Best Credit Improvement Services of 2021

Best Credit Improvement Services
GUIDE
Adam West
By: Adam West
Posted: April 12, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure

We’ve spent a lot of time researching the best credit improvement services and found that there are a lot of differences separating the various companies — from both a cost and effectiveness standpoint.

That’s why we put together this comprehensive list that ranks each top credit repair agency. Not only did we compare the overall cost to the service you’ll receive, but we also weighed factors such as service tiers, customer service, and perks such as FICO score monitoring.

If you’ve decided it’s time to take control of your bad credit history, we have all of the information you need to make an informed decision on the best credit repair firm for you.

Top 3 Services | More to Consider | FAQs

Top 3 Recommended Credit Improvement Services

Something to consider when choosing a credit repair firm to work with is who will handle your account. Some companies will hire anyone off the street to file credit reporting bureau disputes and answer customer questions about the credit repair process.

Our top-rated firms will assign a credit expert to your case who is trained in getting the most out of each credit dispute they file. In the case of Lexington Law, our top-rated credit repair company, you will work with a lawyer or paralegal who specializes in credit repair and the laws surrounding the field.

  • Free consultation: 1-855-200-2394
  • Most results of any credit repair law firm
  • Clients saw over 9 million negative items removed from their credit reports in 2016
  • More than 500,000 credit repair clients helped since 2004
  • Cancel anytime
  • Click here for sign-up, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.9

Overall Rating

Better Business Bureau In Business Since Monthly Cost Reputation Score
See BBB Listing 2004 $89.95 10/10

Lexington Law has helped consumers eliminate more than 10 million negative items from their credit reports. If that number isn’t impressive enough, the credit repair service also has a long-standing working relationship with each credit bureau — which means your case will be handled quickly and effectively.

Lexington Law’s services are all handled by trained lawyers and paralegals, with three service tiers that scale the cost of service based on your needs. The agency states that its average customer can see a dramatic improvement to their bad credit score within six months.

  • Free consultation: 1-855-200-2393
  • Helped with over 7.5 million removals on members' behalf since 2012
  • Free access to your credit report summary
  • Three-step plan for checking, challenging and changing your credit report
  • Online tools to help clients track results
  • Click here for sign-up, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.5

Overall Rating

Better Business Bureau In Business Since Monthly Cost Reputation Score
See BBB Listing 2012 $99 9.5/10

CreditRepair.com was a forerunner in the online credit repair business and has filed more than 19 million credit report disputes since 1997. That type of history and record of success shows that you’re dealing with a legitimate credit restoration business.

All prospective clients receive a free consultation where you’ll go over your credit profile with a credit expert and discuss what the company’s services can do for you. If you decide to sign up for one of CreditRepair.com’s multiple service tiers, the company will begin working to improve your FICO score right away.

Sky Blue Credit Repair has a long history that dates back to the 1980s and backs its history and reputation with a 100% money-back guarantee within 90 days if you’re not satisfied for any reason. And since the company offers only one, all-encompassing service tier, you don’t have to worry about missing out on certain services.

The company is so sure of its effectiveness that it states that many clients see a change in their credit score in as little as one month. You can also cancel or pause your membership at any time.

More Credit Improvement Services to Consider

Whether you want a DIY solution or a full-service company to handle your disputes, the following companies are all viable options to consider:

With the Credit Assistance Network, you can go well beyond a basic credit repair service. This company offers a gamut of services, including security clearance assistance, identity theft resolution, settlement offer assistance, credit monitoring, and one-on-one credit counseling.

What sets this service apart is that its credit experts will manually draft up to 45 dispute letters on your behalf each cycle. That’s unlike many other services that use preformatted forms to engage each credit reporting company.

5. Ovation Credit Repair

Ovation Credit RepairOvation Credit Repair offers two service levels that each require an $89 account setup fee, followed by a monthly subscription fee that ranges between $79 and $109 each month depending on the tier.

The premium service tier includes all of the credit dispute services you’d expect and also adds credit monitoring, unlimited creditor goodwill letters, unlimited challenge validation letters, and an official recommendation letter.

6. Credit Versio

Credit Versio LogoWith Credit Versio, you can purchase licensing rights to a software package that enables you to repair your own credit. This service is especially handy if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to pay someone to work on your behalf.

