial work, then $49-$69 monthly to continue
  • Cancel anytime
  • Professional advisor assigned to each case
  • Essentials Plus also sends validation, goodwill, and recommendation letters to creditors
  • Click here for sign-up form, terms, and details.
 
★★★★

3.8

Overall Rating

Better Business Bureau In Business Since Monthly Cost Reputation Score
A+ 2004 $49 - $69 8.5/10

While some companies may guarantee satisfaction with their service, the credit repair process is never a guarantee, so be wary of any companies that promise the successful removal of negative accounts.

A Few Final Tips for Free Credit Repair

The success you see using free credit repair techniques to fix your credit report will depend on your personal situation. For simpler errors or disputes, DIY should be all you need. The more complex your problem, the more likely you are to benefit from getting a little outside help.

Either way, the most important tip for any type of credit repair is Be Patient. Your credit report errors can be fixed — but they’re not going to go away overnight. Just as those bangs you wish you’d never gotten took months to grow back out, your credit repair process may take weeks — or months — to show results.