Services for Raising Your Credit Score in 2021

Services For Raising Your Credit Score
GUIDE
Adam West
By: Adam West
Posted: November 16, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

Many services for raising your credit score promise you the moon and the stars and end up giving you little more than a bill. You won’t find those companies on our list for the best services for raising your credit score below.

Instead, we review the companies that have a long and successful history of helping consumers get their credit history back to where it should be. We also review promising and affordable up-and-coming service providers. While the credit repair process will take some patience along the way, it can help create a smooth path toward the financial future you’re working hard to create.

And, contrary to popular belief, it may not cost you as much as you are expecting. Let’s dive into the top services for raising your score with DIY tips and answers to common questions.

1. Credit Repair  | 2. Experian Boost | 3. Apps
Tips | FAQs

1. Credit Repair Services

A good credit repair company will not promise to remove all of the negative items on your credit report. Instead, these companies can help you determine if you have any negative items that do not belong on your credit report.

These can be items that should have aged off your reports or other information that is otherwise inaccurate or reported incorrectly.

These credit repair services can then work on your behalf to dispute those items with each credit bureau that lists them. You may see significant credit score improvements in as little as one month if those items are removed.

  • 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 partners with several lawyers and paralegals around the country who work on your behalf to remove inaccuracies from your credit history. And, since they are experts in tax law, they know how to get things done quickly.

During your free consultation, you will meet with a Lexington Law credit repair expert who will walk you through your credit report and come up with a game plan on how to increase your score. If you decide to proceed with the service, you can spend as little as $89.95 per month to get a lawyer working on your case.

  • 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

The team at CreditRepair.Com lives up to its name by working on behalf of its clients. That work has resulted in the removal of more than 1.8 million negative items since 2012 and more than 1 million intervention letters sent in 2019 alone.

Goodwill intervention letters are a key component to credit repair, as they appeal to creditors to remove legitimate items — such as late payments — from your credit report.

Sky Blue Credit Repair® does not provide multiple service tiers at various price points. Instead, you will get the company’s entire efforts for $79 per month — with a six-day trial period and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

The service includes a free consultation and up to 15 disputes (five per credit bureau) every 35 days. You can also file redisputes if you do not achieve your desired results the first time.

A good credit repair service will understand your needs and help you achieve your goals in as little time as possible. But do not fall for empty promises from a company that says it will remove all of your negatives and give you a clean credit history. That simply is not possible.

Instead, consider the companies listed above — each of which has a long track record of success and has provided decades of combined experience in helping its clients improve their credit scores the right way.

2. Experian Boost

Not everyone is a perfect fit for credit repair services. Since these companies can only legally remove incorrect or illegitimate items from your credit report, you may find the service useless if all of your negative items are legitimate, e.g., you really did pay that bill late.

If that is the case, you may want to consider using Experian Boost. With your permission, Experian Boost accesses your online checking account records and uses your on-time payments for non-traditional accounts to boost your credit rating.

While your credit score typically takes into account your monthly payment history for loans, credit cards, mortgages, and other banking products, it doesn’t consider regular monthly payments such as rent, utilities, Netflix, or cellphone service.

Experian Boost Screenshot

The average Experian Boost user sees a 13-point increase to their Experian FICO Score.

You could improve your credit score in a matter of minutes by adding these on-time payments to your credit history. In fact, the average user improves their Experian FICO Score by 13 points — and the service is free.

The lone downside to this service is that you will only boost your Experian credit score. Lenders may use a different credit bureau to make a loan application decision. There are three major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax — and there is generally no way to tell which bureau a lender will use before you submit an application unless you ask.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to improve one of your scores, even if a lender won’t use it to make a loan decision.

3. Credit Repair Apps

Mobile applications have taken over just about every facet of our life — including credit repair.

Several app-based services for raising your credit score provide a do-it-yourself interface that allows you to take control of your credit-rebuilding mission.