The software will walk you through the process of filing disputes and tracking your credit report updates. It won’t include any one-on-one customer service, though. If you have questions about credit restoration, you’ll have to search for your answers through the company’s prerecorded video modules.

7. Pyramid Credit Repair

Pyramid Credit RepairPyramid Credit Repair has more than a decade of experience in working with consumers to remove improper late payment, credit card debt, or payment history reports from their credit reporting.

For $99 per month, you’ll work with a credit counseling rep who will help you identify any problematic items on your credit report that you can challenge together. According to Pyramid, the average client sees results within 45 days.

8. Credit Firm

Credit Firm LogoCredit Firm is a credit repair company that partners with licensed attorneys who provide oversight on your credit account and all of the actions taken on your behalf. With more than 60,000 customers served in all 50 states — and a service tier that costs less than $50 per month — it’s one of the least expensive services on this list.

Following your free consultation, Credit Firm’s credit counselors will begin drafting any necessary debt validation, goodwill interventions, and cease and desist letters on your behalf. A licensed attorney will audit all these letters, as well as any dispute letters sent to a credit reporting agency.

9. Credit Saint

Credit Saint LogoCredit Saint claims that it’s the top-ranked credit repair company in challenging inaccurate credit data. The company provides three service tiers that all require an initial set-up fee of between $99 and $195. The tiers range from $80 to $120 each month and include a 90-day money-back guarantee if the company cannot create a positive impact on your credit report.

Every service tier includes a dedicated online credit account page that gives you a timeline, progress report, and analysis of the work done on your behalf.

10. Credit Glory

Credit GloryCredit Glory sets itself apart with a 90-day money-back guarantee, an A+ rating from the BBB, and around-the-clock customer service. The company’s all-encompassing service tier costs $99 per month after a one-time $199 review and setup fee and includes a range of dispute services.

The company also offers services for victims of identity theft, disputing each fraudulent inquiry for $79 each or unlimited inquiries for $799.

11. Pinnacle Credit Repair

Pinnacle Credit RepairPinnacle Credit Repair claims that it runs the most aggressive program in the credit repair industry. Each of its two service levels requires a $199 setup fee and will work to dispute errors and omissions on your three credit reports.

You’ll also receive access to a credit counselor who provides credit education and support for lender approval. Pinnacle also provides support services for consumers who wish to tackle their own credit repair — including a dedicated customer service line to get the answers to any questions you may have.

12. AMB Credit Consultants

AMB Credit ConsultantsAMB Credit Consultants prides itself on not only being a top-notch credit repair agency but also for being an educator that works to help its clients learn how to make the best credit decisions for their future. The service costs $99 per month after a one-time $149 setup fee.

Just be aware that AMB credit consultants do not offer a free credit consultation, and you’ll have to pay an extra $25 per month for third-party credit monitoring. But despite charging higher-than-average fees, the company has excellent customer feedback.

13. The Credit People

The Credit PeopleThe Credit People claims to have removed more than 1.5 credit report inaccuracies in its more than 15 years in business. It also affirms that its average client sees a credit score improvement of between 53 and 187 points. That’s a pretty noticeable improvement.

The service starts with a $19 fee for your three credit reports and then a monthly subscription fee of $79. You can also opt for a six-month flat-rate membership for $419. The service provides unlimited disputes, debt and inquiry validation, creditor communication, free credit reports and scores, and a money-back satisfaction guarantee.

14. The Credit Pros

The Credit ProsWith The Credit Pros, you can gain access to a technology firm that’s dedicated itself to educating consumers on how to avoid repeating past financial mistakes. After a free consultation, you can opt to join one of the company’s service tiers that cost between $69 and $149 per month.

This credit repair agency maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and manages a safe and secure website that will keep your personal information far away from malicious hackers.

15. MSI Credit Solutions

MSI Credit SolutionsMSI Credit Solutions provides free consultations and works to create a path that helps clients improve their credit score while teaching them ways to maintain good credit after the service ends.

New clients can choose to pay $98 per month after a free consultation to start their service. You can also create a couples account for $69 per person. The dual enrollment option customizes a unique credit repair plan for each member and doesn’t repeat the same service for both enrollees.

What is Credit Repair?

Credit repair is a process in which a consumer — or a hired company — disputes inaccurately reported items on a credit report to repair and restore the consumer’s credit score.

