You’re sick and tired of paying the highest interest rates, hoping and praying whenever you apply for credit, and generally feeling like a second-class citizen because your scores aren’t up to snuff.
You’re also seeing inaccurate info on the reports you want to be removed. What to do?
You’ve considered handling it all yourself, but you’re not confident you can pull it off.
You’re now leaning toward getting a professional agency to assist you, but does credit repair really work? Read on.
Credit repair companies can’t “fix” your credit. Now, like anything else, such companies occasionally intentionally create such confusion that a credit card company may end up deleting the item.
However, hoping that that’ll happen for you is a poor strategy. What credit repair companies are created to do is get unverifiable and inaccurate info removed from your Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax credit reports.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay?
If the company goes the subscription route – which benefits it since it has reason to keep you around – you’ll pay around $50 or $100 monthly for the previous month’s services, depending on the agency. Some companies will charge you “per delete,” meaning for every item it has removed on your behalf.
The cost of each delete will be around $50, but that can vary. For example, see how much the credit repair agency Lexington law charges.
Can I Handle Repair Myself?
Sure, you can. In fact, the Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed with you in mind. The legislation gives you the right to dispute, at no cost, any info on your credit report. But as with the credit repair agencies, only data that’s unverifiable or just flat wrong will be deleted or modified.
How Can I Ensure the Company Isn’t a Scam?
This is a good question since the industry, more than some others appeals to unscrupulous types that are more interested in acquiring your cash than making sure your credit report is accurate and up to date.
Fortunately, there are ways to determine you’re dealing with a company that isn’t on the level:
- It wants you to fork overpayment upfront before it performs services for you. That’s against the law.
- It promises it can clear your credit reports of negative info. Again, companies cannot achieve this. If it does happen to luck up, it was through unethical means.
- It advises you to dispute ALL info in your reports, its accuracy or timeliness notwithstanding. This company is just tossing everything out there, in hopes of billable deletions.
- It tries to get around explaining your rights, particularly the fact that you can do what you’re paying it to do, for free.
- It counsels you to refrain from contacting credit reporting companies yourself. Such companies obviously don’t want you to discover you don’t need to pay for their services after all.
Does credit repair really work? It depends on what you want it to do. If you want to remove old or incorrect info from your credit reports, give it a shot if you don’t want to wrangle with doing so yourself for free.
If you’re paying an agency in the hopes that it will remove negative but accurate information, then you may be wasting your money. If you can pay off outstanding accounts, do that.
Failing that, you’re better off just letting the info fall off naturally, over time, on its own. Make an honest assessment of what you’re looking for, then act accordingly.