Best Credit Repair Within 30 Days in 2021

Best Credit Repair Within 30 Days
GUIDE
Aaron Crowe
By: Aaron Crowe
Posted: March 18, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure

It can take months to improve a credit score if you have bad credit, but some credit repair companies offer the best credit repair within 30 days, which is pretty fast in the world of credit.

Why would anyone need their credit repaired that quickly?

Maybe your car broke down, and you need a car loan to buy a new vehicle so you can get to work. Or you’ve discovered that living without a credit card makes your financial life a little more difficult than it should be, and you’re tired of being turned down for a new card because your credit score is too low.

Whatever your situation, the following services can help clean your credit up quickly.

Credit Repair Services | FAQs

Best Services For Credit Repair Within 30 Days

Raising your credit score the old-fashioned way — paying bills on time and not having much debt — is the best way to do it. But that takes time you may not have right now.

Instead, you may want to try the best credit repair options within 30 days that we’ve found. All are in the business of finding incorrect or expired information in a customer’s credit history, and then working to correct or remove them from a client’s credit profile.

Here are four that we recommend:

  • 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 is the top credit repair service we recommend because of its high success rate. According to Lexington Law, its clients see an average of 10.2 negative items removed from their credit reports.

The service includes your three credit reports from each of the major credit bureaus and a personal paralegal who can give you a good idea of which accounts on your credit report can be disputed. Lexington Law’s attorneys and paralegals will start working on the best ways to address each disputable item.

  • Free consultation: 1-855-200-2393
  • Average 40-point increase in Transunion credit score during first four months
  • 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 1997 $99 9.5/10

One of the biggest advantages that CreditRepair.com has is its simple, flat-rate pricing. It charges a single monthly rate with no long-term contracts or obligations. And, after paying the one-time fee, you won’t be surprised by any hidden add-on fees.

The credit repair company says that its clients see 7% of the negative items on their credit reports removed each month. The typical client sees an average credit score increase of 40 points during four months of service. That could be enough to boost a score into the next credit tier, and open up new credit or loan offers.

Sky Blue Credit Repair is the cheapest monthly service we recommend, which may be enough for some people with bad credit to sign up. Its pricing is transparent, and no upgrades are needed for extra services such as debt validation or cease communication letters.

This credit repair firm is also known for getting quality results for its clients since it started doing business in 1989. It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has earned high marks from other rating agencies.

The Credit Assistance Network has been in business since 2004 and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. It gives customers login credentials so they can access a secure client portal to communicate, track progress, and upload documents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This repair company customizes dispute letters to your unique situation and can dispute up to 45 items. Each credit reporting agency must investigate each item by contacting the source that reported it.

How Can I Fix My Credit in 30 Days?

A credit repair company can help fix your credit in 30 days, though that may be pushing it in some situations. The more items there are to fix, the longer it can take, depending on your personal situation.

Federal law requires a credit bureau to investigate a dispute within 30 days of receiving it unless the dispute is deemed frivolous. If the dispute is legitimate, the credit reporting bureau will remove or update the items on your credit profile.

There are three credit bureaus, so this process must be repeated with each bureau where the credit report shows the same mistake.

If everything works on schedule, you could start seeing your credit score improve in 30 days. If not, expect it to take at least six weeks, if not longer. Most credit repair companies charge a monthly fee to continue the service, so the credit repair process can get expensive after a few months.

CreditRepair.com says that past members have seen an average increase of 40 points in their credit score, and have typically stayed with the company for six months.

CreditRepair.com also reminds potential customers that it offers a variety of service levels and that the strength and amount of credit repair increase with each upgrade.

How Does Credit Repair Work?

A credit repair agency works on fixing errors and questionable negative information on credit reports. If the credit bureaus can’t verify that the items are fair and accurate, they’re required to remove them.

The credit repair industry can’t guarantee that your credit will be repaired, but it can help you work to address any unfair or inaccurate negative information hurting your credit profile.

What a Credit Repair Company Does

Image courtesy of Lexington Law.

Some errors are easier to fix than others. Having a different middle name on your credit report could be a sign of identity theft or a simple error that can be easily fixed, whereas identity theft can take more time to resolve.

A late payment that’s listed on your credit report may be harder to remove. You may have to show proof, such as a bank statement, that the payment was made on time.

The credit repair process usually starts with the credit repair organization pulling your credit reports. It helps you identify items you can challenge or change, and then it starts working on disputing those items.

They may send debt validation letters to creditors, send cease and desist letters to debt collectors, and send dispute letters to each credit bureau where it finds mistakes.