The key to this process is that a credit repair company can only dispute inaccurate items on a client’s credit file. Any accurately reported items must stay on the consumer’s credit history until they age off — which can take between two and 10 years depending on the type of item.

Disputable inaccuracies can include:

  • Misspelling of the consumer’s name
  • An incorrect address
  • An incorrect Social Security number
  • Old items that should have aged off but remain on your credit report
  • Inaccurate late payment or balance reports
  • Items that were re-reported after being previously removed
  • Incorrect reporting of your credit limit or interest rate

You can begin this process by submitting a 609 letter to each credit bureau that lists the inaccuracies. Remember that there are three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You must file a unique dispute with each credit bureau that lists the item in question.

You can also dispute inquiries on your credit report and even dispute and remove charge-offs reported under your name.

Each credit bureau will allow you to file a dispute electronically through its website. After you file a dispute, the credit bureau has up to 45 days to investigate and rule on the complaint. During that time, you may receive updates through the account dashboard the credit bureau creates for you.

During the investigation, you may have to supply documentation to support your claim.

If you don’t have the know-how, or the time, to conduct this process on your own, you can hire a reputable credit repair agency to do the work for you. Our top-rated credit repair services all partner with credit experts, attorneys, and paralegals who work on your case and leverage working relationships with the credit bureaus to get things accomplished quickly.

Many services will also offer credit monitoring, credit counseling, creditor goodwill letters, challenge validation letters, and other expertly crafted services.

A credit repair service will typically charge a monthly fee for the duration of your service. Some may also add an account setup fee. Most will offer a free consultation before you create an account. You will meet virtually or over the phone with a credit counselor to go over your credit report and see if you can challenge any items.

The amount of time it takes to complete your credit repair task will depend on the number and type of items you need to dispute. Since it can take up to 45 days to rule on a single dispute, you should plan on a minimum of two months worth of service to complete your task.

Many services limit how many disputes they will file on your behalf each month, which can extend the overall process. According to our top-rated credit repair service, Lexington Law, the average client typically sees 10.2 items, or 24% of their representing negatives, removed within four months.

You should continue to monitor your credit report even after a credit reporting company removes an item from your profile. At times, a lender will have information set to auto-report each month. That means that the negative item may be reported again to each credit bureau and appear on your credit profile after it’s been removed.

If that happens, you’ll need to dispute the item again and send a cease and desist letter to the reporting lender.

What Does a Credit Repair Company Do?

A credit repair company will work on your behalf to petition for the removal of any inaccurately reported items on your credit report. This could happen through a simple dispute letter sent to each credit bureau or it could escalate to sending legal documentation, such as a cease-and-desist notice, to the lender that is inaccurately reporting data under your name.

What a Credit Repair Company Does

Image courtesy of Lexington Law.

There are times in which a credit repair service can attempt to remove accurately reported items on your credit report. This can include sending goodwill letters to request the removal of a late payment or debt settlement.

While these actions aren’t guaranteed to remove the item, the top credit repair firms have positive working relationships with many lenders, which may work in your favor. The goal is to create credit improvement by removing negative items that weigh down your credit score.

Some credit repair firms also offer added services on top of the typical dispute and credit restoration tasks. This can include credit monitoring, which alerts you when there’s a change to your credit score. You may also qualify to meet with a credit counseling agency that can help create a plan to eliminate debt through debt consolidation which can improve your credit utilization and stop unwanted calls from debt collectors.

A good credit counseling agency can also help you identify ways to improve your business credit if you’re an entrepreneur and want to get a leg up on the competition.

Many credit repair services also offer educational modules at no extra charge that help clients understand and learn the best practices for maintaining a good credit score. This includes explanations on important financial terms, ways to set a budget, and methods to keep your bills paid on time so you don’t have to encounter future credit score problems.

If you’re a victim of identity theft, most credit repair agencies can provide services to remove negative items reported through your violation of privacy. This can help to restore your credit and monitor future changes in case it happens again.

Is Credit Repair Guaranteed to Improve My Credit Score?

No credit repair service can guarantee certain results or improvements if you sign up. If you encounter a company that makes this type of guarantee, it may be a sign of a credit repair scam, and you should avoid that service.