Perhaps the most popular of the bunch is Credit Versio, which allows you to link your credit report to the app to start the process. After the link, the Credit Versio smart system will scan all of the details of your credit history and make suggestions on items that you may be able to dispute.

If you decide to move forward with the dispute, the app will give you details on how to file the complaint electronically or by mail (some credit bureau services are still only accessible through traditional mail). Credit Versio’s pricing is cheaper than a traditional credit repair service, ranging from $19.95 to $29.95 per month.

Credit Versio Pricing

Credit Versio starts at $19.95 per month.

And while these services have their upsides, they do require at least some background knowledge on credit reporting. That’s because these services only provide access to a mobile application and some online tutorials.

You may be out of luck if you’re looking for a customer service agent or someone who can answer questions about the dispute process. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, it may take longer for you to see the results you desire.

Other Tips and Tricks for Raising Your Credit Score

Five factors come into play when calculating your credit score — including your payment history, total amounts owed, the length of your credit history, the number and types of accounts you have, and new credit accounts.

FICO Credit Score Factors

Understanding these factors can make it a little bit easier to improve your credit score. As you can see, a credit score is not just about making on-time payments.

While that certainly gives your credit rating a boost, you can do several other things to help improve your credit score:

  • Keep your credit card balance low: Approximately 30% of your credit score comes from your credit utilization ratio, which takes into account how much money you owe. You can calculate your credit utilization rate by dividing your total current credit card debt by your total available credit limits. Let’s say you have two credit cards with a combined $2,000 credit limit and a combined balance of $1,000. That means you have a 50% credit utilization rate — or you are using 50% of the credit made available to you. The higher your utilization ratio, the lower your credit score. Banks typically like to see a credit utilization ratio of below 30%, though some may require a lower ratio for some large financial products, such as a mortgage or car loan. If you keep your balances low, your credit utilization rate will also remain low. Just by paying down some of your existing balance, you will see a credit score improvement.
  • Request a credit limit increase: This goes hand-in-hand with your credit utilization ratio. Every time you have more credit extended to you, your utilization ratio decreases (so long as you don’t add more to your balance). Using the example above — let’s say the person with a 50% credit utilization ratio who had $1,000 in debt and $2,000 in overall available credit — receives a $1,000 credit limit increase. This would extend the total available credit to $3,000. If his or her balance remained at $1,000, this consumer’s credit utilization ratio would tumble from 50% to 33%.
  • Limit your applications: Every time you apply for a credit card or other loan product, the lender places a hard inquiry on your credit report to gain access to your information. An inquiry lives on your credit report for two years and shows that you applied for a loan. That seems harmless enough, but too many inquiries can be a bad thing. Excessive attempts to gain access to credit show that you may be in a desperate financial situation. That is not what banks look for in a loan candidate. Keep new inquiries to a minimum to avoid losing a few credit score points.
  • Become an authorized user: If your bad credit score is preventing you from qualifying for a credit card of your own, you can attempt to become an authorized user on a family member or loved one’s credit account. An authorized user has access to the main cardholder’s account and credit line — and typically receives a credit card in his or her name. Just like the main cardholder, the authorized user is liable for any debts charged to the credit account. The biggest benefit of becoming an authorized user is that you will get a credit score boost with on-time payments and low balances. On the flip side, your credit score will also take a hit if the account has a late payment or high balance.
  • Take out a credit builder loan: A credit builder loan is a small, short-term loan that is intended to help you build a positive payment history. It’s an installment loan you pay to yourself. Your payments are reported to the credit bureaus and when your loan term is up, the loan amount is returned to you. Credit builder loans help you build credit and save up a nice chunk of change you can use to pay off debt (which will boost your credit score even further). You can find these types of loans from specialized online lenders or your local credit union.
  • Monitor your credit report: Take advantage of your free annual credit report to make sure all of the information listed under your name is accurate. While you will not receive a free credit score with this service, you will see all of the information that makes up your credit score. You should even check small and mundane details. A misspelling in your name or address may not affect your credit score, but it could trigger a red flag on a credit application and find you with a rejection — even if you have a good credit score.