Consumers usually have a few ways to keep in contact with the credit repair service during this process. CreditRepair.com has a personal online dashboard and a score tracker to see how your case is progressing and how your scores are improving. It also has mobile apps and provides text and email alerts.

Removing wrong or outdated information from your credit report is always a good idea, and finding inaccurate information is a reason why you should review your reports from each of the three main credit bureaus at least once a year. Even if you’re unsure whether an error will affect your score, you should ask to have it fixed just to be sure.

Leaving incorrect information on your reports can affect your chance to be approved for credit in the future, and result in a higher interest rate on a car or home loan. It could even prevent you from renting an apartment.

What Exactly Can Credit Repair Do For Me?

Credit repair companies can only successfully dispute items that have a reasonable cause for dispute. Frivolous disputes are often quickly rejected by the credit bureaus. Legitimate debts that can be supported by the creditors will likely be rejected by the credit bureaus, which is their legal right.

You shouldn’t expect a credit repair service to solve all of your credit problems, especially if the information on your reports is legitimate and correct. Credit repair companies can only effectively remove eligible items, including:

  • Mistakes
  • Erroneous accounts
  • Fraudulent accounts
  • Outdated information
  • Unsubstantiated items
  • Duplicate accounts

Mistakes can include everything from the misspelling of your name or the wrong address on file to accounts that don’t belong to you and unauthorized inquiries.

Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score, so the credit repair agency you hire may start by checking whether you have any late payments and if they were actually late.

Legitimate negative items can stay on credit reports for years. Eventually, they’ll fall off on their own in two to 10 years, but if they don’t come off at the expected time, you can ask that they be removed.

Time Items Can Remain on Credit Reports

To avoid a credit repair scam, don’t work with a credit repair clinic or similar agency that promises to raise your credit score. No company can completely follow through on such a promise, and none can guarantee specific improvements.

Don’t pay a credit counseling service upfront before the company does any work, and don’t work with anyone who insists that you don’t contact the credit bureau or credit reporting company on your own.

Also, avoid working with a company that advises you to dispute accurate items on your credit report, or to lie about your dispute. If a credit counselor doesn’t explain your legal rights before you sign up for services, don’t do business with the company.

How Much Does a Credit Repair Service Cost?

The credit repair companies we recommend charge from $79 to $139 per month. CreditRepair.com charges $99 per month and says its customers typically stay with it for six months. That adds up to $594 for six months of credit repair help.

The more items that need to be disputed, the longer credit repair can take. Sky Blue Credit Repair, another company we recommend, says it disputes 15 items per round. That’s five items per credit bureau, and since the bureaus have 30 days to process disputes and those five items could be the same at each of the three bureaus, it could take three months to resolve 15 errors.

And, if the bureaus dispute the errors, the credit repair company may want to redispute it again in the hopes of getting it removed.

All of this takes time and money. Sky Blue Credit Repair charges $79 per month, so three months of service costs $237. Couples can get a discounted rate of $119 per month, which adds up to $357 for three months.

The good news is credit reports are free. Credit repair companies help you get your free credit reports, and getting them won’t hurt your credit scores.

How Fast Can a Credit Repair Company Improve My Credit Score?

To start, a credit repair company can’t directly improve your credit score. It can dispute errors that can lead to negative items being removed from a credit report, but it’s not a guarantee that fixing those errors will raise a credit score.

Many factors determine a credit score, and some scoring models weigh factors differently than others.

A FICO score, which ranges from 300 to 850, is a proprietary algorithm. Payment habits and the amount of debt carried, also called credit utilization ratio, play a big part in FICO scores.

FICO Factors

But getting back to the original question, you should expect it to take at least six weeks to solve even the simplest errors on credit reports. Thirty days is possible, but expect it to take a little longer.

Another reason it can take longer than 30 days is that lenders usually report updated payment, balance, and account information to each credit bureau once a month. Depending on when you made your payment, it could take up to 30 days for it to reflect on your credit history. It could then move to your credit profile within 45 days.

What Can a Repair Service Remove From My Credit History?

As we discussed earlier, legitimate errors are the main things a credit service can help get removed from your credit history. But before we go into more detail about what else it can do, it’s important to know what credit repair can’t do for you.

What it can’t do is remove, or even promise to remove, legitimate negative entries on your credit report. Avoid such agencies because they’re telling you they can do something they can’t.

Only inaccuracies can be removed. Lying about problems on your credit report can come back to haunt you, and no legitimate repair service should ask you to lie. If they say they can remove all negative items from your report, consider it a red flag and run away.