A credit repair service can file disputes on your behalf and petition each credit bureau to remove inaccuracies from your credit report. In most cases, these disputes are an effective way to have the items removed — but they aren’t guaranteed to work.

When you or a credit repair service files a dispute under your name, the credit bureau takes the submitted information and begins an investigation into the matter. This includes contacting the debtholder that reported the information. This process can take up to 30 days and may require you to submit documentation that supports your claim.

At the end of the investigation, the credit bureau will either rule in your favor or judge that the item is accurate and must remain on your credit score. Since a credit repair service has no say in the judgment, it can’t guarantee a specific outcome.

If the credit bureau rules in the favor of the lender, you can collect more supporting documentation and refile the dispute — which will trigger another investigation.

A credit repair agency can also send goodwill letters to lenders on your behalf that request the removal of previous late payments, collections, or other negative items. The removal of each item is completely up to the lender. A credit repair service can’t guarantee these removals unless it has some sort of deal with the lender. If so, that touches on a gray area that may not be legal.

How Much Does Credit Repair Cost?

Every company in the credit repair industry sets its own prices. That means you could pay as little as $50 per month or as much as $150 per month for your account.

The wide range in prices reflects the various add-on services or the level of expertise that your account will provide. For example, one service may hire consumers off the street to file credit disputes on your behalf. Another may work solely with credit lawyers and paralegals who provide a greater level of expertise to your account management.

Screenshot of Lexington Law's pricing

Lexington Law charges between $89.95 and $129.95 per month for its services.

Just about every credit repair service charges a monthly fee to maintain your account. That’s because every case is different and will require a varying amount of time to complete.

For example, a consumer who needs only a few items disputed may require only two months of service, whereas someone who is the victim of identity theft may need a year or more to complete the process.

Some services may also charge a one-time account setup fee that can range between $99 and $175 to activate your account. This fee is unavoidable, and you must pay it before the company will begin working on your disputes.

Before setting up your account, a credit repair service may also require a consultation to go over your credit report and decide if you’re a good candidate for credit repair. While most companies will provide this consultation without a fee, others may charge for the meeting.

A few services, namely Sky Blue Credit Repair, The Credit People, Credit Glory, and Credit Saint, offer a 90-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied for any reason within that time frame.

In most cases, you must maintain an account with on-time payments for the entire 90-day period to qualify. If the company’s work creates any change to your credit report during that time, you won’t qualify for the money-back guarantee.

The total cost of your credit repair process will depend on how long you maintain your account. More on that in the next question below.

How Long Does Credit Repair Take?

The length of time you’ll need to complete your credit repair can vary between two months and one year and will depend greatly on the number and type of items you want to remove.

Each dispute and petition to remove an inaccurate item on your credit report can take between 30 and 45 days to complete. During this time, the credit bureau that receives your dispute will investigate the matter before making a judgment.

You can file multiple disputes at one time, which can shorten the overall time you’ll need to wait for dispute decisions.

Most credit repair services limit how many disputes they will file for you each month. This is one way the company elongates the service to maximize its profits.

For example, let’s say that a credit repair service limits you to 20 disputes each month. If a single negative item appears on all three credit bureau reports, you’ll have to file a unique dispute with each bureau — that means you’ll use three of your 20 disputes for that single item.

If you have several items to dispute, you could easily use up your 20 disputes and have to wait for another month before you can continue the process with a new batch of items.

In some cases, you may start to see a change to your credit report within one month. Most services, though, suggest you wait at least four to six months to see a more dramatic change in your credit score.

Keep this in mind when budgeting for your credit repair service. While most companies charge a monthly fee for access to their credit experts and disputing services, few will give you any details of how long you should expect to maintain your account.

That’s partially because credit repair is a fluid process. Investigations can wrap up quickly or take the entire 30 days to complete. You could ease through the process or have to provide further documentation to support your dispute. There’s no way to tell just how long the process will take and what it will require from you.

How Can I Avoid a Credit Repair Scam?

Several legitimate credit repair services are available to consumers. Unfortunately, the increase in credit repair scams has given these good companies a challenge upholding their reputations.