The most important trait you can have when working on improving your credit score is also the most difficult to maintain: patience.

Even services for raising your credit score can take months to complete. The process takes time to build, but you can just as easily undo the progress with one late payment.

But with some discipline and patience, you can start to see progress in as little as a few weeks.

What is the Best Service for Raising Your Credit Score?

We have listed Lexington Law as our top-rated credit repair service for a very long time. The reasoning for that rating comes down to two very simple traits — expertise and experience.

  • 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 partners with law firms and paralegals around the country that specialize in tax law and work with thousands of clients to get results when disputing inaccurate information on their credit reports. You simply can’t discount that type of expertise in such a technical field.

With Lexington Law, you are adding a group of knowledgeable professionals to your team — and that team has a long track record of success in credit disputes.

And when you consider the type of experts you are hiring, Lexington Law’s services are competitively priced when compared with its competition that does not boast the backing of lawyers and paralegals.

Just about every credit repair or credit counseling service charges a monthly fee for its services. Most have different tiers for services that will depend on the amount of work you need done. However big or small your mission, Lexington Law dedicates all of its resources and experts to your cause.

How Can I Raise My Credit Score 100 Points?

There are many ways to add 100 points or more to your credit score, but keep in mind that none are an overnight fix.

Perhaps the fastest way to experience a quick boost to your credit score is to pay down existing debt. At least 30% of your credit score is based on your total debt — that includes a credit card loan, installment loan, auto loan, mortgage, or other financial product.

As your total debt rises, your credit score falls. If you eliminate a large chunk of that debt, your credit utilization ratio will fall and your credit score will rise.

Credit Utilization Chart

Examples of credit card utilization across three accounts. Keeping your utilization rate below 30% will help you achieve a good credit score.

Just remember that lenders only report your account information to each credit bureau once per month. Depending on when you pay down your debt, it could take up to four weeks before the new balance is reflected on your credit file.

You can also dispute errors on your credit report with each credit reporting agency that lists the data. One late payment can sink your credit score by as many as 100 points. If you have that late payment removed from your report, you can regain those lost points right away.

Just keep in mind that you can only dispute inaccurate information with each credit bureau. If you legitimately missed your payment, the only path you can take to remove it from your credit history is to attempt to send a goodwill letter that asks for the late payment to be removed. This isn’t a guaranteed tactic.

For a quick potential increase, you can give a service such as Experian Boost a try. This free program links to your checking account and tracks non-traditional monthly payment history (think Netflix, utility payments, or rent), and gives you credit for on-time payments. The average user experiences a 13-point credit score increase instantly.

One downside to this service, though, is that you will only see an increase in your Experian credit score. Your scores with TransUnion and Equifax will remain unchanged. And since you rarely know which credit reporting company a lender will use to run a credit check, the boost may not help you at all.

Which Bills Can Help Improve Your Credit Score?

A credit bureau uses your financial history to calculate your credit score. That bureau can only use information that lenders report to it to put your score together.

So any bill that does not get reported to a credit reporting company has no impact on your credit score. This typically includes small bills such as streaming or subscription services.

Many utility companies do not report your payment history. Most insurance companies factor your credit score into your rates but do not report your payments to help you improve your credit history.

In many cases, landlords do not report rent payments to the credit bureaus. Likewise, most bills that do not require a credit check will not impact your credit score.

The bills that help you the most are typically any that tie into debt. If you are repaying a loan, chances are that the lender will report the bill. This includes a personal loan, student loan, credit card, mortgage, car loan, or other lending product.

Since rent is technically not a loan, your credit score won’t benefit from on-time payments.

This is slowly starting to shift, though. Services such as Experian Boost help you take non-reporting payments and use them to prove a history of on-time payments and gain some credit score points in a hurry.

Before you jump at this opportunity, remember that you could also experience the opposite effect. A few late utility payments can turn your Experian Boost into an Experian Brick that drops your credit score.