The same goes for requiring upfront payment. Most good repair services will charge a monthly fee, but only at the end of the month when the work is done. You can then decide whether you want to continue the service and should be able to cancel it at any time.

Signs of a Bad Credit Repair Company

Image courtesy of Lexington Law.

Along with inaccurate information, credit repair companies can remove misleading, incomplete, and unverifiable data from your credit file. A repair company can ask a credit reporting bureau to verify information on your report, and if it can’t, then that information can be removed.

Some items can age off a credit report, usually after seven years. A delinquent payment, for example, should come off a credit report automatically after seven years. Your report may include information from someone else’s credit history, which can negatively affect yours.

Some of the simplest things to remove are misspellings and inaccurate home addresses, which shouldn’t affect your score much anyway. But the conflicting information between your application and credit profile can trigger an automatic denial from some automated underwriting systems.

A credit repair service can’t dispute an accurate item on your credit file, but you can try to do it yourself. If a negative item should be on your credit history, you can ask a creditor to remove it by writing a goodwill letter. The idea is to tell your story in an emotional way so a late payment, for example, is removed from your report. A one-time-only instance of being late with a payment because you misplaced a bill can be easier to forgive than payments being late every other month.

Can I Fix My Credit Reports Myself?

A goodwill letter is just one thing you can do yourself to improve your credit file. Many things you can do on your own don’t require expertise in credit repair, though you may need some basic guidance.

There’s also the question of how much your time is worth. It can take hours of work over months to resolve some credit report issues, including writing a credit dispute letter a few times if your claim is denied. You may want to leave this work to the credit repair industry and hire a credit repair service to do it for you.

You can at least start by trying credit repair on your own, and then hire a company if you’re not successful. Hiring an expert may increase your odds of success and lower the odds that you’ll have a prolonged process by refiling after a rejected dispute.

Before you can start fixing your credit report, you need to get copies of it from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each also has an online tool so you can file your own disputes, but we’ll get to that later.

Start by getting your free credit report annually from each of the three credit bureaus. It will tell you your credit score and show you what negative information, if any, you should check for errors.

You can’t dispute legitimate items on your credit file, but look for errors in these areas:

  • Credit accounts. Make sure that each credit card, loan, or other account has accurate limits, balances, and payment histories.
  • Personal information. Your name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, and employment information should all be accurate and current.
  • Review who has asked for your report to verify that you initiated each inquiry.
  • Public records. Verify data from state and county courts, and from collection agencies, for accuracy.

After finding legitimate errors, you can start filing online disputes with each credit bureau that lists the incorrect item. You’ll have to contact each bureau that has the disputed item on the credit report it gave you, which could mean filing three separate disputes.

Once filed, the credit bureau has 30 days to make a ruling. It will investigate your claim by contacting the creditor to validate your debt and checking any information you disputed. It may ask you for more information. Provide it quickly and with supporting documentation, or your claim may be denied or delayed.

The credit bureau will update your online portal with the results when its investigation is completed. The disputed items will be removed or modified immediately if your dispute is successful.

You’ll still need to check your credit file for these same errors that you thought were resolved. Some removed items could reappear on your credit history by mistake. An automated software glitch by a creditor could send the same erroneous information to the credit bureaus each month, which could put it back on your credit file.

To resolve such issues, you’ll have to refile a dispute. A credit monitoring program, such as those offered by a credit repair organization, can help with this. You’re only limited to a number of free credit reports each year, so when you’ve reached that limit, a credit monitoring program can help by detecting when an item has been added to your credit file and the repair company can help you resolve it.

All of this work can take months. Some credit repair companies recommend using their services for four to six months. You may be the type of person who wants to do this on your own, or you may prefer paying a monthly fee to have someone else do it for you.

Either way, you should at least get your free credit reports each year from the three major credit bureaus and check for mistakes on your own.

How Do I Write a Dispute Letter?

Writing a dispute letter can be done online or through the mail. If done through the mail, use certified mail so the receipt date can be verified. An easier method is using the free online portals that each of the major credit reporting agencies has:

You’ll have to register with a username and password, but that shouldn’t deter you from disputing an error online with the credit bureaus.

The online forms should be easy to fill out. If you’d rather send one via mail, the Federal Trade Commission has a sample letter it recommends using. A separate letter is required for each erroneous entry being disputed.

Why write to all three credit bureaus for the same error? Because they’re independent companies that don’t necessarily share the same information. Removing a disputed item from a credit report from Experian, for example, doesn’t mean it will be removed from Equifax or TransUnion if it appears on those credit reports also.