If you’re researching the best credit improvement services (and you likely are if you’ve read this far), here are some red flags to look out for to avoid becoming a credit repair statistic:

  • Companies that require payment in full and upfront: If a company says that you have to pay for the entire service before it’ll start the work, you’re likely setting yourself up for a disappointment — and a big loss.
  • Companies that guarantee results: As we touched on earlier, no credit repair service can guarantee any results. The only guarantee is that the company will perform its service. The outcome is entirely up to the credit bureau.
  • Companies that claim they can wipe your credit report completely: It’s impossible to hit refresh on your credit history and start over. If a company claims it can do that for you, it’s not telling the truth.
  • Companies that don’t provide customer service: If a service can’t answer your calls and questions, it’s likely hiding something.
  • Companies that ask you to lie: If a service asks you to report an item as inaccurate when you know it’s accurate, you’re likely dealing with a scam.

If a service seems too good to be true, it likely is. Don’t expect a miracle when you enter into an agreement with a credit repair service. There are many moving parts when it comes to removing items from your credit report. There isn’t a single entity that can guarantee it can control every facet of the process.

If you feel like you may be the victim of a credit repair scam, or if a company is offering you more than you think is legally possible, you can submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The latter is co-sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

What Should I Look For in a Credit Repair Service?

Most consumers immediately look at the cost of a credit repair service when comparing different options. While you should certainly consider your budget when paying for any type of goods or services, other factors come into play when weighing your credit repair options.

After all, just like you wouldn’t hire a plumber to perform your root canal, you don’t want an untrained employee handling your credit disputes. Here are some things to look for in a credit repair company:

  • Who’s doing the work? Does the company hire someone off the street or will your account go to a trained expert?
  • What extras do you get? Aside from the basic credit bureau disputes, do you get access to a credit counselor, credit score monitoring, educational modules, or other perks?
  • What’s the cost? Compare the overall cost to the provided services. You should expect to pay more if you’re working with a lawyer or paralegal. Added services are going to raise the price.
  • What tier do you need? Many credit repair services offer multiple service tiers to choose from. There’s no need to pay extra for a tier that’s full of services you don’t need. Choose wisely.
  • How many disputes do you get? Credit repair firms make money by making sure you maintain your account for multiple months. To achieve this, they’ll often limit how many disputes they’ll file on your behalf each month. Make sure you aren’t shorting yourself or you could end up extending your account longer than you think.
  • What are they promising you? A credit repair company that promises you certain results or a set time as to when they will achieve results isn’t being realistic. Avoid a service that promises you the moon and the stars.
  • Do they offer a free consultation? Many services offer a free consultation before you sign up. Take advantage of that time to learn how the company operates and ask any questions you may have.

Ask as many questions as you can when talking to a customer representative. If the rep isn’t willing to answer them or tries to rush you into a decision, you’re likely not talking to the right company.

As with most things in life, trust your gut when choosing a credit repair company to work with. If something feels too good to be true, it likely is.

Is Credit Repair Worth the Cost?

Credit repair is worth the cost if you don’t have the time, patience, or know-how to do it yourself. You can always attempt to perform your own credit repair, but it does take time and at least a rudimentary knowledge of how credit works.

Many people prefer to leave this task to the professionals. By doing so, you can trust that your disputes are filed properly and you won’t have to worry about refiling a dispute due to errors.

This set-it-and-forget-it method of credit repair also gives you the time to do the things you need to do and won’t clog up your schedule with completing tasks related to dispute follow-ups and letters.

Depending on the service you choose to hire, you may also have access to credit lawyers and paralegals who can send official letters and notifications that tend to get the attention of creditors. That type of advocate alone is worth the cost of the service if you have a substantial amount of work to accomplish to get your credit on track.

How Can I Wipe My Credit Clean?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely wipe your credit report clean, other than waiting for negative items to age off your report.

Credit repair can only petition to remove inaccurately reported information on your credit profile. If the negative data that’s weighing down your credit score is accurate, you’ll most likely have to wait for it to age out while you replace it with new, positive data.

As data on your credit report ages, it loses its impact on your credit score. For example, a late payment from two months ago affects your credit score far more than a late payment from two years ago.

Over time, data will age off your credit report. The time it takes for that to happen will depend on the type of data you’re looking to get rid of. Here’s an idea of how long certain information will live on your credit report:

  • Closed accounts in good standing: 10 years
  • Late or missed payments: 7 years
  • Collection accounts: 7 years
  • Charge-offs: 7 years
  • Student loan default: 7 years
  • Foreclosure: 7 years
  • Lawsuits or judgments: 7 years
  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy 10 years
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy 7 years
  • Credit Inquiries 2 years
  • Open accounts in good standing: Indefinitely

If you’re still in the early stages of waiting out one of these items, you’re best served by keeping balances low on your existing debt and paying all of your bills on time. Maximize the amount of good data lenders add to your credit history to help outweigh the negative information that’s holding you back.