How Can I Build My Credit Fast?

Few things in the financial world happen quickly (unless it’s spending a paycheck). You can’t expect to completely reconstruct a positive credit history very quickly, but you can make small changes over time that can make a big impact over the long haul.

Lenders typically report payment information to each credit bureau once per month. That means that any payments or adjustments you make right now may take as long as four weeks to show up on your credit report.

Even when you use services for raising your credit score, you will find that it takes between three and five weeks to get any resolution from a dispute. That is because each credit bureau has to investigate every dispute by contacting the lender and viewing supporting evidence or documentation. That takes time.

And even though negative items can remain on your credit report for as long as seven years, you will find that their impact on your credit score lessens over time as it gets older and you (hopefully) replace it with positive data.

Chart Showing Time Items Take to Age Off a Credit Report

If you have a month or longer to work with, some of the things you can do to see a quick jump to your credit score will include:

  • Paying down existing balances
  • Increasing your current credit lines
  • Eliminating any new credit applications
  • Disputing inaccuracies on your free credit report
  • Make at least your minimum payment on time each month

If you need a quick boost to your credit score, you should pay down your debts — but not necessarily pay them off. Another factor in your credit score calculation is your credit mix — this considers the different types of credit accounts you have.

When you pay off a debt, it can decrease your credit mix and actually cause a brief drop in your credit score.

How Quickly Can I Raise My Credit Score?

This depends on what is holding your credit score down. If you have a recent bankruptcy, your only course of action is to wait until you can slowly replace that negative item with positive items.

But if you have on-time payments and no negative items other than a high credit card balance, the time you will need to increase your credit score will depend on how quickly you can pay down that balance.

If you have other negative items — such as late payments, collection accounts, or too many inquiries, you will have to gradually replace those items with positive data. But you can also look at the bright side — although those items will live on your credit report for between two and five years, they will lose their impact on your credit score over time.

If your bad credit has you unable to add a credit-score boosting credit card to your financial toolbox, you can consider a secured credit card that requires a refundable security deposit for approval but gives all of the credit-building capabilities of a traditional unsecured credit card.

Many people can see incremental boosts to their credit score in as little as one month by making small improvements. This includes paying down balances, holding off on adding new debt, and disputing inaccurate information.

Doing this will allow your score to improve a little each month — and it builds the momentum for larger improvements as negative items age off your report, and are replaced by new positive information.

What is Considered a Good FICO Score?

Your FICO Score will range between 300 and 850. Lenders consider anything at or above 670 as good.

FICO® Score Range

This is important to remember because good credit has several tiers. Someone with a 700 credit score will quite possibly qualify for a credit card intended for consumers who have a good credit score. But this same person may be rejected when applying for a credit card for consumers who have excellent credit.

If you are looking for a lending or revolving credit product, you can greatly improve your chances of finding a loan with a good interest rate by falling into the good category. Still, many loan options can help you build your bad credit.

When Should I See a Credit Counselor?

You should see a credit counselor for any credit-related issues that you cannot fix on your own. A credit counselor has extensive training and experience in handling complex financial matters.

Among the tactics a credit counselor will suggest are improving your credit score, paying down debts, working with a credit card company to lower interest rates, or creating a budget. Don’t be ashamed to turn to an expert for help — after all, it is sadly a skillset that is rarely taught in school these days.

When you make an appointment to meet with a credit counselor in person, over the phone, or virtually, create a list of questions you need answers to. Make a list of goals you would like to accomplish and make sure your counselor helps you build your path toward meeting those goals.

Services for Raising Your Credit Score Aren’t a Quick Fix

These services for raising your credit score should not be just about getting a quick fix to help you get an immediate loan. Instead, you should take advantage of your fresh start to use the skills and knowledge you’ve gained to maintain this new momentum for the rest of your life.

With an improved score, you’ll gain access to better interest rates and loan terms, higher credit lines, and even lower insurance premiums. Fixing your credit score is a marathon, not a sprint, and one that’s well worth entering.

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