Keep your letter clear and simple. State only the relevant facts, and explain why you’re disputing the entry. Include copies of any relevant documents supporting your claim. Attach a recent copy of your credit report with the error highlighted and with the front page included.

If you know who provided the disputed information, send them an identical letter at the same time. Keep copies of your correspondences, along with the dates sent. All three bureaus provide dispute forms you can print, fill out, and return by mail if you don’t want to file a dispute online or don’t want to write the letter yourself.

How Does Credit Repair Differ From Debt Settlement?

You shouldn’t expect a credit repair company to help you settle your debts. Doing that on your own or with a debt settlement company could help raise a credit score. Unpaid debts can be sent to a collection agency and are part of a poor payment history, which negatively affects a credit score.

Don’t confuse debt settlement with credit repair. Resolving your debts should help raise your credit score, but a credit repair company is unlikely to settle debts for you.

Debt settlement is a process where you make regular payments to a debt settlement company that puts the money aside in a dedicated savings account. Once the balance reaches an amount that the company believes your creditor will accept, it will make an offer to the creditor to settle your debt.

How Debt Settlement Works

A collection agency or a creditor may accept less than what’s owed so it no longer has to chase the debt and try to collect the full amount. Acceptance of a debt settlement isn’t guaranteed. Creditors may ask for a higher amount or may not accept the offer at all.

Even if some of your debts are settled by a debt settlement company, you’ll still have to pay it for its services. You may be able to cut out this expensive middleman by saving the money yourself and negotiating with creditors or a collection agency yourself.

Debt settlement can hurt your credit score in some cases. Some companies may tell you to stop paying your creditors until a settlement is complete. This can help you save money toward a settlement, but it can also add delinquent accounts to your credit report, which can lead to poor credit or worsening credit.

Paying your bills won’t restore your credit. Paying an old debt doesn’t mean the negative item disappears. Instead, it’s typically listed as a paid delinquency, charge-off, or collection.

Not to go too far off topic, but while paying off an old account may still mean the negative item remains on your credit report, it could be seen by future lenders as a sign that you wanted to make good with your financial obligations.

A charged-off debt is a clerical act that a lender uses to move your debt from an active account to an inactive account after you’ve stopped making payments for several months. The lender can then write the debt off as a business loss.

The debt will be sold or transferred to a debt collector and the account will be reported to the credit bureaus as a charged-off debt. That can drop 100 points or more off your credit score.

If you go back to the creditor and pay off the charged-off debt, the creditor will likely update its information to show that the debt is paid off. Ask if it will do this before you repay the debt since the point is to improve your credit score. Paying off the debt won’t add points to your credit score, but proof that it was repaid can help you appear more responsible to future lenders.

Some lenders may agree to remove the charged-off account from your credit report if you pay the debt in full. If they give you this promise, be sure to get it in writing. You’ll still have a 90-day or longer late payment notification on your credit file, but it won’t be as bad as a charge-off.

Will Credit Repair Help Me Be Approved For a Credit Card?

If a credit repair company can improve your credit score enough, it could help you qualify for a credit card. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to be approved for credit, including a credit card.

Generally speaking, there are five tiers of a credit score. A good credit score is anything above 670.

FICO Score Tiers

The FICO score is used in 90% of all lending decisions. FICO doesn’t collect the data to determine credit scores but uses its algorithm to determine individual scores.

A credit score helps show lenders how well you pay back financial obligations. A poor score can lead to outright denial when applying for credit, or it could cause the lender to raise the interest rate to make up for the extra risk of lending money to someone who has a poor history of repaying loans. These include credit card debt, which is a type of short-term loan.

Starter credit cards can help people who have no or little credit history, such as students. There are also cards for people with fair credit, bad credit, and people who’ve had a bankruptcy or made several late payments.

Secured cards are another option for people with bad credit. They require a cash deposit as security in case a payment is missed. If it is, then the deposit can be used by the lender to pay the bill.

Many credit cards require a score of 670 or higher to qualify. If your score is close to 670, then working with a credit repair company can help you improve it enough to qualify for a credit card by having a good score. You’ll likely get a cheaper interest rate, and you may get a card with benefits such as rewards miles.

Remember that a credit repair company can’t dispute accurate things on your credit report. If a late payment, or a history of late payments, are legitimate, then there’s nothing a credit repair company can do to resolve this negative information.

What you can do, however, is work on not making late payments. Payment history makes up 35% of a FICO credit score, so late or missed payments can cause a score to fall by dozens of points. It all depends on several factors, including the amount due, how many days late the payment was made, your existing credit score and frequency of late payments, and the scope of your credit history, among other things.