Can I Repair My Own Credit?

Many people choose to repair their own credit to save money or gain the experience of taking care of their own financial issues.

While the process can be time-consuming, you could learn a lot from filing your own disputes and studying more about how credit scores work.

The first step to tackling your credit repair mission is to access your free annual credit report. This report won’t show your actual credit score (you have to pay for that), but it will provide you with access to all of the information that’s used to calculate your credit score.

Study this report to find any information that may be inaccurate. Pay close attention to details, such as the spelling of your name, address, Social Security number, and other personally identifying information.

How to Check Credit Reports

Look for negative information, including late payments, charge-offs, and collections accounts. Make sure your balances are reported correctly and that your current credit limits on credit card and revolving loan accounts are accurate.

Remember that lenders typically only report balance and payment history to credit bureaus once per month, so the information may not be completely accurate as of the time you pull your credit report.

If you see any inaccuracies, you can begin a dispute right away. Keep in mind that there are three major credit bureaus, and you’ll have to file a separate dispute with each bureau for every item. That means you’ll file as many as three disputes for every item.

Thankfully, each credit bureau makes it easy to file and follow up with disputes through its website. You can create an account and start filing disputes through the links below:

Once you file a dispute, the credit bureau will initiate an investigation that includes contacting the lender that reported the information. This can take between 30 and 45 days to complete and you won’t see any credit score impact during that time.

Occasionally, the credit bureau may contact you to request further documentation to support your claim. You’ll receive an email from the credit bureau with the information it needs. Typically, you can upload these documents through your account portal on the bureau’s website.

Your portal will update with the results once the investigation is complete. If the bureau doesn’t rule in your favor, you can collect further documentation and attempt to refile the dispute.

Does Lexington Law Hurt Your Credit?

Hiring a company such as Lexington Law to help repair your credit will not harm your credit score. In fact, there will be no mention of the company on your credit report at all.

At worst, hiring a credit repair company will bring about no change to your credit score. At best, you’ll see a credit score improvement within a few months, which is the common result.

  • Free consultation: 1-855-200-2394
  • Most results of any credit repair law firm
  • Clients saw over 9 million negative items removed from their credit reports in 2016
  • More than 500,000 credit repair clients helped since 2004
  • Cancel anytime
  • Click here for sign-up, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.9

Overall Rating

Better Business Bureau In Business Since Monthly Cost Reputation Score
See BBB Listing 2004 $89.95 10/10

Lexington Law petitions credit bureaus to remove inaccuracies from your credit report. These disputes don’t show up on your credit report. There’s no way of knowing you’ve hired a credit repair company.

Each credit bureau will investigate every dispute Lexington Law files for you. If the bureau rules in your favor, the information will disappear from your credit history and your credit score will likely improve. If the bureau rules against you, the information will stay and your credit score will not change.

There’s no penalty for losing a credit report dispute. Your credit score will not take a hit after an investigation, and hiring a credit repair company will not lower your credit score.

Many credit repair services offer a 90-day money-back guarantee if the company isn’t able to improve your credit report within that time. This limits your risk and gives you peace of mind that you’ll either see credit improvement or you’ll get your money back.

What is the Fastest Way to Build Credit?

The fastest way to build credit is to eliminate high balances, pay all of your monthly payments on time, and keep track of any changes made to your credit report.

Your FICO score is calculated using many different pieces of data in your credit report. You can control some of those credit score factors while others simply require time and patience. Your credit score factors include:

  • Payment history (35%): When you make on-time payments, you boost the most important aspect of your credit score. On-time payments knock previous late payments further down your credit report, which lessens their impact on your credit score.
  • Amounts owed (30%): If you have high credit card or loan balances, they will negatively affect your credit score. If you can quickly pay down your balances, you will likely see an increase in your credit score the next time your balances are reported to the bureaus.
  • Length of credit history (15%): The longer you maintain successful financial relationships, the more your score will benefit. There’s no cheat code for this. You simply have to give it time.
  • Credit mix (10%): Lenders like to see that you can handle several types of credit. This can include a personal loan, a credit card, an auto loan, a mortgage, a student loan, and other types of debt. While a diverse mix is good, don’t increase your debt load just to improve your credit mix. Let it happen naturally.
  • New credit (10%): Applying for credit is fine. But if you submit several applications for credit in a short period of time, it can raise a red flag to lenders and lower your credit score.