The upside is that late payments hurt a credit score less after the first couple of years. The downside is that they’ll stay on a credit report for seven years, so potential creditors, landlords, and others who review your credit reports can see them long after they’ve had a major impact on your score.

Missing a due date on a credit account bill can lead to late fees and higher interest rates. Creditors can’t report your late credit card payment until it’s past due by at least 30 days. If you miss too many payments, your account may be closed.

If a late credit card payment isn’t removed from your credit report after seven years, then you should contact the credit bureaus to ask that this old information be removed.

Can a Credit Repair Company Help Resolve Identity Theft?

Identity theft is one reason to use a credit repair service, though it may not be the best reason to pay someone to review your credit reports. Credit monitoring may be sold as an add-on by some credit repair companies or it may be part of a regular monthly service plan.

However you pay for it, it’s probably not worthwhile on its own to pay for credit repair. It’s a good side benefit if it’s added.

Screenshot of Lexington Law's pricing

Some credit repair services include credit monitoring and identity protection in addition to credit repair services. Lexington Law includes it in its PremierPlus package.

Credit monitoring for identity theft and other things related to your credit report, such as more errors being found, can be a good way to see whether errors that were supposed to be corrected pop up again. Some lenders may agree to fix an error, but then maybe a computer glitch causes it to reappear in a month or so, and it needs to be caught and fixed again.

A check of your credit reports can turn up suspected identity theft. Someone may be using your name, or a version of your name, and other information to open credit cards in your name. If you see a credit card on your report that you know you didn’t open, then a thief may be using identity theft to impersonate you.

Since they’re unlikely to pay the credit card bill, your credit score will probably drop in about a month when the missed payment is reported.

Will Lower Credit Utilization Help My Credit Score More?

Your credit utilization ratio, or CUR, is the second biggest factor in determining a credit score. It’s the ratio of how much debt you have in relation to your credit limit.

CUR is calculated by dividing the outstanding balance on all of your credit cards by the credit limit on those cards. The lower your credit utilization ratio, the better it is for your credit score. A ratio of 30% or less is ideal.

For example, suppose you have three credit cards that offer you a total credit limit of $10,000. You have a $500 balance on one card, a $0 balance on another, and a $2,150 balance on the third. Your total balance of $2,650 is about 27% of the credit available to you. You’re using 27% of your available credit.

Credit Utilization Example

The lower your ratio, the higher your credit score is likely to be.

Credit utilization accounts for 30% of a FICO credit score. It’s second to payment history, which is 35%. As we noted earlier, those two are the main factors that credit repair companies can help people with.

Having low debt and not using your credit cards much, or at least paying them off completely each month without carrying a balance, can alone be enough to substantially raise your credit score substantially.

Doing that before hiring a credit repair service may be enough to boost your score so you can qualify for loans and credit offers at interest rates better than what you’re paying now.

Will Working With a Credit Repair Company Make My Bad Credit Worse?

No, it shouldn’t. Working with a credit repair company isn’t reported to the credit bureaus, so it won’t affect your credit score in that way.

As for making your credit score worse, that’s unlikely. It depends much more on what you’re doing than what the credit repair or credit counseling service is doing.

If there are a lot of legitimate missed payments on your credit reports, then there isn’t anything that credit repair can do to fix them. A credit consultant may recommend that you work to pay your bills on time and remind you that the missed payments already on your reports will have less of an impact within a few years.

If you hire a credit repair service, it should be able to help you find problems on your credit reports that can be corrected. But only if there are errors. Legitimate negative items on your credit report can’t be taken off just because you don’t like them. If real errors are found, then a service should be able to help remove them, and your bad credit score should start improving.

Your Best Options for Credit Repair in 30 Days

We’ve made four recommendations for the best credit repair within 30 days. Prices range from $79 to $139 per month.

Each service will get your current credit score and credit report from the three major credit bureaus. It will then review your credit history to see which, if any, items can be fixed, and will give you a plan of action on how it can help.

While some credit issues can be resolved in 30 days, it may take longer if you have a complicated credit history. Even if you don’t, it may take a little longer than 30 days because credit bureaus have 30 days to respond to a dispute. Some companies recommend you work with them for four to six months to resolve errors on your credit reports.

Another route is to get your credit reports on your own. You can then check for errors and contact the credit bureaus yourself to ask them to correct them. This can still take some time, which may convince you that it’s worth hiring someone to do this work for you.

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