While you may be in a hurry to get a loan or make a large purchase, there’s no way to rig the system to create a massive credit score increase within a short period. You’ll need patience and discipline to create real change that sticks.

But if you have several inaccuracies on your credit report — or you were the victim of identity theft — you may find that aligning with a good credit repair service can help you clean up your credit history and get your credit score back to where it should be.

Can Credit Repair Remove Charge-Offs?

In some instances, you or a credit repair agency can negotiate for the removal (or reclassification) of a charge-off by paying off the delinquent debt.

Lenders report late payments to each credit bureau in different stages. Payments can be reported as 30 days late, 60 days late, 90 days late, and 120 or more days late. The longer you go without making a payment, the greater the impact it has on your credit score.

A creditor will likely hold your debt and make attempts to collect on it until it reaches the 180-day late mark. At that point, the debt typically is removed from the lender’s books and reclassified as “charged off.” This is a mostly clerical move that allows the debt to move over to the bad debt file for tax purposes.

This is also the time when most lenders will transfer or sell the debt to a collection agency. Your credit score can decrease by as many as 120 points when a lender adds a charge-off to your credit profile.

If you simply pay the debt, the charge-off will remain on your credit file but will show as “paid in full” on your credit report. You’ll still incur the damage to your credit score if the debt is paid.

In some cases, though, you or a credit repair agency can contact your creditor and negotiate a pay for delete deal. In this deal, you’ll pay all or part of the outstanding debt, and the lender will agree to remove the negative item from your credit history.

In some cases, the lender may agree to simply change the classification of your debt from charged off to paid in full. This will restore the points you lost when the charge-off was added to your credit report.

This isn’t a guaranteed strategy. Some lenders will not agree to this type of deal because it falls in a gray area of legality. Many large credit repair agencies have long-standing relationships with major lenders that make it easier to negotiate such deals.

Just keep in mind that the deal will hinge on your paying the debt off. There’s likely no way to remove a valid charge-off from your credit report without repaying at least some of the outstanding debt.

How Long Does it Take to See Results From Lexington Law?

The time it will take for Lexington Law to improve your credit score will depend on the number and type of items you’re trying to remove.

For instance, a few minor inaccuracies on your credit report could take one to two months to remove. But if you have several items to dispute, or if you’re attempting to negotiate the removal of accurate items, the process may take several months.

According to Lexington Law, “Our clients have seen impressive credit report results, with an average of 10.2 items, or 24% of their representing negatives, removed within four months.”

Screenshot of Lexington Law's Website

The average Lexington Law client uses its service for six months.

There are no guarantees in the credit repair world. When Lexington Law files a dispute on your behalf, it must wait for the credit bureau to investigate the claim. The credit bureau will seek information from the lender, which then shifts your reliance on the lender’s response time.

A single investigation can take up to 30 days to resolve. But you can file multiple disputes at a time, which means you don’t have to wait for one to end before you can file the next.

Even still, you could find yourself waiting four to six months to resolve a large batch of disputes. And if Lexington Law sends goodwill letters on your behalf, or attempts to negotiate a pay for delete with a collection agency, the time could extend even further.

To be safe, we recommend budgeting for at least six months of service to see your credit repair journey through.

Research the Best Credit Improvement Services Online

A good credit repair service will help you remove inaccurate items from your credit report. This can increase your credit score and help you qualify for the personal loan or credit card you need.

But the best credit improvement services will work to remove those items while helping you monitor changes to your credit score. They will also provide credit counseling services that help you manage your debt and show you how to avoid future financial mistakes.

The difference between a good credit repair service and the best credit repair services can mean substantial savings over your lifetime. That’s why it’s important to hire a top-shelf credit repair service once you’re ready to take control of your credit score.

Doing so will expedite your credit repair journey in the short term and give you knowledge and peace of mind in the long term that will be worth far more than the cost of the service.

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